Puyallup Probably Saves Street Project Money

After the state’s Transportation Improvement Board threatened Puyallup with the loss of $3.27 million in project money, the city has backtracked and agreed to a settlement with 5 property owners along 9th/94th street.

In a 6-0 vote, Councilmember Hansen was absent, the City Council approved a settlement of $483,000 to the property owners for their land and damages to their property.

Originally, the neighbors were seeking $390,000 but city staff recommended ending negotiations because they felt that was too much to pay for the land and the project could be completed without the sidewalk.  But, when the state’s transportation board found out Puyallup changed the plan, they threatened to take back the funds if the city didn’t complete the project as submitted.

When the council voted to end the negotiations with the property owners in May, five council members voted in favor of stopping: Turner, Brouillet, Martineau, Malloy, Boyle.  This costed the city $93,000 plus the cost of attorney fees.  $111,000 was paid to the firm Foster Pepper earlier this month for TWO months of work!  One lawyer charged the city $490 an hour and the city ended up spending more money by listening to their advice.  (These fees pertain to a separate case, more details to follow in a later post.)

Land deal likely means Puyallup can keep $3.27 million [Tacoma News Tribune]

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5 Comments

Filed under Finances, Making a Better Puyallup

5 responses to “Puyallup Probably Saves Street Project Money

  1. Mike Stanzel

    If you do the right thing in the first place, you just don’t have these kind of problems.

  2. John Hopkins

    Obviously this whole fiasco could have been prevented…..It just points to that beligerent attitude of the Mclean era as epitimised by the Stanzel fiasco.
    This time it’s Cheryl and Morrow.
    Don’t forget to add in the amounts the property owners were given at the time they were spurned for “rental” and then add in the amount the general is going to make for change orders.
    I am guessing the total price for Morrow’s tactical blunder will be around $500,000.
    Does anyone want to do some research?
    I really want to torch them [verbally] for this.
    Has any staff member at the City heard the term risk management?
    At some point Mr Dannenberg’s honeymoon will be over!

  3. Dave Churchman

    Just how bad does a city employee have to screw up to get reprimanded or fired ? Nobody has been fired in recent memory for cause. In fact, the CoP policy for Corrective and Disciplinary Action states that if an employee should be disciplined and is not, that employee’s supervisor will be disciplined (fired). Dannenberg should take note of this fact.
    Here is an abstract of the official document (notice that there are two item “c”s listed – typing competence is a requirement at the CoP)
    a. Convition of a felony or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude
    b. Incompetence
    c. Inefficiency
    c. Insubordination
    d. Misconduct
    e. Posssession of conrolled substances or alcohol on the job or impairment
    f. Misappropriation, willful destruction, theft, or conversion of City property
    g. Absence without authorization
    h. Excessive tardiness or absenteeism
    i. Failure to report accidents or injuries
    j. Falsification of any information required by the city.
    k. Willful violation of state federal or city laws, or ordinances codes or administrative policies and procedures
    l. Aggressive behaviour
    m. Neglect or carelessness resulting in damage to city property or equipment
    n. Violation of civil rights laws
    o. Malfeasance

    Notice that none of these include ethical infractions such as Conflict of Interests in conducting city business for personal gain such as the realtionships with Valley Arts and Cottage Housing etc and the endless string of unwise litigation keeping the overpopulated Legal Department ungainfully employed.

  4. Steven Shores

    Start construction before owning all the property! Then refuse to pay $390,000 for the remaining neighbors’ property! Then deny arbitration with property owners to arrive at a fair cost for their property! Then re-design the project to exclude the neighbors’ property and have to pay them rental fees for use of their property, vegetation restoration and attorney fees! Then have to be told by the State the re-design jeopardized getting $3.27 mil in subsidies. Then settle with the original property owners for $483,000 (and likely other fees) out of fear of a law suit? Sure……that makes Cent$.
    http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/02/24/1557405/land-deal-likely-means-city-can.html

  5. Robert Lord

    Does anyone making these bone headed decisions ever have to worry about being held accountable? Apparently not! No one except the citizens who are accountable by paying the tab for the incompetent leadership we all have been burdened with on the council. How much more damage will these mental giants do before this November? Not only should there be a house cleaning of the council but the city staff as well.

    Turner has been on a power trip for the past 10 years, Malloy is trying to clean up his legacy of past mis-steps, Brouilette says we should trust the staff, and Martineau votes with Turner and Brouilette because she doesn’t believe in the citizens she supposedly represents.

    The 9th/94th street widening project is just one more symptom of what is wrong with our city leadership. It’s not their money, so why worry? Three of the above 4 ran unopposed for their seats and the fourth was appointed after admitting that she had never attended a council meeting and has no sense of what it means to represent a constituency.

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