Word on the Street

The latest news in and around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

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Category: Milton


Council member Debra Perry appointed Milton mayor


Milton City Council member Debra Perry has been appointed Milton’s new mayor, succeeding Katrina Asay.

The council appointed Perry Monday night after opting not to open up the mayoral vacancy to residents not on the council.

Perry just finished her first year on the council.

She will serve as mayor at least until Dec. 31, 2011. Perry said she plans to run in the municipal general election in November when voters will decide who will fill out the remainder of Asay’s term ending in December 2013.

“I have big plans for Milton,” Perry said. “I really love this city. And I want to empower the people.” That includes helping volunteer groups accomplish more in Milton, Perry said.

Asay, Milton’s mayor since 2003, won election in November to House Position 2 in the 30th Legislative District, the Federal Way-area seat left open by Skip Priest’s successful bid for Federal Way mayor. Both Asay and Priest are Republicans. Asay resigned as mayor effective Dec. 31.

By a vote of 6-0, the City Council appointed Perry mayor Monday night. Perry could not vote, according to council rules.

In the strong mayor system, Perry oversees day-to-day city business for Milton, which has 6,540 residents and straddles Pierce and King counties. Milton also has a city administrator, Subir Mukerjee, who reports to the mayor.

Perry’s challenges include balancing the budget for a city that has been hit hard by budget cuts in the past two years.

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No more water coolers for Milton city workers

In its latest cost-cutting move, the City of Milton has eliminated water coolers in city buildings.

The cut will save the city about $2,000 a year, said City Administrator Subir Mukerjee.

The change means will city workers in those buildings will have to drink tap water from faucets.

The city had been paying for five, five-gallon water coolers for several city buildings, including City Hall and its adjacent public works building and council chambers/Municipal Court.

The city supplied water coolers in City Hall because employees didn’t like the taste of water in the old City Hall buildings.

But recent city water tests determined the tap water in city buildings – including fire and police headquarters – was safe to drink.

The tests also showed the levels of iron and sulfur in the water were within an acceptable range, according to a city report. Iron and sulfur often cause a metallic taste in water.

The city will continue to pay for individual-sized bottles of water for firefighters and police to use when responding to calls.

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Milton City Council OKs fireworks restrictions

The Milton City Council unanimously approved Monday night a partial ban on fireworks to take effect in June 2011.

The new restrictions outlaw mortars and Roman candles. They also slash the number of days that fireworks can be ignited during the Independence Day season from eight days to only July 4. Starting next year, fireworks during the Indepedence Day season can only be discharged from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 4.

The limits continue to allow the use of legal fireworks for New Year’s Eve – from 6 p.m. Dec. 31 through 1 a.m. Jan. 1.

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Milton to hold meetings on fire levy lid lift

The City of Milton will have a series of town hall meetings starting Thursday to provide information on a proposed fire levy lid lift.

The three meetings will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 14 and July 20 at the Milton Fire Department Training Room, 1000 Laurel St.

Milton voters will decide Aug. 17 whether to raise their property taxes for improved fire and medical protection, including advanced life support provided by paramedics. Services would be provided through a contract with East Pierce Fire & Rescue.

The measure would raise city property taxes by $1.21 per $1,000 of assessed valuation

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Fife’s Robert Mizukami: A legacy of community and military service

Fife pioneer Robert T. Mizukami fought for his country in the U.S. Army after he and his family were placed in internment camps for Japanese Americans.

He came home from World War II with scars on his face from mortar shrapnel and a Purple Heart.

Besides running a wholesale flower growing business in Fife, Mizukami went on to serve on the first Fife City Council. He remained a council member for 30 years, including the final seven years as mayor.

Mizukami died Saturday at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma after suffering a heart attack three days earlier. He was

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