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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 5/2/08

May 2, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • "Safe Routes to School" Grant Application for Park Lodge: In partnership with Clover Park School District and Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, the City submitted a Safe Routes to Schools grant application for Park Lodge Elementary School. The scope of the grant includes sidewalk and crosswalk improvements around the school, education programs to provide incentives to encourage students to walk/bike to school, and enforcement to provide additional targeted enforcement for speeding and failure to yield to pedestrians. Grant selection will take place later this year with funds becoming available in July 2009. Total grant requested is $321,000
  • Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast: The City hosted a breakfast at CPTC this week to honor its many volunteers who assist in most departments and serve on our citizen advisory committees. The theme was "Essential Piece" of the community, and there were about 100 in attendance.
  • State Attorney General visits City Hall: Attorney General Rob McKenna presented a workshop on the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) to a group of about 50 area citizen advisory committee and city councilmembers at Lakewood City Hall on April 30th, at the invitation of Mayor Doug Richardson. He also presented a session on Identity Theft, which offered free document shredding services for interested citizens.
  • State Auditor visits City Hall: Auditor Brian Sonntag participated in a meeting with several city managers representing the State City Managers Association at Lakewood City Hall on April 30th, at the invitation of the Lakewood city manager, who is also the WCMA president. The discussion focused on communication about state auditing standards and the new initiative on performance audits.
  • Parks Director Receives Award: Parks and Recreation Director Mary Dodsworth received the Professional Citation of Merit award at the Washington Recreation and Parks Association conference last week in Kennewick. This is the second highest award given as part of WRPA's recognition program.
  • Fort Lewis: A Growth Installation forum: A workshop on the projected growth of Fort Lewis was sponsored by the Tacoma-Pierce County and Lakewood Chambers of Commerce on May 1st at the Clover Park Technical College student services center for about 200 attendees. Governor Gregoire was a keynote speaker, as was Patrick O'Brien, Director of the DoD Office of Economic Adjustment. The city manager was a speaker on the panel about transportation, and there were also panels on housing and education.
  • Soldiers' Care Package Update: City staff delivered the first 50 care packages to the 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team's rear detachment, which is welcoming the brigade's advance party back to Fort Lewis on Saturday. Wal-Mart has generously agreed to pay $5,000 toward this effort and will present the check at the City Council meeting on May 5th. Additional resources (cash, materials/packages, and volunteers) are still needed. Call Melody at 983-7769.
  • Police Officer - Hero: Officer Dustin Carrell stopped traffic on April 28th to help a mother duck and her ducklings safely across SR-512. Since then his heroics have been featured on Channel 4 news, CNN, and in the News Tribune and have prompted dozens of phone calls and emails from around the world, including Italy and France.
  • Claudia Thomas Recognized: Councilmember Claudia Thomas was recognized by the Washington Association of School Administrators in Fife on April 25th. She was nominated by Supt Al Cohen of the Clover Park School District for her outstanding service to children and the youth education. She was also awarded a Certificate of Municipal Leadership in April from the Association of Washington Cities.
  • Agency Assist at Mt Tahoma High School: Tacoma PD requested our assistance in securing the outer perimeter at Mt. Tahoma H.S. while the school was in lockdown. They arrested a 15-year old male for possession of a loaded .32 caliber revolver. Other involved subjects were detained, but none had a gun. Supposedly, the subject with the gun brought it for use at a fight that was to happen at a Lakewood business after school.
  • Helping a Local Family in Need: CSO Dawn McGinnis of LPD and Mike Turner of Lakewood Fire took it on themselves to help out the family who was devastated by the fire on Addison two weeks ago. The father is a double amputee in a wheelchair. Dawn found them a new place to live with suitable wheelchair access. Mike sponsored a birthday party at Chuckie Cheese for the boy, who celebrated his 7th birthday about a week after the fire. Animal Control Officer Correne Buck found the family a small dog that would be suitable for their new home.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/25/08

