Council Schedule Highlights Week of June 4th, 2018

 

This week I will be speaking at the North End Neighborhood Council on Monday, 6pm, Trimble Hall at the University of Puget Sound.

Monday, JUNE 3rd, 2018

10:00am Rules Committee

Douglas G. Richardson, Chair
Connie Ladenburg, Vice Chair
Dan Roach, Executive Pro Tempore

Regularly scheduled meetings are broadcast live and replayed on channel 22 (Comcast and Click! Network) and on channel 20 (Rainier Connect). Meeting materials and video can be accessed atwww.piercecountywa.org/councilcommittees.

Proposal №2018–24, Charter Amendment — Biennial Budget An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council Proposing Amendments to Article 6 of the Pierce County Charter to Revise the Annual Budget to a Biennial; Requesting the Auditor to Submit These Amendments to the Voters at the November 2018 General Election; and Requesting the Prosecuting Attorney to Draft an Appropriate Ballot Title.

Sponsored by: Councilmembers Rick Talbert, Connie Ladenburg, Douglas G. Richardson, and Derek Young

A desire of mine since starting with the Council is to move the County to biennial budgets. While the idea got lukewarm response initially, the Executive announced his support earlier in the year.

Some, including myself, thought that the current Charter language already provided enough latitude for the change. It says that a budget must be proposed and passed annually, but that could be a supplemental budget which is in keeping with current practice.

After reviewing with legal counsel the Executive and our staff agree that this is the cleanest way to go about a change.

So why do this at all? The main reason is that it saves staff time and allows for deeper, more meaningful budget discussions. Currently we go through the same process each year which starts almost as soon as the previous year is passed. That leaves little time for a deep dive into a particular department, or to spend more time tinkering with assumptions.

Gig Harbor and Tacoma both use a biennial budget, as does the State. I had pushed for one in Gig Harbor for years but ironically, I was leaving the Council when we made the leap.

The main concern is that longer forecasts for revenue and spending can be less accurate, but with such a large budget, we pass frequent supplementals throughout the year. Unlike the Legislature, local councils are year round bodies.

I’ll make my case in greater detail later.

Proposal №2018–31, Charter Amendment — Direct Legislation Procedures An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council Proposing Amendments to Sections 5.10, 5.40, 5.50, 5.60, 5.70 and 8.65 of the Pierce County Charter to Streamline and Clarify Direct Legislation Procedures; Adopting New Sections 5.15 and 8.15 to Provide Definitions; Requesting the Auditor to Submit these Amendments to the Voters at the November 2018 General Election; and Requesting the Prosecuting Attorney to Draft an Appropriate Ballot Title.

Sponsored by: Councilmember Douglas G. Richardson

During the charter review process the Auditor brought to light a number of issues with our referenda procedures. This was another issue where the Charter Review Commission decided that they already had a large number of proposals and asked the Council to use its authority to address issues later.

These are considered technical, rather than substantive changes by the Auditor and staff.

Proposal №2018–37, Claims Against the County An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council Amending Section 4.36.040 of the Pierce County Code, “Claims Against the County — Approval or Denial.”

Sponsored by: Councilmember Douglas G. Richardson

It’s well established in state law that the Council is the body which pays claims and settles lawsuits on behalf of the people of Pierce County. The Council has delegated some authority to the office of Risk Management, up to $250,000, however the Council remains in control. The Prosecutor’s Office is the County’s attorney and will make recommendations, but again, the Council is the client.

For some reason there is some language in code that seems to hint at a potential veto for the Prosecutor’s Office. This is an error and would seem to be contrary to state law, so it’s something brought up for correction.

1:30pm Community Development Committee

Rick Talbert, Chair
Dan Roach, Vice Chair
Douglas G. Richardson
Derek Young
Jim McCune

Regularly scheduled meetings are broadcast live and replayed on channel 22 (Comcast and Click! Network) and on channel 20 (Rainier Connect). Meeting materials and video can be accessed atwww.piercecountywa.org/councilcommittees.

Proposal №2018–35, Supervised Drug Consumption Sites — Prohibition An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council Amending Title 18 of the Pierce County Code (PCC), “Development Regulations — General Provisions,” and Title 18A PCC, “Development Regulations — Zoning,” to Prohibit Supervised Drug Consumption Sites; Adopting Findings of Fact; and Setting an Effective Date.

Sponsored by: Councilmembers Jim McCune and Pam Roach

You may recall that the issue of drug consumption sites came up previously. That action by the Council was to initiate the process for developing a land use code amendment. Staff and the Planning Commission have completed their recommendation which would result in a prohibition of such facilities in unincorporated Pierce County.

As I said at the time, while some have argued there’s potential public health benefit to such facilities, there are currently none operating in the United States. Even if it could be proven that the benefits outweigh the costs, the legal liability alone makes this an unattractive option. That’s particularly true since we don’t have the resources for even a fraction of the treatment and intervention tools that I’d like to implement first.

Tuesday, JUNE 4th, 2018

9:30am Select Committee on Human Services

Connie Ladenburg, Chair
Rick Talbert, Vice Chair
Douglas G. Richardson

Regularly scheduled meetings are broadcast live and replayed on channel 22 (Comcast and Click! Network) and on channel 20 (Rainier Connect). Meeting materials and video can be accessed atwww.piercecountywa.org/councilcommittees.

Opioid Task Force Update 
Presentation: Councilmember Derek Young

While the Task Force hasn’t met in a little while, there’s been a bunch of behind the scenes work happening that we’ll update the committee on.

  1. Tacoma’s National League of Cities grant/training
  2. State/Federal funding update
  3. Next steps for Task Force

Recommendations from the HomeFULLness Forum 
Presentation: League of Women Voters

LWV frequently does these sorts of in depth reports and recommendations on issues of public importance. Back when we commissioned the HSRI study of our behavioral health system LWV was doing its own analysis and came to very similar conclusions. They have been digging into the homelessness crisis and I believe this will be a presentation on those findings.

3:00pm Council Meeting

Regularly scheduled meetings are broadcast live and replayed on channel 22 (Comcast and Click! Network) and on channel 20 (Rainier Connect). Meeting materials and video can be accessed atwww.piercecountywa.org/councilcommittees.

Rather than picking out a particular item I’ll just note that this week’s agenda has several labor unit contract approvals. Each local or guild is getting essentially the same financial package which makes most of the negotiations fairly straight forward.

Thursday, JUNE 7th, 2018

Puget Sound Regional Council — Growth Management Policy Board

We’re updating our regional land use plan for the four county central Puget Sound area (King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties). Obviously this is a large undertaking under the best circumstances, but facing a full blown housing crisis driven by an explosion of economic development in King County, we’re going to be spending a lot of time on this over the course of the next year.

On Pierce County’s behalf I’ve been pushing us to rethink the core ideas behind our Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) and jobs/housing balance. We need an approach that works for the whole region.

My Weekly Calendar

Last year we got a request for my forward looking calendar. Rather than have staff waste their time on public record requests, I decided to publish screenshots. If you have questions, feel free to call. Keep in mind, my schedule isn’t static. Things will get added, deleted, changed, etc. There are conflicts that I have to pick between. But if people want to see where I’m at and who I meet with, that’s fine by me.

Re-Elect Derek Young, Pierce County Council