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Tag: Tacoma politics


Developers appeal hearing examiner’s denial of Northshore project

Tomorrow, we’ll have an update on the legal wranglings since a City of Tacoma hearing examiner denied virtually every aspect of an application for the Northshore housing development earlier this month.

The news? The developer is now appealing the examiner’s ruling on two fronts: in court and before the Tacoma City Council.

Here’s a preview of tomorrow’s story:

The developers of a controversial proposal to build hundreds of homes over the North Shore Golf Course in Northeast Tacoma have appealed a city hearing examiner’s ruling that denied key parts of the project.
Aaron Laing, an attorney for Northshore

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City hearing examiner denies developer’s controversial Northshore housing application


A city hearing examiner yesterday denied a developer’s controversial application for a rezone in Northeast Tacoma that would have allowed hundreds of homes to be built over the Northshore Golf Course.

The matter will next go to the City Council, which will have final say on the project.

Some interesting findings in hearing examiner pro tem Wick Dufford’s opinion:

The effect of approving the subject plat would be to eliminate the designated open space in adjacent plats. It is contrary to the public interest to allow any applicant to achieve such a result unilaterally. The interests of too many others are left out of the decisional equation. The Examiner concludes that the Preliminary Plat should be denied because the public interest will not be served by the platting of the subdivision applied for. … Ultimately this may mean that requests to alter the adjacent plats need to be made and approved before the subject application can be approved.

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Tacoma mayor: Too close to call

With the second batch of ballots counted and posted, the race for Tacoma mayor is still too close to call.

Marilyn Strickland holds a wafer thin lead — just 133 votes — over Jim Merritt.  If past election trends hold true, there are still more than half of the ballots remaining to be counted.vote_1

Stick a fork in the other muncipal races.

Victoria Woodards easily extinguished firefighter Keven Rojecki.

Marty Campbell coasted to victory over Roxanne Murphy.

And in the battle of (last) name recognition, Joe Lonergan beat Beckie Summers Kirby.

(Oh yeah: unopposed Councilman Jake Fey won, too).

Here are the latest results posted by the Pierce County Auditor:
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Firefighters, other unions are top contributors to Tacoma candidates

firefightersI’ve been looking at campaign contributions to Tacoma candidates in recent elections. One things stands out: public employee unions dominate the list of top contributors.

An analysis of state contribution records shows unions representing city employees have given more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind contributions to Tacoma candidates since the 2003 elections. Five city employee unions are among the top 10 contributors to city candidates since 2003. (See the top 10 list below).

Leading the way is the Tacoma Professional Firefighters Union, which has given nearly $30,000 to city council and mayoral candidates. The union is the top contributor to Tacoma candidates in recent elections.

The Tacoma Police Union is second among all contributors, giving $23,500. Other top contributors in recent elections include the local Master Builders Association, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Simpson Investment Co.

Several elected officials say public employee unions – especially the firefighters – are the most influential group in Tacoma politics. We’ve got calls in to the firefighter and police unions. But I’m also interested in speaking with individual Tacoma firefighters and police officers. What are the city issues you care about? What do you look for in candidates? What do you hope your contributions will accomplish? Give me a call at 253-274-7341 or e-mail me at david.wickert@thenewstribune.com.

Below is the list of top 10 contributors to Tacoma council and mayoral candidates from the 2003 election cycle through early September of this year.
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City candidates talk transpo

We need better public transit systems in Tacoma.  We need to reduce the number of single-occupant vehicles commuting into the city.  We need to improve our streets.

We need, we need, we need … vote_1

In a candidates’ forum heavy on the “need to,” but largely short on the “how to,” municipal candidates last night spoke about the transportation issues facing Tacoma amid the backdrop of rapid population growth projections in coming years.

But emerging within the usual platitudes offered during the roughly 2-hour forum at UW-T (Think: “We need a vision…”), was an occasional morsel in their spoken words to help better flesh out the candidates and draw some stark differences among them.

During the event — a videotape of which will begin airing on Click TV by Oct. 16, and continue to be broadcast through Election Day — candidates were given a timed allotment to respond to most questions. Each candidate also was provided two playing cards, which they could use as they chose, to extend their response times when answering any of the questions.

Here’s a look at some of what went on:
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Merritt: A-Twitter with accusations about yard signs

From his Twitter account (@merritformayor), Tacoma mayoral candidate Jim Merritt recently tweeted the following:

Just heard of 9 more sign stolen from private yards today. Spoke to my opponent &asked her to get the word out to cease this practice.


I spoke with Merritt campaign manager Ronnie Bush this morning, who claims at least 300 Merritt signs have disappeared around Tacoma — what Bush described as part of a “concerted” effort of alleged thefts on the part of  the campaign of Merritt’s opponent, Marilyn Strickland.  Strickland absolutely denies the claims.
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Tacoma candidates’ forum on Thursday

Tacoma mayoral and city council candidates are expected to detail their positions on transportation issues facing the city during a candidate’s forum this Thursday. vote_1

The public is invited to attend the event, which will take place at the UWT’s Carwein Auditorium from 6:30 to 8:30 in the PM.

Here are the deets from the event’s press release:
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