Weekly Info Bulletins

Sign up for weekly news updates .

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulleting 7/20/07

July 20, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Lakewood Ford Opening: Lakewood Ford was issued a conditional certificate of occupancy this week. The permit allows them to open for business this Sunday, July 22nd. There are remaining improvements yet to be installed, including entry gates, signs, landscaping and street improvements. The property owner posted a cash guarantee for the landscaping and road work which is scheduled to be completed in August.
  • Waughop Lake Treatment: Since there is already a significant blue green algae bloom on Waughop Lake, our vender recommends against proceeding with the planned calcium hydroxide treatment at this time as it’s too late in the process to provide any water clarity benefits for this season. In order to be effective in limiting the availability of phosphorus which is needed for the occurrence of a bloom, the calcium hydroxide treatment needs to happen before such an occurrence. Once a bloom has occurred, excess phosphorus has already been assimilated and stored within the micro organism’s cell structure which then takes multiple generations before phosphorus once again plays a growth limiting role. A bloom then continues to grow seemingly irrespective of the treatment process. Waughop Lake will not be treated this season but will be treated early on next spring. The DOE grant the city received for funding this treatment attempt was budgeted through June 30, 2008.
  • WSDOT Grind and Asphalt Inlay Projects: Starting July 23rd, WSDOT’s contractor will be performing grind and asphalt inlay of several interchanges in the area including the Bridgeport Way and the Gravelly Lake Drive interchanges. There is the possibility that they may do the Thorne Lane interchange also. The work is primarily on the on and off ramps. Some additional work approaching the bridges will be done within their right-of-way. The work will be performed at night, starting around 7:00 p.m. and lasting until 5:00 a.m.
  • City to receive funds acquired from Police seizure: The US Treasury Department prepared the package on July 13th for the payment to the City in the Pong Rhee/Joon's Variety Store seizure which was a 2001 police operation. The City anticipates receipt of about $1.18M. Two properties have yet to be sold, and additional funds will be forthcoming.
  • Lakewood Sister Cities Association Potluck: Council Member John Arbeeny and his wife Suk Arbeeny of the Lakewood Sister Cities Association hosted a potluck dinner honoring 10 years of service by outgoing Sister Cities President Patrick Cavendish of Pierce College. The dinner included volunteer Sister Cities members from subcommittees for Japan, Philippines, South Korea and China. Mayor Thomas and newly installed Sister Cities President, Franclyn Heinecke of Clover Park Technical College were joined by City Clerk Alice Bush and other members in honoring the accomplishments and growth of the Sister Cities Association and of Dr. Cavendish’s leadership. The Sister Cities Association welcomes anyone interested in promoting international understanding to their monthly meetings at City Hall
  • Pandemic Flu Preparedness Training for Businesses: Dozens of local business representatives attended a working luncheon on Preparation for Pandemic Flu on July 12th at the Great American Casino. The luncheon, coordinated by the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department and LPD provided businesses a realistic look at the multitude of issues a pandemic will bring and the simple things they can do in advance to diminish the impact of such an outbreak.
  • Governor’s Community Transition Task Force: Chief Saunders has been confirmed as the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) representative on the Governor’s Community Transition Task Force, which will oversee the implementation of the recently passed Offender Reentry legislation.
  • County-wide Gang Data Base: As a major project of the Pierce County regional gang task force, LESA Records will be introducing on August 15th a new Gang database called OSCAR for all cooperating agencies such as Lakewood, Tacoma, Pierce County, and Puyallup to use. The database was put together for several reasons which include: one centralized database for all agencies to input and share information on known gang members; tracking gang and gang member activity; assisting with gang investigations and Officer safety alerts.
  • Chip Seal Program: The City will be chip sealing the local access streets denoted in the attachments starting in mid to late August. Chip sealing is a preventative maintenance procedure that includes placing a “shot” of asphalt (oil), and then a layer of crushed rock (chips). This extends the pavements life by rejuvenating the pavement surface and sealing off the road base from water. After some use, the streets are then swept of excess rock for which it could take multiple sweepings over a period of time before the streets are free of loose rock. Signs will be placed a minimum of 24 hours on all streets prior to commencing chip sealing. The City’s 2007 chip seal program will also be published on the City’s web site.
