South Sound 911 building
The most consistent criticism of the GSB project was the lack of a robust public outreach effort. While the required public meetings were held and the project certainly wasn’t a secret - having been featured on the front page of The News Tribune - I agree that the County could have done much better. That’s why I asked for a delay prior to our vote to hold a town hall.
Unfortunately, the time to gather public input is at the beginning of the process before expensive plans are drawn up...another reason why I insisted that the proposed South Sound 911 building have a period of public comment before giving my support to move forward. Although a separate multi-jurisdiction agency, South Sound 911 is dependent on the County for site acquisition and bonding. As a result, the project requires a budget amendment and future bonding support which I’ve agreed to sponsor.
In 2011, voters overwhelmingly supported a 0.1% sales tax to provide first responders with state-of-the-art radios and a more reliable radio network. The plan also included consolidating aging dispatch centers into one new facility. The radios and much of the network are in place, so now the focus turns to the building. The current proposal seems to fulfill those wishes, but most voters don’t want to give government a blank check. They want to be involved (or at least know they can be).
It’s about accountability, and to that end we’ve scheduled a series of public meetings in our district and around the County. We'll be at the Gig Harbor Civic Center tomorrow, May 19, at 5:30 p.m., and at the West Tacoma Neighborhood Council on Wednesday, May 20, at 7:00 p.m. (Tacoma Fire Station 16, 7217 6th Ave.).
Click here for a full list of public meetings on the project.