April 25, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Lakewood to host Secretary of the Army and Covenant Signing: The City of Lakewood will welcome senior Army leaders, State and local government officials, civic and business leaders, educators, and others throughout the Puget Sound region next Friday, May 2nd, to sign the Army Community Covenant. The event will be at 2 p.m. at Lakewood's Sharon M. McGavick Student Center at Clover Park Technical College (CPTC). Secretary of the Army Pete Geren will attend the Fort Lewis-area community ceremony at CPTC - just the second Community Covenant event in the nation. Secretary Geren kicked-off this nationwide effort April 17 at the first Community Covenant signing ceremony in Columbus, GA, with members of the Fort Benning community. The event will be held as a commitment of support to the Soldiers and Families of our active Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve. Coordinating the May 2nd event has been a collaborative effort between Lakewood Mayor Doug Richardson, Steilacoom Mayor Ron Lucas and Mr. Jack Creighton, Washington State Civilian Aide to the Secretary Army and other community members.
  • Volunteers make Parks Appreciation Day a success: About 400 volunteers participated in Parks Appreciation Day activities during the week of April 14-19, including 300 people who came out to four park sites on a snowy, windy, freezing cold Saturday morning last weekend. In one day, over 1,200 man-hours of labor were spent preparing Lakewood's parks for the spring/summer season. The annual county-wide Park Appreciation Day event offers residents an opportunity to take real ownership in their favorite park facilities. The dedication and commitment of local volunteers to Lakewood's parks is appreciated. Projects were completed at Fort Steilacoom Park, Harry Todd Park, Springbrook Park and the City's newly restored blueberry fields. Accomplishment of the day included: filling four (4) 30 yard dumpsters with scotch broom; filling one (1) 30 yard dumpster with old fencing materials; spreading 30 yards of bark; spreading 30 yards of engineered wood chips in playground; spreading 20 yards of mulch in flower beds; spreading 20 yards of gravel for a new sidewalk; laying 500 feet of form board for a new sidewalk; removing 1000 feet of old fencing; spreading 60 yards of wood chips in the blueberry fields; planting 1200 annuals; planting 20 shrubs; planting one (1) kwanza cherry tree; planting one (1) red maple tree and weeding 1000 feet of flowerbeds.
  • CABC Training Workshop: About 30 members of the City's citizen advisory boards and committees attended a training workshop on April 22nd. The session included presentations on open government and parliamentary procedures, and general discussion about committee process and member effectiveness. The feedback from participants' evaluations was very positive.
  • Medical Aid Call: Police responded to a residence to assist with a medical aid call where parents had called 911 for their 4 month old baby who was found not breathing and unresponsive. Responders scooped and ran with the baby to MAMC where CPR was continued for over 2 hours before a very weak heart beat was regained but the baby was still not breathing. The baby was then transported to Mary Bridge with the probability of brain damage and/or damage to major organs. Investigation pending.
  • Fatal Traffic Accident: In the afternoon of April 20th a collision occurred between a red Ferrari and a Transpro bus shuttle. Initial indication is the Ferrari possibly lost control on Gravelly Lake Dr between Lake Steilacoom and Tower Road, crossed center line, and was struck by the bus. Male driver and female passenger in the Ferrari died at the scene. The bus driver and both passengers were transported with non-life threatening injuries. 
  • Domestic violence assault: A female reported she just stabbed her boyfriend who was still in their apartment next door. When units arrived she was waiting in front of the residence. She was detained and the male subject was contacted inside the residence. He was stabbed one time in the head but was alert and talking. She is claiming self defense after being assaulted by her boyfriend. The argument became physical and she grabbed a knife. After he was released from the hospital he was arrested and booked for assault 2 and assault of a child.
  • Apartment Fire Addison Street: An officer responding to 108th and Bridgeport for an unrelated call observed flames coming from 109th and Addison. He observed an apartment unit that was fully engulfed. The occupants all got out. The husband is a double amputee and was lying on the ground in front of the residence. The officer picked him up, got him into his wheel chair and away from the fire. The resident suffered a large burn to the back of his neck. Officers kicked in some doors around the fire but the units were empty. The occupants stated they were sleeping and were awakened by their two dogs that were barking. They smelled smoke, could hear glass breaking and evacuated. The unit that caught on fire is a total loss. Two other units also suffered fire damage. Preliminary investigation indicates that something may have been left on the stove.
  • Homicide: Early in the morning of April 25th, an apparently gang-related homicide occurred in the Lakeview neighborhood, off of 108th St SW. this morning at 3am. In appears someone brought a knife to a gunfight; one shot was fired. Suspect was caught by police with a gun in his hand attempting to flee the area.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/11/08