  • Lakewood Volunteer Observation Patrol assists in arrest: The new citizens Lakewood Volunteer Observation Patrol is paying off. Thanks to their vigilance, a violent felon was taken off the streets Wednesday night. Four volunteer members witnessed a violent and apparently unprovoked assault at Harry Todd Park on July 18th. While on routine neighborhood patrol in the park, they witnessed a tall, powerfully built young thug suddenly strike with a closed fist into the head of a tall, slim early 30s passer-by without warning or provocation. The victim was struck unconscious and fell to the ground, suffering a concussion and other injuries. The Patrol Volunteers immediately called 911. The suspect’s vehicle fled, and one Volunteer remained with the victim to meet incoming police and EMS units while the other three followed the vehicle only long enough to get a good plate and establish a direction of travel. They immediately returned to the park and stood by near the scene, safely out of the way. Thanks to their fast, accurate information to 911 an off-duty sergeant spotted the suspect vehicle in traffic. He called for marked units to make the stop, and the subject was quickly detained. The main eyewitness Volunteer Patroller was brought to the site of the stop where he positively identified the suspect. In addition to the violent physical assault, the arrestee was found to have an outstanding warrant for escape. He was booked into Pierce County Jail for Assault 2nd and the warrant. The volunteers’ conduct, dedication, and clear-headedness in a difficult situation speak very highly of the Volunteer Patrol. Contact Carol Hudgins at 584-5905 for more information.
  • Robbery Suspect Arrested: A Lakewood Officer was near Happy Days when he was flagged down by a frantic pizza delivery person. She was reporting that someone tried to rob her at gunpoint in front of the apartments on 115th St. Ct. Officers responded and the suspect and several others were located. After they were all detained, a gun was found on the suspect she described. The gun was stolen and the suspect who possessed it had a previous conviction for a gun charge. He was charged for the gun, robbery and a couple other felonies.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 7/13/07

July 13, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Dave Bugher, Assistant City Manager
  • Seeley Lake Apartments: Officers responded to three subjects breaking into cars at the complex. When officers arrived two of them fled on foot. While chasing them a van drove out of the complex with no lights on. An officer put the license plate out to incoming units. Officers stopped the van as it exited the complex. Officers also caught one of the suspects who fled on foot. The other subject was tracked by K-9 but unfortunately he was not located. There were six more subjects in the van which had several stolen stereos and other victim’s personal property in it. Two females in the van cooperated fully and gave statements. We located a total of five victims whose cars were broken into. One of them will be an attempted MVTR. A total of three adults and two juveniles were arrested. Most of the property was returned to the victims. Excellent work by everyone involved.
  • Officer representing LPD and CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) at International Conference in Montreal: Officer Jeff Carroll has been asked to be an Ambassador at the CALEA conference in Montreal. Officer Carroll will introduce guest speakers and instructors to the audience and distribute/ collect course evaluations. Jeff will represent LPD and the NWPAC well.
  • July 4th LPD Fireworks Update: On July 4th, the City of Lakewood had 244 police calls for service which is about twice the normal number. Seventy nine or 32.5% were fireworks related calls. Two criminal citations, and six notices of infraction were issued, in addition to two juvenile referrals. In 2006, LPD received 276 calls for service, with 78 fireworks related, so total calls came down, but fireworks calls remained constant.
    From July 3rd through the 5th, there were a total of 151 fireworks related calls for service. Two extra patrol cars were on call from 8 PM to 12 PM, and specific to July 4th, LPD had four extra patrol cars on overtime plus two cars staffed by police administrators, for a total of six. The police department responded to 141 of the calls; the remainder likely occurred before or after the fireworks emphasis patrols. There were some ‘hiccups’ with the fireworks ordinance. Police staff will present some possible amendments to the ordinance at an upcoming Council study session.
  • Pierce County Striping Crews: Pierce County paint striping crews are starting this week. They should be in town from now through August.
  • Bridgeport Way – McChord Drive to I-5 street lights: The City worked with Lakeview Light and Power to install street lights along this section of Bridgeport Way. This is the number one location currently on the street light request list. The street lights will be installed economically on wood poles with overhead power service. This is in anticipation of future development in this area which will ultimately provide frontage improvements. Work should begin next Monday, July 16.
