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City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 6/6/08

June 6, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Lakewood represented on the State’s new Sex Offender Policy Board: Lakewood’s city manager was appointed as the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) representative on the Sex Offender Policy Board, as one of13 voting members from various agencies and associations around the State. The board was recently established by the Legislature as a body to review best practices related to risk assessment and supervision, to conduct case reviews, to develop benchmarks, and to provide a forum for discussion of issues related to coordination and interagency communication. The board is supported by the Sentencing Guidelines Commission and is tasked with reporting to the Governor and Legislature on its work plan by December 1, 2008.
  • Lakewood University: The City conducted a two-evening session of Lakewood University at City Hall during the evenings of May 28th and June 4th. The program is a “Local Gov’t 101” approach to a basic understanding of the City and its governmental partners. This was the fifth class, with 20-25 students, and the course evaluations were overwhelmingly positive.
  • American Lake Gardens/Tillicum Sewer Project Update: Public Works gave an update on the ALGs/Tillicum Sewer project at the June 5th Tillicum/Woodbrook Neighborhood association meeting. The emphasis was to prepare for the upcoming 18-month construction phase of the project which is anticipated to start later this fall. The group was given a synopsis of what to expect regarding the construction activities, the sequencing of construction work, how the City was proposing to manage the project and who would be their first line of contact. Once a contractor is actually selected, another meeting will be held with all the property owners and tenants who front along the project.
  • Meeting with Fort Lewis Garrison Command Staff: The city manager and senior city staff met this week with the deputy garrison commander as well as the public works director, public affairs officer, and the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation office of Fort Lewis this week at City Hall. The agenda included discussion of transportation issues, housing, Tillicum and American Lake Gardens redevelopment efforts. The City and Fort Lewis will meet regularly to coordinate efforts to resolve mutual concerns.
  • Camp Murray coordination: The city manager met this week with Adjutant General Tim Lowenberg to review matters of mutual interest between the City and Camp Murray. The redevelopment effort in Tillicum is of major interest to Camp Murray, as are traffic issues around the Berkeley interchange and other key access points around the installation.
  • Thank you letters for the PD: Chief Bret Farrar received a letter from the St. Clare Emergency Department commending Officers Brian Weekes and Jeremy Prater on their teamwork and professionalism during an infant death investigation last month. After the officers’ arrival at the hospital, it quickly became evident that the situation had occurred in Tacoma, but hospital staff were especially grateful to both officers for staying and assisting the Tacoma Police Department with what became an extremely volatile situation. Chief Farrar also received thanks from Bonney Lake PD for sending Detective Bryan Johnson to assist with Forensics during a shooting incident there on June 2nd. The mutual aid assistance was truly appreciated and is an example of our cooperative cities approach and what we can achieve together.
  • 4th Stryker Brigade 2nd Infantry Division presentation: Mayor Douglas Richardson will host the 4th Stryker Brigade 2nd Infantry Division at “Coffee with the Mayor” on Friday, June 13th at 7:30 am, at the Resource Center at St. Clare Hospital. Our guest speakers will be Major Daniel Dudek and Major Chad Sundem who will talk about the brigade’s deployment to Iraq.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 5/30/08

May 30, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Fishing Derby at American Lake Park: The Kids’ Fishing Event was held in on May 17th at American Lake North Park, and about 500 youngsters received a rod and reel, T-shirt and fish (up to 2) that they caught for only $5. It was very much a family event as many kids caught their very first fish. The fish were provided by Trout Lodge. Partners in offering this event included CAST for Kid’s, Pierce County Parks, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Clover Park Kiwanis Club who provided lunch to our volunteers. Also assisting with the event was Puget Sound Anglers, the Police Department and their Explorers, and Lakewood Fire Department who provided our first aid station. The City’s offender work crew assisted with the setup and takedown of the event.
  • Lakewood University: The fifth class of this “City Gov’t 101” education program was started this week with a class of 30, and the concluding session is scheduled for June 4th. Presenters include Lakewood Fire, the Clover Park School District, Lakewood Water District, as well as City staff from several departments.
