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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 8/31/2012

August 31, 2012
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

 

  • 3rd Annual Jr. Police Academy:  Community Safety & Resource Team (CSRT) members, along with the Lakewood Police and Lowes collaborated for the 3rd annual Jr. Police Academy on August 19th.  The academy’s purpose is to reach out to the community in an effort to provide a strong community partnership and also to provide an opportunity for children to interact with police officers.  The hands-on event began when each child received a passport to take from one activity booth to another. After completing the designated activity, they received a stamp of completion. Activities ranged from finger printing, obstacle course, meeting a K-9 officer, to completing the bicycle rodeo.   At the end of the event, the children were given a backpack with school supplies, and a bird house kit donated by Lowes as well as a certificate of completion from LPD and a bouncy house jump provided by the Parks Department.  About 95 people attended.
  • City hosts welcoming reception for new I Corps Commanding General: The City of Lakewood hosted a welcoming reception for LTG Robert B. Brown, the new I Corps Commanding General and senior leaders on Joint Base Lewis-McChord on August 27th at Lakewold Gardens.  At the reception, General Brown spoke about how the positive relationship with the Lakewood community and his commitment to ensure that the mutually beneficial relationship continues.
  • Quarterly employee recognition event: On August 29th, the quarterly employee recognition reception was combined with the annual employees’ picnic at Fort Steilacoom Park.  Awards for the guiding principle of Integrity were presented to Val Bonner, in Finance, for her diligent support of proper financial accounting and compliance as well as responsiveness to fellow employees, and also to Officer Mark Holthaus for his determined support of the in-car video camera program.
  • HR director is a speaker at the Chamber of Commerce Brown Bag Lunch Series:  Human Resources Director Debra Young was one of the featured speakers at the Lakewood Chamber Brown Bag Lunch Series.  The topic was related to employee relations. The presentation was well received. The audience appreciated material provided on coaching employees with clear expectations.
  • Ass’t city manager attends McNeil Island workshop:  Ass’t City Manager Dave Bugher attended a workshop sponsored by the State Office of Financial Management (OFM) regarding the future of McNeil Island on August 28th.  The Legislature directed OFM to prepare a report which is due to the Governor and Legislature by October 1, 2012.  The purpose of the report is threefold:  1) to consult with interested parties; 2) to collect information; and 3) to recommend a “planning process” from which to determine the long-term use of McNeil Island.  About 60 people were in attendance.  The McNeil Island Project Manager, Ann Sweeney, presented an overview.  Information was provided on the history of the underlying leases between the state and the federal government, and existing land use.  OFM staff accepted questions about the closure of the prison, the Special Commitment Center, status of existing infrastructure, the role of Indian Tribes, past eminent domain actions, historic and archeological resources, public access and recreation, and wildlife concerns. 
  • Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) Public Engagement Workshop:  The city manager attended a regional meeting hosted by the MCEC in SeaTac this week, along with several other steering committee members of the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership (CPSD Superintendent Debbie LeBeau, Health director Anthony Chen, and Adjutant General Bret Daugherty. The focus of the session was on strategies to strengthen the resiliency of children of active military families. In Pierce County alone, there are over 25,000 children affected by military service and deployment.  A key facilitator of the workshop was Patty Shinseki, the wife of retired General Eric Shinseki, the US secretary of veterans affairs.
  • CSRT attends Family Fun Day at Clover Park High School: Life Center South sponsored a Family Fun Day on August 25th at Clover Park High School from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  CSRT staff attended for a couple of hours, mixing with the hundreds of attendees, answering questions and promoting the CSRT.  There was a live band, free taco lunch, bouncy houses, and a variety of games and raffles. 
  • CSRT conducts safety presentation:  CSRT Staff Gail Conelly conducted a safety presentation for the residents of a local apartment complex in District 4 on August 23rd. The presentation focused on burglary and motor vehicle theft/prowl prevention, as well as general safety tips. There will be a follow up site inspection with the management team of the apartment complex to offer recommendations for improved safety overall.

Lakewood Ford Celebrates 5 Years in Lakewood

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (August 7, 2012) — Lakewood Ford recently celebrated its 5-year anniversary since opening the doors of the new dealership along Pacific Highway SW in the City of Lakewood. Having been in business since 1977, general manager Henry Krebs, is marking the anniversary as a chance to say thank you to the community and to plan for further growth. The exact date of the Lakewood Ford grand opening was July 22, 2007.

