Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Trust Me: 5 to 2

After seemingly hours of public testimony from numerous businesses, but some residents of Fife too, the City Council voted 5 against and two for the proposed Ord. 1693 for a loading dock door tax.

That action should end the threat, but engenders an appeal from the Mayor and Councilmembers to the business community to work together with them in developing an answer to the deteriorating road infrastructure.

Testimony by many centered around the unfair nature of a tax on loading dock doors to address road condition charged by many to be caused by transitory traffic between the Port of Tacoma's terminals and warehousing in the Valley cities (like Sumner, Orting, Auburn, etc.). Local Fife businesses complained of being singled out to pay for impacts of businesses located in other cities either locally or across the country.

The Council toyed with the idea of extending the effective date of the tax to January 1, 2011 in order to compel local businesses to remain involved in a discussion and resolution group. In the end, the discriminatory nature of the proposal overcame a perceived need to hold businesses hostage to an impending tax. Instead, many of the Councilmembers issued an appeal to business to help resolve how to fund commercial arterials without an identified funding source.

LDDT Concerns Voiced by Businesses

The business community is finding its voice about the proposed Loading Dock Door tax by the City of Fife. Earlier postings on this blog give you background. Click on the image for a larger/readable size.

Dick Muri Announces Candidacy for 9th Congressional District

From the Dick Muri press release:

Pierce County Councilmember Dick Muri announces his candidacy for the congress, 9th District.

Muri, a retired USAF Lt Colonel, will continue his decades long advocacy for a balanced budget amendment to our nation’s constitution. Congress for too long has not had the internal mechanisms to say no to interest groups' insatiable appetite for more taxes or even worse, more borrowing to be paid later by future generations.

The concept of independent states served by a limited federal government, as envisioned by our nation’s founders, has been increasingly ignored. We are now suffering the consequences. The unprecedented increase of deficit and debt these past ten years, and the credit card mentality of our current congress, is considered by many to be "generational theft".

For more information about Dick Muri's campaign for congress, visit http://www.dickmuri.com/, contact DickMuri2010@aol.com or call 253-581-5609.

Friday, May 22, 2009

GF Train Honoree Emerald Home Furnishings

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s George Francis (G.F) Train International Business Commemorative goes to Emerald Home Furnishings in 2009 for making its significant contributions to the international business community of Tacoma-Pierce County.

With home offices in Tacoma, Emerald Home Furnishings is a full-line supplier to home furniture retailers throughout North America. Started in 1962 and adding an import division in 1993, Emerald Home Furnishings now occupies a 200,000 square foot building for its 70 employees that houses corporate offices, the northwest showroom and mattress manufacturing facilities and owns a fleet of trucks that cover 11 western states. The company has showrooms in Tacoma, Las Vegas and High Point, North Carolina and imports about 1,500 40-foot containers yearly.

There are five factory warehouse facilities in Haining City (Shanghai), China as well as a warehouse facility in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia. The company has sourcing offices in Haining City, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Saigon, Vietnam for its long-time employees abroad.

Emerald Home Furnishings prides itself on being an exemplary community member; each year they host an open house in Tacoma hotels for all its retailers nationwide. This June they will host a dinner and piano bar at the Varsity Grill. Last August, the company continued its two decades-old tradition of hosting a charity golf tournament, raising $7,500 for the childhood education group Jumpstart.

David Beckmann, President of Emerald Home Furnishings, makes about four international trips per year, visiting Malaysia, Vietnam and China, and will be present to receive the award at The World Trade Center Tacoma’s Globe Awards Dinner & Auction, May 21, 2009.

G.F. Train International Business Award
The award commemorates George Francis Train, a legendary Boston Yankee who had a special place in his heart for Tacoma. Train was the most prominent promoter in the groundbreaking for the transcontinental railroad in Omaha and claimed credit for the selection of Tacoma as the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad, coining the appellation “City of Destiny.”

The award was developed in recognition of the tremendous importance that international business means for our region and for its significant economic and cultural contribution to our community.

TVW Broadcast: The 2009 Globe celebration can be viewed at TVW. Follow this link.

