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City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 8/15/08

August 15, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Code Enforcement Records Update: As of today, there have been a total of 232 records entered for 2008, of which 73 have been closed, 52 are active, and 107 are pending. 23 cases have been closed in the past week.
  • Abatement Update: Abatement contracts were signed this week for demolition of two burned houses. Asbestos surveys preparatory to demolition are expected to begin next week, with demolitions expected to begin approximately two weeks thereafter. Abatement of another burned-out house was completed by the property owner. In the City’s first appeal of a dangerous building abatement order, the hearing examiner upheld the City’s action. The owner subsequently expressed his intent to work with the City and comply with the order. There are currently 20 active abatement cases and at least seven additional cases pending. Staff expects to issue abatement orders in at least two of the pending cases within the next week.
  • Lakewood Volunteer Observation Patrol Recruitment: The new Lakewood Volunteer Observation Patrol (LVOP) has begun citizen recruitment. This grass-roots citizen-designed and operated “mobile block watch” has successfully become a non-profit organization, obtained liability insurance, and begun monthly training sessions with Lakewood Police. These concerned neighbors want to support local law enforcement efforts by being the “eyes & ears” of the LPD. They patrol their neighborhoods in personally owned vehicles and look for signs of ongoing crime and blight, which they report to police or other City departments as needed. Volunteers do not carry weapons, and do not involve themselves directly in police actions. They serve as early warning, and they make good eyewitnesses in cases of emergent crimes. Training provided by the Lakewood Police consists, in part, of Suspect Identification, Vehicle Identification, Gang and general crime awareness, How to Work With Police and 911, and other aspects of observation/evaluation/reporting of criminal or suspicious activity in their neighborhoods. They are not trained in defensive tactics or surveillance, or any other ‘police-type’ activity, and do not wear uniforms, carry badges or weapons; they are not police or City employees or agents. Interested persons are asked to contact the LVOP President Carol Hudgins at (253) 584-5905.
  • Exceptional Homicide Sentence: Thanks to excellent police work by LPD, a homicide of a 3-month old child that occurred in July 2007 at the Kelly Court Apartments has resulted in a conviction and an exceptional sentence of 50 years in Superior Court last week. Francisco Sao was charged with killing his 3-month-old son. Sao stood trial and was convicted on all counts, Murder 2nd degree, Harassment, and Tampering. The jury returned special verdicts as it pertained to the vulnerability of the infant and threats to kill that Sao had made while on the run. The good work that was conducted by LPD Patrol and Investigations made an impact with the jury and made their decision that much easier.
  • LPD sponsors Special Olympics Golf Tournament: The Special Olympics Golf Tournament was held on August 8th and was a huge success. Over 56 golfers showed up to swing their way around the Lakewood Meadows Golf Course. There was some specific interest in the 2009 Ford Flex (donated by Lakewood Ford) being given away at hole 4- if you were able to shoot a hole in one. Unfortunately no one was able to make that shot for the second year in a row and the Ford Flex was taken back to the lot. Over $10,000 was raised for the Special Olympics and Lakewood PD had yet another successful event for this important cause. Coincidentally, the Lakewood Ford team won the tournament.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 8/8/08

August 8, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • National Night Out a Success: There were more than 40 National Night Out events in the City of Lakewood on August 5th. Ambassadors from Lakewood's Promise, Kids at Hope, Communities in Schools of Lakewood, and Caring for Kids joined staff and volunteers from the Police Department, Lakewood Fire Department, and the State Department of Corrections for another successful neighborhood-based event. This year's theme was "Keeping Kids Safe."
  • Building Permit Activity:

    Number of Building Permits Applied For

    Number of Building Permits Issued

    July 2007
    July 2008
  • Land Use Permit Activity:

    Number of Planning Permits Applied For

    Number of Planning Permits Approved

    July 2007
    July 2008
  • Building Valuation Totals:

    New Permit Valuation 2008

  • Code enforcement update: As of August 8th, there have been a total of 227 code enforcement records entered for 2008. Of these, 50 have been closed, 55 are active, and 122 are pending. Code enforcement division staff and the assistant city attorney made a presentation at "Coffee with the Mayor" regarding the City's abatement program.
  • Transition to 800 MHZ: The Lakewood Police Department transitioned from their old VHF radio system to a new 800 MHZ System on Sunday August 3rd. The benefits of the new system include clearer, encrypted transmissions and none of the "dead" spots in the city where the officers' previous portable radios would not work. That was a frustrating and dangerous problem with the old system. The reviews for the new system by the officers on the street have been overwhelmingly positive since the transition. This is a major step forward in the public safety goal of interoperability.
  • Paint Lakewood Beautiful: City of Lakewood employees partnered with The Little Church on the Prairie this year to participate in the annual Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful project. It was a tremendous success with 17 City employees volunteering over 88 hours to prepare and paint a home in Lakewood. We received a thank you card from the very happy home owner. The staff volunteers included Debra Young, John Howard, Sharbra Scott, Stori Sanders, Dawn McGinnis, Livia Rodriguez, Mike Zaro, Nicole Revuelto (HR Volunteer), Choi Halladay, Tes Ongoco, Mary Dodsworth, Julie Skaw, Steve Mauer, Gail Connelly, and Melissa Wagner; and councilmembers Helen McGovern and Pad Finnigan.
  • Lakewood explorers at Emerald Downs and SeaFair: Chief Farrar received a letter from the Director of Security at Emerald Downs thanking him for the help received from our Explorers at their 4th of July annual fireworks display. The Explorers assisted the Emerald Downs Security Department with traffic and crowd control of over 20,000 people. In his letter, they stated that the event was accomplished "without injury or damage to either vehicles or pedestrians and egress went more smoothly and quickly than has happened since this event first began," and were so impressed with the Explorers that they generously donated $350 to the program. At SeaFair, the LPD Explorers assisted Seattle Police Department with security all weekend, and were credited with assisting a five-month pregnant woman to the medical station after she starting having complications. The event was a great success and provided excellent experience for the Explorers who were praised as behaving in an extremely professional manner.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 7/25/08

