The Broadnax: He speaks for the billboard monopoly

posted Mar 13, 2012
tacoma, tacomic, TC Broadnax, The Lorax, Clear Channel Outdoor, Billboard Blight, Apathy
Sizes:   web  |  email  |  print

<< >>
UNLESS.  Great conversation erupted last week on the feed about our Clear Channel Billboard Blight problem.  Fun input from community, city council people, liberals, conservatives... everyone seems to dislike spam.  Perhaps our eternal, uncaused self-existent hatred of spam is one thread that can unify all of humanity?   Even so, a funny comment popped out to me on this Snooze Buffoon thread CONSPIRACY ALERT:

tacoman1: "I may have spoke too soon, Clear Channel’s corporate head quarters is located in San Antonio Texas , what  city did the current city  manager  come from? Attached is a link to their wiki page.
Between the city's human rights and human services departmetn director linda bremer and if true that CC was headquartered in TC's town , tacoma just got punked." [sic]

Funny!  However, billboards are not coming down, but as Marty points out, you can still report blighted billboards to the city which can still issue fines etc. EMAIL or CALL 253-591-5001  But I hear it is best to make a report through your account (the place you pay your utilities bill online).  Take lots of photos!  Please include cross streets and billboard number in your report.

From Olivia Lippens + Clear Channel Outdoor's Legacy in Tacoma or HEY CLEAR CHANNEL CLEAN UP YOUR CRAP!


by NineInchNachos on 3/13/2012 @ 1:14am
previously on the tacomic: 

by Erik on 3/13/2012 @ 1:25am
If the City of Destiny is ever going to be a place which attracts more people, it is going to have to take on the billboard blight head on which is plaguing the skyline of the city. There should not be any astonishment or shock and awe that a lawsuit has been filed.

The City of Tacoma certainly must have anticipated that CC would bring an action in court to test the new billboard law.  The attorneys hired by the city were paid a great deal of money to research and draft the current billboard ordinance to make it defensible.  It is not too much to ask to require them to now defend the law that they drafted.

Giving a free pass to any person or corporations that is flouting Tacoma's laws sets a very bad precedent for any would be violator of one or more of Tacoma's regulations.

by fredo on 3/13/2012 @ 4:48am
That's a funny panel RR.

I'm with Erik. Let's go ahead and litigate the issues in court so we can move forward. If we can't afford any better legal representation then let's just go with our city attorney. It's going to end up there anyway and the city isn't going to be sitting on a big pile of cash at any point in the forseeable future. The citizens have a right to an adjudication. 

by cisserosmiley on 3/13/2012 @ 5:37am
Patience on the issue, zero tolerance for the played involved.

by Mofo from the Hood on 3/13/2012 @ 6:12am

Tex Broadnax is a covert agent sent to Tacoma by order of the hidden halls of Clear Channel and the Federal Reserve Bank.

by captiveyak on 3/13/2012 @ 7:25am
Wouldn't it be more frightening if TC is actually... um... right? And, you know, acting in the best interest of the City?

by cisserosmiley on 3/13/2012 @ 7:31am
Best interest of citizens or best interest of city leaders? The former wants billboards gone, the later wants to not discuss WHY WE HAVE NO MONEY! The two ideas converge here and the city manager should say we are TOO BROKE to manage tacomanians basic needs, like professional follow thru on items such as this one.

by KevinFreitas on 3/13/2012 @ 7:42am
The latest example of billboard blight photographed yesterday: (with link to pre-written email TacomaCares to report the clear violation)

I'd normally tend to agree @captiveyak but, in this case, Clear Channel has had 15 years now to conform to our laws and, with the latest ordinance, until Mar. 1. The litigation and defense of our laws is clearly justifiable given the overwhelming public response when this issue came before the City Council. At the VERY least let's start fining Clear Channel for blighted/non-conforming billboards straight away and, if that means they press us in court, so be it. They've abused us long enough.

by cisserosmiley on 3/13/2012 @ 7:52am
I don't want anyone to forget that while many of us asked HOW IN THE WORLD was tacoma's financial expenditures sustainable? Most city leaders said it was fine. Now WE don't have enough MONEY to litigate...don't let them not answer WHY?

by Jesse on 3/13/2012 @ 7:58am
I thought this billboard fight started in 1988 really?  Wasn't 1997 an enhancement that *eliminated* more billboards?

At any rate, the city is never going to be flush with so much cash they finally feel like they can open up a can of (expensive) legal woop-ass on Clear Channel.

