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


Oct. 16, 2015


To: Mayor and Members of the City Council

From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager 

Topics of Interest and Updates

Michael Zaro Appointed Police Chief

Michael Zaro has been appointed Police Chief for the City of Lakewood.

Lakewood City Manager John Caulfield made the appointment, which took effect Oct. 16, 2015. 

Chief Zaro has served as Interim Police Chief since April 2015, as part of the transition when former Police Chief Bret Farrar retired. Even before his term as Interim Police Chief, he had been in charge of the Police Department on several occasions as Acting Police Chief the past three years.   

“I’ve had the opportunity to observe Mike’s performance as Interim Police Chief the last six months and I have been very pleased," City Manager John Caulfield said. “His calm demeanor, demonstrated leadership and proven track record will serve the Lakewood community well.” 

“I’ve also gotten many compliments from the community and our City employees about Mike," the City Manager added. “It is evident he has earned the support and trust from many in the community."

Read more here.

Truck and Tractor Day 2015: Oct. 17

On Saturday Oct. 17  , the City of Lakewood will throw the hay-riding, tricked-trucking, pumpkin-picking party known as the 9thAnnual Truck and Tractor Day  .

The always-popular event runs from noon to 3 p.m., at Fort Steilacoom Park. As its name implies, there will be trucks. There will be tractors. There will also be plenty of other reasons Truck and Tractor Day will be a great experience for you and the family. Here are some of our favorites:

Pumpkin Picking
  • What is the best part of October? The pumpkins, of course. The City knows this, which is why kids who attend will take home a free pumpkin while supplies last.  Volunteers will help carve the gourds and provide decorations for children to adorn their pumpkins. Kids will also get free hard hat. Get there early!

Halloween Doughnut Game

  • If you have ever tasted the delicious doughnuts from Lakewood’s own Original House of Doughnuts, you won’t want to miss this game where you try to eat the doughnut, with your hands behind your back, while it dangles from a string! It’s a whole new twist on eating treats!
A Smashing Gourd Time
  • In Lakewood, we have a favorite fall tradition: We like to smash things to bits. This year, you can take control of our pumpkin-chunkin’ launchers and blast those pumpkins across Fort Steilacoom Park, just like they used to do in the ol’ days. (Note: We have yet to confirm with the Lakewood Historical Society whether this actually happened in the ol’ days, but for convenience sake we’ll assume it did).
Hit the Hay
  • Enjoy free hayrides through Fort Steilacoom Park. This 340-acre gem is the largest in the City and a regional attraction. Enjoy a trip around Lake Waughop with the fall leaves crunching underneath those tractor tires.

Read more here .

Work on I-5 Berkeley Street Overpass Begins in Lakewood

Drivers who use Berkeley Street to cross Interstate 5 in Lakewood will soon begin to notice a lot of construction activity around the overpass.

Contractor crews working on a City of Lakewood  project will rebuild the Berkeley Street overpass  by constructing a double-turn lane from southbound I-5 to Berkeley Street, one additional southbound lane across the overpass and improved sidewalks.

“This project demonstrates what happens when different government agencies partner to address a regional problem,” said Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson. “Traffic congestion in the I-5 corridor has a direct effect on the ability of military personnel, their families and veterans to access Madigan Army Medical Center. The City of Lakewood, Washington State Department of Transportation and Joint Base Lewis-McChord recognize this and are taking this step to alleviate the regular traffic bottlenecks near the hospital. This benefits the military community and the region as a whole.”

The project is intended to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow at the Interstate 5/Berkeley Street interchange. The interchange, also known as the Freedom Bridge, sees frequent congestion for drivers going to Madigan Army Medical Center.

“We certainly appreciate how leaders at the City of Lakewood took the initiative to get the funding to make this project happen,” said Kevin Dayton, WSDOT regional administrator. “It really highlights how partnerships can get things done.”

The project complements previous WSDOT projects to improve I-5 traffic flow  near JBLM, including building an auxiliary lane on southbound I-5 between Thorne Lane and Berkeley Street. Read more here .

The Story Behind The Purple Lights

Since the beginning of October, several passers-by of Lakewood City Hall have been asking the same question: What’s with the purple lights?

Those who drive by can admire the vegetation (in the middle of the Lakewood City Hall roundabout) wrapped in the grape-colored illuminations. They come alive at night.

As beautiful as the lights are, however, the larger significance lies in the meaning behind them. Purple is the official color for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month , according to the National Network To End Domestic Violence.

Domestic violence is a national, societal problem. Its short- and long-term impacts affect victims, families, law enforcement and the court system for generations. According to a proclamation signed by President Barack Obama, nearly one in four women and one in seven men in our country have suffered severe physical violence by an intimate partner.