  • National tournament comes to Lakewood: The U.S. Girls Junior Golf Championship will kick off on July 23 at Tacoma Country and Golf Club in Lakewood, and organizers are confidant the event will continue to feed Pierce County's reputation as a national-caliber golfing destination with the new course at Chambers Bay and in DuPont. The national-level tournament will feature 156 girls from 10 countries. Tom Hosea, director of government relations for Key Bank and member of the club, said that club member Pat Lesser Harbottle actually won the tournament in 1950, and Tacoma Country and Golf Club's hosting of three past U.S. Girls Junior Championships led to the club's selection as this year's venue. For more information, visit 2007usgirlsjunior.org.
  • City Code Enforcement: The City’s Code Enforcement Division issued Notice and Orders of Abatement on two properties, conducted an emergency abatement to secure a methamphetamine contaminated house from unauthorized entry, and entered into a contract for a complete abatement of the same house. The licenses of two motels were revoked, following revocation of their State licenses and multi-agency inspections that found them to be dangerous. A business, whose license was revoked for numerous violations of state and local laws, withdrew their appeal of the Lakewood license revocation after their State business registration was also revoked.
  • Great Northwest Planning Conference: Lakewood planners Alexandra Bilderback and Deborah Johnson are serving as committee members for this year’s Great Northwest Planning Conference sponsored by the Washington and Oregon chapters of the American Planning Association. The conference is a three day event being held at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center on October 3rd through the 5th. The conference is expected to attract planners from around the Northwest. Alex is serving on the Program Committee, which selects and develops themes and topics for the conference program. This year’s theme is Planners without Borders, and the program will include presentations from planners with a national and international focus. Deborah is serving on the Host Committee and will be representing the City of Lakewood in a mobile workshop being held in conjunction with Jeff Brown and BCRA Architects that will present BCRA’s plan for redevelopment of the Tillicum community.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 6/22/07

June 22, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Hill Ward Community Meeting: Options will be considered at the next community meeting on Tuesday, June 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. This will be the follow-up to the community meeting held in April where participants visited the Hill Ward site, learned about its history and shared information, issues and ideas regarding the site after demolition.
  • Kiwanis Park Climbing Rocks: Members of the Clover Park Rotary Club installed climbing rocks at Kiwanis Park on Saturday, June 16th. Kiwanis Park is located at the corner of Bridgeport Way and Fairlawn Drive. The new climbing rocks and other site amenities, valued at $15,000, were a welcome addition to this neighborhood park. Besides the Rotary Rocks, we also have the First Lions Skate Park at this site.
  • Wind Storm Tree Debris: Following the December 14th wind storm, there were 61 sites throughout the city where the abutting property owners were inappropriately piling their tree debris within the road right of way fronting their property. After our first notice advising them that this was in violation of city code and that they needed to have the debris removed by a certain date, we were down to 13 sites that needed additional follow-up enforcement. After further follow-up, we are now down to two sites for which both have requested and received additional time to complete their clean up. It appears that we will have achieved 100% compliance at minimal City expense or citizen ill will.
  • Pierce County Courts Liaison Meeting: Judge Heller and Court Services Director Kathy Westerdahl attended a Piece County Courts Liaison Meeting this week with other area Courts regarding persons cited with Driving While License Suspended (DWLS), which continues to be a major issue taking up a lot of public resources. Participating courts agreed to work together in a cooperative spirit to address how best to reduce the amount of unlicensed drivers on our roads, and future networking meetings will be held.
  • Spring Alive with 5 & 5 Campaign: It is mid-point through the Spring Alive with 5 & 5 campaign of the City’s wellness program, and the City’s team has collectively participated in 114,329 minutes of physical activity in the past five weeks. Our mid-point goal was 69,400 minutes and we have surpassed that goal.
