John Caulfield (253) 983-7703 • Fax (253)
City Manager


April 1, 2016


To: Mayor and Members of the City Council

From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager 

Topics of Interest and Updates

New Lakewood Index

The City of Lakewood has posted its latest copy of the Lakewood Index , its official Economic Development E-newsletter.

In this issue, users can read articles about:

  • The strong industrial activity taking place in Lakewood right now
  • The Motor Avenue redevelopment project
  • The story behind Greer Steel, Inc.
  • Why national restaurants are choosing to locate in Lakewood
  • The latest economic indicators and trends in Lakewood and South Sound

Click on the image above to view a .pdf copy of the latest Lakewood Index .

Behavioral Health Contact Team

Did you know that the City of Lakewood's Behavioral Health Contact Team (BHCT) - which gives the Lakewood Police Department‚Äč a different resource when responding to individuals suffering from mental illness - provided service to 200 individuals in 2015?

That means that instead of having to place these individuals in jail or the hospital, they were connected with programs and resources that could help. Truly an exceptional (and grant-funded) effort between the City and Greater Lakes Mental Healthcare‚Äč.

In 2015, the Lakewood Police Department implemented this innovative partnership in response to the growing population of people suffering from mental illness in the community – a population that draws on police resources either for crisis response or through self-generated calls for service. Often, a police response was not necessarily warranted but was the only option available to individuals. This unique partnership provides a different resource as a first response for people suffering from mental illness and reduces the draw on police resources. Ultimately, the BHCT is intended to help provide those individuals with the help they truly need.

The BHCT provides a different resource for officers who encounter individuals suffering from mental illness. Upon contact with an individual, an officer may request assistance from the BHCT. The current BHCT Team – Carolyn Cyr with Greater Lakes Mental Health and Lakewood Police Officer Ralph Rocco – contacts the individual and helps connect that person with services and resources in the greater mental health community. Without this program, those individuals might not have gotten the help he or she needed and would have likely required another patrol response, which draws down on emergency response resources and does not always provide the best outcome for the individual. After all, patrol options are typically limited to either the hospital or jail, whereas the BHCT connects individuals with a much broader range of resources. By using an expert in the mental health profession, the BHCT provides a more effective approach to an issue that communities across the country are facing.

The BHCT of Cyr and Rocco produced “an outstanding” first year, according to Lakewood Police Chief Mike Zaro. They provided service to more than 200 individuals suffering from mental illness, which likely saved taxpayers thousands of dollars in jail and/or hospital costs to treat these individuals.

Another notable aspect of the City of Lakewood’s BHCT is the manner in which the program is funded. The City pieced together funding from five different sources to cover the combined salaries of the officer and mental health professional:

  • Two separate federal grants
  • Nisqually Indian Tribe grant
  • City of Lakewood Human Services Grant
  • City of Lakewood

City Earns 2016 WellCity Award

The City of Lakewood has earned a 2016 WellCity Award from the Association of Washington Cities Employee Benefit Trust , the state’s largest local government benefit pool for cities, towns and other local governments.

The award – which this year was given to 112 local governments in Washington – is based on whether an employer meets all 40 of the WellCity Award requirements established by AWC Employee Benefit Trust. Some of the standards include:

  • Policies & Procedures: Create a strong foundation for employee health with adopted wellness program and budget allocations.
  • Management Support: Demonstrate support among elected officials and all levels of management.
  • Wellness Committee: Establish committee guidelines with broad employee representation.
  • Wellness Network: Leverage resources like internal champions and external partners.
  • Needs Assessment: Use data to drive program goals and maximize effectiveness.
  • Worksite Environment: Make the healthy choice the easy choice with an environment that supports health and contributes to a healthy work culture.
  • Operating Plan: Develop an annual plan with goals, objectives, timeline, communications, budget & evaluation
  • Activities & Interventions: Align activities with the outcome of the needs assessment.
  • Evaluation: Tie measurements to goals and objectives.

The award means the City of Lakewood will earn a 2-percent discount on all AWC Trust medical premiums in 2017.

“Thank you for your continued dedication to building a workplace culture where employee health is valued and supported,” AWC Employee Benefit Trust wrote in the award letter to the City. “The tradition of wellness that you have established makes your program a model for other employers to emulate.”

I-5 Ramp Closures Scheduled For 41st Division Drive Overpass Repair

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD – Drivers who use northbound Interstate 5 to and from Joint Base Lewis-McChord can expect night ramp closures, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation..

