Sunday, November 30, 2008

Council Meetings: Nov. 17, 2008

It's late, but here are the notes from the council meeting two weeks ago.

6 pm Special Meeting:

After agenda was approved, Mayor Pro-tem Huson asked the council to read the questionnaires and answers submitted by the mayoral applicants, then decide how to proceed. He said he, along with Wayne Stebner and Bryan Ficiala had withdrawn their names from consideration. That left Bruce Hopkins, Kim Wheeler and himself. After some discussion, it was decided that the council would read at 6 pm meeting, interview and make decision at 7 pm meeting. The special meeting was adjourned @ about 6:10 pm.

7 pm Regular Meeting.

The agenda and minutes from the previous meeting were approved 5-0.

Staff Reports: No police report. Fire Report: 7 calls in October, Santa will arrive on the fire engine on December 20th, and visit town hall from noon-2 pm.

Rural Metro Service: Council Member Stebner asked them to attend the meeting because they are thinking about stationing ambulance in Ruston. The manger for Rural Metro explained their process and why they are considering this. Fire chief Don Torbet supported idea as it gives even quicker response times for Ruston emergencies. Mayor Pro-tem Huson asked Don to keep council up to date on progress.

Jeff Wherrett, Ruston’s web site manager gave an update. He outlined the procedure for keeping the web site current. Submissions for the community calendar or council agenda need to get to the town clerk by the 1st, 3rd Thursdays. Council Member Hunt would like to see the council meeting agenda posted. Huson thanked Mr. Wherrett for volunteering his time on the web page and also as a volunteer fire fighter in Ruston.

John Jabobs from Master Licensing Services gave a presentation. Their mission is to streamline licensing for businesses. The program was mandated by the governor several years ago. The town maintain regulator control. Several months of preplanning are needed before work could begin. The council made motion to allow questions from the public. Former council member Mary Joyce to asked question as did local business owner Lyle Hardin. Don Torbet, who owns Don’s Ruston Market noted that he uses service and it works very well. Since the council supports the concept, Huson will have the town attorney meet with MLS to develop the concept further.

Ordinance 1272 - Supplemental Budget for Engineering Services: Town Attorney Britton noted this was the second reading and public comment was required. No one commented and the ordinance passed 5-0

Resolution 425: contract for engineering services. There were some changes regarding mileage needed, so the clerk and attorney worked on it while the council moved on to other business.

Resolution 436 - Pierce County Fire District Interlocal Agreement for HazMat Services: Stebner noted that this was tabled at the last meeting so they could have Police Chief review it. He had not heard from Chief Resse although Huson was sure she had reviewed it. Stebner wants to hear from her specifically before voting, so the agreement was tabled again.

Resolution 437 - Infectious Waste Agreement: Approved 5-0

Mayor Selection:

Huson explained process the council had set up and asked the applicants answer questions in public that were asked in the questionnaire. Wheeler and Hopkins were brought to seats up front. A brief summary of their qualifications - Wheeler: lots of background, familiar with town operations, direct experience in position, want to bring community back together. Bruce: respect for Transue, loves Ruston, has management and leadership skills.

After all the questions were reviewed, Hedrick thanked both and applauded the transparent process used to fill the vacancy this time rather than just showing up and voting. Hunt thank Bryan Ficiala for putting name in and then withdrawing to stay in planning commission. The public allowed to ask candidates questions: Jim Wingard: supported Wheeler and wanted to know if Hopkins would continue to attack Unicorn Tavern. Hopkins said he does not attack the Unicorn. Mary Joyce: supported Hopkins because he has no baggage, but felt that Wheeler brought baggage. Don Torbet: supported Wheeler. He has been with him in places no one should go, under great stress and seen him perform extraordinarily. There is no question of his love for Ruston. Wheeler may have baggage but also has lots of experience. Beth Torbet: She outlined some of what Wheeler had accomplished when he was in office and felt he would keep momentum going. Edie Tallman: supported Hopkins and felt that since Wheeler had lost an election bid he should not be appointed. Deb Kristovich: She liked how Bruce calmly speaks up for his neighbors.

