Political Buzz

Talking WA politics.

NOTICE: Political Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Political Buzz.
Visit the new section.

Tag: Tacoma City Budget


Tacoma: Union representing public works employees buys newspaper ads blasting budget cuts

A union representing City of Tacoma public works employees bought a $2,867 ad in today’s edition of The News Tribune to criticize City Manager T.C. Broadnax‘s  2013-14 budget plan that would slash the city’s streets funding.

The ad features a photo of the Pothole Pig — a figurine used as part of a regular Tacoma Weekly feature to identify neglected potholes —  and states, ‘The Pothole Pig Is on the Loose in the City of Tacoma.”

The ad goes on to list several service cuts facing the city should Broadnax’s budget plan be approved, stating that “63,000 fewer potholes will

Read more »


Tacoma: City employee labor union sues city, claiming Broadnax’s budget plan violates contracts, labor laws

A city-employee labor union sued the City of Tacoma Thursday, claiming City Manager T.C. Broadnax’s budget plan that seeks to reorganize several city departments and eliminate scores of jobs violates various laws, due process rights and collective bargaining agreements.

The lawsuit – filed in Pierce County Superior Court by Teamsters Local 117 – also requests a judge to issue an  order restraining the city “from proceeding to implement any reorganization, layoff or other action detrimental to City of Tacoma employees” in the Public Works and Public Assembly Facilities Departments.

Local 117 represents about 250 city workers, including about 70

Read more »


Tacoma: City Manager T.C. Broadnax set to propose 217 job cuts, staff reorganizations to help meet projected $63 million shortfall in 2013-14 general fund

Tacoma’s City Manager T.C. Broadnax seeks to eliminate about 217 city jobs to help balance a general fund budget that faces a projected $63 million shortfall over the next two years.

“My job is to rectify this situation and to strengthen the foundation of our budget as we move forward,” Broadnax told The News Tribune Tuesday morning during a preview of his 2013-14 budget plan.

Jobs targeted for elimination include a mix of about 60 -65 already vacant positions, plus expected retirements and layoffs. More than 80 percent are union jobs – about the same ratio of the city’s current

Read more »


Tacoma: Fire Department wins $7.7 million grant, saving 37 firefighter jobs and closing part of budget gap

Tacoma’s fire department has won a $7.7 million federal grant that will save 37 firefighter jobs and solve a big part of an increasingly urgent city budget shortfall, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell’s office announced Thursday.

“This is a very competitive grant process, so the significant amount of this award really shows the need,” said Scott Whiteaker, a spokesman for Cantwell. “The loss of these 37 firefighters would have equated to losing at least three of the city’s fire engine companies.”

Acceptance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency grant award also ensures no firefighter in Tacoma can be laid off for

Read more »


Tacoma: City council prioritizes spending during first step of Broadnax’s budget process

As Tacoma grapples to deal with huge budget gaps in the coming years, the City Council generally favors reducing or maintaining some level of resources to existing city programs, but shies away from eliminating or increasing current allocations to most major services.

Or so says the general conclusions drawn from a survey taken by the council to help City Manager T.C. Broadnax formulate a 2013-14 general fund budget amid grim economic forecasts.

Findings of the council’s survey — discussed during a more than 4-1/2-hour study session Tuesday — also indicate the council is willing to somewhat reduce certain allocations

Read more »


Tacoma: City disputes KIRO report that dozens of cops, firefighters are targeted for layoffs

About an hour ago, KIRO reporter Kevin McCarty tweeted that he’s working on an exclusive report for 6 p.m. about major City of Tacoma police and firefighter layoffs now in the works.

More on possible and fire layoffs in #tacoma. Could be 35 police and 48 firefighters according to sources. Exclusive at 6 on KIRO 7.

But city spokesman Rob McNair-Huff told me a few minutes ago that Interim Manager Rey Arellano has yet to identify what jobs exactly will be cut as part of an estimated 126 city positions that are now proposed for layoffs to help balance the 2011-12 budget.

“Anything out there is speculation at this point,” McNair-Huff said.

McNair-Huff added that, although Arellano is scheduled to give the council another budget update next week, that discussion will be about the latest revenue figures — not layoffs. Any definitive word on actual service cuts or layoffs have simply not been decided yet, he said. Arellano has yet to even schedule a meeting to provide such details.

McNair-Huff added that a KIRO reporter also asked him today about rumors that eight city fire stations would also be closed.

“And I haven’t heard that, either,” McNair-Huff said.  “We’re still doing work on trying to close the budget gap, and department directors are still putting together their proposals. But I haven’t seen that.” Read more »