The City Council for the City of Tacoma is a set of members that set the policies, change the legislative rules and regulations, and set the direction that the City of Tacoma will take on each issue that comes before them. They are directly elected by the people, either from within a “Councilmanic district” (a defined section of the city) or to represent the entire city in what is called an “at-large position.” Located at 747 Market Street, Suite 1200 Tacoma, WA 98402-3766, the City Council consists of Mayor Marilyn Strickland, Deputy Mayor Joe Lonergan, and council members Anders Ibsen, Marty Campbell, Jake Fey, Victoria Woodards, Lauren Walker, Ryan Mello, and David Boe.
Rob McNair-Huff, Community Relations Manager for the City of Tacoma, has worked for the City of Tacoma for nearly eight years. He reports to the City Manager’s Office, but also provides communications support for the Mayor and City Council. Aside from providing communications support for the City Council, Robert also serves as the chief spokesperson and Public Information Officer for the City of Tacoma. Robert explained his job in more detail, “I serve the City of Tacoma and the City Council by working to tell the City of Tacoma’s story to residents and the community at large. This includes answering questions from the media.” When asked what the best thing was about the City Council, Robert replied, “The best thing about working for the City of Tacoma and the City Council is the variety that comes with each day. Issues change frequently, but everything is about improving Tacoma and the quality of life for Tacoma residents.”
Unlike other City Councils in large cities, the Tacoma City Council is a part-time City Council. The Mayor serves in a full-time position. Currently, there are a number of critical issues that the City Council of Tacoma is handling, including the resolution of a budget shortfall in the General Fund. The City fund pays for services such as police, fire, streets, and libraries. Robert shared some of the City Council’s short-term and long-term goals, “The City Council’s goals set in 2011 include items in the areas of economic development, education, sustainability/neighborhoods and housing, public safety, transportation and government performance. Those goals range from establishing a new economic development strategy to working with the community to create new revenue streams to repair and improve the city’s streets.”
The City Council meets nearly every Tuesday night throughout the year, and meetings are held in the City Council Chambers on the first floor of the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market Street Tacoma, WA 98402 beginning at 5 p.m. Robert explained, “The City Council meetings are open to the public, and each meeting provides an opportunity for residents to comment on items that are on the agenda on a given night. You can visit the www.CityofTacoma.org website and visit the City Hall section of the site for more information about the City Council and their meetings.”
By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com