July 25, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Chip Sealing Program Cancelled: This year's road chip sealing program which was to include approximately 14.1 miles of local access streets primarily located between S. Tacoma Way on the west and I-5 on the east; and 83rd St on the north and 96th St on the south has been cancelled since the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes just officially announced that they will no longer produce liquid asphalt. Tesoro was the major manufacturer of liquid asphalt to the region and the source of liquid asphalt to Pierce County, our streets maintenance contractor, who has now suspended its program for this year. There is now only one manufacturer (US Oil) for the region remaining and their supplies for this year have already been allocated.
  • Initiative Update: The City received notification on July 22nd from the Pierce County Auditor that it had validated less than 3000 of the required 3707 signatures on the initiative seeking to ban mini-casinos in Lakewood. Staff immediately relayed this information to the "Save Lakewood" group. Petition signers must be registered voters in Lakewood. The petitioners have an additional ten days to obtain the required signatures; the new deadline is August 1st.
  • AWC Board Retreat: The city manager participated this week in the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) board retreat to refine the legislative strategies for both the upcoming state session as well as federal relations. The 21 AWC board members direct the association's approach to representing the 281 cities and towns in Washington State.
  • 4-2 SBCT Recognition: Lakewood's "Community Connection" to Fort Lewis, the 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, returned to Ft. Lewis in June after 15 months in Iraq. The City will recognize the brigade at its regular Council meeting on August 4th at 7 p.m. Brigade commander Colonel Jon Lehr will provide an overview of the brigade's deployment. The public is encouraged to attend.
  • Historic Preservation Grant: Dan Penrose of the Community Development Department, who provides staff support to the Landmarks & Heritage Advisory Board, received a $1,000 scholarship from the Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation to attend the National Association of Preservation Commissions Biennial Conference in New Orleans. The conference was designed specifically for historic preservation commission members and staff, and its unique combination of working roundtables and educational breakout sessions provided the opportunity to learn from top preservation experts and advocates from across the country.
  • Lakewood Idol - Season 4: Anyone who was at American Lake Park the evening of July 22nd knows that Lakewood is one very talented community. The Parks and Recreation Department hosted the Lakewood Idol Season 4 finals. Eight finalists ranging in age from 14-47 competed for a $250 cash prize and the title of Lakewood Idol 2008. Our winner was Maureen Elias, a 31-year-old Army veteran, mother of two and wife of a soldier currently serving overseas. She mesmerized the crowd with a beautiful rendition of "Over the Rainbow." A special thanks for their support of Lakewood Idol to Brenda Leech of Countrywide Home Loans, the event sponsor and judge; Crane's Creations for donated rose bouquets for all eight finalists; Dr. Ben Keller, the Lakes HS Choir Director: Judge; Phil Raschke, Arts Commission Chair, who was the judge; and Randy Richards, emcee.
  • Police Incidents:
    • Stabbing/Idlewild SW: Lakewood Patrol responded to Idlewild Rd. SW for a stabbing with the suspect fleeing on foot. Patrol arrived on scene in 3 minutes and containment was set up. Apparently the victim heard someone in his carport so he went outside and saw the suspect grabbing tools out of his toolbox. He confronted the suspect who fled on foot. The victim followed and when the suspect got to the tree-line, he turned and stabbed the victim in the left side of his stomach and then ran off into the woods. . K9 tracked for the suspect but he was not located.
    • Vandalism/112th St. SW: An officer contacted AMR ambulance regarding a vandalism. Apparently while AMR was on a call at on 112th St. SW at 1254 am. The ambulance was tagged with spray paint.
    • Burglary in Progress/Washington Ave SW: Patrol responded to a Washington Ave. SW address for a burglary in progress. Once on scene, an officer located the suspect in the garage of the listed residence with a handful of tools he had just taken from the garage. The suspect was arrested and booked for Burglary 2nd degree.
    • Males Fighting/29th Ave Ct. S: Officers were dispatched for two male subjects fighting. Upon arrival they observed both subjects physically fighting each other. One subject decided to run and an officer gave chase. The subject ran into the side of the apartment complex building as he rounded a corner and the officer was able to force him onto the ground. After a short struggle to gain control, the subject was restrained and escorted back to the patrol vehicle. Lakewood Fire responded to treat the subject for the abrasions caused by the concrete. During the medical evaluation, it was discovered the subject had a very small puncture wound on the lower right side of his abdomen. Both subjects denied any knowledge of a weapon being used during the fight and the original 911 caller stated no weapons seen. A check of the location of the fight and arrest location was completed for any signs of a weapon or other item likely to cause injury, but nothing located. Subject transported to St. Clare Hospital for medical treatment that resulted in a gauze pad being placed over the small hole. Both subjects booked into jail for multiple felony and misdemeanor warrants.
    • Residential Burglary: The victim is a soldier who returned from a 2 week field training exercise to his apartment. He discovered someone had forced open a window to the bottom floor unit. The victim lost televisions, electronic equipment, a comic collection and other property. The manager of the complex was in another apartment and located some of the victim's property which was returned. Good suspect information obtained and a search warrant was written and served at the suspect apartment, but no additional property recovered.
    • Stabbing: A male subject was located walking near the entrance to a complex bleeding from his neck. He told a passerby he was stabbed by an unknown male suspect. When patrol arrived, the victim was very evasive and did not provide any real description of the suspect. He eventually said he became involved in a confrontation with a male suspect who was making fun of the Army. The victim recently returned from Iraq and was intoxicated. He was transported to Madigan with non life threatening injuries.
    • Burglary in Progress/114th St Ct SW: The residents of a home on 114th St Ct SW woke up to find a male subject inside the residence. The suspect fled out the back door. The victim didn't find anything missing and said she left the back door unsecured. K9 tracked but the suspect was not located.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 8/1/08

