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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/30/07

March 30, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Support Staff Conference: The City sponsored the 2007 Support Staff Conference held at Tacoma Community College this week. Dawn Avcular of HR and Cheryl Thompson of Legal have been working with the planning committee since last September to assist with organizing this event. 700 people registered for a myriad of topics to inspire, motivate and educate support staff personnel.
  • Criminal Justice Summit: Associate City Attorney Sean Parrent and Victim Advocate Ann-Marie Dvorak attended the Criminal Justice Summit in Gig Harbor on March 28-29. Topics included strategies for prosecuting domestic violence crimes; stalking; and “dating violence” among adolescents.
  • Missing Person Located: The endangered missing person reported last Sunday morning was located that evening at her boyfriend’s apt in Lakewood. She was voluntarily committed and taken to the hospital for treatment/evaluation.
  • Northwest Regional Management Conference: The annual regional conference of Washington City/County Managers (WCMA) and Oregon managers at Stevenson WA last week drew over 150 attendees, a larger group than previous conferences. In addition to the emphasis on emergency management, there were workshops on citizen engagement, employee satisfaction, personal effectiveness and leadership, career development, and international service. The Lakewood city manager was the conference committee chair.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/23/07

March 23, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Lakewood Municipal Court Audit: The triennial audit to insure compliance with WASIC/NCIC Access and Records Management was performed on the Lakewood Municipal Court by the Washington State Patrol on March 21st. The court is in compliance, with only one minor housekeeping item that has been corrected. The auditor acknowledged in the report the outstanding job being done by the Lakewood Municipal Court and especially Senior Court Specialist, Deana Wright, the Technical Agency Coordinator, and also commented that very few Courts demonstrate such outstanding performance.
  • 5th Annual Father-Daughter Dance: About 200 guests danced the evening away at the City’s fifth annual Father-Daughter Dance held on March 17th at Clover Park High School. Over half of all those present have attended the City’s other dances and now consider it a part of their family’s traditions. The youngest daughter in attendance was 18 months old and the eldest was 39.
  • Boys and Girls Club HOPE Center Orientation: The leadership of the Lakewood Boys and Girls Club, with the help of Dick Miller from ASU, provided an overview of the goals of the HOPE Center philosophy to personnel from the Clover Park School District, the City, Safe Streets, and other community agencies on March 23rd in City Hall. Lakewood will become one of 15 communities around the nation activating a HOPE program where young people are trained that “all children are capable of success – No exceptions.”
  • Youth Focus Groups: Approximately 60 freshmen from Clover Park High School were given a brief introduction to the workings of city government and the process of public input by participating in two focus groups organized by the Parks and Recreation Department. The students had the opportunity to express their ideas about what they would like to see available for teens in the City of Lakewood. Top choices included a teen center/club, more stores for teens and a wider variety of teen-oriented restaurants. The students were participating in the focus groups as part of their service learning requirement.
  • Special Police Training: Several Police Department members attended a free one day seminar on lessons learned in the Russian School Massacre in Beslan.
  • Northwest Regional Management Conference: Lakewood’s city manager is the conference chair for the joint Washington and Oregon city/county managers conference in Stevenson WA on March 27-30. About 120 managers are expected to attend. The focus of several workshops will be on Emergency Management, with presenters including the two State EM directors and FEMA management.
  • Animal Control Officer Graduates: Lakewood’s Animal Control Officer Bill Mathies was chosen Class President at the Animal Control Academy and will be giving the graduation speech at his graduation Friday, March 23rd, 2007.
  • Youth and Law Forum Associate City Attorney Rocio Guerra volunteered at the Youth and Law Forum on Saturday March 17th. The forum is designed to expose middle- and high school students to the law and the legal system. The volunteers assist the students in a mock trial where they play different roles in a criminal prosecution.
  • DOC facility siting bill: Community Development Director Dave Bugher testified at the State Senate’s Government Operations Committee in support of HB 1733, and relayed the City’s position that Lakewood wants existing language modified to ensure our zoning laws will not be subordinated to DOC’s undrafted guidelines regarding “operational requirements.” The City Attorney is drafting proposed edits on this matter for primary sponsor, Representative Steve Conway.