  • Fireworks Enforcement Preparation: Our public awareness Fireworks Safety tri-fold brochure has been updated to include the changes in the ordinance approved by Council last fall. It is posted on the City website and will be liberally distributed to block watches, neighborhood associations and civic groups. This year a tri-fold Fireworks Safety flier will be also distributed in neighborhoods that had a high volume of fireworks complaints in 2006. Copies of the flyer will also be available at fire stations, the police station, City Hall and the Library. An electronic copy will be sent to the Suburban Times and the News Tribune as well. In-service fireworks enforcement training will be held for all LPD patrol officers. Supplemental special fireworks enforcement teams will be out on July 3rd, 4th and 5th. – two additional cars on the 3rd and 5th, and 6 additional cars on the 4th.
  • Korean American Youth Police Adventure Camp: LPD and Korean American Police Advisory Group (KAPAG) are running a Korean-American Youth Police Adventure Camp for the third time again this year on Saturday, June 30th at City Hall. In 2005, over 50 junior and senior high school kids attended this program; in 2006 70 attended; and in 2007 so far, 72 kids have already registered and we expect over 80. This is the only youth camp for the Korean Community run by a law enforcement agency in Washington State. This year’s camp is formatted for 11 hours of instructions and activities. The training curriculum includes criminal law, traffic safety, conducting low risk and high risk vehicle stops, preventing street racing and road rage, K-9 and SWAT demonstrations, crime scene investigations, gang and drug awareness training and workshops, calling 911, and an LPD Police Explorer Program recruiting presentation.
  • Senior Center Father’s Day Men’s Breakfast: The Lakewood Senior Activity Center hosted a Father’s Day Men’s Breakfast last week. It was a success with over 32 men attending, who enjoyed a delicious pancake breakfast made especially in their honor.
  • Governor's Task Force on Offender Reentry: Chief Saunders has been nominated by the Washington Association of Sheriff's and Police Chiefs (WASPC) to serve on the Governor's Task Force on Offender Reentry.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 7/6/07

July 6, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Dave Bugher, Assistant City Manager
  • City of Gimhae, South Korea Visit: 15 officials from Gimhae, South Korea visited Lakewood this week (July 2-5) to sign a “friendship agreement” with the City of Lakewood. The delegation participated in a ground breaking ceremony at City Hall (the planting of a Ginkgo Tree); Mayor Claudia Thomas hosted the event. The delegation was also treated to a reception by the Clover Park Technical College, a dinner at Thornewood Castle and a tour of Lakewold Gardens. They also visited Seattle and Mount Rainier and were treated to an All-American day in the Town of Steilacoom courtesy of Mayor Ron Lucas through an Independence Day parade and fireworks over the Puget Sound. The intent of Lakewood’s Sister Cities Association is to generate educational and cultural awareness and stimulate trade and tourism.
  • Waughop Lake treatment: A City contractor, Northwest Aquatic Ecosystems, will begin testing the use of calcium hydroxide to control algae on Waughop Lake in Fort Steilacoom Park next week. The treatment is intended to work as follows: calcium hydroxide binds phosphorus together and settles on the bottom of the lake; without phosphorus to feed on, algae cannot not grow and multiply into a toxic algae bloom. The work plan calls for treating the lake once a week for three weeks. As this is an experimental treatment, the work plan could change depending on the data the contractor gathers over the project duration. Signs have been posted around the lake notifying the public that this work will take place soon. Funding for this project ($50,000) was included in the current state budget at the request of Senator Mike Carroll. Lakewood resident Don Russell deserves credit for pursuing State funding through Sen. Carroll.
  • Building Permit Activity: New construction valuation for June, 2007 totaled $3,261,287. For the fist six months of 2007, new construction valuation totaled $26,819,686. The following summarizes building and land use permits applied for and issued from January through June:
    • Building permits applied for: 937 Building permits issued: 795
    • Land use permits applied for: 228 Land use permits issued: 113
  • Community Meeting: Saint Frances Cabrini School/108th St. Community Meeting on Tuesday, July 10th at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Lakewood City Hall to discuss traffic and pedestrian safety and related issues.
  • Summer School Traffic Enforcement: The Lakewood Police Department began summer school traffic enforcement on July 1st, consistent with the first session of summer school. The City issued a press release on this matter and will continue to increase public awareness in cooperation with the CPSD.
  • KAPAG/LPD Summer Camp: The 2007 Korean American Police Advisory Group summer camp, hosted at City Hall, Saturday, June 30th was a huge success. Over 75 Korean-American youth attended - our largest crowd yet.
