The Daily Mash-Up

Friday, August 28, 2015 This Week's Paper
Street Repair and Maintenance Funding Measures Approved for November Ballot

Tacoma’s City Council and the Transportation Benefit District, which is also the council, voted to approve two street repair and maintenance funding resolutions that will place two separate propositions on the November general election ballot.

These propositions must be placed separately since funding will come from both the City and the Transportation Benefit District. The first ballot measure, Proposition 3, is under the City and would levy a 1.5 percent tax on power, natural gas and phone service earnings and levy an additional 20 cents per $1,000 of assessed value on property tax. The second ballot measure, Proposition 4, is under the Transportation Benefit District and would increase sales tax by 1/10 of a percent.

If passed, these measures would raise dedicated funds to rebuild and maintain up to 70 percent of the residential street network, and address projects included in the Transportation Master Plan and six-year Comprehensive Transportation Program. The funding package language identifies projects such as residential street maintenance, arterial streets and freight access, along with walking and biking infrastructure improvements. These measures would sunset after 10 years and would generate a projected $175 million with an estimated cost of $7.50 per household per month.

"Now is the time to take action and raise dedicated funds to fix Tacoma's streets,” said Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “This plan holds us accountable for delivering results and will create more than 400 direct and indirect family wage jobs.”

In addition to the funds, these measures would leverage an estimated $120 million in grants and matching funds and the City’s General Fund would commit an additional $30 million. The accumulation of all these sources would raise a total of $325 million for Tacoma’s streets over a 10-year period.

Over the next three months, City staff will provide opportunities to learn more about these ballot measures so citizens can make an informed decision on Nov. 3.

City Recognized Again For Management Programs

For the third year in a row, the City of Tacoma is being recognized by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) for its performance management efforts with a Certificate of Excellence from the ICMA Center for Performance Analytics. Certificates are awarded at the levels of Achievement, Distinction and Excellence. Tacoma is one of 33 jurisdictions receiving the Certificate of Excellence, the highest level awarded.

“Working in support of the vision that our Mayor and City Council have for Tacoma as we move forward into the next decade, I am proud of what we have accomplished over the past three years,” said City Manager T.C. Broadnax. “We continue to remain committed to the long-term success of our city.”

ICMA assesses the performance management programs of local governments and encourages analysis of results using peer city comparisons and measurement of performance over time. Performance management aids in cost reduction, program prioritization and quality improvement. It also encourages accountability and transparency.

Criteria for the Certificate of Excellence include:
• Reporting of performance data to the public and elected officials
• Data verification efforts to ensure data reliability
• Staff training
• Use of performance data in strategic planning and operational decision-making
• Sharing of performance measurement knowledge with other local governments through presentations, site visits and other networking
• Commitment to tracking and reporting to the public of key outcomes
• Surveying of both residents and local government employees
• Effective and timely reporting

City Joins Effort to Help Sex Trafficked Victims

The City of Tacoma and Rebuilding Hope Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County have entered into a partnership to provide assistance and services to youth in Tacoma who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

Previously, the city did not have services for people who have been victims of sex trafficking, and the establishment of a community advocate will be the first step in creating a more robust support and outreach system.

“This is an important step for Tacoma and for the victims of commercial sexual exploitation in our community,” said Nadia Chandler-Hardy, Neighborhood and Community Services Department director. “Service providers, law enforcement and juvenile justice staff working with youth populations see risk factors and red flags among the youth with whom they work, but are not formally tracking or counting the number of sexually exploited individuals they encounter. We want to take a proactive approach to change that.”

The City selected Rebuilding Hope as its community partner through a competitive selection process. It is a community-based agency that advocates for victim-survivors, their families and friends. The agency embraces a client empowerment model, which acknowledges the dignity and autonomy of each victim-survivor, while providing support and information so that a victim has the tools to move toward healing.

A 24-hour crisis, information and referral line is available at 1-800-756-7273 or (253) 474-7273. People can call to schedule an appointment with Rebuilding Hope at (253) 597-6424 or TTY, (253) 274-0448. Rebuilding Hope is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and by appointment on Fridays.

Rebuilding Hope helps people who have had their lives impacted by sexual assault in Tacoma and Pierce County, regardless of race, ethnicity, color, religion, disability, pregnancy, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, age, income, veteran status, marital status or any other basis prohibited by federal, state or local law.

Miss Pierce County Named 1st Runner-Up to Miss Washington

Pacific Lutheran University graduate Anikka Abbott, 22, was named first runner-up to Miss Washington 2015 during competition earlier this month.

Miss Washington is the state program of the Miss America Organization, which is the largest provider of scholarship money to young women in the world, awarding over $45 million annually. Abbott won the title of Miss Pierce County 2015 in February and went on to the Miss Washington program.

The winner of Miss Washington will go to Atlantic City, New Jersey in September to compete for the title of Miss America. Contestants competed in a private interview prior to the on-stage competition, which showcased the evening gown, swimsuit, talent, and on-stage question components. Abbott was named a preliminary talent winner on Thursday, July 2 for her charming rendition of The Laughing Song from the opera, Die Fledermaus.

Abbott, an opera singer, graduated Pacific Lutheran University this year. Her platform, Prevention through Empowerment: Ending Domestic Violence and Stalking, brings awareness to the fight against domestic violence.

As first runnerup, Abbott earned the right to represent Washington State in the National Sweetheart competition in Hoopeston, Illinois over Labor Day Weekend.

State Transportation Package Sends $15 million to Pierce Transit

Pierce Transit will receive $15 million from the State Transportation Revenue Package for transit improvements along the SR 7/Pacific Avenue corridor from Downtown Tacoma to Spanaway. This corridor is currently being served by Pierce Transit Route 1, provides nearly 2 million annual boardings, and has been in Pierce Transit’s long-range vision for faster more reliable service.

“This project funding will allow Pierce Transit to plan and implement a long range vision for this high use corridor. The $15 million in the package is a huge win for Pierce Transit customers making connections to jobs, school and regional service,” said Pierce Transit CEO, Sue Dreier.

The State Legislature finalized the $16 billion dollar Transportation Revenue Package Friday, July 10, just before Sine Die. The package; which includes investments in safety, maintenance, and finishing projects in Pierce County, included $111 million in transit projects across the state; $15 million of which is allocated to Pierce Transit. It also included a significant increase in funding for grant programs that have traditionally benefited Pierce Transit, which will assist Pierce Transit in capital investments over the next six years.

“I applaud the State Legislature for finishing the session with a finalized transportation package that includes major investments in transit funding which is critical to our customers.” said Pierce County Councilmember Rick Talbert, Chair of Pierce Transit’s Board of Commissioners.

The $15 million dollar investment is coupled with other grant awards totaling nearly $23 million dollars for Pierce Transit; including $4.6 million for the new Route 4, $1.2 million for peak hour service on Route 1 and almost $2 million in special needs transportation service.

“As a former Pierce Transit Board member it was a priority for me to ensure that any Transportation Package passed included significant funding for the Agency. The transit users of our region need significant investments in public transportation and this funding will assist in that,” said Jake Fey, a Representative from the 27th Legislative District and a former Pierce Transit Board member.

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