Previously located in South Tacoma, the dealership relocated in search of a business-friendly and growing city. As the first new car dealership in Lakewood, reasons for choosing Lakewood included location and demographics. The dealership site is right along I-5 and serves both a military population as well as a growing community.

“Lakewood is a young and evolving city,” said Krebs. “We are excited to be at the leading edge of it.”

According to Krebs, the city and the community at-large have been supportive of the business. Lakewood Ford currently employs 90 people in sales, administration, service and parts roles, adding that the team sells the Ford brand line-up because of the automaker’s quality and innovation. 

“We are proud to have businesses like Lakewood Ford in our city,” notes Ellie Chambers-Grady, economic development manager for the City of Lakewood. “Henry and his team embody the entrepreneurial spirit that is the hallmark of our economic development landscape. We are all eager to see Lakewood Ford and other businesses succeed, and we are looking for ways to support them.”  

Lakewood Ford is one of over 3,400 licensed businesses in the city. New businesses are coming on line each month in a variety of industries. Chambers-Grady indicates that she has seen a pick-up in significant entrepreneurial energy, “It’s exciting to see many of our businesses doing well and expanding.”

Krebs also attributes the business’ success to giving back through charitable support every month. Lakewood Ford maintains numerous philanthropic commitments with Joint Base Lewis-McChord such as sponsoring veterans groups, softball teams and charitable golf tournaments. Lakewood Ford also does a lot of charitable giving off the base like sponsoring the Lakewood Rotary, local Little League teams and the Relay for Life, which raises money to the American Cancer Society.

About Lakewood, Washington

Lakewood is the second largest city in Pierce County and the eighteenth largest in Washington. It is strategically located between Sea-Tac International Airport and Olympia, the state’s capital. The city is home to 60,000 residents and nearly 3,200 businesses. Lakewood also is the host community to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Camp Murray, two major military installations. In 2011, Lakewood was named one of the nation’s One Hundred Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance for the fifth year. In addition to vibrant residential and business communities, the city offers a myriad of recreational opportunities for residents and tourists. These include: five lakes offering water skiing, rowing, and fishing; four golf courses; Fort Steilacoom Park, and Lakewold Gardens, to name a few.  The city also is the gateway to: Chambers Bay Golf Course, selected as home to the 2015 U.S. Open; Mt. Rainier National Park; and Puget Sound waterways and islands.

New Subscription Model Increases Number of Golfers at Oakbrook Golf Course

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (July 16, 2012) – The new ownership group of the Oakbrook Golf Course in Lakewood, Wash. is using a non-traditional and pioneering business model to secure the golf course’s financial future and entice more golfers to walk the greens. The once private golf club has switched from an expensive membership model to annual subscriptions at significantly lower prices. Since introducing the model at the beginning of the year, the number of golfers at Oakbrook has increased more than 420 percent.

RMG Golf Course Management LLC (RMG) bought Oakbrook in late 2011 and the ownership team immediately began to implement the subscription model. Between January and May of this year, the roster of golfers grew from 124 memberships to 650 subscriptions, and the sign up rate has not slowed down. The ownership of RMG includes Puyallup-born professional golfer Ryan Moore and his father, Michael Moore, as well as 12 other partners. The senior Moore is the CEO of RMG. His younger son Jason Moore is the vice president of marketing.

The City of Lakewood Economic Development Manager, Ellie Chambers-Grady, knows the change at Oakbrook is a huge benefit to the area and to the neighbors. “Everyone loves a turnaround story during challenging economic times,” she adds. “The city always welcomes businesses who help us improve our infrastructure. We need them to grow our local economy. It is also nice to have another neighborhood restaurant nearby.”

The subscription model was a reaction by the partners in RMG to the real-world barriers of playing golf, such as cost of play per round, the amount of time required for a game and the difficulty of learning the sport. Moore knows that the subscription model takes away the first barrier. He also believes the upgraded course conditions, as well as the availability of encouraging instructors and a variety of lessons offerings will remove the final two barriers.