It's past time to get the state involved. City Hall is too wishy-washy.

by fredo on 3/13/2012 @ 8:01am

We'd better stop enforcing the parking laws. After all, it's quite likely that someone is going to challenge their ticket in court and we might be called upon to defend our traffic enforcement laws. The ticketed car might be a rich person like Claudia Lippens who has a staff of high powered attorneys. Wouldn't want to risk that.

by NineInchNachos on 3/13/2012 @ 8:22am
nice work kevin!

by NineInchNachos on 3/13/2012 @ 8:27am
we might not have any money to get justice in any human court.  So we appeal our case to the universal life court of nature.   Pray for rust!  Pray for wind storms!  Pray for light airplane crashes! 
 Eric Anderson kidney fail!   Channel your psi synergy into the obliteration of the industrial blight complex. 

by Erik on 3/13/2012 @ 8:35am
Re: Money

The City of Tacoma, nor any other city has never had enough money. Goverments always find something to spend it on and there are always dozens of interest groups who want their cause funded in flush and tough times.

Failing to enforce current laws in Tacoma makes the rule of law in the city a farce.

by fredo on 3/13/2012 @ 8:39am

That's a good point Erik. When the city didn't have a million dollars to bail out the the failed Reconcilliation Park non profit we were able to re purpose the money from some other objective. I don't remember any councilmember proclaiming "we can't afford to fund Reconciliation Park." 

by Mofo from the Hood on 3/13/2012 @ 9:13am

Hey Tex! Do you know who you're F-ing with! Councilman M, run the Rainbow Flag's up City Hall and the Tacoma Dome!

by fredo on 3/13/2012 @ 9:24am
Here is a listing of the 9 council members who APPROVED the Clear Channel settlement in 2010:

Marilyn Strickland
Jake Fey
Marty Campbell
David Boe
Victoria Woodards
Ryan Mello
Joe Lonergan
Lauren Walker
Spiro Manthou (retired) 

Five of these people could have put a stop to the agreement or delayed it long enough for the citizens to provide input. But no. We had to rush this to it's conclusion. Like Obamacare there was no time to look closely at the details which provide no benefit to the city.

by fredo on 3/13/2012 @ 9:33am

So are the council members content with their disastrous handling of city business? Of course not. The Mayor fancies herself to be a leading candidate for US Congress. Good grief. She can't lead our city but wants to be our representative in Congress? 

by NineInchNachos on 3/13/2012 @ 9:37am
they were hoodwinked by high-pressure City Manager and City Attorney scare tactics.  thats the only explanation that makes sense.  they don't know what they're doing!  they're part time emotional people!   You can't make the excuse that they have head injuries like some JBLM mass murderer!

by NineInchNachos on 3/13/2012 @ 9:39am
when is the Eric Anderson post defiance article coming out?  

by fredo on 3/13/2012 @ 9:44am

right nachos. The agreement carries the signatures of both Eric Anderson and Elizabeth Pauli. Pauli should have explained the potential downside of signing the agreement without an adequate period for public review and comment. I really don't understand Eric Andersons motivation, but clearly the city attorney and the 9 councilmembers were not thinking clearly and the citizens and taxpayers are going to pay dearly for this failure to properly represent the citizens interests.  

by NineInchNachos on 3/13/2012 @ 12:14pm
i'm counting on Anders to prevent future epic failure such as this.

by NineInchNachos on 3/18/2012 @ 7:10pm
Thank Britton! 
super interesting account of events from Broadnax's San Antonio TX 

by CaptainBritton on 3/18/2012 @ 8:45pm
We clearly need to make sure Clear Channel stays the hell away from our city hall...NO MORE SETTLEMENTS!

by The Jinxmedic on 3/19/2012 @ 7:08am
"Pray for light airplane crashes"? That's sick.

by NineInchNachos on 3/19/2012 @ 8:01am
every billboard kamikaze pilot will be rewarded in the afterlife. 

by NineInchNachos on 3/19/2012 @ 10:20am

by NineInchNachos on 3/22/2012 @ 1:32pm

by NineInchNachos on 3/22/2012 @ 2:58pm
meanwhile.   I like this guy so far.

by NineInchNachos on 3/28/2012 @ 12:02pm

by NineInchNachos on 8/16/2012 @ 8:36am
unhappy face!


is a company that calls a 672 square foot billboard a "bulletin". If
this is about size and context, why are the most out-of-context sizes
being proposed? If we actually agree to swap out appropriate zoning
locations for inappropriate locations, then the entire code is useless.

We need to enforce our code as is. Our opposition knows this code is
good and are trying to sweet-talk the city into another crappy
settlement. You want to take down 31 faces? Fine, the ones you are
proposing to take down ARE already non-conforming and under-eyeballed,
so Clear Channel gives up nothing really.

A two-year timeout
seems fine on the surface, but not if it weakens our code or lets these
huge "bulletin" billboards to remain in our neighborhoods where they are
and always will be out of context.

... I'm most disappointed with Broadnax. He had a comment about this saying "we could now move on to important issues."

Excuse, me, but last I checked this is a Democracy, and when the
citizenry decides that an issue is important, it's important. Sorry you
don't like the priority, but Council needs to tell him what we want. And
we want enforcement.