Stebner then moved to appoint Hopkins as new mayor, which was seconded by Albertson. Hunt thanked both men for applying. Hedrick felt Hopkins would be able to bring council and community together. He noted that Wheeler had given everything he could to this town and has a legitimate and sincere passion for this town. Albertson thought Wayne or Bryan would have been good as mayor also and noted that Wheeler had some good ideas. The motion to appoint Hopkins as mayor was approved 5-0.

Resolution 425: contract for engineering services was amended as read by attorney and approved 5-0.

Claims & payroll: approved 5-0

Public comments: Lyle Hardin thanked both applicants for applying, thanked the council for open process, thank Bradley for his time as interim mayor. Marla Miller thanked each elected official for what they do. Jim Wingard thanked for Bradley as mayor pro-tem and was concerned about Hopkins having a vendetta.

Mayor time: Huson noted he continued working on shoreline and comprehensive plan updates with the town planner, as well as the Point Ruston shoreline plan, electrical system and LID implementation. TacomaTacoma will not provide labor, materials or services to Point Ruston or other large projects. Ruston’s electrical engineer has some good ideas. Phase 2 power for The Commencement project should be a top priority for the new mayor. Huson promised to work for smooth transition and to keep the forward momentum. Tacoma wants to exercise punitive measures for not having a contract for electrical services.

He ended with this note of thanks for the kind comments for his time as mayor pro-tem and “most importantly thanks to the town staff. They are the true backbone of this town. With all the upheavals over the last year, the changes in personality and changes in administration they done their job calmly competently and with professionalism. We would be hard pressed to find better.”

Council time:

Stebner wants to get the sewers done.

Huson wants to get 2009 budget discussions underway next Monday.

Hedrick was glad to see Mary Joyce at meeting. He thanked Huson for his time as mayor pro-tem time and noted he got a lot accomplished in his time in office.

Albertson was concerned that the proposed 2009 calls for removing $500,000 from surplus property fund to balance budget. He said the council should get copies of all building permits. He felt the street lights need to be repaired for safety of residents – wants something put in front of them to solve it. Huson said there are 3 solutions, tear out, temporary repair or replace fully. The council needs to let mayor know which approach they prefer.

Hunt asked to have a presentation at first meeting in December from the town electrical engineer.

Bruce Hopkins was then sworn in a mayor by the town clerk and the meeting adjourned.

Council Meeting: December 1, 2008

Here is what is on the agenda for the meeting Monday, 7 pm at the Ruston School:

Approval of Minutes:
- Special Meeting: November 17, 2008
- Regular Meeting: November 17, 2008
- Special Meeting: November 24, 2008

- Resolution 436: Pierce County Fire District Interlocal HazMat Agreement
- Ordinance 1274: B&O Taxes
- 2009 Budget Discussion, Reconvene to December 8th
- Discussion of Community Center

Nothing is listed under Mayor or Council Time

Saturday, November 29, 2008

We Can Make A Difference

With the holiday season in full swing already, we have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors who may be struggling in these challenging economic times. Ruston Town Hall is accepting unwrapped toys and non-perishable food items until December 15th ~ all to be donated to local charities.

Giving is the heart of Christmas. We have all been blessed. This is one way to acknowledge our blessings and celebrate the important part of the holidays. Bring in your donation and make a difference...

Thursday, November 27, 2008


We have a great deal to be thankful for here in America. Despite the uncertain times and recent fear that pulls at us, Americans live in luxury compared to most of the world. And our material possessions are so much more than any previous generations dreamed of. This is especially true in Ruston where the last two decades have brought incredible change in our demographics and culture.

We have much to be grateful for here in Ruston. Despite the challenges we have faced, we remain a small town who has somehow survived each challenge ~ be it the huge tax base loss when our primary industry closed, the lean years as property values declined from dirt worries or heated controversy over a condo building. We are still standing and in many ways have begun to heal.

Ruston has the best of urban living combined with small town America. We have neighbors who know our names. We know our politicians, police and fire fighters. We can raise our kids and grow old in this place we love.

