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


Sept. 11, 2015


To: Mayor and Members of the City Council

From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager 

Topics of Interest and Updates

Four Heroes Elementary School Grand Opening

On Thursday, Sept. 10, the Lakewood‬ community gathered to celebrate the opening of Four Heroes Elementary School.

After an in-depth selection process, the Clover Park School District Board decided the new school's collective namesake should honor Lakewood's Fallen Four - Sgt. Mark Renninger, Officer Tina Griswold, Officer Greg Richards, and Officer Ronald Owens. The four officers were gunned down on the morning of Nov. 29, 2009 while filling out paperwork

Four Heroes Elementary School is named in their honor to commemorate and acknowledge the dedication and sacrifice public servants make every day. Lakewood-area voters approved a $92 million bond in 2010 to build Four Heroes Elementary School and Harrison Preparatory School and rebuild Hudtloff Middle School. A committee comprised of staff and community members came up with the “Four Heroes” name which was approved by the Clover Park School District Board of Directors in March 2014.

On Thursday, hundreds of people gathered to see their new school, as well as learn about the heroes that the school pays tribute to.

"It is more than just the name of a school to us," Interim Chief Mike Zaro said.

The City has posted a photo album of the event on its Facebook page .

Lakewood, West Pierce 9/11 Commemoration Event

On Friday, Sept. 11, the City of Lakewood and West Pierce Fire & Rescue held their first joint 9/11 commemoration event at Lakewood City Hall.

Speakers included Mayor Don Anderson, Interim Police Chief Mike Zaro and Fire Cheif Jim Sharp. With uniformed police and firefighters, as well as several residents and Pierce County Councilmember and former Mayor Doug Richardson all watching, speakers addressed how much our lives have changed since that fateful day Sept. 11, 2001.

Mayor Anderson spoke how much the attacks opened our eyes to the fact that evil does exist in the world, but unity, love and determination can be stronger. Zaro talked about the lives of first responders has changed, and how protecting a community isn't simply about what's going on in a particular community. Sharp addressed how, to this day, some first-responders and others who helped with the aftermath of the attacks still suffer.

Although it was a somber event, the commemoration also provided a chance to recognize police, fire, military, medical and other first-responders for sacrificing and throwing themselves into harm's way every day.

Special thanks to Original House Of Donuts and Towne Center Starbucks for generously donating refreshments for after the ceremony. Stay tuned for video hightlights.

The City has posted a photo album of the event on its Facebook page.

Council Approves Cable Franchise, LED Streetlighting, Fire Marshal Services

On Tuesday, Sept. 8, the Lakewood City Council granted a franchise to Comcast Cable Communication Management for cable services, as well as authorized an agreement related to an LED streetlighting project and an interlocal agreement with West Pierce Fire & Rescue for Fire Marshal Services.

  • Cable Franchise: For the first time since incorporation, the Lakewood City Council approved a franchise agreement with Comcast, one of two cable providers in Lakewood. The previous franchise went into effect in 1983, which Lakewood was still part of unincorporated Pierce County. The new franchise agreement – which the City Council unanimously approved – brings it in line with the City’s agreement with Tacoma Public Utilities Click!, the other cable provider. The agreement maintains a franchise fee of 5 percent and a utility tax of 6 percent, so customers will not see a difference in the amount the City collects on their bills.
  • LED Streetlighting: The Council unanimously authorized a $127,180 agreement with Lakeview Light and Power to retrofit and convert 1,108 streetlights to LED fixtures. The City is in the process of converting its existing street lights to energy saving LED fixtures. The agreement provides the mechanism for the City to get rebates for a portion of the material costs based on the fixture type and change in wattage demand. Staff selected the fixtures after reviewing the different types in use, comparison of lighting designs, and discussions with neighboring jurisdictions that have completed LED lighting retrofits.
  • Fire Marshal Services: The Council unanimously approved a $202,400 agreement with West Pierce Fire & Rescue for fire marshal services. The new agreement is simpler, removes duplicative language, clarifies the method for annual Consumer Price Index increases and removes confusing language that was unclear as to the amount the City pays to West Pierce. The agreement does not alter any of the services that the City receives for fire marshal and fire inspections. The City will continue to receive the same high-quality services that it currently receives from West Pierce.

New Connections Arrives in Mailboxes

This week, Lakewood residents and businesses will receive the City of Lakewood's regular newsletter/parks and recreation guide, Connections. But for those who've read our newsletter before, this issue will look different.

In partnership with Philips Publishing, the City of Lakewood is switching to a magazine format for its newsletter, giving the community a better product to see and feel. One thing that won't change, however, is the quality of the content. The City will continue to deliver news, statistics, features and other information about what’s happening in Lakewood.

As always, the issue will include the seasonal guide to the City’s award-winning Parks and Recreation Department. It’s full of information on sports, classes, programs, events and other activities that the City offers on a regular basis.

More to come on this exciting step the City of Lakewood has taken to reach and engage its residents!

Lakewood residents have already given the publication rave reviews. One resident wrote in an email: "Congratulations on an amazing look to the new Lakewood Connections magazine. It is first class."

Lakewood on Pandora Radio

Hey Pandora   listeners - have you heard the ad talking about how great of a place Lakewood is to visit? It's airing throughout this month and early September.

Paid for with Lodging Tax Advisory Committee   grant funds, the commercial speaks to outdoor recreation, cultural cuisine, beautiful parks and other amenities our community has to offer. Although locals have known for years how great Lakewood is, it's time to share the same message with folks from out of town.

Have you heard it? ‪#‎IamLakewood‬ ‪#‎Adventureineverydirection‬

What is Pandora?

