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Tag: Tacoma politics


Merritt: Moving ahead with post & beam

On Friday, I shadowed Tacoma mayoral hopeful Jim Merritt for several hours during a typical campaign day, collecting string for an eventual profile I’ll do of the two candidates in the mayor’s race. I’m scheduled to tag along behind Marilyn Strickland later this week.
Jim Merritt
During one of Merritt’s stops on Friday, he met at the Mystic Mocha Cafe with one of his biggest supporters, Dome District construction firm owner, Keith Stone.  Stone and Merritt had called the meeting to discuss Sound Transit’s D to M Street rail project with two structural engineers.

The reason? Merritt is forging ahead with getting an alternative “post & beam” design plan drafted of the project — even though Sound Transit has said it intends to use a different design plan that is now about 75 percent complete.
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Baarsma: `Pent up’ over Post & Beam, Berm`implications’

As Tuesday evening’s Tacoma City Council meeting was winding down, Mayor Bill Baarsma unleashed a passionate speech denouncing “implications” that planning for Sound Transit’s proposed commuter rail line through Tacoma’s Dome District has been anything but above-board.

“There have been implications that there has been a series of meetings, kind of behind-closed-doors, and there’s been very little opportunity for the public to weigh in on this particular project,” the mayor began.

Mayor Baarsma

“I have been on this city council for nearly 16 years and I can’t think of a single project in which we’ve had more public meetings, more sessions and more changes in a particular project.”

The speech — or rather, the mayor’s impassioned delivery of it — ultimately had Baarsma profusely apologizing for himself, and drew chuckles from his colleagues and audience members.  It also led the stalwart city politician to eventually vacate the dais to compose himself and his tousled hair.

“Maybe I’ve been pent up,  and this is the opportunity to express my feelings,”  explained Baarsma, shortly before handing the gavel off to Deputy Mayor Julie Anderson to briefly take over council proceedings.

Anderson initially responded with a one word exclamation: “Woaahhh!”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Baarsma replied.

Video of the meeting can be found here (Baarsma’s speech comes near the end of the meeting).

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U.S. Rep. Smith Endorses Rojecki for Tacoma City Council

Congressman Adam Smith has endorsed firefighter Keven Rojecki for Tacoma City Council, Rojecki’s campaign announced today.

Smith, the 9th District Democrat and Tacoma resident, cited Rojecki’s “experience and leadership”  as the reason for his endorsement, Rojecki’s campaign website and a press release said.

Rojecki, 40, is running for the at-large position currently held by Mike Lonergan, who is barred by term limits from running again.  The nod from Smith joins endorsements for Rojecki from The Pierce Conservation Voters and Sierra Club – Tatoosh Group, among others.

Rojecki faces Victoria Woodards, chairwoman of the Metro Parks Tacoma board, who has

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Society looks at Tacoma’s political past

Students of local political history will want to mark their calendars for next Monday, when the Tacoma Historical Society sponsors a lecture on “Tacoma’s Suffragettes.” Here’s more info:

Shanna Stevenson, Coordinator of the Women’s History Consortium project for the Washington State Historical Society, will be Tacoma Historical Society’s featured speaker on Monday, September 14 at the Olympic Room of Tacoma Public Library’s Main Branch (11th & Tacoma Ave). The program will begin at 7 pm.

“Many Tacomans are unaware of how influential Tacoma’s suffragette leaders were in the fight for women’s right to vote,” stated Director Mary Bowlby. “We’re

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