Encouraging more women to take up the sport is another motivating factor. “Golf on private courses is a broken business model, because of limited access. The stigma that golf is a sport for men doesn’t help either,” notes Ryan Moore who travels the country and internationally, playing on up to 40 of the best courses known to golfers each year. “I want everyone to enjoy the sport that I love and I want them to feel welcome on our courses, and I do mean everyone.”

There are three levels of unlimited golf at Oakbrook: Club level at $49 per month; Premier at $119; and All Access at $179. Subscribers can add low-cost package upgrades for spouses or children. These prices are in sharp contrast to the previous monthly fee of over $400 and an additional $800 in annual expenses that Oakbrook members paid when the course was private. Each of the three subscription

options have different ranges of times that golfers can access the course. Subscribers can easily sign-up for tee-times online. The “private club” amenities are available with all packages including unlimited driving-range balls, access to the recently remodeled restaurant and bar, locker rooms and tee-time booking.

According to Chief Operating Officer of RMG, Shawn Cucciardi, the company’s mission is to make world-class golf accessible to everyone and to enhance the variety of people who are playing. “We now have members young and old playing,” adds Cucciardi. “This is exactly what we wanted to achieve and is a true reflection of the Lakewood community. The difference between the previous membership roster and the current subscription roster speaks volumes about our approach."

The RMG ownership selected Oakbrook because of the proximity of the course to the two other courses that they manage: The Classic and McCormick Woods. The demographics in Lakewood were a bonus. “We knew that Lakewood had the perfect customer base for our endeavor and we wanted to test it in a community that was interested in new ideas,” added the senior Moore.

The Moores and their partners have made a significant financial commitment towards upgrading the course and facilities. Due to dwindling revenues, the course was not in its best shape when the ownership exchange occurred. To-date, they have restored the greens to their legendary smooth and speedy pace and have attacked organic issues in the fairways by ‘punching and sanding’ and fertilizing to improve overall turf health. Additional improvements include grooming of the bunkers and the addition of more sand, which has made them very ‘playable’ hazards.

The experience at the Oakhouse, the golf course’s restaurant and bar, has also been completely overhauled. The interior updates now make the space family and golfer friendly. The menu is more robust with Northwest fare from steak, burgers, salads and pasta to a full gluten-free menu. Cucciardi believes that “the “come-as-you-are” mood is drawing new diners, as the number of guests has grown beyond initial expectations since welcoming in the public.

About Lakewood, Washington

Lakewood is the second largest city in Pierce County and the eighteenth largest in Washington. It is strategically located between Sea-Tac International Airport and Olympia, the state’s capital. The city is home to 60,000 residents and nearly 3,200 businesses. Lakewood also is the host community to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Camp Murray, two major military installations. In 2011, Lakewood was named one of the nation’s One Hundred Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance for the fifth year. In addition to vibrant residential and business communities, the city offers a myriad of recreational opportunities for residents and tourists. These include: five lakes offering water skiing, rowing, and fishing; four golf courses; Fort Steilacoom Park, and Lakewold Gardens, to name a few.  The city also is the gateway to: Chambers Bay Golf Course, selected as home to the 2015 U.S. Open; Mt. Rainier National Park; and Puget Sound waterways and islands.

Oakhouse Redesign Creates Inviting Restaurant and Bar in Lakewood

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (August 7, 2012) – After reopening this spring with a lively new environment and fresh kitchen items, the Oakhouse Restaurant is enjoying a diversity of new patrons. Located next to the Oakbrook Golf Course in Lakewood, the redesigned “come-as-you-are” restaurant and bar is open to the public.  RMG Golf Course Management LLC (RMG) implemented the redesign and complete remodel after the partnership purchased the location in 2011.

“We’ve created the perfect location for grabbing a drink with friends or a tasty meal for families,” said Jason Moore, vice president of marketing for RMG. “It’s not just for golfers anymore. Anyone can come and enjoy the view of the golf course while eating a hamburger with a beer.”

According to Moore, interior updates are bringing new reasons to enjoy the picturesque views of the golf course from the large windows in the restaurant and bar. The upgrades include polished concrete flooring, new booths and seating arrangements, upgraded lighting, modern finishes and multiple flat-screen televisions. The kitchen and the menu have also benefited from a new perspective.

