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Issue 52

City of Sumner Newsletter

Our community’s holiday season kicked off with lights and fireworks. Photo courtesy of Steve Fowler/Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse

January 2008

Police Stories

New Year Brings New Opportunities for Sumner To keep the City’s finances solid in the short- and long-term, there will be two key efforts in 2008. Both will bring efficiency and stabilization to the City’s revenue without sacrificing your service. Fire & EMS Annexation In 2007, the City began its contract with East Pierce Fire and Rescue to provide fire and emergency medical services (EMS). In its first year, citizens saw better service and coverage, the benefits of a much larger fire district that has resources the City never could have afforded on its own. That contract is step one. The second step comes this April

when voters consider whether or not to fully annex the City of Sumner into the East Pierce fire district. While this vote doesn’t affect service, it changes how you participate in the fire district. With the current contract, you wouldn’t participate in East Pierce elections. If fully annexed, you would become a voting member of the fire district. Under the current contract, the City pays East Pierce the full $2 per $1000 of assessed value per residence for fire and emergency medical services. However, what you pay to the city keeps decreasing each year because of the 1% cap on revenue that can be col-

lected. So, the City has to keep making up the difference from the general fund, using money that otherwise would go to roads, parks, police, etc. It would be more efficient for your City’s finances if you paid straight to East Pierce and voted on your own rate. In other words, annexing into the fire district is simply a change in governance for fire and EMS services and is much more efficient than contracting for those services long-term. More information is on the City’s website at and more details will follow in the next newsletter. Continued on page 7

INSIDE: Meet Your New Councilmember • Take an Arts Survey • Avoid Costly Repairs • Find Treasure


Sumner Community Connection

Mayor’s Message How was your holiday season? Did you get that Wii you wanted? Did you enjoy a deserved rest with family and friends? Did you make a big list of resolutions for 2008? I’d have to say yes to all of those (except for the Wii thing--I’m still trying to pronounce that correctly). You see, I got a very special visitor. At our last Council meeting in 2007, Santa himself dropped in. I asked for a big box store and a car dealership for our city. Why would I spend my wish on something like that? Because this is what we need for our city to be healthy. Costs keep going up--you know that if you’ve bought gas lately. We need to provide the same excellent level of service that we’ve come to expect from our City, but we also need to provide for Sumner’s financial needs without raising taxes on the people who live here. We need to develop the other revenue source: sales tax revenue. We have great stores already, but we also have an opportunity to make the 24th Street interchange help support the rest of the city. With its freeway access and distance from the downtown core, it’s the perfect location to bring those bigger chain stores without endangering the charm of Sumner. It cuts down on the driving we do to similar stores in neighboring cities, and our community gets the sales tax revenue. This is going to be a big year for us to make this happen. We are hard at work on it, and for good measure, I can always remind Santa that this was my wish for 2008! The very best of the new year to all of you,

January 2008

City of Sumner 1104 Maple Street Sumner, WA 98390 253-863-8300 253-863-2850 FAX MAYOR Dave Enslow


CITY COUNCIL Steve Allsop Curt Brown Cindi Hochstatter Randy Hynek Ed Hannus Leroy Goff Matt Richardson

299-5793 299-5796 299-5795 299-5792 299-5791 299-5797 299-5794


John Doan City Administrator


Diane Supler Deputy City Administrator


Carmen Palmer Communications Director


Brett Vinson City Attorney


Terri Berry City Clerk


Paul Rogerson Community Development Director 299-5521 Beth Anne Wroe Financial Operations Director


John Galle Police Chief


Bill Shoemaker Public Works Director


Lee Anderson Parks and Facilities Manager


CITY OFFICES Administration/Finance Cemetery Fire (non-emergency) Golf Course Inspection Line Parks and Recreation Permit Center Police (non-emergency) Senior Center

863-8300 FAX 863-2850 299-5510 863-1800 863-8198 299-5530 891-6500 299-5523 863-6384 863-2910


The Old Cannery brought Santa for a visit during the last 2007 City Council meeting.