  • Legislative Update on Hill Ward Building Funding and WSH: Lakewood’s State delegation in Olympia is on track to successfully secure over $1M for two high priority projects in Lakewood: clean up of the Hill Ward Building at Fort Steilacoom Park and Community Policing at Western State Hospital.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/9/07

March 9, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Milgard Foundation award of $100,000: The Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation announced this week that it has awarded Safe Streets $100,000 to fund community mobilization work in the City of Lakewood and to support the continued expansion of the Youth Leading Change program.
  • Seaplane “Splash In” at American Lake: The Washington Seaplane Pilots Association will host a Splash In at the American Lake Seaplane Base on a Saturday in April for their “Season Opener." The schedule will depend on the construction schedule for the seaplane dock project The City approved the event and will allow WSPA to use the park area and the swimming beach for tailing up their float planes. WSPA will host a potluck with burgers and hot dogs.
  • Regional Identity Forum: Senior Planner Deborah Johnson participated in the Regional Identity Forum at University of Washington on March 2nd, a workshop hosted by Puget Sound Urban Design Team, and underwritten by the WA Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED). Following a brief presentation, the forum broke into focus groups to identify and examine the region’s important physical and visual characteristics, how they relate to regional identity and values, and how they can be addressed at both the regional and local level. The Urban Design Team’s work will be integrated into the VISION 2020 update and a draft manual for CTED.
  • Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Amendments Public Application Period: The public application period for comprehensive plan and zoning amendments is open from March 1-31. Application forms are available during regular business hours at the Community Development Department on the 2nd floor of City Hall or online at /department-pages/community-development-forms.html. Applications are subject to review under established criteria and the State Environmental Policy Act, as well as review by the City’s Planning Advisory Board, which will take public testimony, and are subject to approval by the Lakewood City Council. For information, contact Deborah Johnson at (253) 512-2261 or djohnson@cityoflakewood.us.
  • Harassment Training: Twenty-three City employees from various departments participated in the Harassment training provided at City Hall on February 28th and March 1st. This 3.5 hour class presented by Maura Maye from Pierce County received outstanding feedback from our employees. The course is designed to stimulate discussion about all forms of harassment. Maura provides employees with valuable tools to help eliminate the emotional and financial problem of harassment in the workplace. Upon completing this training session, participants are able to: Discuss protected categories under federal law; Identify behaviors that can be considered harassing; Explain the effect that harassment has on people; Promote the concept that harassment of any type is a form of discrimination. This class will be offered again and employees are encouraged to attend harassment training annually.
  • Police Training: Lt Mauer attended a 3 day course on ICS-300 (Emergency Management/ Incident Command System) through Pierce County DEM, and several Investigators attended a 2 day course on Money Laundering & Asset Forfeiture in Federal Way. Several department members attended a 2 hour class on Biased Based Policing and The Latino Culture, and a 3 hour Defensive Tactics In-Service training.
  • Wild Sky Wilderness Act of 2007: Mayor Thomas has joined Seattle’s Mayor Greg Nickels in a letter of support for the Wild Sky Wilderness Act (HR 868, S520) which will protect 106,000 acres of old growth forests, alpine lakes and salmon streams on national forests and near Steven Pass as federal wilderness.. If passed, it would be the first National Forest Wilderness area to be designated in Washington State in 22 years.
  • Offender Re-Entry Update: Wednesday March 7th, Chief Saunders attended a meeting on March 7th hosted by Senator Carrell, which included key leaders from the Joint Legislative Task Force on Offender Reentry, staffers from various senate committees, and lobbyists to make final refinements on Senate Bill 5070 – on Offender Re-Entry. It appears as if it will receive a full floor vote shortly.
  • Angle Lane Neighborhood Traffic Control Program Meeting: About 45 citizens attended the forum on March 6th to discuss concerns about safety on Angle Lane. Public Works and Police will be reviewing the input received and making recommendations.
  • Sound Transit Station Groundbreaking Ceremony: The Groundbreaking Ceremony for the City’s new transit station on Pac Highway is scheduled for March 26th at 10 a.m. Officials from the City, Sound Transit, and Pierce Transit will be presenting, as will Lakewood Chamber of Commerce.