Business Examiner: Globe Awards honors businesses that triumph with trade here.

Tacoma Weekly: Globe Awards highlights innovators in tough economy here.

21 2009 Emerald Home Furnishings
20 2008 Jack Fabulich, Port of Tacoma
19 2007 Kirk Company
18 2006 BNSF Railway
17 2005 Toray Composites (America), Inc.
16 2004 Bill Matthaei, Roman Meal Company
15 2003 Steve Seher, Auto Warehousing, Inc.
14 2002 Sagem MORPHO, Inc.
13 2001 Art Morrison, Art Morrison Enterprises
12 2000 L. T. Murray, Jr., Murray Pacific Corp.
11 1999 Kyle Smith, Smith-Western Company
10 1998 Phil Lelli, I.L.W.U., Local #23
9 1997 Greg Schellberg, Evergreen Partnership
8 1996 Weyerhaeuser Company
7 1995 George Russell, Frank Russell Company
6 1994 Hun & Chun Choe, J.C. Auto Part Group, Ltd.
5 1993 Darrell W. Jesse, Jesse Engineering
4 1992 Fred Haley, Brown & Haley/Almond Roca International
3 1991 Chuck Doan, Port of Tacoma
2 1990 Ted Kennard, B.A. McKenzie & Co.
1 1989 Kathy Cobb, Puget Sound National Bank

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tugging the Foss's Land Use

The Tacoma Council's Environment and Public Works Committee yesterday (among other things) took up again the East Thea Foss Transportation Corridor Study & Potential LID Stakeholder Outreach.

The Chamber spent 18 months as the point of the spear expending staff time and political capital for the amendment process of the City's Comprehensive Land Use Plan in order to reserve the Foss Industrial Peninsula for industrial and compatible uses (e.g. no residential or hotel/motel). Then, the Chamber along with other stateholder representatives - the Foss Waterway Development Authority and the Port of Tacoma - spent three years in development of the transportation plan which was an element in the compromise leading to the successful Comprehensive Land Use Plan Amendment mentioned.

Despite this earnest commitment, businesses and landowners in the area had to respond to a red herring - closure of E. D Street to industrial traffic. This issue was thoroughly dealt with in the development of the E. Foss Transportation Plan as totally unacceptable.

Just as thoroughly dealt with in that plan was the need to address the deteriorated roadway throughout the Peninsula, but especially E. D Street. That need is exacerbated by the development of the Urban Waters/Puget Sound Partnership project, just recently begun with its groundbreaking. The LEED certification for the facility has mandated minimal parking and necessitated transit service - a challenge if not an impossibility given the current infrastructure.

The City's pledge to actively work with local businesses and property owners is a welcome action. Committee Chair and Councilmember Jake Fey and Councilmember Connie Ladenburg were both supportive of the existing businesses located there and of the opportunity to locate even more compatible users. Chair Fey declared there is not excuse for the present condition of the roads.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fife LDDT Scheduled for Action

The Fife City Council has placed the Loading Dock Door Tax agenda item to the meeting on May 26th.

The City of Fife hasn’t held any further Stakeholders meetings because of an inability to identify a Chairperson and establish goals for the Stakeholders group. These objectives weren’t met at the March 12th Stakeholders meeting.

As there is not a Chairperson, City Manager, Steve Worthington will provide the briefing to Council and Ordinance No. 1693 will be on the agenda for first read. This Ordinance will go through two readings before it will be passed, if that is indeed the outcome.

The considered legislative action to establish a city street utility taxing authority as an alternative local revenue source, did not pass during the recently concluded session.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Census: Basis of Business Marketing Research

The annual U.S. Census, a requirement in the U.S. Constitution has multiple uses including determining representation in Congress and in distribution of federal funds.

Also, it is the basis of business marketing research, both as straight data and as the basis for virtually all market forecasting.

The household data will be mailed to households in mid-May 2010, with the designated Census day of April 1, 2010.

Your Chamber has signed up as a 2010 Census Partner and will continue to share with you information as the project progresses.