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


April 7, 2017


To: Mayor and members of the City Council

From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager 


Golden Lion Motor Inn Demolished

This week crews from Northwest Abatement Services Inc. razed a motel that has been a problem for the city for more than a decade. 

The Golden Lion Motor Inn, located at 9201 South Tacoma Way, has seen its share of building code violations and a high number of police calls for service over the years. That's why Mark Stephens and Paul Peters with Northwest Abatement Services, Inc. requested Police Chief Mike Zaro get behind the controls of the giant excavator and participate in some "demolition therapy." Zaro (seen pictured) helped take down a part of the building.

In 2011 Lakewood police were called to the property at a rate of two times that of nearby motels. By mid-2011 the calls for police were the highest among all motels in the city, according to police statistics .

The city worked with the former property owner to clean up the property and reduce the amount of crime committed on site, but those improvements did not last.

Ultimately the city was forced to initiate its building abatement process after the former property owner refused to comply. A new property owner purchased the site and worked with the city to clean up the site.

The new owner plans to redevelop the now vacant land, though details of those plans are still in the works.


Poor road conditions bump up paving plans at Fort Steilacoom Park

Significant deterioration of the driveway into Fort Steilacoom Park prompted city staff to recommend moving up plans to pave the roadway as soon as possible .

Pending City Council approval later this month, additional money will be applied to the project. The allocation means a permanent fix could be made by the end of 2017.

In the interim hot mix asphalt patches will be applied to smooth the road until a permanent fix is possible.

On Monday the City Council will review the city’s 2016 year-end financial report and a proposed 2017 carry forward budget adjustment at its study session.

The city’s finances ended better than anticipated in 2016 largely because revenues came in higher than anticipated and because we realized some savings on expenses.

Most of the money carried over will cover previously approved projects from 2016 that will be completed this year, but some projects like the Fort Steilacoom Park driveway will receive additional funding.

The city shares and understands the frustration of park visitors who have to navigate the holes in the road. But before we can fix them, two other projects in the park must be completed: the Waughop Lake Trail and parking lot improvements.

We ask for patience while this work is completed.


Tree removal approved for Lakewood Colonial Center

If they haven’t already come down, six trees will be cut from the Lakewood Colonial Center.

Work was slated to begin Friday and continue Saturday .

The Westwood Financial Corporation was granted the permit April 5 to address hazard trees on its property located on the 9300 block of Bridgeport Way SW near its intersections with Gravelly Lake Drive and Motor Avenue.

In total there are 79 trees on the site; only six will be cut.

Of those, two are large Garry oak trees; the others are maples.

Westwood Financial submitted an arborist report with its permit request detailing the health of each tree on its property. The report determined the six trees slated for removal were hazardous and posed a public safety risk.

Along with removing the hazard trees, Westwood Financial also hired tree specialists to prune the existing trees on the property – which does not require a permit.

The tree removal and maintenance is being done as part of Westwood Financial’s plan to renovate its property and bring in new business.

Click here to read the permit application approval and full arborist report.


Recognizing Lakewood’s employees

On Wednesday a number of city employees were recognized for their dedication to the city and its residents.

They included:

Windy Guiberson and Darrell Knoedler from Municipal Court.

The pair took the lead on testing and implementing a paperless document system that will be used in Municipal Court.

Lakewood is the first court in Pierce County to go paperless. This new program will enhance the service abilities of the court, as well as create efficiencies through the use of a paperless system.

Guiberson and Knoedler took on the additional responsibilities of learning the program, customizing it for Municipal Court and training staff – all while maintaining their regular job duties. They demonstrated exceptional teamwork and a positive attitude during the significant transition.


Tom Cummins, Jay Anderson, Steve Bird, Brian Hinkle, Bob Toy, Stacy Hoekstra, Terrance Colvin, Ryan Oflaherty, Scott Turner, Jeremy Logan, Brad Ritterbush, Mike Nebeker and Kenny Harris from Operations and Maintenance.

The rough weather in 2016 and the start of 2017 - including record rainfall, wind storms with downed trees and road debris, snow and ice events – kept these folks busy.

There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes planning and preparing for these events and making sure staff is ready and available at all hours.

Many of these events required people to work overnight or expand their shifts to make sure roads were clear, parking lots open, transit centers available and that police and fire officials could get out of their stations.

These employees are dedicated, despite being tasked with dangerous jobs that keep them away from their families and force them to work in some of the worst conditions.

While we’re home safe and dry not thinking about getting to and from places, this group is on the road making sure we have safe passage when we head out.

For this they are recognized and applauded.


Troy Pokswinski from Public Works.

Troy Pokswinski is an engineer with the city who oversees the implementation of specific capital improvement projects.

One project he was assigned was the Madigan Access improvement project, which included working with the state Department of Transportation.

The project was complicated on many levels – including the scope of work to be done and the involvement of multiple agencies (13 total).

Pokswinski worked through the challenges, navigated the various bureaucracies and was able to get the necessary approvals to get the project done – within the budget allocated.

Thank you to all the employees who make Lakewood a great place to live and work.


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.

April 10, 2017 Study Session

  • Municipal Court and Veterans Court Update
  • Review of North Clear Zone strategy and Action Plan & Memorandum of Agreement
  • Review of proposed domestic violence criminal related ordinances
  • Review of 2016 Year End Financial Report
  • Review of 2017 Carry Forward Budget Adjustments

April 17, 2017 Regular Meeting

  • Proclamation declaring April 22, 2017 as Parks Appreciation Day
  • Business showcase - Lakewood Racquet Club - Mr. Bruce Dayton, General Manager/Director
  • Bid award on improvements on Gravelly Lake Drive from 100th St to Bridgeport Way
  • Intent to form LID 1109 and setting May 18, 2017 as Hearings Examiner hearing re: street improvements on 146th St, 150th St and overlay of Spring St
  • Public Hearing on FY 2017 Consolidated Action Plan
  • Public Hearing on 2017 Carry Forward Budget Adjustments
  • Adopt domestic violence criminal related ordinances
  • Adopt vacating a portion of Pacific Highway from Chicago Avenue to New York Ave.
  • Approve North Clear Zone Action and Implementation Plan & Memorandum of Agreement
  • Approve 2016 Transportation Benefit District Annual Report
  • Reports by City Manager – Review of down payment assistance HOME loans for Habitat for Humanity and the Homeownership Center of Tacoma and Marijuana update