August 1, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Public invited as the City will Honor the 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT): Lakewood's Community Connection to Fort Lewis, the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division returned to Fort Lewis in June after a 15-month deployment to Iraq. The City will have a program as part of the regular council meeting on Monday, August 4th at 7:00 p.m. to recognize the brigade's deployment and its sacrifices. The brigade was an integral part of the Army's "surge" effort which was widely credited for quelling violence in Iraq. The public is highly encouraged to attend. The program will include:
    • Introduction of the 2008 "Lakewood Idol" winner, Maureen Elias, an Army veteran and Army wife who will sing the National Anthem.
    • A Proclamation recognizing the "2008 Army Times Soldier of the Year" winner, First Sergeant William Harlan, a Lakewood citizen and 4-2 SBCT Soldier.
    • Comments and video by Colonel Jon Lehr, the 4-2's brigade commander.
    • Unveiling of a memorial plaque prototype identifying the 54 soldiers (assigned and attached) who died while serving with the brigade in Iraq.
    • A brief social period with refreshments.
  • National Night Out on August 5th: We have 43 registered events for National Night Out, which is next Tuesday, August 5th, and any council members who wish to attend the 2pm kick off are welcome to join us in the council chambers. Ambassadors from Communities in Schools, Kids and Hope, Lakewood's Promise and Caring for Kids will join LPD staff as we make our rounds for what will surely be another tremendously successful NNO
  • Coordination with Fort Lewis: The city manager and directors of Community Development, Public works, and Communications met with the senior Garrison Command staff at Fort Lewis on July 30th to discuss mutual concerns between the city and the installation. Special emphasis was on the upcoming grant application process to the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) of the Defense Department targeting at planning for mitigation related to the growth at Fort Lewis.
  • LPD escorts Remains of Fallen East Pierce Fire Chief: On July 30th, Lakewood PD motorcycle officers assisted with the escort of the remains and family of fallen East Pierce Fire Chief Dan Packer. The escort started in Bonney Lake, moved to the Narrows Airport and concluded back in Puyallup at Powers Funeral Home. The formal memorial ceremony and interment will be held on August 7th and Lakewood PD Motors will likely be asked to assist.
  • Pierce County Auto Theft Prevention Task Force (ATTACK): Lakewood PD is the lead in a multi-agency Pierce County Auto Theft Prevention Task Force (ATTACK). State funded program to focus on theft of auto and related crimes partnering with WSP, Pierce County, Fife, City of Tacoma. Total award is $530,000 -- $500,000 for the grant program and $30,000 for the auto license plate reader.
  • 50th Search Warrant for Drugs in Tillicum: Officer Waller authored the 50th search warrant in Tillicum since the inception of the LPD. SWAT and Special Ops served the warrant on July 31st resulting in Heroin and cash being seized.
  • Pacific Highway Phase 3 (108th to SR512): Construction is progressing on Pacific Highway Phase 3 including installation of the large storm drainage vault and infiltration gallery in front of the vacant properties just north of 108th Street. There was a pedestrian/vehicle accident within the work zone - after hours - late Monday night. There was no construction occurring at the time. A state trooper was behind the vehicle that struck the pedestrian. We are awaiting final filing of the accident report.
  • Street Light Copper Wire Theft: Public Works crews have uncovered 3 separate copper wire thefts in our street light system. Two of the areas were on Steilacoom Blvd between Clover Park Technical College and South Tacoma Way. The third area was on Tacoma Mall Blvd from 80th south to the casinos. Public Works is in the process of welding shut the street light lids where possible. Although this may slow the thieves down, it may not completely stop the problem. Public Works and Police have been coordinating efforts to work both ends of the problem - the thieves that are taking the wire, and the recyclers who illegally pay cash for the salvaged copper wire.
  • Happy ending for a Stray Dog: Lakewood Animal Control had been trying to catch a "street wise" stray dog for about 2 years. Since they had not seen or heard of her for about a year they feared the worst. Recently, while responding to another animal complaint they discovered that the wily stray was living with a new owner that the dog had "adopted". She'd had a litter of pups and is scheduled to be spayed. She is now owned by a Lakewood business owner, who takes her to work every day.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 7/18/08

