Attorney Clemencia Castro-Woolery, served as the master of ceremonies for Tacoma’s 2019 State of the City Address.

Ledger Square Law Attorney Clemencia Castro-WooleryTacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce Board Chair-Elect served as the master of ceremonies for Tacoma’s 2019 State of the City Address.

View the address in full below to see Mayor Victoria Woodards speak on the theme “Our Destiny in Motion”. The event will open with dancers from the Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center (TUPAC). There is also ceremonial drumming by the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and a performance by the Tacoma Refugee Choir.

Jason Whalen Announces Campaign for Reelection to Lakewood City Council

Jason Whalen

Jason Whalen has announced his campaign for reelection to the Lakewood City Council.

Deputy Mayor Whalen has served on the City Council since 2010. He represents Lakewood on the Pierce County Regional Council, is a member of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County, and serves as the Council’s liaison to Lakewood’s Arts Commission. He is a member of the Pierce College Foundation Board, Lakewood Rotary, and is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum.

An Army veteran, Whalen served as a field artillery officer in Bamberg, Germany, from 1986 to 1989 before returning home to attend law school at Gonzaga University. Since 1993, Whalen has been in private practice, focusing on real estate, business, and employment-related litigation.

“I am proud of the progress we have made as a community over these past few years. Our budget is balanced with no reduction in services. Public safety has improved significantly. We remain focused on economic development with sound infrastructure investment in street and park improvements. Between 2017 to 2022, the city will invest more than $56 million in 43 transportation projects that will sustain and improve our economic vitality and quality of life. Funding totaling $3.4 million is allocated in support of numerous park improvement projects in 2017-18. And–we still invest 1% of our general fund (approximately $355,000 in 2017) in human services, including access to health, emotional support, and housing assistance. While much has been accomplished, much remains to be done. I look forward to working with my fellow Council members, our many community volunteers, and our residents to continue Lakewood’s progress over these next four years.”

Jason can be reached at 253-606-4937, jason@ledgersquarelaw.com, or jason@whalen4lakewood.com.

Ledger Square Law Salutes 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellow and Tacoma Native Michael Vlahovich

Drew Perine/The News Tribune

Enjoying a sunny Tacoma afternoon aboard the Commencement, the lawyers and staff of
Ledger Square Law toasted the success of Mike Vlahovich, a 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellow.  Born in Tacoma to Croatian immigrants, Mike is a master shipwright and third-Drew Perine/The News Tribunegeneration fisherman who has dedicated his life’s work to the preservation of the heritage of fisheries of the Northwest and the Chesapeake Bay.   During an afternoon outing, Mike provided Ledger Square lawyers and staff a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the Coastal Heritage Alliance, www.coastalheritage.org.  Ledger Square Law salutes Mike and his tremendous accomplishment!

Photos: Drew Perine / The News Tribune

Ledger Square Law Helps Dunk Unlawful Local Initiatives Sponsored by Save Tacoma Water

Clock Tower Tacoma

Seeking to influence the administration of water rights for future development,  a group of concerned Tacoma citizens (organized as “Save Tacoma Water” or STW) sought to place local initiatives on the ballot to amend Tacoma City Code and the Tacoma City Charter to require a public vote for any future water use application exceeding one million gallons per day (“STW Initiatives”).  Because the proposed STW Initiatives were facially invalid under established state law, Ledger Square Law attorney Jason Whalen, representing member investors of the Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County, teamed with attorneys representing the City of Tacoma, the Port of Tacoma, and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce (collectively, as Plaintiffs), to score a significant legal victory which sustains the rule of law regarding appropriate, pre-ballot court review of local citizen initiatives.  Today’s ruling provides certainty for the Port of Tacoma, the EDB, and the Chamber over the City’s administration of water and water rights for prudent economic development in our community.   The ruling also saves the citizens of Tacoma thousands of dollars in unnecessary expense in placing unlawful measures on the ballot.

After significant briefing and lengthy oral argument, the Pierce County Superior Court Judge Jack Nevin granted Plaintiffs declaratory and permanent injunctive relief, finding that the STW Initiatives, as written, exceeded the permissible scope of local initiative power and were therefore invalid, as a matter of law.  By court order, the STW Initiatives are now precluded from placement on the November 2016 ballot—or any other ballot in the future, regardless of the signature validation by the County Auditor. 

The Court’s ruling properly relied upon the Washington Supreme Court’s recent decision in Spokane Entrepreneurial Center v. Spokane Moves to Amend Constitution, 185 Wn.2d 97 (2016), in holding the STW Initiatives legally invalid.