City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/28/08

March 28, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • PSE Gas Work: PSE gas will be working on Bridgeport Way over the next 3 to 4 weeks replacing their gas main from just north of 100th St to 112th St. They will be working at night from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am, starting this March 30th. The work will start at the north end and progress to the south.
  • Ellie Chambers hired as Economic Development Manager: Ellie Chambers has been appointed as the City's new economic development manager, to start on April 14th. She's been with the City of Puyallup for almost 4 years as the assistant to the city manager for economic development, and she's currently the president-elect of the Washington Economic Development Association (WEDA). She was previously with the Spokane-based Avista Corporation (formerly Washington Water Power Company) for 13 years, where she worked throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho in a variety of executive economic development positions. The position is a reclassification of the position formerly held by Joe Hannan who left to become the Mukilteo city administrator.
  • Springbrook Easter Egg Hunt: There was an Easter Egg Hunt for kids in the Springbrook Area. 77 baskets were given out, plus 20 bags of candy and other toys. About 80 children were present. Lakewood Lions members, Fire Department and the Kiwanis participated.
  • Cadet of the Year Award: Kevin Pressel, LPD's newest Community Service Officer, was presented with the Cadet of the Year Award at the Pierce County Awards Ceremony this week.
  • Political Demonstration in Tillicum: About 200 anti-war protesters rallied at Harry Todd Park on March 22nd and marched to Freedom Bridge, where they were met by about 100 counter-demonstrators. Incident command was led by LPD, and crowd control was coordinated with WSP, PCSD, WAARNG and TPD on stand-by. There was heavy media coverage, but no significant incidents occurred, and no use of force nor arrests. Swing-shift was called in early, and Dayshift was held over to handle the event.
  • Guilty verdicts in City cases: The Legal Department had two cases proceed to trial this month in Lakewood Municipal Court. Prosecutor Sean Parrent received a Guilty Verdict on a theft charge this week in a case involving a gate in the Wards Lake park area, after a two day trial with jury. Prosecutor Matt Kaser took a DUI charge to trial and also received a Guilty Verdict.
  • WA Municipal Clerks Association (WMCA) President: General Services Director/City Clerk Alice Bush was honored for her service as the 2007-08 WMCA President at the 38th Annual WMCA Conference in Wenatchee on March 18-21. She presided over a successful event with 166 attendees and over 25 vendors and sponsors. As the WMCA President, she also represented Washington at the regional conferences of the City Clerks Association of California and the British Columbia Local Government Management Association, as well as the 61st Annual Conference of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC).
  • American Lake Park Boat Launch Update: The American Lake Boat Launch Improvement Project is being completed in phases. The City divided the project into several phases to meet available budget. The first phase, the actual boat launch unit, is completed. The second phase involves the docks, piles and bulkhead repair, and Shoreside Marina is under contract to build the floats to be delivered and installed sometime in May. Another phase involves the removal of the house, business office, and hanger. The structures required asbestos abatement before demolition, which should occur in April. The improvements to the parking lot, storm water retention, staging lanes, site landscaping, lighting and new entry will start after the demolition is completed. Until the site is re-opened, the City recommends boaters use the State Fish and Wildlife's boat launch facility in Tillicum, near Camp Murray (this site does require a "vehicle use permit" that can be obtained online at www.fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov).
  • Victory Motel Demolished: Victory Motel located adjacent to Pacific Highway SW was demolished this week.
  • Domestic Violence Docket Innovation: The Legal Department in conjunction with the Municipal Court is working with the Center for Court Innovation to explore the implementation of a domestic violence specific docket. The Center is a non-profit think tank that helps courts and criminal justice agencies aid victims, reduce crime and improve public trust in justice. A core planning team from Lakewood will be visiting New York in May to observe nationally renowned domestic violence courts in action as part of the Center's technical assistance program. This team is comprised of Judge Ernest Heller, two Court staffmembers, and three representatives from Legal. Most of the site-visit's cost is funded by the Center, with federal funding support from the Office on Violence against Women.
  • Abatement Update: The code enforcement team issued abatement orders on three properties with dangerous buildings and significant public nuisances. The owners have 20 days to correct the violations, apply for building permits, or appeal the orders before the City can begin the process to hire contractors to complete the abatements. A request for bids was sent out for another previously-noticed dangerous building abatement. Because of potential asbestos contamination, the entire process is expected to take approximately 3 weeks. Owners of two other properties with very dangerous buildings have stepped up at the last minute and will apparently do their own abatements, freeing up staff to work on other properties.
  • Gateway Design Public Workshop: The City conducted a successful public workshop last week regarding a gateway design on North Bridgeport Way near the north city limits. Additional workshops will be conducted before Keep Lakewood Beautiful and the Arts Commission.
  • Supervisors Training: The City co-sponsored a supervisors training workshop with Pierce County this week, held at the Tacoma Community College campus. A number of city departments had staffmembers attend, and Dawn Avcular from HR assisted as a co-presenter.