Bulletin Board: News from Tacoma and Beyond



South Sound 911 is one step closer to becoming a public development authority, thanks to approval by each of the agency’s six member legislative bodies: the cities of Tacoma, Lakewood, Fife, and Puyallup; Pierce County; and West Pierce Fire & Rescue. While the move to public authority status will not affect any public services, it signifies South Sound 911 is ready for greater regional responsibility in public safety communications, and a more substantive and self-sufficient organizational status.

As a public authority, South Sound 911 will be able to cover its own liability, hold title to property, and incur debt, if necessary.

South Sound 911’s executive director thinks the timing couldn’t be better.

“We’re getting ready to break ground on a new public safety communications center, so it’s only fitting that we be responsible for the construction of the new facility – and actually own it,” South Sound 911 Executive Director Andrew Neiditz said. “Our stakeholders not only recognized the need for us to become a public authority, but they championed it.”

The member agencies, with South Sound 911, explored other governance structures before deciding on the public authority model.

“South Sound 911 has always been about the future,” South Sound 911 Policy Board Chair and Pierce County Councilmember Doug Richardson said. “In the beginning, member agencies needed an interlocal agreement to ensure all parties – including police and fire, and the community – were part of South Sound 911’s formation.”

“We’ve established the direction, we know where we’re headed, and we’re ready to take the next step,” Richardson said.

Before the agency officially formed in 2012, interlocal agreement (ILA) signatory agencies established South Sound 911’s governance structure. However, as the agency assumed more responsibilities through consolidation and its efforts to improve emergency communication countywide, South Sound 911 and its stakeholders recognized limitations to the ILA structure. There was a need for better representation for all of the supported agencies, as well as more autonomy for South Sound 911.

“Consolidating 911 centers is just one piece of what South Sound 911 has been able to do; it also created a mechanism for other improvements like the regional public safety radio system, the unified computer-aided dispatch system, and the new facility,” Operations Board Chair and West Pierce Fire & Rescue Fire Chief Jim Sharp said. “We’re working better together, so let’s continue that collaborative work and include other agencies at the table.”

When South Sound 911 becomes a public authority, an 11-member Board of Directors will be South Sound 911’s sole governing entity; the board will be comprised of elected officials with representation more reflective of the agency’s customer base.



The cast and crew of “The Pillowman” have just returned from a week at AACTFest19 (American Association of Community Theatre) in Gettysburg, Penn., where they were one of 12 companies from across the country competing in the national theatre festival.

Tacoma Little Theatre came home with the following national awards:

  • Best Supporting Actor – Sean Neely
  • Best Set Design – Blake R. York
  • National adjudicator Award for Best Ensemble
  • Design competition winner for scenic design on “Bell, Book and Candle” – Blake R. York

TLT issued this message of gratitude: “Thank you to everyone who helped support us on this historic trek in our centennial year. Without your support, this would not have been possible.”



Are you a RN, LPN or CNA looking for a career that allows you to give back to your community and provide compassionate care to Veterans?

The Washington Veterans Home in Port Orchard is hiring CNAs, LPNs and RNs for the regular shift, night shift and more.

The Washington Veterans Home will host an on-the-spot hiring event on July 9 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

As a Washington State Employee, your benefits include retirement plans, medical insurance, paid leave, and more. We may even be able to help with moving expenses.

Positions are also open for the Spokane Veterans Home, Walla Walla Veterans Home and Washington Soldiers Home in Orting. Apply today at careers.wa.gov, contact us at recruiters@dva.wa.gov or call the Veterans Home Recruiters at (360) 725-2183.

Washington Veterans Home is located at 1141 Beach Dr. E.,
Port Orchard, WA 98366.



Tacoma City Council is looking to fill two positions on the Foss Waterway Development Authority (FWDA) Board of Directors, with each to serve a three-year term.

The FWDA Board of Directors is comprised of seven members appointed by the Economic Development Committee and confirmed by the City Council. Each board member serves a minimum three-year term, and commits approximately two to six hours a month, plus six hours for an annual retreat. The role of the FWDA is to implement the Master Plan for the Foss Waterway, including the sale, lease, development, and management of public properties in and along the waterway.

Members shall be civic or business leaders with experience in such fields as finance, real estate development, law, or construction management and, to the extent possible, a majority of the membership shall be residents of Pierce County. Residents who have an ownership interest in real property located within or along the Foss Waterway, employees of the City of Tacoma or Metropolitan Park District, and members of other City of Tacoma boards and commissions are not eligible to serve.