I am grateful for you, my neighbors who make Ruston home. Thank you to the many who give to this community behind the scenes by weeding the public square or baking a pie for the Taste clean up or picking up at the park or shopping at our local stores or checking in on your neighbor or barbecuing at Night Out or so much more....

Enjoy your turkey with family and friends today. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Point Ruston In The News

Point Ruston sent along this announcement today. Be sure and check out the latest news!
TO: Ruston Mayor, Town Council & Staff

Just a note to send along a press release from DNR and to let you know to look for positive coverage about Point Ruston tonight on Channel 4 and 5 and in the Tacoma News Tribune and the Tacoma Weekly in the next few days. Mike Cohen and Doug Sutherland, Commissioner of Public Lands with the Department of Natural Resources, signed a Memorandum of Agreement today to remove three industrial docks (2,300 creosote laden pilings, several small structures, and some equipment). It was a stunningly beautiful day on the waterfront and the cameras were rolling!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Feed The Hungry, Support Local Art and Great Gifts

A win~win opportunity presents itself in Ruston on December 6th. In addition to the Business District Open House, you can purchase beautiful handmade soup bowls, jams or chutney just in time for holiday gifts ~ and the proceeds benefit the hungry and support local art. Check out this announcement and letter with background on this worthy cause and the folks who make it happen.

On this, Thanksgiving Eve, I am again stuck by the generous, thoughtful people who make living in Ruston so wonderful. Thank you Ginger, Lucy and the many others who give so much. The world is a better place because of your efforts! ~ Karen
Please Come for a Second Helping!
(A Great Dessert for the Empty Bowls Event*)

December 6 – Ginger’s studio in Ruston
December 7, 8, 9 – Karen’s studio on Fox Island

An event to benefit the Emergency Food Network of Pierce County

Ginger Kryger and Karen Craven (aka the F.I.N.E Mudhens) as well as new cohort Lucy Davis (that would be the Mudchick) will celebrate the start of the holiday season again this year with a studio sale to raise funds to feed the hungry. Hand-made ceramic bowls will be offered for $10 each as well as jams and chutneys for $5. Half of the proceeds from the sale of the bowls will go directly to the Emergency Food Network (EFN)*, the other half will benefit art projects in Pierce County .

Plan to stop by our studios for soup and hot apple cider on December 6, 7, 8 or 9. Purchase some bowls and jam and/or join us for a great holiday tradition of sharing with old friends and new.

Hours and directions:

Ginger Kryger’s studio in Ruston – 5211 N. Highland
December 6, 2008 -- 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Phone: 253.752-3041 for more information

Karen Craven’s studio on Fox Island – 995 Gway Drive
December 7, 8, 9, 2008 -- 12 noon – 3 p.m.
Phone: 253.549-4576 for driving directions and information

*For more information about the Emergency Food Network and the Empty Bowl event, visit their website:

Fall, 2008

About the Second Helping

I’ve been donating bowls for the “real” Empty Bowl event in Tacoma for 9 or 10 years. Empty Bowls is held to raise funds for the Emergency Food Network. Some years I donated 10 bowls; this year we (the Mudhens) donated 200 bowls. About three or four years ago, I called the man in charge to tell him I was bringing in 100 bowls for their event. After what could be called a “pregnant pause”, he said “Uhhh, that was last weekend.” I was temporarily devastated. But I figured it couldn’t be THAT hard to do a fundraising event. I had 100 bowls to sell; Second Helping was born. That first year we collected about $1100. It was so much work and so exhilarating.

David Ottey at the Emergency Food Network filled in some informational blanks for us. I had always thought that giving canned food and non-perishables was the best way to donate. But that is not always the case. The Emergency Food Network is like an umbrella unit; they give to many of the food banks we normally hear about. With their buying power and connections, they are able to take each dollar donated and “buy” $10 - $12 worth of food. Their overhead is extremely low (if you get a chance to visit them, be sure to check out David’s plywood desk.). They also participate in a farm in the Orting Valley thus providing fresh produce for their customers. This is only a fraction of what they can accomplish.

