City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 2/20/09

February 20, 2009
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • "Flunked" Event Draws Big Audience: The City jointly hosted a public viewing of the film "Flunked" with the Clover Park School District on February 18th. After viewing the 45-minute video, the audience of over 100 broke into six groups and brainstormed ways to improve academic performance. The ideas were captured and will be posted to both the CPSD and City websites within the next week or so. Next steps will be determined after reviewing consolidated comments in full.
  • SRO Review: The Clover Park school superintendent and her senior safety/security staff met with the city manager and police chief on February 20th for a mid-year review of the new structure of the School Resource Officer program. The program was restructured this year so that a larger pool of Lakewood officers participate on a volunteer basis as an extra-duty assignment. The school district is very pleased with better and more consistent coverage at both the high schools and middle schools, and supportive evaluation comments from school administrators. The new structure is leading to more positive contact between police officers and students on a regular basis. The program is working well for both the schools and the police.
  • AWC legislative conference: Councilmember Claudia Thomas, Gov't relations director Jeff Brewster, and the city manager attended the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) conference in Olympia on February 18th to discuss legislative strategies and the State's fiscal crisis. The city manager met with the Governor's point person on the federal stimulus funding to ascertain what categories of funding are in line for additional support and what the process will be for allocation. The largest category of stimulus funding for Washington State, other than Hanford clean-up, in for sewer and water.
  • City manager summarizes State of the City at Lakewood United: The city manager was the speaker this week at Lakewood United, and presented the new 2008 year-end report which will take the place of the Connections newsletter this edition. He covered the City's priorities in economic development and public safety, as well as the uncertainty of the economy and its Impact on the City.
  • Lakewood is involved in AWC executive director search: With the retirement of Stan Finkelstein as executive director of the Association of Washington Cities after 30+ years of service, a national executive recruitment search has been launched for his successor. Lakewood's city manager was appointed this week to serve on the selection panel, along with the AWC president, vice president, and secretary.
  • Bridgeport Way project TIB Grant at risk: The City received notice from the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) that due to the revenue short fall the $734,300 in grant funds for the City's Bridgeport Way Improvement project north of Steilacoom Blvd (to 83rd St) is at risk. TIB staff may be recommending rescinding the grant to the board on March 26th.
  • Lakewood Police participates in Auto Theft Prevention Operation: LPD's Property Crimes Unit, as part of a multi-agency auto theft prevention operation, was involved in the arrests of 10 people on February 19th from Seattle to Graham. These arrests conclude a 3-month investigation involving confidential informants, undercover officers and many stolen vehicles. Other agencies involved in this cooperative effort included, Washington State Patrol, Tacoma PD, Fife PD, Puyallup, PD, Pierce County Sheriff's Office, Pierce Transit and ICE (federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement). Over the last three months, 21 stolen cars and 5 stolen motorcycles have been recovered during this investigation. Many of the cars were stolen when owners left them running in their driveways on cold days.
  • Fort Lewis and Lakewood begin new Law Enforcement Liaison Program: The I Corps Commander on Fort Lewis and the Lakewood Police Department have begun a new Law Enforcement Liaison program. This program will have a senior NCO or junior officer from the Provost Marshal's office stationed at Lakewood PD five days a week. They will be there to provide assistance to our officers with any military personnel who may have some contact with law enforcement. The soldiers will be available to receive any properly-identified military personnel and handle transports and other related issues. The goal of the program is to help reduce soldier infractions, and foster positive community relations.
  • CSO participates in Child Identification Program at Pierce College: CSO Sandra Stauffer participated in the Child Identification Program held at Pierce College on February 10th. She fingerprinted 40 children while students in the criminal justice program completed the kits with a video of each child and a DNA sample.
  • LPIG Charity Fund Obtain Items for Assault Victim: The Lakewood Police Guild Charity Fund obtained a donated, brand new mattress and box spring set for a 6-year old sexual assault victim at the Sage Terrace apartments. Ideal Home Furnishings generously donated the mattress set, valued at close to $200. A large chunk of the child's mattress had been cut out for evidence and she had no replacement as the family has very limited resources. The Charity Fund bought an entire bedding/window valance set for her as well. The Charity Fund will be hosting a party for her 6th birthday, complete with presents, balloons, cake, and visits from some of our police officers.
  • Toxic Algae Bloom in Waughop Lake: The City received notice from Tacoma-Pierce County Health that there currently is a bloom of toxic algae in Waughop Lake. The Health Department states that toxic algae are easily identified by a green coloration to the water, where the water has the appearance of pea soup or green paint. The algae are the small dots in the water. Wind and weather conditions can change frequently, and the Health Department recommends following these precautions:
    • Keep children and pets away from areas that have a heavy concentration of algae
    • Do not swim or wade in areas that have a heavy concentration of algae
    • Do not fish in areas that have a heavy concentration of algae
    Ingesting the algae or prolonged contact with it may result in illness, such as muscle weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or nausea. If ingestion of water containing large amounts of algae is known or suspected, it is extremely important to seek immediate medical attention. The risk to pets is much greater than the risk to people, due to the smaller body sizes of pets and to a pet being more likely to drink water containing a heavy concentration of algae. If a pet does ingest a large amount of algae and is showing signs such as vomiting, lethargy, disorientation, or seizures, it should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible.