On Jan. 7, Tacoma City Council members voted 9-0 on Ordinance No. 28650, which transfers the publicly owned Click! Network to Rainier Connect, a private company.
“The city council refuses to allow a vote of the people despite the city charter requiring such a vote,” states Darrel Bowman, volunteer with the campaign, adding, “even though the council previously publicly recognized that privatizing Click! requires a vote.”
The citizen group Keep Click! Network Public says this referendum is necessary because:
- Privatizing Click! to Rainier Connect means losing union jobs.
- Privatizing Click! to Rainier Connect means the city is surrendering the right to set rates for cable TV – stock holders rather than ratepayers will decide how much we pay.
- Click! is a public asset which politicians are gifting to Rainier Connect, for less than its market value.
- Rainier Connect is one of the largest campaign donors to the Tacoma City Council members.
Volunteers with Keep Click! Network Public have 30 days to collect the signatures once the city attorney issues the ballot title. The Tacoma City Charter requires the ballot title to be written within 10 calendar days after receipt. Next is another 10-day waiting period for any ballot title challenges. If there is a judicial review, it will delay when the 30-day signature gathering period begins. 3,528 signatures are required from registered Tacoma voters, which is 10 percent of the votes cast in the last mayoral race.
“We are getting the petitions out to volunteers as soon as we can,” Bowman said.
Find Keep Click! Network Public on Facebook for updates on the referendum petition drive.