  • State Archives Grant: The City was awarded a $30,000 grant from the Secretary of State Archives Division to secure temporary help to inventory and create a master index of the City’s permanent building permit files. There are approximately 7,500 building permit files from 1995 to 2003, and since 2003 approximately 6,000 additional building permit files will eventually need to be added to the existing archives. Once a master index is created, the City intends to pursue a subsequent grant request for digital imaging of these records for electronic access and storage.
  • Street Ends Report to Parks & Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB): The PRAB reviewed a staff report and recommendations regarding the Waterfront Street Ends, to reflect the completion of the initial analysis and evaluation of sites using consistent criteria. The report and appendices can be found on the City’s website at www.cityoflakewood.us The PRAB will continue to discuss the matter at its June 24th meeting.
  • Railroad Improvement Project Coordination: WSDOT Rail Division has merged the over-lapping portion of its railroad improvement project (76th St to Nisqually) with Sound Transit rail reconstruction project from Tacoma to Bridgeport Way. As a result, one bid will be let for the improvement of the rail road tracks from M Street in Tacoma to Bridgeport Way in Lakewood. The bid date is set for this coming August.
  • Code Enforcement Abatement Status Report: 13 abatement cases have been initiated in 2008, and two abatements are currently under contract and the cleanups have been done. Five abatement cases are currently in the notification process, and one abatement case is on appeal. Several cases should go out for bid in the next two weeks 11 abatements are in a monitoring status as the owners are in the process of correcting violation.
Police incidents:
  • Armed Robbery on at 84th and Tacoma Mall Boulevard: A male entered the Shell Station and approached the clerk to buy a box of cigarettes. When the clerk opened the cash drawer for change, the suspect grabbed for the cash drawer. The clerk grabbed his hand and was told “this is a robbery”. The clerk backed away and let the suspect take the drawer. The suspect indicated he was armed with a knife, and he also made statements that he didn’t want to have to shoot anyone. No gun was seen or displayed. During the suspect’s hasty retreat to a get-away car in the casino parking lot, he dropped most of the estimated $50 he had taken and the knife he used during the incident.
  • Vehicle prowls: A witness called in reporting three male subjects breaking into cars and he was following them west on 108th. Several units arrived in the area and located three subjects who matched the description. They all fled on foot after dropping a bag full of stolen items. One of the suspects was tazed which had no effect. He tried to walk away and took a swing at an officer. He was tackled and continued to resist for several more seconds. Another suspect was captured and the third suspect was not located.
  • Suspicious Persons: A K-9 officer was driving around looking for the third suspect in the vehicle prowls when he noticed 3 male subjects walking across Bridgeport heading towards the 7-11. As they got closer to the store, the subjects covered their faces with bandanas. They then noticed an officer driving by and lowered the bandanas. The officer contacted them and located a gun on one of them. The gun and bandanas were recovered and placed into evidence.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 5/16/08

May 16, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Building Permit Valuation almost $36 million to date this year: Building permit valuation for projects including new construction, additions, and remodels for April 2008 totaled $6,061,223. For January through April, building permit valuation totaled $35,824,657. Of special note was the issuance of one of the Lakes High School building permits on May 5th at $34,219,362. Other large projects are currently in the plan review process, and it is anticipated that building permit valuation by the end of May will exceed $90 million.
  • Qwest Rebates Complete: The adjustment for customer credits for the City's utility tax overpayment by Qwest Corporation was completed on April 18th. The rate billed for the recovery was returned to 6.00% for customer bills processed beginning April 19th, and corrected tariffs have been filed with the WUTC.
  • American Lake Improvement Club: At the annual meeting of the American Lake Improvement Club on May 13th, the city manager presented an update on the City, and the parks director and police chief spoke on the status of American Lake Park, the boat launch, and proposed police coverage for the upcoming summer season. The City and ALIC members have worked cooperative over the last several years, and lake safety and police coverage have increased. About 45 residents were in attendance.