We try to donate at least half of the proceeds from the Second Helping to the EFN, but we usually end up sending them 75%. The remainder is used to support art in various ways and buy some supplies if needed. For two years we sent funds to the Urban Art Festival; this past summer we funded a raku firing at the Ruston Music Festival.

Our support group has grown. Bowls are sent to the Longbranch Improvement Club for a hunger event on Fat Tuesday. We send bowls to a wonderful group in Steilacoom for their Advent Event. Last year that group sold over 150 bowls.

The small Mudhen group has also grown. Originally, it was just Karen Craven and Ginger Kryger. This year, we are really fortunate to have Lucy Davis contributing her time, talent and energy (she’s the Mudchick—appropriate). Fall, especially November, is a crazy time for the Second Helpers. We have to wedge, throw, trim, bisque fire, wax, mix glaze, test glazes and finally glaze every single day for weeks! We used to buy all the supplies ourselves and fire our own kilns. We’re now able to fire about half of them elsewhere, and we have some supplies donated.

It is with great pleasure that we contribute in this way to our community at large. It is an even greater pleasure to offer our wares to you, our friends, family and neighbors. Thank you for your support.

Ginger Kryger Karen Craven Lucy Davis
Mudhen Mudhen Mudchick

Monday, November 24, 2008

Special Council Meeting: Nov. 24, 2008

The meeting began at 7 pm with new Mayor Bruce Hopkins at the helm and without Councilmember Huson. After the flag salute and agenda approval, Councilmember Hedrick moved to waive first reading on Ordinance 1273. The town attorney confirmed this ordinance has to be submitted by November 30th. Councilmember Alberston noted the issue had not been mentioned in a regular meeting and hoped that more notice could be given in the future, although the clerk said the meeting was advertised in the News Tribune. She noted the property values are set by the county so the town does not have any control over the numbers in the ordinance.

Councilmember Hunt had looked up the Point Ruston development on the assessor's web page before the meeting. The lower area in Ruston is appraised at $13,503,000 and nothing was listed yet for the Stack Hill lots. The total value listed in Ordinance 1273 will be higher once those areas are added in, although the new value will not bring much more income for Ruston.

Councilmember Stebner was concerned that Ruston taxes its property owners at the highest rate, but does not tax its businesses or gambling at the highest possible rate. Hunt agreed that businesses needed to taxed higher in Ruston. The town attorney informed the council that any revenue increase required a special meeting and the council should not be discussing the issue without scheduling such a meeting.

After more discussion, the motion to waive the first reading was approved 4-0. Ordinance 1273 was also approved 4-0.

The 2009 budget was presented to the council for their review. Stebner expressed concern that the budget included money to hire a town administrator. After lengthy discussion, the general consensus was to revisit the issue mid-year 2009. Mayor Hopkins proposed using planning and engineering services now to develop an overall design for the town.

There was lengthy discussion about the town's infrastructure needs, especially sewer. Hopkins felt the government economic stimulus plan would focus on giving dollars for infrastructure development. He wants Ruston first in line with a good plan for that money.

Albertson was concerned about wage increases for town employees. The proposed budget uses about $500,000 out of reserves. The council wants to explore ways to balance the budget without using reserve funds.

I had to leave the meeting early, so that's as far as I got. This was only a small part of the discussion tonight. The budget discussion will likely take several meetings, so please attend and listen for yourself! ~ Karen

Special Council Meeting: Nov. 24, 2008

Ruston council will be holding a special meeting tonight at 7 pm at the Ruston School.

It's time to work through the 2009 budget. These are tough economic times for everyone, including our little town. Thankfully the overall property value of Ruston properties has not decreased overall. The total value in Ruston was $106 million in 2008 and will be $108 million for 2009. That value does not bring is as much as one would expect. The town will generate $176,995.64 from property tax in 2009. That does not include the new value from Point Ruston yet.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Holiday Open House

We often hear the refrain "think global, act local". One of the goals is to encourage support for small, local businesses. We have a chance to put those words into real action this holiday season. Our own Ruston-Point Defiance Business District is hosting an Open House on December 5th and 6th. Our local shops are going to stay open late, Santa with wander through and there will be warm cider that Friday and Saturday night.

