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


March 24, 2017


To: Mayor and members of the City Council

From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager 


Celebrating Lakewood’s students and champions

The Old Country Buffet in Lakewood Towne Center was once again filled to capacity for the annual Communities in Schools of Lakewood Champions for Youth breakfast held March 23.

The 200 people in attendance generated more than $26,000 for services and programs at four Clover Park School District schools with Communities in Schools programs. The schools are: Four Heroes and Tillicum elementary schools, Lochburn Middle School and Clover Park High School.

An onsite coordinator at these schools focuses on supporting students at all levels of their life – academically and at home – so they come to school ready to learn.

The coordinator assesses student needs, makes a plan and coordinates intensive interventions for students most at risk for dropping out. The coordinator also provides services geared toward the entire school.

The results are quantifiable.

In his keynote speech, Clover Park High School principal Tim Stults said CPHS saw dramatic improvements in areas of course completion, attendance and graduation since partnering with Communities in Schools of Lakewood in 2015.

“It is no coincidence that graduation rates increased by 14 percent the year that CISL launched their partnership at the school,” Stults said.

The school also saw a 50 percent reduction in its course failure rate in 2016, he said.

Some of the morning’s most moving stories came from the students themselves.

CPHS senior Carlos Alvarez told the room without Communities in Schools he would not be headed to Pacific Lutheran University in the fall.

As a middle school student Alvarez pledged to be a college-bound scholar. When he shared the news with his father, his father told him: “Carlos I cannot pay for your college. This is a journey you have to take alone,” Alvarez recounted.

Devastated, Alvarez remained committed and saw as he became involved with the school district and Communities in Schools that “I was not alone.”

He is headed to PLU as an Act VI Scholar, something he said he embraces “because for me, that was a very large part of my new vision toward higher education and the new journey I’ll be taking on.”

After learning he was accepted to PLU, Alvarez’s father sat him down again.  

“My dad said ‘We’ll do anything we can to pay for it. We’ll sell everything, we’ll move into a cheaper place. We will do anything to give you a better education than what we had,” Alvarez told the crowd through tears.

“I don’t have words,” he said. “I want to thank you all for your impact on my journey.”

Next year’s breakfast will be held at the McGavick Center to accommodate more people. A plaque was presented to Old Country Buffet at the breakfast thanking the business for hosting the annual event for 15 years.


Lakewood student wins Boys and Girls Clubs of Washington State Youth of the Year

Brianna Mitchell, a senior at Lakes High School, was named the Washington State Youth of the Year March 23 by the state Boys and Girls Club organization.

Last month Mitchell was named the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound Youth of the Year.

Mitchell has belonged to the Lakewood Boys and Girls Club since she was in elementary school. Her ties to the club run deep – she became active in the drama program, mentors other students and has taken on leadership roles at the afterschool program.

At Lakes Mitchell played varsity basketball and volleyball and is a member of the Associated Student Body.

She competed against 12 other students from across the state for the Youth of the Year title, which was announced during a banquet at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle. A day earlier she and other Youth of the Year recipients toured the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia.

Next up for Mitchell is the regional Youth of the Year competition in July, which if she wins means she’ll move on to the national competition.

Lakewood is extremely proud of Mitchell and her recent accomplishment, which comes with a college scholarship. Way to represent #IamLakewood!

Attention Waughop Lake Trail users

The trail around Waughop Lake will close Monday, April 3 so crews can finish work on the trail improvements.

Work was halted earlier this year after weather became too wet and cold for new pavement to be installed. With warmer and drier temperatures on the horizon (fingers crossed!) work will resume.

The trail will remain closed to the public until the work is complete. Please stay off the trail until it reopens – your cooperation will reduce the project cost and allow us to finish faster.

Those worried about tree removal, don’t! Replacement trees will be planted in October. Find out more on the project page.


Lakewood Police 2016 year-end report

Lakewood Police Chief Mike Zaro released the department’s year-end report in a presentation before the City Council March 20.

Highlights include an overall decline in calls for service, traffic stops and arrests and a slight decline in the number of person crimes – or crimes committed by a person against another person.

The total number of person crimes reported in 2016 was 1,563, which was a 1.7 percent decline from 2015.

One area that saw an uptick is the total number of property crimes, which were up 3.4 percent from 2015.

In 2016 the team shut down a large scale organized retail theft operation in the city that included an illegal business that paid people to shoplift from local stores and turn around and sell the items online. Shutting down the operation dramatically reduced the number of shoplifting cases in the city.

Last year also marked a year of growth for the department which was able to hire 10 officers, one animal control officer and one evidence custodian. These hires were not additions to the department, but instead filled vacancies either because of recent retirements or promotions.

The department’s professionalism and dedication to the community was reflected in the 103 letters or emails received from residents complimenting their interactions with police. The Lakewood Police Department is grateful for the support it receives from the community.

Read the full report here.


Volunteer with Lakewood

Do you like to give back to the community? Are you looking to get better connected to Lakewood? Have some free time you want to fill? Consider joining one of the city's community advisory boards . Board members often have experience or expertise they can lend, can meet on a monthly basis and can commit to serving a full term, or longer. Descriptions of boards with openings:

Landmarks and Heritage Advisory Board.  Members identify and actively encourage the conservation of historic resources by establishing and maintaining a register of historic landmarks, landmark sites, historic special review districts, and conservation districts, among other responsibilities. Two vacancies, term runs through 12/31/2019.

Community Services Advisory Board . Members conduct public hearings and make recommendations to the City Council on community service funding, among other responsibilities. One vacancy, term runs through 12/15/2020.

Arts Commission . Members promote visual, performing and literary arts and encourage creative contribution of local artists, among other responsibilities. One vacancy, term runs through 10/15/2017.

Lakewood's Promise Advisory Board . Members serve as advisory board to the City Council regarding the Lakewood's Promise mission and youth development, among other responsibilities. Three vacancies.

Descriptions of each board and commission, meeting schedule and application form can be found online .


Upcoming City Council meetings

All meetings start at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Meetings are held in council chambers at City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW, Lakewood.

March 27, 2017 Study Session – canceled

April 3, 2017 Regular Meeting

  • Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office update. – Mr. Mark Lindquist, Pierce County Prosecutor
  • Boys & Girls Clubs Washington state Youth of the Year Recognition of Brianna Mitchell
  • Lakewood First Lions Club Youth Scholarship Award – Ms. DeAnne Bennett, Lakewood First Lions Club
  • Youth Council Report
  • Clover Park School District Report
  • Bid award Lakewood Drive 100th Street to Steilacoom Blvd improvements
  • Intent to form LID 1109 and setting hearing re: street improvements on 146th St, 150th St and overlay of Spring St (tentative)
  • Public Hearing on vacating a portion of Pacific Highway from Chicago Avenue to New York Avenue
  • Public Hearing on vacating a portion of Lakeland Avenue
  • Vacating a portion of Lakeland Avenue
  • Approving a supplemental agreement with Ivar Gunderson for additional prosecutorial services
  • Reports by the City Manager – Ft. Steilacoom Park Pavilion update