Demand reform of the Pierce County Regional Council

By Marianne Lincoln

The Pierce County Regional Council is more than simply outdated; It is a reckless misrepresentation of the population, demographics and diversity in Pierce County. Of the over 925,708 people in the county, 433,642 are in unincorporated areas. According to the new study from the Washington Office of Management and Budget, 137,410 are in the areas of Midland, Parkland, Spanaway, Summit and Frederickson.

So 46.8% of the county lives in unincorporated areas and 31.7% of the unincorporated population lives in Midland, Parkland, Spanaway, Summit and Frederickson. Adding the 66,807 in South Hill and the 34,712 in Graham, there are 238,929 people living between 96th Street, the south edge of Tacoma, and Graham. That is more people than live in Tacoma at 221,594.

So the urban unincorporated population, including Graham, is 25.8% of the entire county population and 55.1% of the unincorporated population.

And the difference is, that the cities sit on the Pierce County Regional Council dividing up the Federal funds for transportation projects and the unincorporated urban area with nearly half the population of the county is really not locally represented by the two members of the County Council that sit there. The urban communities should also be at that table.

Unless the cities take decisive action to explain to the unincorporated county that the benefits of being a city truly outweigh being unincorporated, the outer areas will continue to suffer thinking they will be taxed out of house and home if they incorporate rather than realizing that representation is power. They do not see that, they refuse to see that, and they are more than hurt by it. Cities and the Regional Council need to stop playing the game and give them real seats at the table.

To repeat, the Pierce County Regional Council needs restructuring. The demographically diverse and highly populated unincorporated middle of the county needs to be completely and properly represented. Yesterday. Not 10 years from now. Pierce PCRC, you have got to get to work on it.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. david terry hurd says:

    Many have tried to address the PSRC as an unelected council with no checks on activity of putting out mandates, they do not call them that, but are taken as requiring subordinate government agencies to follow. Hidden is most of the directives that influence us way beyond the original intent when formed. A hidden sub government that at least should be held accountable in a democracy of elected officials directly responsible to the people voting for and approving their actions. Terry

  2. Coleen Cole says:

    Dear Pierce Prarie Post: I’ve only lived in and read your Parkland posts for 5 years. I want to support your positive and needed, visionary ideas. I need you to PLEASE put email and/or contact information where opinions should be sent to demonstrate support for your position. IF YOU WOULD PROVIDE MORE CONTACT INFO, WITH DEADLINE DATES ETC,, I WILL DO MY PART TO SHOW SUPPORT. THANK YOU! Otherwise, your newsletters are anxiety-provoking, and there is no quick way to figure out how to make my tax-payer-citizen-viewpoints known. Thanks again for ALL Your Work! Coleen Cole

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