Pierce County Council
930 Tacoma Avenue South
Tacoma, WA. 98402

RE: R2016-79 and Full Council meeting 6/28/16

This letter to the Pierce County Council is not intended as a letter of criticism of the current council.

In regards to resolution R2016-79, it appears that the primary issue and its roots are about transportation and certification by the PSRC located in Seattle WA. The PSRC certification processes now has added land use, zoning, annexation by cities, incorporation of rural suburban area issues, which are not an authorized intended duty of the PSRC.

Our Pierce County Executive branch and County Council have been operating in a reactive government mode for several decades. It has become the blue print that has been without change because of “That’s always the way it has been done” approach. The process has been to maximize the current and immediate need for new tax based business. The get taxes now planning, has led us to today’s reactive need to not lose the $2.3 million or $3.6 million (there are two figure being bandied about) transportation related funding grants.

We as a county have not kept pace with the needs of transportation and now face a reactive process just to save a few million dollars that will create even more negative reactive processes going forward.

We need the County Council and the County Executive to have a major meeting, followed by a meeting with our WA State, and Federal Representatives, that is a proactive planning strategy that is equivalent to re-planning a cities and county master transportation system that is both business and industry friendly as well as public and housing friendly.

We can be a national leader in how to re-shape a mature cities, towns and county, for smart future growth that has a strong quality of life back bone that supports modern industry and businesses. Smart planning does start with transportation to eliminate future bottle necks by fixing current bottle necks. Smart planning includes planning that has a 50 year blue print.

Smart planning includes community cooperation. An example is a master plan for transportation where communities assist where rapid transit and light rail can be best used.

It would be similar to saying a port city like Moses Lake or Tri Cities are far different than Tacoma Port. They all must operate differently, but also all have something in common, and that is the transportation connectivity. A port must offer a way for the transportation to connect or the port cannot operate.

By proactively presenting a master plan for transportation for reshaping a region that  includes  a major  port, an important military complex  base, an inland  salt water way resource  of major  importance, we could get an extra  ordinary funding  grant package from  the federal  government. Multiple Federal funding resources could be grouped together for a phased program spread over 20 years.

A proactive approach to transportation would be strongly supported by the public voting blocks, especially so if they were involved in the planning strategies and build outs.

Our County neighbors to the south and west would see the value of a smart plan that ultimately eliminates or cuts down on a Tacoma traffic bottle neck. The cross base highway  a major  freeway  south of the JBLM reservation to the east, a major light  rail system  that  eliminate the Orting, Bonny Lake and Lake Tapps , Sumner, fife , Frederickson  and Graham traffic congestions, can result  in major  industrial expansions  that  are friendly to industry, business and quality  of like living  spaces.

I beg the Council to delay the R2016-79 even at the risk of losing $2.3 or $3.6 million today in exchange for a few billion dollars saved in the future. A proactive smart  planning and process will ultimately save millions  and possibly  billions of dollars  in future expansion  needs of Pierce County  and surrounding counties, and a much higher  quality  of life and livable  wages.

We need our County and State Representatives to think and act proactively going forward. Step one is master planning done by pierce County representatives not King County representatives


Jim Akers
3404-84tn St. E.
Tacoma, WA 98446

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