City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 1/23/09

January 23, 2009
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • 6th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration: The City of Lakewood held its 6th annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Saturday, January 17th at the Sharon McGavick Student Learning Center. Over 300 people attended this year's event which included presentations by dance groups, choirs and speakers celebrating the spirit of Dr. King.
  • Student Art Exhibit at M.L. King Jr. Celebration: The Lakewood Arts Commission in partnership with the Clover Park School District coordinated a display of student artwork at the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration at the McGavick Student Center. The artwork reflected the theme of "Bringing the Dream to Life" and consisted of nearly 100 individual pieces of art from Evergreen and Carter Lake elementary schools, and Lochburn Middle School. The display has been moved to the Council Chamber foyer and is available for viewing through January 27.
  • Bridgeport Way Roadway Improvements - 59th AVE SW to Steilacoom BLVD SW Traffic Impacts: Beginning the week of January 26th the contractor will begin installing underground utilities. The work includes trenching along side the roadway and across the roadway in several locations. Work involving trenching across the roadway near major intersections will be conducted during night time hours (7:00 PM to 5:00 AM). During daytime hours, the contractor will continue with demolition. Qwest and Lakewood Water will begin relocating their respective facilities. During night time operations, the contractor with the assistance of Lakewood Police will be placing affected signals in "flash" mode. Traffic may be limited to one lane during the course of night time work. All lanes will be re-opened at 5:00 AM. During daytime operations traffic may be limited to one-lane in each direction for up to two blocks at a time.
  • City Attorney speaks at Lakewood United: On January 22nd, City Attorney Heidi Ann Wachter spoke at the monthly Lakewood United Meeting. The presentation provided an overview of the duties performed by the Legal Department of the City and the many facets of being a City Attorney.
  • Mayor, City Manager and Staff attend Pierce County Library System's Community Leader Advisory Group: Several City representatives participated in a meeting of the Pierce County Library System's (PCLS) Community Leader Advisory Group on January 22nd. The PCLS is undertaking a master plan called Pierce County Library 2030 to identify needed upgrades, facilities, services and equipment at libraries countywide. The advisory group was called upon for perspectives about future library needs in general, and more specifically local needs. A number of different cities' elected officials and staff, community organizations, and businesses were represented. Over the next couple of weeks, PCLS will be holding open houses to gather ideas from the public as well. The Lakewood sessions are scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 29 at the Lakewood library, 6300 Wildaire Rd. SW; and Tuesday, February 10, at the Tillicum Community Center, 14916 Washington Avenue SW. Both sessions will run from 6:30-8pm. For more information, contact Lorne Erickson at (253) 536-6500 x 138.
  • Lakewood Police Dept hosts Pierce County Regional DUI Task Force: On the night of Saturday the 17th, the Lakewood Police Department hosted the Pierce County Regional DUI Task Force. Twenty-eight police officers and deputies from eight different agencies participated in the seven hour emphasis that removed sixteen drunk drivers from the streets of Lakewood. The task force participants made over 250 traffic stops for a variety of violations that led to many arrests in addition to the DUI drivers; including the arrest of an armed robber who had just beaten a gas station cashier and was running out of the business carrying the cash drawer when he was spotted by a Sumner police officer working the emphasis.
  • Non-Motorized Transportation Plan Special Joint Meeting Scheduled: The City's draft Non-Motorized Transportation Plan (NMTP) will be presented at a special joint meeting of the Planning Advisory Board, Citizens Transportation Advisory Board, and Parks and Recreation Advisory Board on Tuesday, January 27th. The meeting, which begins at 5:30pm in the Council Chambers, will include an informal public comment period. The NMTP is required by law to integrate forms of transportation other than motor vehicles - bicycles and pedestrians - into the City's infrastructure. A formal public hearing will be held at a later date.