  • Lakewood Connections: The first “Lakewood Connections” of 2007 will be arriving at Lakewood residences and businesses early next week and will soon be posted to the City’s website.
  • Commercial Burglary: Miles Sand and Gravel located at 107th and Chapel had an audible alarm. The owner of Tactical Tailor located a suspicious vehicle parked at the entrance to the business and also observed several items from the business stacked next to the gate. He heard the alarm go off to a storage building and called 911. Officer Syler arrived 1st and started tracking with K9 Astor. During the track Officer Moody who was on containment stopped a suspicious car leaving the area. The passenger was sweating heavily and happened to be the registered owner of the car parked in front of the business. K9 Astor also tracked to the exact same spot as where moody saw the suspicious vehicle leaving. The suspect said his car overheated so he left it in front of the business, went home to get his wife and was now coming back to get his car. Syler and Officer Fraser located footprints on a concrete bag inside the storage building that was broken into. It happens that the boots the suspect was wearing matched the footprints on the bag. There was also red clay in the tread of the boots that was also located inside the storage room. His boots were taken for evidence and the prints were photographed. They are working on getting the prints cut from the bag for additional evidence. It was excellent police work by all since no one ever saw him in the yard of the business. The suspect was booked for the burglary.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/16/07

March 16, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Lakewood Senior Center St. Patrick’s Day Party: Over 55 lucky leprechauns hunted for treasure and enjoyed snacks at a Saint Patrick’s Day party at the Lakewood Senior Activity Center. Monthly special events are just one of the many exciting offerings available to Lakewood older adults. Upcoming events include a Mothers Day tea, Fathers Day breakfast and Easter Egg Hunt. Stop by the Center located at the Lakewood Community Center on Lakewood Drive for a tour or to pick up a monthly newsletter.
  • American Lake Park Boat Launch and Site Improvements: The City just received a long awaited permit which will allow us to start construction of the boat launch and other site improvements at American Lake Park. Unfortunately, since the permit process took over a year to complete the water is now too high to work on the boat launch, so that this work will wait until the end of the boating season. However, we will start work on the upland site improvements to meet grant and other financing time schedules. The park will be closed during construction which is expected to begin in about eight weeks.
  • The Amazing Lakewood Race: The Lakewood Youth Council held the “Amazing Lakewood Race” on March 9th as an activity for high school youth on a day when they were out of school. The race had 14 check-in sites representing businesses, historic landmarks and youth-serving organizations. The teams had to decipher cryptic clues to find each site. Ten teams and over 45 youth participated in the event. The winning team was a group of students from Lakes High School.
  • Public Works Trust Fund Application: Public Works submitted an application to the Public Works Trust Fund Board for preliminary engineering related to construction of site side sewers in conjunction with connecting individual residential properties to the City’s American Lake Gardens/Tillicum sewer project. The submittal was essentially a dry run on our part to see how the application rated. This week we were notified that our application got a score of 86. We also got critical information on how to improve that score which we will use to modify the application when we resubmit it in May for about $1.2 million in side sewer construction assistance funding.
  • City employee receives Outstanding Volunteer Award: Anita Booker-Hay, Assistant City Attorney, will receive a 2007 Outstanding Adult Volunteer award from Pierce County on March 17th for her work with the Community Juvenile Accountability Board.
  • Street Lights: In conjunction with our $25,000 CDBG funded street light project, we have reached an agreement with PSE to install approximately 91 street lights in the Lake City area, which is a CDBG eligible area. This project would essentially light up all the streets south of Veterans Dr except Lakeholme Rd. PSE will do this work for under $12,000. Lights should be up and operating some time in May. Because PSE facilities are not on Lakeholme Rd it would cost $30,000 just to do that road so it is being proposed as a potential future project. With the completion of this project, many of the requests on the City’s Street Lighting Request list are also addressed. This also frees up some funding for the Springbrook area which is also a CDBG funding eligible area, and will enable funding to assist with installing street lighting along Bridgeport Way from I-5 to San Francisco Ave.