Get out of your car explore the areas
around these billboards. Meet the people who live under them and maybe
you'll understand that livability IS an important issue for Tacoma.

works for Council, Council works for us...Council, we understand
time-outs, but negotiations that weaken our code are not acceptable."

by The Jinxmedic on 8/16/2012 @ 9:21am
No, the office of City Manager has always been a power unto itself.

by The Jinxmedic on 8/16/2012 @ 9:21am
I know what it is- you're just racist.

by CaptainBritton on 8/16/2012 @ 9:46am
You don't build a wall, a moat, and then let the Trojan horse in...Enforce the code.

This is about the right to self-govern. We have laws and now they want to negotiate their way around them.

Marty, what would be the chess equivalent? Sacrificing a few pawns to return a queen to the board? No. Reject this.

We don't need a task force. We already did this. We have a kick-ass code, use the code!

by NineInchNachos on 8/16/2012 @ 9:52am

RR's black cat—often called the

by fredo on 8/16/2012 @ 10:00am

Agree with Britton. The standoff agreement ("Settlement II") is just another complex legal trap that the council is ready to step into. We had a perfectly good (and probably enforceable) sign code back in 2010. Then we got Settlement I and now we're about to get the follow up knockout punch from Clear Channel. This is just another big mistake, a trojan horse as Britton says. Clear channel gives up a few insignificant sign faces and in return gets to upgrade the designation of dozens of non-conformings into conformings. Bad move council. 

by The Jinxmedic on 8/16/2012 @ 10:18am
I do like that cat.

by NineInchNachos on 8/16/2012 @ 5:35pm
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2012 16:48:43 -0700
From: Doug
Subject: Fwd: Tacoma Billboards

Friends, my observations about the City's Standstill Agreement with
Clear Channel are, in addition to those in this morning's TNT, the

1.  Clear Channel will always agree to a delay, delay, delay of any
regulation of its billboards.  Its concession to remove the 31
panels listed on Schedule 1 is insignificant, since those 31 are
small and, in many cases, simply add-ons to a structure that is not
being removed.  See my message, below, to TNT reporter Kathleen

2.  We should re-read the Planning Commission's findings of fact. I
don't believe that it is lawful to engage in zoning and land-use
regulation by contracting to ignore the laws that are on the books.

3.  I am left wondering if the City will be enforcing any of the
non-amortization provisions of its 1988, 1997, and 2011 ordinances.

4.  The City should not enact laws that its lawyers are not willing
to defend if challenged in court, and if the City's laws are
challenged in court, the City's lawyers ought to defend their
legality.  I continue to believe that the City has been poorly
represented by lawyers since at least 2007.

5.  The Standstill Agreement's verbiage about a "sign consolidation
program" amounts to CC removing some of its smaller panels in
exchange for erecting more "bulletin-size" panels. I don't thing we
should tolerate more huge billboards.

6.  The City and CC disagree on whether the City may use its police
power to require the removal of nonconforming billboards without
paying market value for them.  Why hasn't the City, sometime in the
last 15 years, filed in court a declaratory judgment action to
obtain a ruling on that legal issue. It can do so now.  By filing a
declaratory judgment action, the City would not actually require CC
to remove its nonconforming billboards unless it is judicially
determined that it may do so without having to pay CC market value
for them.

Doug Schafer

-------- Original Message --------


Tacoma Billboards

Thu, 16 Aug 2012 16:12:45 -0700

Doug Schafer 

Cooper, Kathleen (TNT) 

I've spent some time
comparing the Standstill Agreement's schedule of billboards to
be removed (Schedule 1, listing 31 panels/faces) with the City's
listings of nonconforming billboards. In response to records
requests, the City had provided a 193-page pictorial inventory
of nonconforming billboards created in October 2007 and also a 08/03/11 spreadsheet inventory of billboards within the City. The 2007 inventory is
posted at
but it is a very large PDF file (38 MB). The 2011 inventory is
attached to this message. Notice that the 2011 inventory recites
that in 1997 there were 305 "billboards" displaying 600 "faces."
Note the distinction between "billboard" (a structure) and
"face" or "panel." That 2011 inventory states that there then
were 253 billboards, of which 193 were nonconforming (so perhaps
about 386 nonconforming faces).

As I compared the Schedule 1 list of 31 panels (faces) to the
2007 pictorial inventory, I find only 16 of them included in the
2007 inventory of nonconforming ones.  In all but possibly one
case, the panels designated from removal are 72 square foot
panels, many on the backside of a larger panel or lower on a
pole that supports a larger panel.

The process of matching the Schedule 1 panels to the inventories
is challenging because Schedule 1 identifies panels by Clear
Channel's ID number and an approximate street location, whereas
the City's inventories use a City ID number, street address, tax
parcel number, and permit number.

Attached are the pages from the 2007 inventory that I have
matched.  I have been unable to match the following panel
numbers listed on Schedule 1 to the 2007 inventory, so perhaps
there were among the 60 billboards that were "conforming," as
shown in the 2011 spreadsheet inventory:
















by NineInchNachos on 8/16/2012 @ 7:17pm
here is the TNT follow up