Judge Stephen R. Shelton Court Offices


Cathy Pashon, Court Administrator


EAST PIERCE FIRE & RESCUE Main Number Dan Packer, Fire Chief

863-1800 863-5451

January 2008

Sumner Community Connection


Council Welcomes New Member, Honors Retiring Member On January 7, Cindi Hochstatter became the newest City Councilmember. Hochstatter was elected in November along with the re-elections of Councilmembers Curt Brown, Leroy Goff and Matt Richardson. Hochstatter grew up in Kennewick and moved to the Seattle area in 1979. Her husband Pete started a welding supply and industrial gas business, and the family bought a home in Sumner 25 years ago. “We found the Sumner community and have always been very happy with that decision,” says Hochstatter. “I love arts, flowers and music. I enjoyed the Sumner School District, and our family life rotated around the basketball and tennis games of my

daughter Shannon and son Michael. Now, I’m busy switching my focus over from the Arts Commission to being on the City Council.” The position was previously filled by Mike Connor, who retired after 15 years of service. In that time, he tackled countless subjects and issues for Sumner. He also rep-

New Chief Focuses on Community Safety You’ll see a familiar face at the helm of the Sumner Police Department. In November, the City Council confirmed the mayor’s selection of Lieutenant John Galle as the City’s new chief of police. Chief Galle had served Sumner for ten years, most recently as acting chief after former Chief Colleen Wilson went to the Port of Seattle. “We’re here to work with the community, to build trust and help make this a safe place to live and work,” said Chief Galle. “To do that, we need a partnership between the citizens and the police. I want to give our officers the resources and support they need to build that partnership and that trust before an emergency happens.” Chief Galle started his career in law enforcement as a patrol officer and has since achieved many accomplishments including graduating with top academic honors from the Basic Law Enforcement Academy; earning a Certificate of Merit in 2000 for responding offduty and apprehending a rape suspect;

introducing the School Resource Office program in the Sumner School District, and developing and expanding Sumner’s Communications Center to include multi-agency dispatching responsibilities. “It was difficult to select just one person from so many qualified candidates,” said Mayor Dave Enslow, “but it also gave us a variety of styles and experiences from which to choose just the right fit for the Sumner community. The best fit is John Galle.”

Chief John Galle (standing front, left) with Sumner Police officers.

resented the city in such regional efforts as Puget Sound Regional Council, Pierce County Regional Council, Growth Management Steering Committee, Economic Development District, and Rainier Communications Commission. Said Mayor Dave Enslow, “Sumner is a better place because Mike Connor gave a part of his life to invest in this community. He has made an enduring contribution to Sumner.” Judge Stephen Shelton looks on as Councilmember Cindi Hochstatter signs her oath to serve the City of Sumner. Council Action October 2007

Accepted construction of North Street Parking Lot, Phase 1 Accepted construction of Van Tassel Pump Station Approved salary adjustment for Communications Officer Approved State to issue Economic Development Revenue Bonds to Pacific Crest Industries Awarded design of Traffic/Fryar and Main Street Intersection Improvements to Parametrix Adopted Ordinance No. 2230 amending Downtown RPZ code Adopted Ordinance No. 2231 amending code related to special events

November 2007

Adopted Resolution No. 1228 establishing a purchasing agreement with Kitsap County Public Transportation Benefit Area Adopted Resolution No. 1229 establishing a purchasing agreement with Tacoma Community College Adopted Ordinance No. 2232 creating the Miscellaneous Grant Fund Adopted Ordinance No. 2233 regarding Impound Hearing Filing Fees Confirmed Mayor’s appointment of Marsha Vandenberg and Anita Miller to the Arts Commission Adopted Resolution No. 1227 encouraging Buy American and Buy Local Efforts Adopt Resolution No. 1230 endorsing a solution to parking at the Sumner Station Adopted Ordinance No. 2238 for 2007 Budget Adjustments

Continued on page 7


Sumner Community Connection

2008 Resolution Ideas:

Just in case you needed a few more, here are some ideas to help you start the new year off right!

 Stay healthy (see details on this page)  Renew pets’ annual licenses before they expire  Understand how to effectively call 911 from a cell phone (see details on this page)

 Pay next utility bill online  Avoid causing damage to the water meter (see facing page)

 Find ways to reduce water use  Get prepared for an emergency (see page 8)  Go for a walk and try out some of the new sidewalks and trail sections around town Details on the following pages or at

Calling 911 from a Cell Phone More and more, we’re using cell phones as our primary or even only phone. If you need to use a cell phone to call 911 in an emergency, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Tell the dispatcher the nature of your emergency. Tell the dispatcher that you’re calling on a cell and give your location, including your city. When you call from a traditional phone in Sumner, your call goes to Sumner’s communications center and automatically shows the address. However, if you call from a cell phone, your call may go to a different communication center. Plus, the dispatcher won’t see an address for a cell phone. This makes it very important for you to give your location, including city, rather than relying on confusing local references such as “I’m at Heritage Park!” Think about location markers to give if driving. Use cross streets, landmarks and mileposts to help police find the exact location of the emergency. Give your name and cell phone number. You may get disconnected, and the dispatcher will want to call you back. If you are disconnected, call 911 again. Prevent “pocket calls.” Unlocked cell phones can easily dial 911 by accident, especially if it’s preprogrammed. Be sure to lock your phone to avoid accidental 911 calls.

January 2008

Staying Healthy Focuses on the Basics Whether you’re worried about a pandemic flu or catching the bug your co-worker has, your best bet to stay healthy is to keep up the basics. Wash Your Hands According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, simple handwashing is the single most important method of preventing the spread of infection. Keep in mind: • Anti-bacterial soap can actually be more harmful than regular soap by killing the “good bacteria” that keeps you healthy. • Scrub for 20 seconds when you wash (the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday two times). Cough or sneeze into a tissue. An infected person shares germs through a cough or sneeze, and tissues can help, but the best way to prevent colds and the flu from spreading is to practice the next tip. Stay home when you’re sick! Germs can live for 2 hours on surfaces like tables, desks and doorknobs, so the best way to keep from getting coworkers sick is to stay home and rest. This information and more is available from Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, available online at

January 2008

Sumner Community Connection


Sumner Reads with Pierce County

Avoid Damage and Costly Repairs with One Phone Call We’ve all been there. You want to replace a drain or a faucet and decide to shut off your water, so you go out to the meter. The danger is that you may not know exactly how to do it correctly. Many residents who have tried end up breaking the meter, causing loss of water to their home and their neighbors and costing the city (and every taxpayer) up to $3000 in repairs! Think jackhammers, vacuum trucks, asphalt repair, City crews, etc. We can help! In fact, please let us help. City code prohibits individuals from turning their water on or off at the meter box without prior permission for just this very reason. Technically, the city could bill any repairs to the individual who caused damage as the meter and meter box are owned by the water utility. The good news is it’s easy to get help and avoid costly repairs. Just give Public Works a call, and we’ll arrange with you a time to come out and shut off the water for you. Once your repairs are done, we’ll come back and turn it back on. This service is available free of charge, Monday-Friday 8 am 4:30 pm. If you absolutely must do work on a weekend or evening, still call during regular business hours, and we’ll come meet with you before you begin to show you how to do the work properly and avoid a problem. So, next time, save yourself (and your neighbors) the risk of damage, and have us do the “dirty work” for you. To make an appointment, call the Public Works Shops at 253-299-5740.

Utility Rates to Increase Slightly In 2008, utility rates increased by 3.5% to keep consistent with local inflation rates as determined by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If you have a 3/4” meter (which most people do), your water use base rate goes from $9.72 to $10.06. Storm goes from $9.14 to $9.46. For sewer, a single family home’s base rate goes from $34.48 to $35.69. There are a number of different rates for various flow uses and meter sizes. For a full update on the new rates and an explanation on how the rates are calculated, visit

The annual Sumner Reads program went countywide this year! As with Sumner Reads, Pierce County READS encourages you to read the same book as others across the county and then enjoy a variety of events, including a presentation by the book’s best-selling author on April 26.



So, on February 3, look for the book title announced in Pierce County Libraries, The News Tribune and online at www.piercecountylibrary. org or through the City’s site at www. Then, get reading and join in the fun to share your thoughts, ideas and insights. Sponsored by Key Foundation, funded by KeyBank. Many community partners are also participating including Pierce County Library Foundation and Sumner Arts Commission.

Treasure in Our Backyard: Rainier View Park Rainier View’s colorful mosaic entry This year, we’re taking a look at all and the low rise of grass intended for the treasures that are in our backyard flying kits and rolling. (Remember the in our city parks. Likely, you have fun of simply rolling down a hill?) your favorites, but can you name all the parks and identify all the ameniAll of this light-hearted ties they have to offer you? fun makes Rainier View Probably not! So, read up RAINIER VIEW on each park this year, and At: Meade-McCumber a great park to visit in winter. If the grey has find some new treasures. & Parker Road you down, sit in a giant Key Amenities: kite “chair” covered in the Our first featured park is hill, entry plaza, colors of springtime or use our newest park, officially playgrounds, picnic opened last summer. Rain- shelter, basketball court, the breeze to get out a kite. Enjoy the children’s play ier View is the first park on walking trails areas, shoot a few hoops, the east side of Sumner. It or enjoy a dry winter picnic in the was designed directly from the ideas shelter. that citizens gave about what a day in their ideal park would be like. The Let the youthful enthusiasm of Rainier theme throughout all the responses was whimsical fun. You’ll find this in View’s design bring a bit of spring into January.


Sumner Community Connection

City Passes Conservative 2008 Budget The biggest news about the 2008 budget is that there really is no surprising news. In keeping with the City Council’s strategic priorities, it continues such programs as building sidewalks while holding the line with no increases in staffing. It focuses on maintenance, efficiency and moving the City forward to longterm financial stability. The total budget is $57.4 million, and of that, $14.5 million is in the General Fund. Most of the services you think of the City providing come from the General Fund. Key highlights of this year’s budget include no new staff, a new partnership with three other cities to provide better animal control services for less money and the fire annexation vote.

While the budget is conservative, it also strives to keep the same or better level of service for you. It includes a community survey so that the City can check in with what you’re thinking as well as the continuation of building sidewalks and trails, a long-standing community priority. The budget will be online in late February at

Strategic Priorities •

Long-range financial stability to provide a balance of City services

Enhance community character

Protection of water, open spaces, and other natural resources

Safe and efficient transportation system

Commissioners Give Time,Talent to City Commissioners are residents and professionals who give their time and energy to provide technical expertise to various aspects of the City. Their time and talent is very valuable, and we want to thank them for their assistance. Arts Commission Forestry Commission Civil Service Commission Carol Bell William Dugger Michael Carnahan Lillian “Ronda” Bishop Gene McCaul - Chair Dr. Patrick Duffy Barbara Bitetto - Chair Melissa Montgomery A. Eugene Hammermaster Mary Dearing Dennis Tompkins Donna Hardtke Parks Board Lana Hoover GET INVOLVED! Larry Johns Melinda McColley Barbara Skinner Anita Miller The Forestry ComKellie Monette-Chapman Paul Surek - Chair mission is looking for a Jim Woolery Lisa Richardson few good volunteers. If Ken Woolery Jan Sanford interested in applying, contact Terri Berry, the Marsha Vandenberg Planning Commission City Clerk, at 253-299Cynthia Bush Design Commission 5500 or go online at Gary Ganz Stephen Atkinson Tom Powers Marshall Bennett and select Working and Brett Morrison David Bisom - Chair Getting Involved. Jon Swanson - Chair Kevin Clegg Jeanne Walter Ed F. Davis Robert “Doc” Hansen

January 2008

ASK DR. SUMNER: What exactly is a wetland, and what can I do with it? Wetlands are areas that contain a high water table for most of the growing season. They provide flood water storage, habitat for fish and wildlife, and natural processing and filtering for stormwater run-off. Under the City’s Wetland Protection Ordinance, wetlands of certain size and quality are protected from being filled or otherwise destroyed. They also have buffers of undisturbed native vegetation around them for protection. Wetlands are categorized from 1 to 4. Category 1 is the highest wetlands value and requires the largest buffer. These wetlands normally have open water and mature vegetation. Category 3 and 4 wetlands often appear in pastures and are less distinguished from surrounding areas. The regulations give some flexibility in reducing or expanding the buffer, depending on circumstances. Variances are also possible if a wetland or buffer would prevent a reasonable amount of development on the property such as a single-family house. And, here’s something else you may not know: you can plant the outer edge of wetland buffers with fruit and nut trees to benefit wildlife (and people). The trees must be “naturalized,” native to North America and require little or no maintenance. But, they can be a great way to use some of the buffer and enjoy fresh fruit at the same time. You can e-mail Dr. Sumner at

January 2008

Sumner Community Connection

City Hall Calendar

2008 OPPORTUNITIES continued from page 1

Growing the Pie Maybe because Sumner is known as the Rhubarb Pie Capital of the World, the City always uses the analogy of growing the pie, or increasing the sales tax base so that the City comes to depend more on sales tax revenue than on property tax revenue. The City is “growing the pie” by increasing both the retail opportunities and the shopping done within the city limits. To increase the retail opportunities, the area around the 24th Street Interchange is now zoned for commercial use, and the City is recruiting those businesses where you shop. A study done last year provides details about the kind of stores you already use. The City will use that information to recruit the same kind of stores so that you have retail options closer to home, and the stores have a good chance of succeeding in Sumner. The second piece is to get locals and visitors alike to shop in the stores Sumner already has. The City is working with the Sumner Downtown Association for a promotional effort. By working together, Sumner will have a polished, coordinated look so that whether visitors come for one day to shop or consider starting a business here, they recognize the community and its benefits. Together, these efforts will move the city forward in 2008 to build a strong base for the City’s finances for the years to come. Tell us what you think When we ask someone to consider visiting or starting a business in Sumner, we need to tell them about our community. Tell us why you chose to live or work in Sumner by sending an e-mail to