Locally, the City of Lakewood Legal Department filed 543 domestic violence cases (67 cases per month) for Lakewood, University Place, Steilacoom and DuPont from January to August of this year. Read the rest of the story here .

Council Preview: Oct. 19, 2015

The next Lakewood City Council regular session meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 19 at City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW. Here are a few of the items on Monday night's agenda  .

  • Interim Police Chief Michael Zaro will be sworn in as Chief of the Lakewood Police Department
  • A Business Showcase on Mountain View Funeral Home & Crematory will be presented. The company is celebrating its 100th year in business.
  • Idlewild Elementary School will present the 2015-16 Stormwater Pollution Prevention and Water Conservation Calendar.
  • The City Council will discuss a motion to approve a community gathering space design and location at Fort Steilacoom Park. Following an extrensive public process, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board recommends the City Council consider the "barn structure" design option for the community gathering space. The Board noted that a structure with a 40-foot-by-60-foot stage area is about the right size for the park. The preferred location is the area used during the SummerFEST celebration for the community stage since this area can support small or large groups with minimal impacts to other park operations.
  • The City Council is scheduled to discuss whether to continue its interlocal agreement to continue its successful police protection program at Western State Hospital. This agreement dates back to at least July 2009 and obligates the Lakewood Police Department to provide patrol services and emergency police protection (911), evidence preservation and investigation services. It is funded by DSHS via legislative allocation.

Toxic Algae Bloom at Lake Steilacoom

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department  wants you to know there is a toxic algae bloom in Lake Steilacoom. Areas of the lake with algae are unsafe for people and pets.

  • Keep children and pets away from areas with algae
  • Do not swim, wade, water ski, or fish in areas with algae

You can easily identify a toxic algae bloom because of its unusual color or appearance in the water. Usually a bloom makes the lake surface look like pea soup or green paint, but sometimes the bloom may be a different color (bluish or brownish). Wind and rain can greatly change the amount and location of algae in the lake.

Swallowing lake water containing algae or prolonged skin contact with the algae may result in illness, such as muscle weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or nausea. Anyone who swallows water containing large amounts of algae should seek immediate medical attention.

The risk to pets is much greater than the risk to people. Pets have smaller body sizes and are more likely to drink water containing a heavy concentration of algae. If a pet ingests a large amount of algae and is showing signs such as vomiting, lethargy, disorientation, or seizures, take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Runoff from fertilizers, animal and human waste reach our lakes and contribute to algae growth. Reducing the use of fertilizers, properly maintaining septic systems, and properly disposing of pet waste helps improve water quality in lakes, streams, groundwater, and Puget Sound.

Major Road Work Update: 10/19/2015

Here is a list of road projects in the City of Lakewood for the week of Oct. 19, 2015:

  • Madigan Access Project:  Week of October 19: (Monday night) The Berkeley Street Bridge will be narrowed to two, 10-foot lanes to allow for the bridge widening. The bridge will be limited to one lane with flaggers on each end during the late evening hours.Beginning Tuesday night, for the next six months, bridge work will require traffic utilizing mainline I-5 be restricted to one lane in each direction during the night hours Monday night thru Friday night. Additional project information can be found at:
  •  Woodbrook Sewer ExtensionSewer construction is ongoing at the intersection of 146th and Woodbrook Drive. Detours are in effect and access to the area is limited to “local access only.” Please be aware of relocated bus stops that will be noticed by Pierce Transit and Clover Park School District.

#IamLakewood Photo of the Week

How cool is this?

Cody Topel, 10, is a Cub Scout with Pacific Harbors Council, BSA Pack 5575. He popped by City Hall this week to learn more about our government, some of the problems we face and what we do to help solve them.

Cody is working toward an "Arrow of Light," the highest distinction bestowed on a Cub Scout. It will help him become a Boy Scout.

One of the coolest things Cody said during the conversation is he wanted to know what he could do to help with what we do here at the City. Awesome.

Afterward, Cody was cool enough to take this selfie with Communications Manager Brent Champaco. Come back anytime, buddy!

Economic Development

Introducing 'What Should Go Here?'

On Thursday, the City of Lakewood introduced a feature on its Facebook  and Instagram  pages called “What Should Go Here?”

The premise is simple. We post a picture of an empty storefront or property in Lakewood. We’ll provide a map, along with other information. In the comment section, users tell us what they’d like to see.

The City will pass along suggestions to the owner of the building or property. Who knows? Your suggestion could spark what ultimately ends up there.

The first edition of “What Should Go Here?” features a storefront that is familiar to many in the community. It’s the site of the former G.I. Joe’s location at Lakewood Towne Center, 5831 Main St. SW.

The building is located along 59th Avenue Southwest and is a short walk away from Towne Center’s busiest businesses, including AMC Lakewood Mall 12 Theater, Barnes & Noble and Burlington Coat Factory. It’s also across the street from Lakewood City Hall.