  • Fireworks Enforcement: LPD put six additional patrols on the road for fireworks enforcement July 4th. Initial reports suggest that while Independence Day is still the busiest day of the year for LPD, citizens were cooperative and the number of serious calls appeared lower than in past years. Lakewood Police will present a detailed report at the next Study Session.
  • Training: Evidence Custodian Meeks attended a Leaf Marijuana Identification school in Shelton. Officers Wurts and Vahle attended a 1 day seminar on Shooting Range Development in Seattle. Administrative Supervisor Landskov attended a Census Grant Workshop at Clover Park Tech. Total training costs = $250.
  • Temporary Road Closure: The City will close Lakewood Drive SW from Steilacoom Boulevard to the Fleet Creek crossing to the north for pavement repair and overlay between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., Monday through Friday, July 16th through July 27th. The temporary closures will allow local access only. During construction, a detour will be in place utilizing Bridgeport Way SW. (See Below)

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 6/15/07

June 15, 2007
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • C.O.P.S. (Come Out & Play Sports):  The Lakewood African-American Police Advisory Committee (LAAPAC) and the Lakewood Police Department are hosting our annual C.O.P.S. (Come Out & Play Sports) at Oakwood Elementary School on Saturday, June 16th. This event is one of the major events we sponsor to foster positive interactions between youth in the community and the Police. Teenagers will be paired with police officers to form teams for Soccer, Frisbee Football, 3 on 3 Basketball, Volleyball, Chess, and others.   The event begins at 11 am and will run until 4 pm.  Respect, Trust, and Positive Interaction are being promoted with this event. Call Mrs. JoEthel Smith at (253) 584-4673 or email Julius Brown at for more information
  • AWC Annual Conference in Tacoma: Mayor Thomas, Councilmembers McGovern and Neary, and the city manager attended the Association of Washington Cities annual conference this week, with about 500 in attendance from cities around the State. Governor Gregoire was a keynote speaker, and her theme was the improving partnership between local and state government. Numerous workshops covered topics ranging from economic development to the new streamlined sales tax program, and from private-public partnerships to infrastructure funding.
  • CABC Training Session: The City conducted a training session this week for leaders of the City’s Citizen Advisory Boards/Committees (CABC’s). The workshop included reference to the Open Meetings Act, the Public Records Act, and the City’s Ethics Code. Specific emphasis was offered on parliamentary process, the role of the charier, and tools for consensus building.
  • Offender Re-entry Program: Further discussions took place over the last two weeks between the City of Lakewood, Tacoma, and Pierce County regarding participation in the newly enacted bill for a coordinated approach between Department of Corrections and local governments regarding placement of offenders. The County’s Law and Justice Council may well become the vehicle for program oversight, and the City of Lakewood is pursuing active involvement.
  • Police Officer Graduates the Academy:  Officer Mike McGettigan graduated from the 19- week Basic Law Enforcement Academy on June 14th, and he begins his field training on June 18th.  He is the first entry level recruit hired since 2004. 
  • Puget Sound Energy Projects: PSE gas just recently submitted for right-of- way permits for 3 major projects within the City’s downtown core area.  This includes replacing their existing system with new 2 thru 4 inch diameter gas lines.  Portions of their replacements coincide with our proposed street improvement projects. The total replacement footage they are proposing to do is over 33,000 linear feet (6.25 miles).  The major of streets impacted include Gravelly Lake Drive from 112th St to Bridgeport Way, Bridgeport Way from 111th St to 83rd St, and Steilacoom Blvd from Meadow to Fairlawn.  Their project involves the replacement of their old steel pipe system which PSE is focusing on eliminating from their system. The City noted a similar need for our Tillicum/ALG sewer project, and PSE may come back with a reduced scope change for these 3 projects in light of the sewer project.  However, since the City has near term improvement projects on GLD from 112th St to Bridgeport Way (2008 asphalt overlay) and on Bridgeport Way from 59th Ave to 83rd (reconstruct with sidewalks between 59th and Steilacoom in 2007, and between Steilacoom and 83rd in 2008), their final project will still be significant.