  • Emergency Shelters Activated during Flood: The Parks and Recreation Department was called upon to activate an emergency shelter facility during the January 7th flood incident. It was anticipated that Lakewood might be called upon to accept up to 1,500 displaced residents from Puyallup and Fife. Contact was made with four of the City's sheltering partners and a decision made to open an initial shelter at First Baptist Church of Lakewood and to hold the other sites in a stand-by mode with volunteers on-call in case they were needed. Within 1 ½ hours of the initial contact, Parks and Recreation staff and volunteers were at the site with all of the materials necessary to accommodate up to 100 people. Registration packets, cots, blankets, food, water and signage were all in place and we opened the shelter at 6:00 p.m. Parks staff, on-duty police and 20 church volunteers kept the shelter open all night. A total of 95 church member volunteer hours were involved in coordinating this sheltering response. Though the facility was not needed to serve evacuees, the call-out provided great training and allowed all involved to see that the City's sheltering system as developed over the past two years worked exactly as it was designed to do.
  • Lakewood Animal Rescue And Enforcement Rescues Horses: On January 17th, Lakewood Animal Rescue and Enforcement, along with Hope for Horses (an equine rescue organization located in Woodinville), took custody of a Miniature Stallion and Hinney (Horse/Donkey mix), from a Lakewood resident. The resident has had a string of bad luck in the past few years to include a fire that destroyed his home. Due to financial difficulties, he is now not able to properly care for the animals and asked for our help. These two animals had been living in a very small enclosure but will now live a comfortable, new life in greener pastures.
  • City of Lakewood awarded Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) Grant: The City was awarded a $500,000 Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) planning assistance grant on January 15th. The City, in partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation, Ft. Lewis, McChord AFB and other stakeholders, will coordinate the 18 month project. During this timeframe, the study will evaluate which strategies hold the most promise for reducing traffic congestion adjacent to the bases on the I-5 corridor. The City and other stakeholder groups are also in the early stages of forming a Ft. Lewis & McChord AFB Growth Coordination Committee that will evaluate other growth impacts to the region, including education, affordable housing, emergency services, and workforce development.
  • Attorney General's Office Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence: Ann-Marie Evans, Victim Advocate, serves as a member on the Attorney General's Office Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence. At a recent meeting legislation was proposed to establish a new sentencing grid for repeat offenders. The new grid would count misdemeanor convictions when establishing sentencing of felony offenders. As a result, repeat domestic violence offenders would serve more appropriate sentences than they currently do. The bill will be presented this session.
  • Metro SWAT Team Holds Award Ceremony: Out of 23 members, LPD Officer Vince Sivankeo shared two honors with another SWAT member: Top Handgun award and Overall Firearms award. Vince's average point loss for the year was 0.75 points for handgun and 1.75 when combined between handgun and long gun. The standard SWAT qualification course for handgun is a 50 point system, with a mandatory 90% and 0 misses for passing. The standard SWAT qualification course for long gun is a 196 point system, with a mandatory 95% and 0 misses for passing.
  • City staff participates in Greater Lakes Mental Healthcare "Adopt- A- Family" Program For the Christmas holidays: Employees from every department (16 individuals as well as Courts and HR, Finance and General Services) donated their time, energy, money and good will toward making the holidays a little brighter for five families in Lakewood. Not only did they shop for those special gifts requested by each person, they wrapped them with extra care and had them ready for pick up early on the appointed day. Staff and volunteers at Greater Lakes were pleased with the combined efforts of the City and PD staff.
  • No Passport applications January 26th To February 3rd: Due to staffing constraints, the City of Lakewood will be unable to accept passport applications from January 26 to February 3, 2009. Citizens are encouraged to bring applications in before the 26th if they will need a passport soon. Passports are also available at the Pierce County Annex, 2401 S 35th St, Tacoma, or at the Lakewood Post Office at Bridgeport and 100th.
  • Council adopts Resolution for EB-5 Regional Center: The City Council adopted a resolution approving the designation for an EB-5 Regional Center in Lakewood, and authorized the City Manager to take necessary steps to gain federal recognition and approval of this EB-5 Regional Center. Implementation of the EB-5 program is anticipated to grow economic development, redevelopment, and provide economic growth, new tax base, and jobs to Lakewood.