For additional information on the FWDA, please visit www.cityoftacoma.org/government/committees_boards_commissions/foss_waterway_development_authority or contact Louise Dreyer at (253) 597-8122. Applications must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office by Tuesday, July 16. To apply, please visit cityoftacoma.org/cbcapplication or contact Jessica Jenkins at (253) 591-5178, servetacoma@cityoftacoma.org, or the City Clerk’s Office, Room 11, Tacoma Municipal Building North, 733 Market St., Tacoma, WA 98402.



Tacoma City Council is looking to fill two positions on the Transportation Commission, including Districts 3 and 4, each to serve a three-year term. The Transportation Commission advises the Council on transportation-related matters, such as short-term and long-term transportation planning, compliance with local, regional and federal transportation regulations, bike, pedestrian and mass transit-related planning initiatives, and parking and capital improvement plans. Commission members are recommended by the Infrastructure, Planning and Sustainability Committee.

It consists of 11 members – nine voting members appointed by the Council, with representatives from each of the City’s five Council districts, who bring a range of perspectives and expertise that focus on the city’s long-term vision for mobility options throughout the city, and two non-voting members appointed by the city manager. It is recommended that the members appointed reflect the following categories of special interest/discipline: professional engineering sector, construction/private business sector, bike and pedestrian/mass transit sector, planning/urban growth sector, environmental/sustainability sector, general community and Americans with Disabilities Act community.

Meetings occur the third Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. All members must be Tacoma residents. Applications must be submitted by July 9. To apply, call Jessica Jenkins at (253) 591-5178 or servetacoma@cityoftacoma.org.



Tacoma City Council is looking to fill three positions on the Board of Building Appeals for a five-year term each, consisting of a building owner representative, general contractor and Fire Department representative. Applicants should have knowledge and/or experience in design and/or construction related to building, fire, mechanical, plumbing and/or energy code. This is a quasi-judicial board consisting of seven members who are recommended by the Infrastructure, Planning and Sustainability Committee and appointed by the Council.

Duties of the Board include: review and provide recommendation for approval to Council of new editions, amendments and proposed changes to the City’s building, mechanical, plumbing, fire, dangerous building, minimum housing and energy codes; holding hearings and make decisions on appeals of orders, decisions, or determinations made by the building official or fire chief relative to the application and interpretation of the codes; hear appeals of orders or decisions made by the hearing officer for the dangerous building or minimum housing codes.

For more information, call Sue Coffman in Planning and Development Services at (253) 594-7905. Applications must be submitted by July 9.



Tacoma City Council is looking to fill three positions on the Tacoma Area Commission on Disabilities, including two member positions and one youth position, age 16-18. It consists of 11 volunteers from Tacoma and Pierce County with a variety of experiences and expertise. The Commission advises the Council on policy making, and partners with the community to bring awareness of issues that affect individuals with disabilities. In addition, Commission members participate on committees, help educate the public and disability issues, and serve as a resource for city staff.

Applications must be submitted by July 11. For more information, call Lucas Smiraldo at (253) 591-5048.



LGBTQ+ youth have a new free online resource center to help them navigate important health issues. This website launches as part of Community Health Plan of Washington’s mission to ensure all people have access to the health resources they need.

Health is more than what happens within the four walls of a doctor’s office. Some of the resources include:

  • Stress Management: LGBTQ+ teens can experience higher levels of stress than their heterosexual peers.
  • Not Being in the Right Body: Many transgender adults remember feeling unhappy, anxious or distressed when they were younger because they felt like their bodies didn’t match who they were inside.
  • Healthy Relationships: Whether it’s dating or friendship, healthy relationships should be supportive of who you are and make you feel safe and happy.

To access the online resource center, go to www.chpw.org/lgbtq-youth-resources.



The Pierce County Planning Commission has scheduled additional meetings related to the Frederickson, Mid-County, Parkland-Spanaway-Midland and South Hill community plan updates in July and August.

The commission will hold three study sessions in July on the updates. The commission has also set an August date to make its final recommendations on the proposed changes.

Community plans provide direction on how growth and development will occur. The plans address topics such as zoning, transportation, the look and feel of the community, and access to services and amenities.

Using community feedback gathered over the last few years, Pierce County and the Land Use Advisory Commissions for the four areas have drafted updates to the plans and development regulations.

An overview of the proposed changes is available in an online open house at www.piercecountywa.gov/cpupdate.

Study session dates
The Planning Commission will hold the three study sessions to learn more about the community plan updates.

  • 1-3 p.m., July 10 at the Tacoma Mall Plaza, 2702 S. 42nd, Tacoma
  • 1-3 p.m., July 22 at the Pierce County Annex, 2401 S. 35th, Tacoma
  • 1-3 p.m., July 29 at the Pierce County Annex

These study sessions are open to the public, although public testimony will not be accepted.

Final vote scheduled
The Planning Commission meetings will continue through mid-August.

Instead of voting on a recommendation at its second meeting for each plan as originally planned, the Planning Commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Pierce County Annex to make a final recommendation on each plan, associated development regulations, and amendments to the Pierce County Comprehensive Plan. This meeting is open to the public, although public testimony will not be accepted.

The recommendations will be submitted to the Pierce County Council. The council will then hold public hearings and determine whether to adopt the proposed changes for each plan.

Check the meeting calendar and sign up for meeting updates at www.piercecountywa.gov/cpupdate.

The four Land Use Advisory Commissions have completed their review of the plans and have forwarded their recommendations to the Planning Commission.

Pierce County staff will update the draft plans and staff reports to reflect the Land Use Advisory Commissions’ amendments. These documents will be available at www.piercecountywa.gov/cpupdate as they are completed.

Pierce County staff will be at Freddie Fest on Aug. 10 and Garfield Street Fair on Aug. 17 to answer questions and provide information about the plans.

To learn more about the proposed updates, community members can call the Community Plans Hotline at (253) 798-2799, email CommunityPlans@piercecountywa.gov, or send a letter to Pierce County Planning and Public Works, Attn: Long Range Planning, 2401 S. 35th St., Suite 2, Tacoma, WA 98409.



Whether it is a first job or a career change, job seekers can gain the skills to get hired with free classes from the Pierce County Library System.

“How people find and apply for jobs and career advancement has changed with technology,” said the Pierce County Library’s Executive Director GeorgiaLomax. “Connecting job seekers with employment experts provides them with skills training and proven techniques about the job search process, which can be the difference in landing an interview and getting hired.”

At the Library System’s “Get Hired” classes, people will learn to use technology to make connections and assist in their job search. The classes will also help job seekers analyze skills to determine qualifications or address what truly can be over-qualification. The courses are designed to help job seekers get the edge needed to compete in the job market.

Job seekers can improve their job-hunting skills through workshops including:

  • Job Seeker’s Guide to the Cloud: Learn how cloud technologies such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox can assist in the job search. Registration required. Thursday, July 11, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Steilacoom Pierce CountyLibrary, 2950 Steilacoom Blvd.; Friday, Aug. 30, 2-4 p.m., Graham Pierce County Library, 9202 224th St. E.; Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2-4 p.m., Gig Harbor Pierce County Library, 4424 Point Fosdick Drive N.W.
  • Get Hired Help: Job search process stalled? Want to learn more tech skills? Need to write a resume? Get help with tech and job-related questions. Thursday, July 18, 2-4 p.m., Key Center Pierce CountyLibrary, 8905 Key Peninsula Hwy. N.W., Lakebay; Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2-4 p.m., Parkland/Spanaway Pierce County Library, 13718 Pacific Ave. S., Tacoma; Thursday, Aug. 29, 2-4 p.m., Milton/Edgewood Pierce County Library, 900 Meridian E., Suite 29, Milton; Friday, Sept. 20, 2-4 p.m., Buckley Pierce County Library, 123 S. River Ave.
  • Job Hunting for Mature Workers: Concerned that age is hurting the job search? Address issues such as over-qualification or career changes. Registration required. Wednesday, July 24, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sumner Pierce County Library, 1116 Fryar Ave.; Tuesday, Sept. 24, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Gig Harbor Pierce County Library, 4424 Point Fosdick Drive N.W.

Get Hired also offers free technology certifications. Enroll at http://techcert.pcls.us, take online courses and practice tests, and certify at the Library. Certifications are available for:

  • Adobe products: Animate, Dreamweaver, Flash, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop and Premiere Pro
  • Microsoft programs: Access 2016, Excel 2016, Outlook 2016, PowerPoint 2016 and Word 2016
  • Block Based Languages, Cloud, Database, HTML and CSS, HTML5, Java, JavaScript, Mobility and Devices, Networking, Python, Security, Software Development, Windows OS and Windows Server
  • QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online

Additional learning opportunities, technology support and online resources to help people get hired are also available through the Pierce County Library.

Thanks to the Pierce County Library Foundation for sponsoring the Get Hired program. Learn more at https://jbc.mypcls.org/get-hired.

The Library partners with WorkForce Central and WorkSource to bring expert job help to support career success and help people realize their employment goals.

Find more resources to help strengthen practical skills and knowledge at http://gethired.pcls.us.


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