  • Gang Presentation at Clover Park High School Community Cafe: LPD gave a presentation at the CPSD Community Café on community response to gangs, with about 120 citizens attending. The presentation provided an overview on LPD gangs and the LPD, CPSD, Safe Streets, and Lakewood Promise programs currently in place to provide prevention, intervention and suppression of gang activity.
  • Update on Current Abatements:
    • Next to the lot where a crime scene last year was located, a rental house sat burned out. Under encouragement from the City, the house was demolished. No other enforcement was necessary.
    • BEFORE: An old industrial building sat vacant and dilapidated, after years of enforcement problems. The structure was failing and the rear wall partially collapsed in the December windstorms.
      AFTER: Under enforcement and an abatement order from the City, the owner had the building removed.
    • BEFORE & AFTER: An abandoned business and neglected property. Portions of the building were dangerous. The owner was unresponsive through several years of enforcement efforts. The site became occupied by transients and was extensively vandalized.
    • BEFORE & AFTER: The week the abatement was to begin; the owner stepped up and agreed to clean up the property. In a very short timeline, under an agreement with the City, the owner corrected the violations. Minimal funds were expended by the City, and will be repaid by the owner.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/2/07

March 2, 2007
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Asphalt Overlay for Interlaaken Bridge: Public Works is presently out to bid on the 2007 Asphalt Overlay and Patching Program project, which includes the overlay of the Interlaaken bridge deck. This means the route will be temporarily closed to through traffic for about two weeks.
  • Pac Highway Project Status: The call for bids for “Pacific Highway SW—Phase 2 will be published on March 6th.  Phase 2 includes the street frontage and signal work along the Sounder Station and the Ford dealership sites as well as improvements at the Pac Hwy/Bridgeport Way intersection. This includes improvements northerly along Bridgeport Way to and across the RR tracks.
  • LPD Explorers: The Explorers have made LPD proud once again.  They attended the Federal Way challenge on Saturday and came home with several awards.  They all worked as a team in the Crime Scene investigation portion and won first place.  Explorers Smith and Hinkle won first place in the Field Interview portion.  Explorer Smith also won first place in the Drill down portion.  Explorer Martin won third place in the Physical Agility course. The Explorers also had an awards banquet where Explorer Smith was voted as the Explorer of the Year.
  • LPD Traffic Officers teach collision investigation: Lakewood Traffic officers just completed teaching collision investigation to 23 area law enforcement officers. The 40-hour course, sponsored by the State Criminal Justice Training Commission, was held at Pierce Transit’s new training facility in Lakewood. The course included numerous hours of practical application and class work investigating collisions. Officers Prante, Novasky, Gumm, Russell and Sergeant Norton represented the city as instructors. The class was a major success ensuring LPD’s future role as a lead agency for instructing additional advanced collision courses.
  • WTSC Speed Emphasis enforcement ended: Lakewood officers wrapped up nearly 700 hours of speed emphasis enforcement in East Pierce County. This project, running from mid-January to mid-February, was funded 100% by the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission and resulted in over 2,000 traffic stops and nearly 1,500 tickets generated for speeding and other infractions to include no insurance, seatbelt violations and driving while revoked. Additional phases of this project are set for later this spring.
  • Legal Department Training:  Legal Support Specialist David Jones attended a day-long seminar entitled, “Dealing with Difficult People,” this week.  Topics included:  Essential Communication Skills, Tuning into Body Language, Identifying Personal Communication Styles, Dealing with an Angry Person, and Conflict Resolution Techniques.   Victim Advocate Ann-Marie Dvorak attended training on Vicarious Trauma last weekat the Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County.  Vicarious Trauma is “the experience of bearing witness to the atrocities committed against another,” and the workshop focused on identifying the signs and symptoms of Vicarious Trauma and presented coping mechanisms, including personal care, professional boundaries and organizational response.  Vicarious Trauma experts identify it as an occupational hazard. Ann-Marie also applied for and was admitted into the Washington State Bar Association Rule 6 Program.  Under the city attorney’s direct tutorship, she will follow a four year structured law curriculum with prescribed courses. Victim Advocate Rebecca Hendricks attended a conference presented by the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, which focused on providing information to advocates in the social work/ law enforcement fields on increasingly popular technologies, including MySpace, chat rooms, and on-line gaming, which predators can use to find victims.  It is essential for law enforcement, including probation officers, to be knowledgeable in these areas of emerging technology to effectively investigate and monitor sex offenders.