“Our focus is on fresh ingredients and quality Northwest menu options for any time of the day,” noted Brian Tholen, head chef of the restaurant. “We are especially excited about the full gluten-free menu.”

The more robust menu includes fare from steak, burgers, sandwiches, pizza, seafood, salads and pasta. Gluten-free choices range from pacific salmon to spaghetti pomodoro, plus gluten-free pasta on the children’s menu. The Oakhouse bar has new beverage choices, such as the Godiva Chocolate Orange martini, Oakhouse Rita spirit or Lakeside Splash. The restaurant currently has a four-star rating on Yelp

The Oakhouse Restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. M-Th, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sat and 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sun and is located at 8102 Zircon Drive in Lakewood, Washington. More information about the Oakhouse is available by calling (253) 584-8888.

About Lakewood, Washington

Lakewood is the second largest city in Pierce County and the eighteenth largest in Washington. It is strategically located between Sea-Tac International Airport and Olympia, the state’s capital. The city is home to 60,000 residents and nearly 3,200 businesses. Lakewood also is the host community to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Camp Murray, two major military installations. In 2011, Lakewood was named one of the nation’s One Hundred Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance for the fifth year. In addition to vibrant residential and business communities, the city offers a myriad of recreational opportunities for residents and tourists. These include: five lakes offering water skiing, rowing, and fishing; four golf courses; Fort Steilacoom Park, and Lakewold Gardens, to name a few.  The city also is the gateway to Chambers Bay Golf Course, selected as home to the 2015 U.S. Open; Mt. Rainier National Park; and Puget Sound waterways and islands.

Heat Advisory and Cooling Stations

The National Weather Service has announced an excessive heat watch for this Thursday and Friday, with temperatures that will rise into the low to mid 90s. When outside temperatures are very high, the danger for heat-related illnesses rises. Older adults, young children, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at particularly high risk.

The following tips are recommended so you and your community can stay cool and safe:

Stay cool

  • Spend more time in air conditioned places. If you don't have air conditioning, consider visiting a mall, movie theater or other cool public places.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun.
  • Dress in lightweight clothing.
  • Check up on your elderly neighbors and relatives and encourage them to take these precautions too.

Drink liquids

  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and large amounts of sugar because they can actually dehydrate your body.
  • Have a beverage with you as much as possible, and sip or drink frequently. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink.

If you go outside

  • Limit the time you're in direct sunlight.
  • Do not leave infants, children, people with mobility challenges and pets in a parked car, even with the window rolled down.
  • Avoid or reduce doing activities that are tiring, or take a lot of energy.
  • Do outdoor activities in the cooler morning and evening hours.
  • Avoid sunburn. Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.

Water safety

Some people turn to local rivers to cool off, but drowning is a real concern. Please use caution and wear a personal flotation device (PFD) on the water. And if you want to swim, choose a safer location—visit a local pool or lifeguarded beach instead.

Cooling Centers for Thursday and Friday:

  • Local Pierce County Library (www.piercecountylibrary.org/branches/branch-listing.htm)
  • Sprinkler Recreation Center, 14824 S C St, Spanaway/Parkland, 5:30 am-10:00 pm
  • South Hill Mall, 3500 S. Meridian, 10:00 am-9:00 pm
  • Anderson Island Fire Department, 12207 Lake Josephine Blvd, 8:00 am-4:00 pm
  • Fife Community Center, 2111 54th Ave E, 8:30 am-5:00 pm
  • City of Buckley Multi Purpose Center, 811 E Main, 8:00 am-5:00 pm Thursday, 8:00 am-4:00 pm Friday
  • Mid County Community Center, 10205 44th Ave E, Tacoma, 8:30 am-4:00 pm Thursday (closed Friday)
  • Steilacoom Community Center, 2301 Worthington St, 9:00 am-8:00 pm Thursday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm Friday
  • Bonney Lake Senior Center, 19304 Bonney Lk Blvd, 8am-4pm Thursday and Friday
  • Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main St. SW, 8:30am-5pm Thursday and Friday
  • Chapel Hill Church, 7700 Skansie Ave, Gig Harbor, 9:00 am-10:00 pm Thursday, closed Friday

(Information Provided by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department)