City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 2/19/10

February 19, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Lakewood city manager elected ICMA West Coast Regional VP: The International City Management Association (ICMA) office in Washington DC announced this week the election results for its new executive board. Andrew Neiditz was elected to a three-year term as West Coast Regional Vice President. There were 1,706 ballots received; ICMA has about 4,800 full (voting) members and total membership of about 9,000. Neiditz had been nominated by the board of the Washington State association (WCMA), of which he had been president two years ago. ICMA is the professional and educational organization for chief appointed managers and administrators in local governments around the world. Since 1914, ICMA has provided technical and management assistance, training, and educational resources to its members and the local government community.
  • WSDOT meets with city staff regarding Pt Defiance Bypass Project: The WSDOT secretary's chief of staff, the WSDOT regional administrator, and their senior Rail staff met this week with the Lakewood city manager and senior city staff regarding the Amtrak proposal. Discussion centered on next steps for improved public education and outreach, as well as the upcoming role of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) to review the crossings to be impacted by the proposed Amtrak service. UTC has authority over all crossings, and the City's concern about mitigation (to include grade-separation where appropriate) would be addressed by UTC. The City expressed its opposition to the project as it's currently proposed.
  • Pacific Highway/Ponders temporary closure on March 1st: Public Works delivered letters this week to about 55 business and property owners in the Pac Highway/Ponders area regarding the full two-week closure of the railroad overpass just north of Gravelly Lake Drive, starting on March 1st. The only alternative would have been to partially close the bridge for 4-5 weeks, with one open lane and 24-hour flagging (with a few days of full closure). The Fire Department and a number of businesses agreed that a shorter-term full closure was preferable to the lengthier delays. Detour signage and maps will be posted, and access to all businesses will be available from the Bridgeport end of the road.
  • Senior Activity Center celebrated Valentine's Day with a Red Hot party: The room was filled on February 11th with over 60 people dressed in red and pink for the festive occasion. The Lakewood Senior Activity Center celebrated with friends, enjoyed heart-healthy snacks and had the opportunity to listen to an excellent presentation by Bob Riler from Pierce County Aging and Long Term Care. The afternoon was filled with entertainment, good friends and great food.
  • EDB Strategic Planning: The plan for financial support of the Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board (EDB) over the next five years is underway, and the city manager participated in a survey meeting this week to assess the organization's performance for its public sector partners as well as our future requirements for recruitment, business retention, and marketing. Site selectors, investors, corporate real estate executives, and the companies they represent use the EDB for expertise and resources as they review business options in the Pierce County area. The EDB is a private-public partnership, with support from public agencies including the Port of Tacoma, Pierce County, and the cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, Gig Harbor, Fife, and Lakewood.