  • Business License Revocation Notice: The City issued a business license revocation notice to a 230-unit apartment complex located in American Lake Gardens on May 15th, and the owners have 10 days to appeal. The revocation process was initiated as a result of abnormally high calls for police service, including prostitution/robbery, multiple firearm violations, multiple counts of domestic violence/aggravated assault, mental health issues, homicide, attempted suicide, shootings, and illegal narcotics sales. The City’s intent is to halt the violence and the victimization of good tenants by placing conditions on the operation of the apartment complex, and to ensure compliance with the tenant landlord laws. Positive steps have already been initiated and the respective parties appear to be cooperating. However, this process allows the City to initiate steps to close the apartment complex if necessary.
  • Legal Department coordination with Puyallup: Representatives of the City Legal Department met with the Legal Department at the City of Puyallup to review and observe how their department is organized, the division of duties, and how they function on a day to day basis. The City of Puyallup will be moving into their new city hall in August 2008 and have invited our Legal Department back for another visit after their move. Members of the City of Puyallup Legal Department are planning a visit to Lakewood in the near future.
  • Sound Transit presents to city managers: At the monthly meeting of the area city managers/administrators this week, Sound Transit staff presented the strategic plans and options for ST2 and the impacts to Pierce County cities. There will be open house sessions in June at locations in Tacoma and Sumner.
  • Vision-setting workshop: Members of the City’s citizen advisory committees participated in three focus groups on May 14th to discuss their views of the City’s vision for the future. Two members of each committee took part in the exercise to provide input to the development of a City vision statement.
  • Waughop Lake treatment: The experimental calcium hydroxide treatment of Waughop Lake to control algae growth proved to be unsuccessful as an algae bloom exists and the Tacoma-Pierce Co Health Department will be posting the lake accordingly. This project was funded by a DOE grant as an experimental lake treatment proposal.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 5/23/08

May 23, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Lakewood University Enrollment: There are still a number of seats left for Lakewood University. Our two evening course runs from 5:30-9:00 pm on May 28th and June 4th (consecutive Wednesdays). Citizens who want to know more about how the City operates (parks, police, budget, economic development, permitting, budget, etc.), should consider signing up. Starting at 5:00 pm and throughout the evening, refreshments will be provided. Citizens should contact Melody Perrussel at 983-7769 or mperrussel@cityoflakewood.us to reserve a place.
  • FEMA Training: Lt Steve Mauer and Mayor Doug Richardson both participated in an Integrated Emergency Management class at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's training center in Emmitsburg, MD. They joined participants from agencies throughout the County. The session was sponsored and funded by FEMA.
  • Target Zero Achievements in Traffic Safety Award: The Lakewood Police Department received a Target Zero Achievements in Traffic Safety Award on May 21st from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission in the category of Reducing Speed-Related Collisions for their "Speeding Pilot Project."
  • Lakefront Street Ends Update: City staff has drafted an initial report with recommendations pertaining to lakefront street ends. The recommendations and supporting documentation can be found on the front page of the City's website: www.cityoflakewood.us under "latest news and events." This report will be presented to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, May 27th in the Council Chambers. The meeting will end before 7:00 pm. It is anticipated that the PRAB will hold off on action regarding the recommendations in order to give the public time to review all new documentation related to the issue.
  • EDB Board meeting: The city manager attended the May 16th meeting of the Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County, with a review of the effort to retain the Russell Company in Tacoma. A number of Russell employees are Lakewood residents.
