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Happy Xmas (Strike is Over) edition

A look back at the last week in Tacoma and Pierce County

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Teachers Strike Over

For nine school days families weathered the storm that was the Tacoma teachers strike. And then, in a flash, it was over.

That flash turned out to be a long day spent in Governor Gregoire's office. Gregoire demanded negotiations be moved to her office just as the strike threatened to become national news.

In what has been described as skillful mediation on the part of the governor (rumor has it she employed the ol' Jimmy Carter - keep ‘em in separate rooms approach), Gregoire worked with the two sides late into Wednesday night, with a deal finally announced around 10 p.m.

On Thursday TEA union members (the striking teachers) voted to ratify the new contract, and the next day school was back in session.

In various interviews with the local media both TEA representatives and Tacoma School District leaders have expressed satisfaction with the new agreement, meaning that now that the strike is over the big losers are parents saddled with a week's worth of babysitter/daycare bills and students who will be stuck in the classroom for an extra week in June (lame).

Appeal Washam Petitioners Come Up Short

The signature-gathering effort to recall Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam came up just short. 65,495 signatures were needed to put a recall vote on November's ballot, but only 64,387 of the 84,602 submitted were deemed valid by the Pierce County Auditor's Office.

In a press release the Auditor's office explained that, "Each signature on the petition was compared to the signature on the voter registration record" and that "A second check of challenged signatures and signers who were not registered voters was conducted by experienced election staff members."

City Hires Headhunter to Identify Manager Candidates

The City of Tacoma has hired Colin Baenziger & Associates, a Florida based head-hunting firm, to lead its search for a new City Manager. Baenziger will conduct interviews with city staff and other stakeholders before composing the job announcements and conducting a nationwide search. Baenziger told the News Tribune he expects 80 to 150 applicants for the position, and at the end of a roughly three-month process he will present Tacoma with a short list of candidates to consider.

Seeing Tacoma do due diligence to fill one of the most important jobs in the city is refreshing. Here's hoping the school district will soon follow suit in their search for a new superintendent.

Quick Hitters

The City of Tacoma to look into renovated Tacoma Dome into NBA/NHL quality arena.

Tacoma City Council candidate and creepy activist Robert Hill jailed.

Tacoma finds a new way to slow down Walmart.

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