To top it off, the District is hosting a tree lighting ceremony for the Ruston Christmas tree at 51st and Winnifred at 6 pm on Friday, December 5th. Santa will stop by, we'll sing some carols and welcome in the season with friends and neighbors.

It's a great chance to build our local tax base, support our neighbors who put their livelihood on the line in this community and put our words in to action ~ not to mention a fun way to start the holiday season. Hope your can join us!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fire Investigation: April 2007

The subject of the 2007 April Fools Day house fire came up in a discussion here a few weeks ago. The fire and subsequent investigation created quite a stir not only because it is so unusual for Ruston to have a structure fire, but because the fire was ruled arson. Even more upsetting; the fire hydrant providing water to the fire fighters was shut off while the crew was inside the burning building.

There was an investigation for arson and attempted murder of the fire fighters. In the end, no one was arrested on either charge. This all occurred against the backdrop of controversy about keeping Ruston's volunteer fire department or hiring Tacoma for emergency services. An citizen's committee was researching the issue at the time and later concluded that Ruston's current fire department is the best alternative (see their report here).

Because there was so much interest, I thought it would be helpful to provide some of the information here. Here is the fire investigation report and more information is available on Ruston Reports. The case is now closed unless new evidence is uncovered. Thankfully no one was hurt and the damage to the home (which was being remodeled at the time) was repaired. Hopefully providing information will help lay to rest any lingering rumors...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ruston Names New Mayor

After open interviews and public input last night, the Ruston town council appointed Bruce Hopkins to serve as mayor until the end of 2009. Mr. Hopkins and his wife have frequently attended council meetings to express his concern about activities at the Unicorn Tavern, which is located across the street from their home. He has not held elected office in Ruston.

The general theme was to put our differences behind us and move forward. Hopefully a new face in the mayor's seat will help that process.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Choosing A New Mayor

The council will be meeting early tonight at 6 pm to discuss what process they want to use to select the next mayor. The final applicants for the position were Council Members Bradley Huson and Wayne Stebner, Kim Wheeler, Bryan Ficiala and Bruce Hopkins. The issue is also on the agenda for the meeting, so a vote may be taken tonight. The public is welcome to attend at 6 pm to hear the council's deliberations on the issue.

Each applicant was given a series of questions to answer:

1. Citizens of Ruston and the Town Council would like to know why you have an interest in serving as Mayor? What qualifications do you have that makes you the best choice for Mayor.
2. Please outline your agenda for the next year including a description of how you’d address issues and what your potential solutions to issues may be?
3. Ruston has significant needs that have to be addressed in the near future; specifically sewers and street lights. How would you address the issue of public Infrastructure and how would you finance infrastructure investments?
4. What is your plan to make certain Ruston remains a viable and financially sustainable community?
5. Given the volatile nature of Ruston politics, how do you plan to interface with the Town Council ? With Citizens? To make certain everyone is a part of, or contributing to a solution?
6. A recent study (commonly referred to as the Marcotte Report) of the Town’s long-term financial health observed that the Town, maintaining current service levels and current new development schedules, may realize a sustainable revenue sources by the year 2014. What do you think the strategy is to keep the Town sustainable until that time? What if the 2014 timeline is delayed?