  • Robbery suspect apprehended: Officer Latimer responded to the Safeway at the Towne Center for a shoplift. The suspect played the name game and was not forthcoming with any information.  Officer Latimer started doing some research on his computer and was able to locate a report out of Puyallup PD from earlier that morning with this suspect also being the suspect in a robbery.  Officer Latimer interviewed her and after awhile, she admitted to the robbery.  Puyallup PD was contacted and two detectives came out to the station and took custody of the suspect for Robber 1st Degree.  She gave the detectives a handwritten confession admitting to the crime.  Officer Latimer did an excellent job following through and figuring out the suspect’s identity and locating the information that she was the suspect in the robbery and getting a confession from her!
  • Stolen Car Suspect Apprehended: Officer Moody found an occupied stolen vehicle in the area of 74th and STW last week. The vehicle attempted to flee when Officer Moody pulled behind him. A pursuit was then initiated in which the suspect attempted to intentionally ram the officer, and it continued up to Fircrest.  Guardian 1 advised they saw a hot tub in the back yard of a house in the area that had the cover displaced. Officers responded to that house and found the suspect completely naked and hiding inside. After 1 ½ hours in the hot tub the suspect was very relaxed and taken in to custody without incident. There was a baggy of meth floating in the hot tub with him. The suspect was taken to the hospital for precautionary measures prior to going to jail for 1st degree Assault for attempting to ram Officer Moody, PSP for the truck, eluding, and UPCS for the meth in the hot tub. He also had a Pierce County warrant for Hit and Run.
  • Abatement Update: As a result of the Community Development Department’s emphasis on abatement, the following status report shows nine active cases.
      Property Address 3906 Steilacoom Boulevard SW
      Condition Commercial building vacant and heavily vandalized. Rear wall is collapsing; substantial quantity of asbestos to remove.
      Status Notice and Order was issued. Property owner applied for demolition permit. Demolition is currently underway.
      Property Address 11435 Pacific Highway SW
      Condition Former Lakewood Court Mobile Home Park. Park contained nine abandoned mobile homes and two dilapidated buildings. Large amounts of garbage, and junk found onsite. Property has been vandalized.
      Status Notice and Order was issued. Vehicles and junk removed. Most of the mobile homes have been removed.
      Property Address 11618 Pacific Highway SW
      Condition Abandoned auto body shop. Building in deteriorated condition and has been vandalized on numerous occasions. Property contains numerous junk vehicles, junk, trash, extensive weeds and an abandoned pole sign
      Status Notice and Order issued. City hired a contractor to demolish building and clean site. At the eleventh hour, the owner agreed to clean the property. Work is currently underway.
      Property Address 14617 W. Thorne Lane SW
      Condition Property is unsecured. Property contains a dilapidated/collapsing house and garage. Trees are dangerous.
      Status Property was abated once already in 2001. A second Notice and Order was issued. Owner is currently obtaining an asbestos report preparatory to issuance of a demolition permit.
      Property Address 12907 Naomilawn Drive SW
      Condition House burned; property owner died
      Status Notice and Order was issued. Building was secured at no cost to the City. Property is currently in probate.
      Property Address 11404 Cloverdale Court SW
      Condition House destroyed by fire.
      Status Notice and Order was issued. Property owner obtained demolition permit; site is clean of all debris.
      Property Address 95 West Shore Avenue SW
      Condition Notice and Order was issued. Hoarder house: numerous junk vehicles, extensive junk, trash, weeds, and construction debris.
      Status Over half the clean up completed by the owner. Owner has also been fined and is currently delinquent. City abatement is likely.
      Property Address 6717 100th Street SW
      Condition Burned out house (owner died in fire).
      Status Emergency abatement performed to secure structure. Notice and Order issued. Family member has arrived out-of-town to settle estate.
      Property Address 6902 146th Street SW
      Condition Abandoned hoarder house; abandoned vehicles; extensive piles of garbage.
      Status Notice and order issued. Abatement performed by the City.