  • "Care" Package for returning soldiers: This week, Councilmembers Helen McGovern and Pad Finnigan spearheaded a team of volunteers that assembled or staged nearly 1600 care packages for the "unaccompanied" soldiers of the redeploying 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team. Soldiers from the brigade picked up the packages this week. The generosity of the Lakewood Community has been very impressive. Donations of cash and time have come from as far away as the east coast as well as more local donations such as Girl Scouts in Olympia and the Gig Harbor Mid-Day Rotary among many others including Wal-Mart, America's Credit Union, City of Sumner, FireComm (911 dispatch), Kiwanis, Lakewood First Lions, Knight Lions, Lakewood Police Guild, City employees, Little Caesars, Kids at Hope and the Hope Academy (welcome home notes). At this point, we are still 388 packages short of our goal of 2000. We plan to meet or exceed that goal. People are welcome to drop off complete care packages or separate ingredients at City Hall. Separate ingredients still needed are: drinks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving cream, deodorant, gum, and/or snacks (cookies, granola bars, etc.). We have enough of other items to complete packages. We need to have donations to City Hall by no later than June 3. There will be one more assembly session and volunteers will be needed. We will get the assembly time and place out when available. Please contact Melody Perrussel at 983-7769 or mperrussel@cityoflakewood.us for more info.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 5/8/08

May 9, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Code Enforcement Case Update: Community Development ended 2007 with a backlog of 213 code enforcement cases, which remained active. As of May 8th, 204 of the property owners with violations have been contacted -- either by correction notice, citation or through the abatement process, and 53% of the violations have been corrected and the cases closed. The remaining case work is varied, with open violations including illegal dumping and garbage, junk vehicles, overgrown vegetation, illegal businesses in residential zoning districts, unsecured properties, and problems with recreational vehicles and mobile homes.
  • Public Records Forum in Lakewood: The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) and the Washington Municipal Clerks Association are co-sponsoring a half-day forum on public records, specifically electronic records management at CPTC in Lakewood on June 25th from 9:00 am – Noon. This event is an opportunity to learn the "ins and outs" of state law regarding electronic records, and to hear from the Washington State Archives office about the new rules for using the Digital Archives services. The discussion panel will include the WA State Archivist; t Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC); and a representative of Foster Pepper PLLC law firm. The event is free to local government records management, clerks, and information services employees interested in electronic records management.
  • Clean-Up and Paint Over Graffiti Event: On Saturday, May 3rd, about 15 volunteers showed up (despite the drizzle) for Lakewood's participation in the county-wide Safe Streets Paint Over Graffiti event. CSOs Dawn McGinnis and Melissa Wagner helped organize Lakewood’s event, which coincided with the Safe Streets event. The group spent about 3 hours painting several areas of graffiti on the back of the old Paldo World and the back of the 7-11 on South Tacoma Way, as well as the backside of several businesses along Lakeview. Much of the clean-up on the Sound Transit property in the Lakeview area has already been completed.
  • Domestic Violence Statistics for April 2008: A total of 23 domestic violence protection order petitions were submitted in April through the 3rd floor kiosk, and the City Attorney’s office filed 71 misdemeanor domestic violence cases.
  • Meeting with Sheriff about Jail: The police chief, court administrator, and city manager met with Sheriff Paul Pastor and Corrections Chief Rob Masko this week in City Hall to discuss booking policies and jail space availability for Lakewood. Mayor Doug Richardson and County Councilmember Dick Muri participated in the discussion about alternatives to incarceration and the City’s use of the Wapato Jail in Yakima County as a lower cost option.
  • Math/Science Career Day: Police Officers Russell and Novasky represented LPD on May 6th in the Math/Science Career Day hosted by CPTC. The officers gave a presentation to four groups of middle school students showing how math and science are important to the field of law enforcement and traffic investigations.
  • Fort Lewis Safety Day: Lakewood Police Motorcycle Officers will be participating in the Fort Lewis Safety Day on May 9th for the second consecutive year. The officers are available to answer questions related to traffic and motorcycle safety, as well as give demonstrations of proper riding techniques in slow speed patterns.
  • Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Emphasis: Lakewood Police will host the Pierce County Commercial Vehicle Task Force for the monthly enforcement emphasis on May 15th. This emphasis will take place along 95th St SW in the Lakewood Industrial Park. The emphasis focuses on commercial vehicle inspections to ensure the trucks comply with all equipment requirements and are safe to operate. The property management company supports this emphasis and has given permission to use 95th St SW for the checkpoint.
  • City Attorneys Spring Conference: The city attorney and two associate attorneys attended the 2008 Annual Spring Conference of the Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys (WSAMA). City attorney Heidi Wachter currently serves on the WSAMA Board as the First Vice-President, and she was named a recipient of the Outstanding Service Award to be presented at the WSAMA Fall Conference.