I am grateful to see that so many finally stepped forward willing to serve. We may well have a new mayor by the end of the evening.... Karen

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Council Meeting Agenda: November 17, 2008

Here are the business items on the agenda for Monday's council meeting:

1) Rural Metro Ambulance Services (Council Member Stebner)
2) Jeff Wherrett - Update on Town's Webpage
3) Master Licencing Presentation
4) Ordinance 1272 - Supplemental Budget for Engineering Services (second reading - so a vote will be taken)
5) Resolution 435 - Engineering Services (no second reading is required for resolutions - so a vote can be taken at this meeting)
6) Resolution 436 - Pierce County Fire District Interlocal Agreement for HazMat Services (discussed at the last meeting)
7) Resolution 437 - Infectious Waste Agreement, discussion
8) Discussion of mayor appointment

Under Mayor's Time:
December Schedule for Budget Meetings

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bits and Pieces

Here are a few of things that may be of interest:

  • Ruston, Louisiana had its first community "visioning" meeting ~ read more here....
  • Someone posted a "found dog" notice, noting a female Welsh Springer Spaniel has been found in Ruston, Washington. You can get more details and contact the finder here....
  • The Ruston-Point Defiance Business District is planning an open house to kick off the holiday shopping. The local shops will stay open late on Friday and Saturday night, December 5th & 6th. There will be hot cider, music and lots of great reasons to support our local businesses. There are other community festivities in the works related to this event, so stay tuned!

Point Ruston Shoreline Permit Hearing: Nov. 12, 2008

I am out of town, but Beth Torbet was able to take some notes on what happened at the hearing. Thank you, Beth! ~ Karen

Commission member, Charles Raines was not present.

Chair Kevin Moser ~ read all the instructions that go along with this kind of hearing. Mike Cowen challenged Anderson's wife because her husband signed some letter against this action. She responded that she told her husband that she could not discuss anything with him about this topic.

Point Ruston presentation ~ identified the limited items that are being considered at this hearing: 200' of shoreline within Ruston's borders
* The Hotel* Water walk
* Grand Plaza
* 50' Promenade portion for the public
* Connection w/Metro Parks
* Utilities
* Retail area within Ruston

It was noted that this is a "conditional use permit" because Ruston's code for this property is outdated.The Hotel is planned to be put out for bids in April or May and begin construction in June 2009. Approximately 18 months to complete. Some history was referred to as in the first EIS was in 1992, ect.

Public comments:
* Ken Brown supported the request for this conditional use permit & he referred to Point Ruston as part of our community. (he said a lot of good things I just couldn't write quick enough.)
* John Schroeder objected to issues such as traffic & heights
* Loren Cowen responded to Schroeder's comments and invited him to a meeting to go over his concerns.
* I (Beth) supported the approval of this "conditional use permit" request.
* A representative from the Carpenters Union presented a printed document and spoke to the objections of the Carpenters Union addressing each point that Ron White (staff) had in the report.
* Mike Cowen rebutted the Carpenters Union representative.
* J.J. responded to a comment about the Park District. She said the Park district is not involved in any way with the funding of any improvements as was mentioned by the Carpenters Union Representative.

At 7:57pm the public portion of the meeting concluded. The chair read the final script & Bryan Ficiala moved to adjourn w Colett Judd seconding it; Dick Peterson voted no, so the vote was 4 to 1 to adjourn & reconvene Nov. 19th, @ 7pm to deliberate & vote.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Shoreline Permit Hearing

Point Ruston's Silver Cloud Hotel’s shoreline permits are scheduled for a hearing with the planning commission tomorrow, Wednesday, November 12th. The staff report, agenda, and application materials are available for download on Rob White's (the town planner) website.

The web site also has the town zoning codes, comprehensive plan, application forms, information on current projects and more. Very interesting ~ check it out....

Monday, November 10, 2008

Only 2 Days Left!

You only have 2 more days to get your application submitted to be considered to fill Ruston's mayoral vacancy. It appears setting a deadline has helped motivate folks to toss their name in the ring. Here are the applicants as of this afternoon:
  • Wayne Stebner: current council member
  • Bryan Ficiala: current planning commission member
  • Kim Wheeler: former mayor
  • Bruce Hopkins: active community member on issues such as the Unicorn Tavern and Rust Playfield/dog park

The deadline for applications is Wednesday, November 12th. The council is scheduled to interview the applicants at their next meeting this coming Monday, November 17th.

Friday, November 7, 2008


A trip to the very sparsely populated island of Lana'i today...

Deserted beach where turtles sometimes lay their eggs.

