City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/2/10

April 2, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Lakewood to Recognize Vietnam Veterans: During the next regular council meeting, Monday April 5th at 7pm at City Hall, the City Council will proclaim April 2010 as "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Month." All Vietnam veterans and friends of Vietnam veterans from Lakewood and beyond are encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be served after the proclamation.
  • Springbrook Neighborhood Association: The "Pacific Neighborhood Association" elected new leadership and renamed itself the "Springbrook Neighborhood Association." The new officers are primarily apartment managers in Springbrook. Mr. Charles Ames was elected as the president. The association will continue to meet every fifth Tuesday (which is quarterly) at 6:30pm. The association also decided to change the meeting location to Springbrook (from Ponders) and the next meeting will be held on June 29th and will hosted by the Garden Park Apartments at 12874 Lincoln Ave SW. Community Service Officer Gail Conelly is the City's liaison to the Springbrook neighborhood and the area surrounding Pacific Highway. Those residents and business surrounding Pacific Highway are encouraged to attend and participate.
  • Police Catch Purse Snatchers: On March 25th, Investigator Shirley McLamore and Officer Karen Herritt caught up with the duo that were snatching purses from grocery carts and then immediately using the credit cards (sometimes in the same grocery store where they took the purse while the victim was still shopping). Karen noticed that one of the subjects suddenly showed in a surveillance photo that he had a cast on his arm. She left a flier at St. Clare and within a day or two they had the names of the two suspects, a male and female. The officers served a search warrant on one suspect's residence and the suspects were located that afternoon spending some of their hard-earned proceeds. The female ringleader was booked for multiple counts of theft and forgery. The two officers did a great job and worked tirelessly on this case. This resolves probably 10+ purse snatchings with corresponding frauds committed on the victims' credit cards.
  • Oakland PD presents handmade quilt to LPD: Employees both current and retired, as well as their spouses, of Oakland (California) PD came to the Lakewood Police Department on Thursday March 25th at 2:00 p.m. to present Chief Farrar with a handmade quilt they had created which honored our four fallen officers. The quilt is so full of personal detail for each officer that it is truly memorable; we will be putting the quilt up for display once we have a way to keep it safe from admiring fingers. It is important to note as well that Oakland was commemorating the one year anniversary of the death of four of their officers (EOW March 21, 2009), so it was an especially emotional and moving tribute.
  • CSRT's Abatement and Clean-up at Fir Acres Mobile Home Park: In what was the City's largest and most complex abatement action, CSRT staff completed a dangerous building and public nuisance cleanup at the Fir Acres Mobile Home Park. A 2009 inspection of the property revealed significant deterioration of the structures, electrical system, and the property in general. There were numerous abandoned and vandalized mobile homes, dilapidated and dangerous structures, and an old meth lab that had not been cleaned up. The owners, managers, and investors proved unable and/or unwilling to take action to correct the conditions or sell the property. The abatement involved removal of 11 mobile homes (including the meth-contaminated unit) and 13 other structures, at a cost of approximately $80,000, and was done carefully so as to minimize disruption and not displace any residents. Staff worked with on-site management, residents, and their attorney, to provide information, address concerns, and identify and address residents and non-residents who were involved in illegal and nuisance activity on the property. A second abatement phase, which would have involved removal of additional vacant and dilapidated mobile homes and structures, and stabilization of the electrical system, is on hold as there is a sale of the property pending. Staff from the City and partner agencies are working with the prospective purchaser to establish agreements to reimburse the City for the abatement expenses and an operational plan to address the remaining code violations on the property in a timely manner. The City remains prepared to proceed with additional abatement action if the sale is not completed or the purchaser fails to correct the code violations.
  • Lakewood receives Federal CDBG and HOME Allocations. For fiscal year 2010, Lakewood will receive $691,806 in CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) and $451,333 in HOME (housing) allocations. This year's CDBG allocation is $50,000 more than the previous fiscal year. Since Lakewood is part of a HOME consortium with Tacoma, we receive 22.2% of their allocation; the 2010 Lakewood HOME allocation is about the same as last year's.
  • KLAY Talk Radio. The city manager was the guest on the Mike Lonergan radio show on Lakewood's KLAY radio station on April 2nd. The subjects included the newly awarded Police Department accreditation and Lakewood's economic challenges.
  • Northwest Regional City Managers Conference: The city manager attended the annual conference of city managers from Washington and Oregon this week in Welches OR, with about 140 participants. The theme was about "Surviving in a Difficult Economic Climate", with workshops on economic outlook for the Northwest, redesigning workplace processes, jump starting the local economy, and customer service in an anti-government age.
  • Governor Signs Bills at Lakewood Police Station: On March 31st, Governor Christine Gregoire signed bills into law at the Lakewood Police Station. One of the bills was HB 2519 relating to duty-related death benefits for public safety employees. There were about 300-400 people in attendance.