Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chamber Hosts CEO Roundtable with Governor

A group of the Chamber's South Sound Business Leaders from a range of industries held a closed-door roundtable at IID on Monday with Governor Jay Inslee.

Participants were given an opportunity to have a frank discussion on Tacoma-Pierce County as well as our state's economic development issues.

The roundtable kicked off with Kelly Ogilvie, the Governor's Senior Policy Advisor, relaying the Governor's strategic priorities for his Working Washington Agenda.

Governor Inslee joined the roundtable, held at one of IID's new conference rooms, after finishing a site tour of IID's headquarters in Tacoma.

Ensuring JBLM & Communities Thrive

Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) is changing, and so are the communities in the south Puget Sound region.

Now, the organization that’s working to ensure effective communication and collaboration between the base and its neighbors is looking to engage the community in planning for the areas surrounding the base.  The project, called the JBLM Joint Land Use Study (JLUS), focuses on the region’s long-term land use plans, with goals of supporting the military mission at JBLM, ensuring public health and safety throughout the region, and protecting the neighboring communities’ abilities to plan for development.

(Click on Images to get a Large View)

The JLUS project team is seeking public input from military and non-military members of the community, and invites you to attend an upcoming public meeting to learn about the project’s process and timeline; review issues that have already been identified as needing further study; talk with the people directly involved in the study; and provide comment at this early stage.

Get into the action early at an upcoming public meeting: 
Wednesday, June 25 5:00–7:30 pm DuPont City Hall, 1700 Civic Drive, DuPont

A special website for the JBLM JLUS has been created and is now live: www.jblm-jlus.com  As the project progresses, study summaries and preliminary findings will be posted on the website, as will notices for future public meetings and working group and oversight committee meetings.  Individuals can sign up on the website to be notified by email when new information is posted.   Computers available for community use may be found at public libraries throughout the region.

The South Sound Military & Communities Partnership, or SSMCP, is coordinating the JLUS for its partner communities and organizations in Pierce and Thurston Counties, with financial and technical assistance from the Department of Defense.  The SSMCP’s mission is to foster effective communication, understanding, and mutual support around issues that transcend the specific interests of the military and civilian communities of the JBLM region.

Press Release - South Sound Military & Communities Partnership

The Future of Regional Mass Transit

Last fall, thousands of residents expressed interest in regional mass transit as Sound Transit kicked off a process to update the Long-Range Plan, a blueprint for future mass transit expansion in Puget Sound. Those comments helped shape the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Draft SEIS), which is available for public review June 13 – July 28, 2014. The Sound Transit Board of Directors plans to update the Long-Range Plan later this year after the Final SEIS is issued. This plan will provide the framework for potential future mass transit expansion—a vital service for our growing population that is expected to grow by 30 percent by 2040.

Now is the opportunity to provide formal comments on the Draft SEIS and share your regional transit priorities – we’d encourage you to participate as a Chamber member. Sound Transit is currently on its way to completing 30 miles of light rail extensions that voters approved for funding in 2008. Your comments on the Draft SEIS will help the Sound Transit Board identify future transit expansions after the light rail extensions are complete in 2023. Comments will be shared with the Sound Transit Board and responded to in the Final SEIS.

Public involvement opportunities through July 28:

There are several methods to provide your feedback now – all details, including the full environmental document, is available at soundtransit.org/longrangeplan. Join the conversation by:
• Email: LongRangePlan@soundtransit.org
• Attending a meeting: Complete a comment form or provide verbal testimony at a public open house/hearing (see below)
• Mail: Sound Transit, Attn: Karin Ertl, 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104
• Going online: take an online survey at soundtransit.org/longrangeplan

There will be open house/public hearings in July 2014. At each meeting, an open house will be held throughout, and a public hearing will begin 30 minutes after the start of the meeting for those wishing to provide testimony directly to Sound Transit.

All meetings will be held 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. with public hearing at 6:00 p.m., except for a daytime meeting in Seattle.

Tacoma – Thurs, July 10
Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center |1500 Broadway

Federal Way – Wed, July 16
Truman High School | 31455 28th Ave S

DAYTIME: Seattle – Thurs, July 10
Union Station |401 S Jackson St
12:00 – 2:00 p.m. with public hearing at 12:30 p.m.

Questions? Call 206-903-7000 or email LongRangePlan@soundtransit.org

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Thanks to the WA Congressional Delegation for HMT Reforms

Our region's thanks to the Washington Congressional delegation for the passage of reform legislation of the Harbor Maintenance Tax.  As a donor port, the Port of Tacoma is at a disadvantage relative to competition with Canadian West Coast ports and not receiving any benefits here from the tax collected here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Chamber Supports & Opposes Charter Issues

The Chamber is pleased to share with you the following letter to the Tacoma City Council with our positions on various City Charter recommendations for changes. Tom Pierson, Pres./CEO testified at the Tacoma City Council Hearing tonight on these issues.

The Chamber's positions in this letter were approved at the special board meeting Monday.

It is expected that additional issues may surface or that the Chamber may need to be strategically responsive to a dynamic environment, so you will probably continue to be presented with updates as the public policy debate on the best governance for our metro’s central city continues.