January 21..... Dr. Martin Luther King Day, . City Hall closed 22..... Finance Committee, 5 pm 22..... City Council Meeting, 7 pm 24..... Arts Commission, 6 pm 28..... City Council Study Session, 6 pm February 4 ...... City Council Meeting, 7 pm 7 ...... Planning Commission, 7 pm 11..... City Council Study Session, 6 pm 12..... Parks Board, 6 pm 14..... Forestry Commission, 4:30 pm 14..... Design Commission, 6:30 pm 18..... Presidents Day, City Hall closed 19..... City Council Meeting, 7 pm 25..... City Council Study Session, 6 pm 28..... Arts Commission, 6 pm

Community Events January Through Jan 31 Keep the Warm Feeling Going, drive for new or gently used coats, mittens & blankets, Sunset Chevrolet 30 Senior Trip: Kent Senior Center for Lunch, 11 am, Sumner Senior Center February 6 Senior Trip: Red Wind Casino, 9:30 am, Sumner Senior Center 9 Sweetheart Wine Walk, 4-8 pm, Sumner Downtown Association 16 Nut & Fruit Tree Planting, 9 am, see page 8 for details 20 Senior Trip: Old Spaghetti Factory, Tacoma, 11 am, Sumner Senior Center March 5 Senior Trip: Pike Place Market, 10 am, Sumner Senior Center

COUNCIL ACTION continued from page 3

Approved contract with John Galle for police chief Awarded design of White River Trail, WWTP to Bridge Street, to Otak Adopted Ordinance No. 2234 adjusting sanitary sewer rates by the CPI Adopted Ordinance No. 2235 setting the Ad Valorem Property Tax Levy Adopted Ordinance No. 2236 setting the EMS Property Tax Levy Adopted Ordinance No. 2237 adopting the 2008 budget Adopted Ordinance No. 2239 reducing interior side yard setbacks in General Commercial Zone Adopted Ordinance No. 2240 setting the 2008 Compensation Schedule Adopted Ordinance No. 2241 amending the personnel policies compensation authority


Adopted Resolution No. 1231 declaring Christmas Eve a paid holiday for unrepresented employees Adopted Ordinance No. 2242 establishing an interfund loan for Valley Avenue Phase III improvements Adopted Ordinance No. 2243 establishing an interfund loan between the General Fund and the Golf Course Operating Fund Approved the 2008 Legislative Agenda Accepted construction of Railroad Avenue/ North Street Resurfacing and Drainage Phase 2 Accepted construction of Sumner Trail Phase 1B Confirmed Mayor’s appointment of Lillian “Ronda” Bishop to the Arts Commission and Ed F. Davis to the Design Commission Adopted Ordinance No. 2244 adopting interim amendments to the 2006 International Fire Code Adopted Ordinance No. 2245 amending rules at the Sk8 Park Adopted Ordinance No. 2246 adopting interim development regulations for cottage housing


Sumner Community Connection

January 2008

Safety Sally Says, Make a List! Remember, emergency preparedness is as easy as 1-2-3! Number 2 is to prepare at home, and that includes having an emergency kit that you can grab. It can be scary to think about buying all the supplies for your kit at once. So, go easy on yourself: make a list of what you need, and pick up one or two items when you see them on sale at the store. This makes building and maintaining your kit a part of everyday shopping -- easier on you and on your budget!

For your kit, be sure to pick up •

Garbage bags/plastic sheeting Bottled water Blanket Manual can opener Flashlight & batteries Duct tape Non-perishable food (pick what you like and avoid high sodium) Paper and pencil Whistle Battery operated radio & more batteries

• • • • • • • • •

mission To provide needed and valued services that promote our sense of community.

vision Sumner will set the standard of excellence for a progressive small city.

values We are collaborative & professional. We are innovative & visionary. We are responsive & accountable. We serve with respect & integrity.

For more Safety Sally, go online at

Sumner City Council

Steve Allsop

Curt Brown

Leroy Goff

Ed Hannus

Cindi Hochstatter

Randy Hynek

Matt Richardson


City of Sumner 1104 Maple Street Sumner, WA 98390


Postal Customer