April 11, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Care Packages for Redeploying Soldiers: Lakewood’s adopted brigade, the 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) will begin its redeployment to Fort Lewis next month. The brigade has had a very difficult and bloody – but profoundly successful – 15 month tour in Iraq. The 4-2 has about 2,000 “unaccompanied” Soldiers. That is, no immediate family to come home to at Fort Lewis. As a simple gesture of “thanks,” the City, through Councilmember Helen McGovern’s leadership, agreed to coordinate 2,000 care packages for these young warriors. Citizens are asked to bring the packages (about the size of a shoebox) to any receptionist at City Hall. Arrangements can be made for pick up by calling (253) 380-6720. Staff will coordinate transportation to the brigade’s rear detachment at Fort Lewis. The packages will then be placed in individual barracks rooms.

    Suggested items:
    • Packaged crackers and cheese
    • Energy drinks, juice, bottled water, soda
    • Discount coupons to movies or for pizza
    • gift cards, calling cards
    • goodies-gum, candies, chips, granola bars, etc.
    • towel/washcloth
    • toothbrush/toothpaste/mouthwash
    • shampoo; deodorant; razor/shaving cream
    • bars of soap; foot cream
    • candles-they miss good smells
    • nail clippers/files
    • a personal note of “thanks”
  • Loving Families Needed for Cats: The City has a restriction on the total number of cats and dogs allowed per home in a residential neighborhood – no more than five. One resident, who has gained some media coverage by caring for dozens of unwanted animals, is attempting to come into compliance with this law and needs good people to step forward and adopt them. If you might be interested in helping, please call Melody at City Hall (253) 589-2489 for more information.
  • Bill Harrison Volunteer of the Year Award: If you know of someone who has made a significant contribution to our community through volunteer work, please consider taking the time to submit a nomination for this annual award. Submissions are due to Deanne Wegmann by Friday, May 23rd. The award will be announced and presented in June. Application forms can be downloaded from the City’s website: www.cityoflakewood.us.
  • Lakewood University: If haven’t yet attended Lakewood University, mark your calendars now! Are you interested in learning more about how the City of Lakewood and other local governments operate on a day-to-day basis? Lakewood University offers a crash course in public safety, economic development, finance, parks, management, planning and permitting and much more. Attendance at both sessions is necessary to get a full overview.
    Wednesday, May 28th 5:30-9pm
    Wednesday, June 4th 5:30-9pm
    Refreshments will be served from 5-5:30. The main session will be conducted in the Lakewood City Council Chambers at 6000 Main Street SW. Space is limited, so please contact Melody Perrussel at mperrussel@cityoflakewood.us or 983-7769 to reserve a seat. All graduates will receive an honorary diploma and T-shirt. Refreshments will be served each evening from 5-5:30pm.
  • Frontiers of Innovation Conference: Senior Planner Deborah Johnson attended last week’s “Frontiers of Innovation” conference held on by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation in Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The three-day event brought together academics, professionals, and government officials from all over the world. Topics included public sector ethics and accountability, citizen engagement in deliberative democracy, global health/neglected diseases, social justice, emergency management, and 21st Century management models. Held in Boston, the conference was fully hosted by the Institute and its partners, allowing Deborah to participate at no cost to the City.
  • Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA): The City of Lakewood GIS team completed their Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA). The corrections made by City staff have gone to the US Census Bureau where they will be reviewed. When accepted by the Census Bureau, this will mean the addition of nearly two thousand addresses that the census' Master Address File did not have, the deletion of over one thousand non-existent or duplicate addresses, and corrections to nearly four thousand other addresses. In all, nearly one in four records was affected during this update. All of this should help make the City of Lakewood's 2010 census numbers more accurate.
  • Lakewood Station is on schedule for opening in 2008 (April 10, 2008 photo)