In one day, users offered more than 60 suggestions for the space on Facebook. Great job, everyone!


Facebook User Thanks Officer McGettigan

From the Lakewood Police Department's Facebook page :

We recently received the below email and picture from Lakewood citizen Tyler Whitemarsh:

"Last Wednesday (9/23) at roughly 0830, I was pulled over for speeding while trying to get to St Clare. I was on South Tacoma Way near 108th and the fire station. I was having difficulty breathing, numbness in left arm, etc. The officer that pulled me over was so wonderful. His actions directly impacted the fact that I am alive today to tell about it. I wish to convey my appreciation to that officer but, unfortunately, in all of the excitement, I forgot his name. Could you please find out who this was and pass my information to him? I owe him my life but will settle for shaking his hand and buying him a coffee."

When I got to the proper hospital and the heart x-ray was completed, they immediately hooked me up to a defibrillator as the cardiologist was surprised I was still alive. The officer’s actions were the difference between life and death and he needs to know how grateful I and my family are for his actions."

View entire post .

Pierce County CART Gets Department of Justice Accreditation

This week, the Lakewood Police Department received an official certificate from the Department of Justice that accredits the Pierce County Child Abduction Response Team (CART).

This is a major milestone that required plenty of effort to build the team and meet the stringent standards set forth by the DOJ. The team, of which the Lakewood Police Department is a member, is one of only 21 throughout the country who have been fully accredited.

Police Help FBI Recover Sexually Exploited Juveniles

(This comes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation)

This past week, two Child Exploitation Task Forces (CETFs) in Washington state recovered 3 juveniles and contacted 119 adults being victimized through prostitution. Some of the adult victims had been forced into engaging in prostitution since they were juveniles. The week-long local operations were part of Operation Cross Country IX (OCC9).

In Washington state, the CETFs recovered arrested 11 subjects suspected of commercially exploiting children and/or adults, and related crimes. Investigators also interviewed another 15 subjects suspected of being involved in facilitating prostitution. Interviews with subjects and adults engaged in prostitution provided significant leads toward identifying other juveniles that are being victimized through prostitution. The CETFs recovered cash, drugs, a gun, and several vehicles during the operations.

Operations took place October 6-10, 2015, and for the first time included the Washington cities of Issaquah, Pasco, Kennewick, Spokane, and Yakima. Operations also occurred in Everett, Kirkland, Lakewood, Port Orchard, and Seattle and throughout King, Kitsap, and Pierce Counties. Victims and the pimps travel throughout eastern and western Washington to work and do not necessarily reside in the area where they were located this week. Read more here .

Parks, Recreation and Community Services

"Inspiring Young Creators" Lego® Building Contest

Join the City of Lakewood’s “Inspiring Young Creators” Lego® Building Contest!

The contest is free and highlights the talents of our youth and showcases their creativity.

Children build the creations in their own home and bring them to Lakewood City Hall any time before Nov. 30.

Join as an individual or as a group and build with friends! Winners will be announced during the City of Lakewood Tree Lighting Ceremony, Dec. 4, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main St. SW.

Fabulous prizes for first- and second-place winners in each category:

  • Boy/Girl
  • Ages 6 years old to 9 years old and 10 years old to 14 years
  • Group categories.

Winning displays will be featured at the Tacoma Children’s Museum. Registration is open now through Nov. 10, 2015. Register today  or visit  .

The City is looking for donations of Lego® bricks for low-income children. Would you like to host a receptacle? Call Recreation Coordinator Sally Martinez at (253) 983-7758 or  .

City Council

The City Council will be holding a regular meeting on Monday, October 19, 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:

October 19, 2015 Regular Meeting

  • Business showcase – Mt. View Funeral Home
  • Presentation of the 2015-2016 Stormwater Pollution Prevention and Water Conservation Calendar.
  • Setting November 2, 2015 as public hearing on Transportation Benefit District assumption
  • Adopt City of Lakewood Vision statement.
  • Adopt 2015-2017 State Legislative Agenda, Legislative Policy Manual and Federal priorities.
  • Repeal LMC Sections 03.09.280 & .290 relative to Municipal Court Trust Fund Account & Section 125 Fund.
  • Adopt FY 2016 CDBG & HOME funding policies
  • Approve a community gathering place design and location at Ft. Steilacoom Park
  • Approve DSHS WSH Community Policing agreement

The City Council will be holding a study session on Monday, October 26, 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:


October 26, 2015 Study Session

  • Joint Lakewood’s Promise Advisory Board meeting
  • Municipal Court update
  • Review of Comprehensive Plan amendments (tentative)
  • Review of Habitat for Humanity amended agreement
  • Review of City of Fife jail services contract
  • 3rd Qtr. Police Report
  • Review of Sister Cities MOA