Just below the Garden Of The Gods. Talk the about the red dirt of Maui... Lana'i has its share too.
An abandoned sugar plantation ~ the only building left standing is this old church. The jungle has overtaken everything else.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Maui Sunset

I'm on vacation for a few days. In lieu of the usual local politics posted here, I've decided to share a photo or two. Here was the sunset tonight. ~ Karen

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Council Meeting: Nov. 3, 2008

The meeting last night was fairly uneventful from what I can gather. I am out of town again, but here is what I understand happened. I'll review the tape later and add anything that might be missing. It's always best to attend yourself if you can! ~ Karen

The agenda was changed to accommodate some of the presenters, namely Steve Taylor (town maintainance) and Don Torbet (fire chief), so they could address their issues first and head home. Steve is opposed to the dog park as proposed north of the current playfield. The item was removed from the adgena and will be discussed later.

Under business items:
1) Ordinance 1269: General Penalty - passed with no public comment.
2) Ordinance 1270: Dog/Parks - delayed
3) Ordinance 1271: Reinhold Settlement - the only public comment was asking if the $125,000 was the full settlement amount. This amount is only the town's portion, more money will come from other sources (perhaps insurance).
4) Ordinance 1272: Budget for Engineering Services - first reading, so no action
5) Resolution 435: Engineering Contract - Hedrick will contact the engineering firm to discuss mileage issues.
6) HazMat Agreement - Police chief to review
7) Infectious Waste Agreement - Police chief to review
9) Civil Service Training: Chair Connie Magoline was the only one that attending the training. She felt the training was helpful and provided good information.

Mayor's Time:
The mayor gave an update on his ongoing meetings with the Commencement & Point Ruston. He also replied to Stebner that whomever the new Mayor may be he would help transition them to understand the new budget. He wants the Master Licensing Service to take over our business licensing duties. They have the ability to cross check state registered businesses with Ruston addresses to ensure all the businesses in town are registered. The service would only cost $9 so the town could just charge each licensee an extra $9.

Council time:
Hunt noted that Point Ruston on the tax roles for 2009 with a value of about $16 million.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Update on Park Tree

The park district confirmed today that they had to take down the cedar tree at the exit to Point Defiance Park. It had died and posed a public safety risk.

As to the cause, Nancy Sutalo (Park District) said, "There were no sign of insects, and the sudden death was consistent with a type of root rot that this type of tree is prone to. It was a Port Orford cedar (also called Lawson Cypress), native to southern Oregon/N California, not the western red cedar that is native here. Our native western red cedar is not particularly susceptible to the root rot."

The district provided this photo of the dead tree. The cut for the power lines had been in place for several years. The after photos are available on this post here...

Council Meeting: Nov. 3, 2008

Here are the business items for the council meeting tonight. The paperwork for items with a second reading can be found on Ruston Reports and a report of the first reading is available here... Everything except item 7 was discussed at the last meeting.

1) Ordinance 1269: General Penalty (second reading)
2) Ordinance 1270: Control of dogs in public areas and permitted off-leash areas (second reading)
3) Ordinance 1271: Authorized emergency expenditures for settlement of legal claims (second reading) The council did not take public comment on this issue at the last meeting but said they would allow comment before voting. This was a settlement agreement for the lawsuit filed by former police chief Jim Reinhold.
4) Ordinance 1272: Supplemental budget for engineering services (first reading)
5) Resolution 435: Engineering services
6) Pierce County Fire District Interlocal Agreement for HazMat Services: Discussion
7) Infectious Waste Agreement: Discussion
8) Civil Service Training Update: Connie Maglione, Chair

Mayors Time:
Master Licencing Services

Saturday, November 1, 2008

That Nagging Feeling

Ever have that nagging feeling that something is not quite right in the back of your head? In my recent rounds to Point Defiance Park, something felt out of place despite all the beautiful colors. I think its this missing tree at the entrance. From the size of the stump, it was a big one. But who knows, maybe its been gone for a long time and I just now noticed....

If anyone knows the background on what happened, let me know. I'll shoot an email to the park district and let you know what they say, too.