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/18/08

April 18, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • American Lake Park Update: Demolition has started near the boat launch at American Lake Park. The caretaker house, hangers and business office were removed this week. This is one more step towards completion of the American Lake Improvement Project. The park is open for use but the boat launch area is still closed. 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 or at any store that sells state licenses. We appreciate the patience of boaters while this project is completed, and we believe the new launch site will be worth the wait.
  • Ardmore Alley Meeting: Public Works will be holding an informal meeting on April 29th with the property owners in the Fairlawn Dr./Ardmore Dr area between Whitman and Steilacoom Blvd to discuss the ownership status of their alley and the ramification regarding its maintenance. Letters were sent out this week to approximately 39 property owners.
  • Parks Appreciation Day Preparation: In preparation for Parks Appreciation Day, City of Lakewood Parks staff has been working this week with youth from Clover Park High School at Active and Kiwanis Parks and at the blueberry patch. Approximately 140 students improved and beautified the park sites by weeding, planting shrubs and annuals, spreading mulch at the two parks and spreading chips and hauling branches at the blueberry patch. The youth receive community service hours and the City benefits from the site improvements, so it is “win-win” for everyone.
  • ICMA Summit for Western/Mountain States: The city manager participated on April 17-18 with 75 fellow city managers from about 15 states in an ICMA-sponsored (international City Management Association) summit in Incline Village NV. The focus was “The Manager’s Role in Moving Communities from Good to Great”, based upon a dialogue with the author Jim Collins. The city manager represented Washington as the president of the state association. .

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/4/08

April 4, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Pacific Highway Phase III Street Improvement Project: Public Works is presently out to bid on our Pacific Highway Phase III (SR 512 to 108th St) street improvement project. The project includes widening for bike lanes, asphalt overlaying, installing curb & gutters, concrete sidewalks, street lighting, landscaping, a new traffic signal at Tacoma Way S/Pac Hwy intersection and an upgraded the storm drainage system which includes water quality treatment. Bid opening date is April 29th.
  • Emergency Sheltering Program: Over the past year, the Parks and Recreation Department has been committed to the development of an emergency sheltering program. Sites throughout the City will be used to support those needing shelter and their companion pets. City staff and other social service agencies will not be available to operate the sites on their own. Trained volunteers with a variety of skills will be needed and called into action. On Saturday, March 29, approximately 40 citizens representing a variety of facilities and agencies attended a shelter training class at City Hall. This was the second such training provided by the city in the past 6 month. The purpose of this class was to teach volunteers how to open a shelter and provide a variety of support services to our community. Training was provided by the City of Lakewood, American Red Cross and Pierce County Department of Emergency Management.
  • Domestic Violence Statistics March 2008: There were 88 misdemeanor DV cases charges by the City, and 23 petitions submitted for DV protection order by third floor kiosk.
  • Bridgeport/Pac Hwy Gateway Artwork: About 15 citizens participated this week in a workshop attended by the Arts Commission and heard an artist's presentation of proposed artwork for the Bridgeport/Pacific Highway gateway. The bronze abstract sculpture is about 12 feet tall and was well received by the group. The proposal will be formally reviewed later this month by both the Arts Commission and Keep Lakewood Beautiful.
  • Code Enforcement Backlog: The coordination between our Code Enforcement staff and our Neighborhood Policing Teams, including the increased activity of our community service officers (CSO's), has resulted in a decrease of our backlog cases from 213 to 115.
  • Court-supervised Work Crew Update
    • Parks: During the month of March we again expended large amounts of work crew man hours assisting parks staff with the maintenance of the City's parks. We completed the normal parks rounds, but also raked the playground chips, cleaned and raked the beaches, weeded flower beds, and maintained the boat ramp at American Lake Park North. We assisted in the moving of concrete picnic tables, and installed a small post and flag fence in Fort Steilacoom Park to block off areas of no parking along the main entry road. The crew also replaced boards on several picnic tables so they could be returned to their original locations.
    • Litter: During the month we removed hundreds of pounds of litter from city streets and the parks system.
    • Courts: We assisted court staff by supplying a small crew for the cleaning of the court rooms, chairs, dusting, and general clean-up. We also assisted with the moving of large amounts of boxes of forms and other materials off of carpeted areas to allow for the carpet to be cleaned.
    • Special Project: We utilized the skills of several work crew participants in the installation of 2X6 forms to allow the pouring of two concrete pads at the shop at Fort Steilacoom Park. One pad was 20X25 which will be utilized by parks staff, and a 12X22 pad to be utilized for housing the work crew shelter tent.