Pandora is free personalized internet radio. Simply enter a favorite artist, track, comedian or genre, and Pandora will create a personalized station that plays their music and more like it. Rate songs by giving thumbs-up and thumbs-down feedback and add variety to further refine your stations, discover new music and help Pandora play only music you love. Pandora is powered by the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken, the Music Genome Project: a project started over ten years ago to capture the complex musical DNA of songs using a large team of highly-trained musicians.

Disaster Preparedness Month

September is Disaster Preparedness month. Check out these tips to help keep your family safe, courtesy of    Emergency Management Coordinator Christine Badger:

Family Communication Tips
  • Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. Think about how you will communicate in different situations.
  • Complete a contact card for each adult family member. Have them keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse or briefcase, etc. Additionally, complete contact cards for each child in your family. Put the cards in their backpacks or book bags.
  • Check with your children’s day care or school. Facilities designed for children should include identification planning as part of their emergency plans.
  • Identify a contact such as a friend or relative who lives out-of-state for household members to notify they are safe. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members. Make sure to put the contact on your child’s emergency contact card when school starts. Sample cards can be accessed on the links below. 
  • Place the out-of-state phone contact in your families cell phone.
  • Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through. TEXT DON’T TALK!
  • Sign up for Pierce County Alert to receive emergency notifications on severe weather, major road closures and emergencies in the


Missing Farmers Market Vendor Safe, Fabricated Abduction

A vendor whom authorities initially feared might have been abducted while packing up her tent at the Lakewood Farmers Market this week has been found safe.

And as it turns out, the woman’s disappearance was a fabrication and had nothing to do with her safety at the Farmers Market.

On Thursday night, the Department of Homeland Security notified the Lakewood Police Department that it had located Moua Vang, 31, on an inbound flight from Thailand to Seattle.

Detectives drove to Sea-Tac International Airport to wait for Vang’s flight to arrive. Once the plane landed, they confirmed that Vang was indeed a passenger.

Detectives interviewed Vang, a Kirkland resident who was first reported missing around 8 p.m., Tuesday, when a City of Lakewood employee noticed that Vang’s tent had not been put away, and her van’s doors were left open with keys and wallet inside.

On Thursday night, Vang admitted to detectives that she had staged her vehicle and tent to create the appearance of an abduction so she could leave without her family knowing. According to Detectives, she took a shuttle from the Lakewood City Hall/Lakewood Towne Center area to the airport.

Vang then boarded her plane and flew to Thailand. However, once she arrived at her destination, she may have had second thoughts and decided to come home, according to Detectives.

She boarded a flight back to Sea-Tac. Homeland Security then matched her name to a nationwide alert issued by the Lakewood Police Department.

Authorities notified her family, and after the interview, she was admitted to an area hospital for a physical and medical examination, given that she had been awake for several days and was under a tremendous amount of stress.

Lt. John Unfred said that although Vang’s disappearance began in Lakewood, reality proved that it had nothing to do with safety at the Lakewood Farmers Market or the Lakewood Towne Center, which statistically is one of the safest places in the community.

In fact, when word of her disappearance began to spread, Lakewood residents flooded Police with tips, offers to canvas the area and other ways to help.

“This was a complete fabrication, but the community responded tremendously,” Unfred said. “This is a community that comes together during a crisis. When someone or something threatens our safety, we come together. It’s one of the reasons Lakewood is such a great community.”

Read more here .

City Council

The City Council will be holding a special meeting on Saturday, September 12, 2015, beginning at 8:30 a.m., in City Hall, Executive Conference Room 3A, located at 6000 Main Street SW.  Agenda items for the meeting include:

September 12, 2015 (Saturday) Retreat, 8:30 AM

  • Review of Community Visioning Plan

September 14, 2015 Council Tour, 6:30 PM

The City Council will be touring the Lakewood Traffic Management Center on Monday, September 14, 2015, beginning at 6:30 p.m., in City Hall, Second Floor, located at 6000 Main Street SW. 

September 14, 2015 Study Session, following Council Tour

Following the tour, the City Council will be holding a study session at 7:00 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers, located at 6000 Main Street SW.  Agenda items for the meeting include:

  • Joint Landmarks & Heritage Advisory Board meeting
  • Review of designating Historic Fort Steilacoom as a community landmark
  • Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County Presentation – Compete Every Day Forever: 2016-2020 Work Plan – Mr. Bruce Kendall, President & CEO
  • US Open Recap
  • Motor Avenue Design Review
  • Review of Six Year Financial Forecast (tentative)
  • Municipal Finance 101
  • Review of Springbrook Park property acquisition expansion
  • Reports by the City Manager – Lakewood Promise Program update

The City Council will be holding a regular meeting on Monday, September 21, 2015, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 6000 Main Street SW.  Agenda items for the meeting include:


September 21, 2015 Regular Meeting

  • Recognition of Tillicum McDonalds
  • Proclamation declaring September 2015 as National Preparedness Month
  • Presentation on gathering places at Ft. Steilacoom park
  • Appoint Greater Tacoma Public Facilities District Board representative for a four-year term
  • Approve amendments to the Lodging Tax Funding Guidelines
  • Public Hearing on the City of Tacoma’s Proposition 3 utility tax levy
  • Designating Fort Steilacoom buildings as a community landmark
  • Procedures for notifying public of preliminary agendas and special meetings of City Council
  • Approving an agreement relative to the Lakewood’s Promise program (continued from 8/3/15)
  • Approve Puget Sound Energy agreement regarding LED streetlighting project (tentative)
  • Approve Motor Avenue Design contract
  • Approve copiers contract
  • Approve public defender contract
  • Approve backup public defender contract

Reports by the City Manager –Report on Title 5 Business license implementation