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


Dec. 15, 2017

Weekly Info Bulletin

To: Mayor and members of the City Council

From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager


Lakewood Public Works employees maintain decade of giving back

This week the Lakewood Public Works Department delivered a truckload of toys to the Tillicum Community Center to be given to Tillicum families attending the center’s annual Christmas dinner.

The toys were purchased with money donated by employees of the department, former longtime Public Works director Don Wickstrom (who retired earlier this year), Pro Vac, Brian Fagernes with Cascade ROW Services and other contractors and friends.

The department has done something for the community around the holidays every year for the last decade. It started in 2007 when Public Works employees adopted a mom and her three daughters who were leaving an abusive situation and living in a low-rent apartment with next to nothing.

Since then the department has adopted families and fulfilled their holiday wish lists, collected food for food drives, worked with LASA to provide a Christmas for children that stay at the facility, donated to a toy drive for foster children, donated 20,000 pounds of dog and cat food to an area animal shelter, held a pajama and sock drive and last year donated to Toys for Tots.

“This year we wanted to reach as many children as possible,” said administrative assistant Karen Devereaux. “We always get construction themed stuff – that’s our deal.”

Other city departments giving back this year:

  • Lakewood Municipal Court staff collected a large number of new gloves and hats and donated them to Greater Lakes Mental Healthcare.
  • The city’s Human Resources staff is scheduled to volunteer Dec. 20 at the Emergency Food Network warehouse repacking food items.
  • The Lakewood Officer’s charity will hold its annual Shop with an Officer event Saturday (Dec. 16) at the Lakewood Wal-Mart. Sixteen families were identified who will get to shop with a Lakewood officer and choose items for everyone in their family with funds donated by the charity.


Countdown is over, fast trains arrive Monday

Beginning Monday, Dec. 18, 2017 trains traveling up to 79 miles per hour will begin using the Point Defiance Bypass, which runs from the Tacoma Dome Station, through South Tacoma, Lakewood, Joint Base Lewis-McChord and DuPont.

Fourteen daily passenger trains will travel in both directions, in addition to the Sound Transit Sounder commuter trains that already run through the city. The Sounder trains stop at Lakewood Station, the Amtrak trains will not stop in the city.

Most of the fast trains will pass through Lakewood between 6:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. However, delays in schedules make it important to stay alert and expect trains at any time, day or night. There are times when trains will pass in both directions, which will prolong the amount of time the railroad crossing arms are down.

Drivers and pedestrians are urged to always follow good rail safety guidelines including:

  • Do not walk on or near the tracks
  • Do not stop your vehicle on the railroad tracks while waiting for traffic
  • Obey all signals at all times – both pedestrians and drivers
  • Wait for crossing arms to go up and/or lights to stop flashing before entering a crossing 

Click here to see a table of the Sounder and Amtrak train schedules.


Lakewood employee 4th quarter recognition

As part of its quarterly employee recognition, City of Lakewood employees recently received the city’s Guiding Principle Award.

The award offers special recognition to those who consistently perform well in their regular job functions and demonstrate superior examples of any, or all, of the city’s guiding principles including:

  • Service
  • Teamwork
  • Integrity
  • Respect

Fourth quarter recipients are:

  • Cathi Short, Finance Technician: Excellent collaborator, team player and provides valuable insight and expertise to city staff in her role in the Finance Department.
  • Sean Dunn, Court Compliance Officer: Dedicated to hard work and the guiding principles while serving as the work crew supervisor.
  • Sarah Luna, SSMCP Program Coordinator: She expanded SSMCP’s sphere of influence by growing membership through social media presence and facilitating ongoing regional health care, social services and education working groups.
  • Bill Mathies and Sandy Stauffer, Code Enforcement officers: These are “get ‘er done” people whose Code Enforcement work has brought many good changes to the city by gaining compliance from property owners on rundown properties and making sure all businesses are properly licensed.
  • Alice Bush, City Clerk & Daniel Nego, recreation leader: These two coordinated the city’s 2017 Veteran’s Day ceremony held on Saturday, Nov. 11, which was well organized and highlighted our commitment to supporting our military.
  • Rental Housing Safety Program Team: This team established the City’s new online Rental Housing Safety Program (RHSP) and helped shepherd its rollout:
    • Courtney Casady, Assistant to the City Manager/Mgmt Analyst
    • Jeff Gumm, Housing Division Program Manager
    • Heather Holverstott, Administrative Assistant
    • Shannon Kelley–Fong, Assistant to the City Manager
    • Dondi Koester, Finance Supervisor
    • Martha Larkin, Program Coordinator
    • Troy Schlepp, GIS Analyst
    • Cathi Short, Finance Technician
    • Bucoda Warren, Graduate Intern
    • Ken White, IT Manager
    • Dave Bugher, ACM/CED Director


Update on Lakewood Downtown planning

The downtown plan team presented visioning outreach and design charrette results to the City Council and Planning Commission at the end of December 2017.

Big ideas for Downtown include:

  • 2 to 4-acre park near City Hall
  • Green street loop with improved pedestrian and bicycle facilities
  • Site for additional civic uses near City Hall
  • Improved public street grid in the Towne Center
  • Gateways along major arterials at the entrance to Downtown
  • Road diet and multi-use path on Gravelly Lake Drive
  • Catalyst sites for redevelopment
  • Connection to active park
  • Motor Avenue Improvements
  • Restore Seely Lake Park

Options for the Towne Center along with the “big ideas” across the Downtown will be evaluated in a Draft Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement anticipated the first quarter of 2018. At that time, the City of Lakewood will host additional opportunities for public, property owner, and agency comment to help shape a preferred plan. See more, including a video, 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:

Lakewood Arts Commission : Members assess needs, establish priorities and make recommendations for enrichment of the community and promotion of its cultural vitality through the arts. One vacancy. Due Dec. 18. 

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


Stay up to date with MyLakewood 311

Did you know Lakewood has its own free mobile app?

All you need to know about the city is at your fingertips. Updates on road projects and detours around the city and other city announcements can be found under the “Public Announcements” header. Read this weekly bulletin by clicking “City Manager’s Weekly Info Bulletin”, or contact the city using the “submit a new request” button and select from the appropriate category.

Download it now in the iTunes App Store  or on Google Play .


Upcoming Council Meetings

The City Council meetings of Monday, Dec. 18 and Tuesday, Dec. 26 are canceled.

The next City Council meeting is Jan. 8, 2018.

January 8, 2018 Regular Meeting

  • Swearing-In Ceremony
  • Elect Mayor and Deputy Mayor
  • Youth Council Report
  • Proclamation declaring January as School Board recognition month
  • Proclamation declaring January 15, 2018 as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and February as Black History month. – Ms. Anessa McClendon, Member, Martin Luther King Jr. Committee
  • Clover Park School District Report
  • Appoint members to Landmarks & Heritage Advisory Board
  • Awarding a bid on improvements on Steilacoom Blvd from Western State Hospital to Lakeview
  • Awarding a bid on safety improvement on Military Road and 112th Street
  • Awarding a bid for roadway safety project on 40th and 96th 
  • Vacating a portion of Wildaire Road SW (tentative)