From 9 p.m. Monday, April 4, to 5 a.m. Tuesday, April 5, crews will close the following:

  • Northbound I-5 exit to JBLM (#120)
  • Northbound I-5 collector-distributor exit to North Fort
  • 41st Division Drive on-ramp to northbound I-5

In addition to the ramp closures, crews will reduce 41st Division Drive to one-way alternating traffic controlled with flaggers. Mainline I-5 traffic will not be affected. From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, April, 5-8, drivers also can expect shoulder closures in both directions of 41st Division Drive near I-5.

The closures will allow crews to continue work to replace a bridge girder on the 41st Division Drive overpass, which was struck and damaged by an overheight load in 2015.

Meet Sherman Alexie on April 29 at Clover Park Technical College

Lakewood will host the signature event of the Pierce County Reads 2016 program  on April 29 when the community welcomes Sherman Alexie - outspoken poet, novelist and screenwriter explores modern-day Native American issues.

The event, titled “Meet Sherman Alexie,” is schedule for 7 p.m., April 29 at the Sharon McGavick Conference Center, Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW.

The free event headlines this year’s program, which unlike years past will focus on five books written by the Northwest native, giving participants an extra month read and discuss the selections. The five books are:

  • “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” (1993)
  • “Reservation Blues” (1995)
  • “Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian” (2007)
  • “Flight” (2007)
  • “War Dances” (2009)

Alexie, who was born and raised in the Northwest, connects readers around the world to the American Indian experience, making them laugh, cry and think through his semi-autobiographical writings, according the Pierce County Library System.

The New Yorker named Alexie one of the 20 top writers for the 21st century. He is “the world’s first fast-talking, wisecracking, mediagenic American-Indian superstar,” according to Men’s Journal. Read the rest of the story .

Call To Artists for Mayfest Event

Are you an artist who would like your piece on display during Lakewood's biggest art event of the year? Consider entering your work for Mayfest, 2016.

Artists are encouraged to enter a juried show to be exhibited during the Mayfest celebration, May 3-8 at Lakewold Gardens. This highly touted celebration is sponsored by the Lakewood Arts Commission. Artists who are residents of Lakewood or who work within the Lakewood city limits are encouraged to enter.

All artistic media will be included in this event. Details are available on line at the City's website  or by mailing a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

  • City of Lakewood Arts Commission
  • Attention: Dennis Higashiyama
  • 6000 Main Street SW
  • Lakewood, WA 98499

View a detailed flyer of the competition

3rd Annual Studio Fitness Healthy Start 5K

Attention runners, joggers, walkers and anyone else interested in fun activities while supporting a great cause.

The 3rd Annual Studio Fitness Healthy Start 5K returns Saturday, May 14. The event benefits the City of Lakewood's Healthy Start Program - an after-school program that provides kids with physical activity and nutritous snacks. In 2015, the event generated $8,000 for the program.

This year, the race will once again start and finish at Studio Fitness, 11112 Gravelly Lake Dr. SW in Lakewood. Registration is $40 a person, and the registration deadline to guarantee yoursel an official t-shirt in Saturday, April 30, 2016.

Register for the event

About the Healthy Start Program

The program starts when the school day ends, with a snack that includes uncommon fruits and vegetables. After the snack, children do a few minutes of journaling, followed by warm-up exercises, large group games and butrition lessons. Oakwood, Tyee Park and Tillicum Elementary Schools host the program. Funding for student transportation is necessary to keep the program running.

City Council

The City Council will be holding a regular meeting on Monday, April 4, 2016, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW.  Agenda items for the meeting include:

April 4, 2016 Regular Meeting

  • Youth Council Report
  • Clover Park School District Report
  • Lakewood’s Promise signing ceremony
  • Appoint a member to serve on the Arts Commission
  • Bid award South Tacoma Way (SR512 to 96th St)
  • Approve LTGO Bond refinancing
  • Expressing support for continued State funding for MRSC
  • Expressing the intent to amend the 2016 Comprehensive Plan
  • Reports by the City Manager – 2016 Legislative Session Report, Sound Transit 3 update and 2015 Year End Police Report


The City Council will be holding a study session on Monday, April 11, 2016, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW.  Agenda items for the meeting include:

April 11, 2016

  • Western State Hospital update. – Mr. Ron Adler, CEO
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Presentation – Mr. John Sherman, Assistant Division Director for Environmental Health
  • Review Towne Center CCRs and easements
  • Economic Development update
  • Review of 2015 Year End Financial Report
  • Reports by the City Manager – City Council goals