July 18, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • American Lake Boat Launch to Temporarily Open: American Lake Park Boat Launch will open temporarily on Saturdays and Sundays beginning July 19th. The site is open from 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. on the weekends and launching will be FREE. The Parks Department was able to build a temporary float system to support launching. The site is still under construction so everyone is advised to use care and caution when launching their boats. Informational signage and fencing is in place to help boaters use the site appropriately. We hope to have the new floats, gangways and piles in place by August 4, 2008, at which time the site will be open seven days a week for boat launching. The site will close in late September so we can finish the site improvements.
  • Lakewood city manager "credentialed" by ICMA: After completing the voluntary credentialing program of the International City Management Association (ICMA), the Lakewood city manager this month received official notification of his designation as an ICMA Credentialed Manager. The program is a means of defining and recognizing an individual ICMA member who is a professional local government manager qualified by a combination of education and experience, adherence to high standards of integrity, and an assessed commitment to lifelong learning and professional development. Managers are recognized by ICMA through a peer review credentialing process, and this self-directed program offers an opportunity to quantify the unique expertise city managers bring to their communities. There are currently 11 credentialed city managers/administrators in Washington State.
  • New Population Numbers: The Office of Financial Management approved updated population numbers for cities, towns, and counties in Washington State. For 2008, Lakewood's estimated population has been set at 58,780.
  • AWC Awards Mini-Grant to City: The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) awarded a $600 mini-grant to Lakewood's Wellness Program. These funds assist with program components/events that target intervention opportunities identified by the 2007 employee health questionnaire's risk factors.
  • 2008 Code Enforcement Cases: As of July 18th, there area total of 195 code enforcement records entered for 2008: 36 have been closed; 109 are pending; and 50 cases remain open.
  • Property Abatement Status Report
    • 10008 Lexington Avenue SW - Filed notice of intent to abate July 16
    • 9628 Oak Lane SW - Contract written; waiting for legal review.
    • 12907 Naomilawn Drive SW - Demolition by new owner nearing completion.
    • 10016 47th Avenue SW - Contract written; waiting for legal review.
    • 6717 100th Street SW - Lower priority project; waiting to complete higher priority abatements.
    • 6504 Hillcrest Drive SW - Filed notice of intent to abate July 16.
    • 8301 Custer Road SW - Filed notice of intent to abate on July 16; working on bid request.
    • 8011 Oakridge Drive SW - Emergency clean-up completed July 17. Compliance appeal date July 21.
    • Rose Garden Motel - Documents prepared; waiting to set City Council date for review/action.
    • Berthiamue - Documents prepared; waiting to set City Council date for review/action.
  • Police incidents:
    • DUI/MVC, Butte Dr SW/Butte Terrace SW: A minivan crossed the center line and hit a Honda head on. The Honda's driver was airlifted to Harborview but should be OK. The passenger of the Honda was treated and released. The driver of the minivan was arrested for DUI and provided involuntary blood prior to transport to the hospital. Traffic broke from the DUI emphasis in University Place to handle.
    • DUI/Assault/Resisting: Pacific Hwy SW/Bridgeport Way SW: An officer made a traffic stop and conducted field sobriety tests on the driver. As he was arresting the suspect driver for DUI, the suspect fought with the officer and ran on foot on Bridgeport over I-5. The officer chased him on foot to the other side of the bridge. The suspect was apprehended by K-9, and then airlifted to Harborview due to the severity of injury, with tendon and artery damage. The suspect will be charged with multiple crimes including Assault 3, DUI, obstructing, and resisting. The suspect also had several warrants for his arrest including a Mason County felony warrant.