Weekly Info Bulletins

Sign up for weekly news updates .

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 1/18/08

January 18, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • New Police Station Construction: Community Development has issued an administrative use permit to allow construction of the new police station, and the Building Division is nearing completion of its review of the police station construction drawings. Bid award should be presented for Council action on January 28th, with construction starting in February.
  • Lakes High School Expansion: The City’s hearing examiner has issued his decision approving the conditional use permit for the Lakes High School expansion.
  • Victory Motel: Demolition of the Victory Motel will occur late this month or early February.
  • Lakefront Street Ends Review: The next meeting in the planning process will be at City Hall on January 23rd at 6pm regarding street ends on Lake Steilacoom.
  • Hill Ward Demolition: The demolition phase of the restoration project in Fort Steilacoom Park commenced last week. Below is one of the first photos from the Hill Ward Demolition Project.
  • Lakewood “Founding Father” Honored at McChord Memorial Service: Longtime Lakewood resident and a leading advocate for incorporation, Colonel (retired) Gerald Auger passed away on Christmas Eve. During his memorial service at McChord AFB on January 11th, this decorated World War Two combat pilot was remembered as a loving father and trusted friend. During a eulogy, friend Bob Arndt relayed that “one of Jerry’s proudest achievements was being associated with the Lakewood city hood effort.” Colonel Auger was honored by McChord AFB with a C-17 flyover immediately following the ceremony – a rare Air Force honor. Colonel Auger’s three adult children were joined by Lakewood Mayor Emeritus Bill Harrison and many other friends and family paying their respects. He was preceded in death by his wife Nancy in November and his son, Jeffrey in 1947.
  • 2008 Homeless Count Survey: The Tacoma-Pierce County Coalition for the Homeless is conducting its annual one-day count of the county's homeless population. The point-in-time survey is scheduled for January 24th and 25th. More than 100 community volunteers will contact homeless individuals and ask a few questions about their situations. Human Services Division staff (General Services) is partnering with Police in an attempt to locate unsheltered homeless persons by doing walking surveys of areas in Lakewood where homelessness exists, as well as by surveying patrons of the motels in Lakewood. Volunteers also will staff "give away" sites, where homeless persons can obtain personal items such as clothes, blankets and toiletries. All City volunteers will be attending training on January 22nd. Data collected during the annual survey helps provide a picture of the homeless issue in Pierce County, drives planning efforts such as the Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness and leverages funding for homeless housing and services from the public and private.
Police Actions:
  • Adult Entertainment Violations: Special Ops did a compliance check at Déjà Vu this week. In one night, 21 dancers and the manager were cited for Adult Entertainment Ordinance violations, including improper collection of tips, violating 4-foot distances rules for lap dances and 8-foot rules from stage dances. All of these constituted illegal contact between dancer and customer. This continues the City’s nine year record of never doing an undercover operation in a strip club without finding significant violations by dancers.
  • Counterfeit Ring: As our now fully staffed NPO (neighborhood police officer) cadre takes charge, we are beginning to see more proactive investigation of property crime. What began as a simple case of a counterfeit $20 bill to a 7-11 in District 3 (Lakeview) was not of appropriate value to assign to a property crimes detective for follow up investigation. However, with full NPO staff on board, this was given to newly-assigned NPO Brian Wurts to follow up, and it turned up a much bigger counterfeit ring. It was given back to the Property ProAc unit to handle, and they have engaged the Secret Service. This is a good example of the lower level crime follow up and interdepartmental coordination.
  • Embezzlement Case Investigated: An employee embezzled over $300,000 from her Lakewood employer where she was employed as the bookkeeper. During the investigation, the Property ProAc unit obtained a search warrant for her bank records, which showed all the checks from the employer that were deposited into her checking account. The financial investigation was then turned over to Brinks and Sadler CPA firm, who confirmed she had embezzled $309,000. The suspect was arrested in June 2007 and booked on four counts of Theft 1st. She was subsequently charged with 32 counts of Theft 1st, and on January 10th, a plea agreement was reached whereby she was sentenced to 43 months at Purdy Correctional Center. The Property Pro-Ac unit is currently working on another case where the employee embezzled $400,000 from another Lakewood business.
  • Theft from Wal-Mart: During a shoplift, a female suspect reportedly pulled a knife when confronted by store security. Police units arrived and detained the suspect and one accomplice, with one more female accomplice outstanding. She was eventually located on the payphone next to the front door talking to her attorney. As it turned out, the suspect was not pulling a knife, but a plastic hair pick, which was mistaken by security for a weapon. Three out of state suspects were booked for Theft 3rd.
  • Armed Robbery Arrest: Two males, one armed with a handgun and the other armed with a knife, entered a pizza restaurant, displayed the weapons and demanded money. Employees told them they didn’t have any money, and the two fled the business. Officers in the area had run the license plate of a suspicious vehicle exiting a nearby parking lot about a minute prior to the robbery call. Further checking on the suspicious vehicle revealed the registered owner had been arrested for Armed Robbery in Puyallup in September. The vehicle information was then immediately broadcast by LESA throughout Pierce County. A short time later a Pierce County deputy located the vehicle driving in University Place and initiated a felony stop. The two were detained; LPD arrived and confirmed they matched the suspect descriptions and a handgun was plainly visible in the back seat. The car was impounded to the station for a search warrant. Patrol Officers interviewed both suspects independently at the station and obtained confessions from both.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 1/11/08

January 11, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Hill Ward Demolition to Begin: Demolition of the Hill Ward Building in Fort Steilacoom Park will begin on Monday, January 14th around 9:00 a.m. The first tasks will be to obtain, secure and store the pieces of the building we will be preserving. Crews will be moving equipment to the site during the next few days, and work will begin on Monday morning. For safety’s sake, observers will be asked to respect the established site lines and restricted areas.
  • State Funds Pilot Program for Displaced Mobile Home Park Residents: CTED has awarded the Pierce County Housing Authority (PCHA) a $324,865 grant for a one-year pilot program to provide tenant-based rental assistance for up to 25 households who are being displaced from the closure of the Carriage Court Mobile Home Park at 96th Street and South Tacoma Way. The park is scheduled to close in March 2008, eliminating 40 mobile home spaces. The City’s Human Services Division (General Services Dept) has been working with PCHA and other housing providers in coordinating efforts to providing housing and case management services. In 2008, $10,000 in the City’s General Fund is budgeted to assist families with case management services and referrals.
  • RAMP discussed regional transportation: Public Works Director Don Wickstrom attended the Regional Access Mobility Transportation Partnership (RAMP) meeting this week at the Port of Tacoma, at which regional transportation funding alternatives were discussed in the aftermath of the defeat of the RTID funding package on the November ballot (Prop One). Support for a new regional transportation authority from Pierce County appears skeptical at this point.
  • Military Affairs Committee of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce: Senior Planner Deborah Johnson briefed the MAC this week on the U. S. Defense Department’s Office of Economic Adjustment conference in December entitled “2007 Growth Summit- Communities Responding to Change”, which was focused on growth issues in communities near military bases. There is an opportunity through OEA to receive financial assistance for planning.
  • CPSD Community Partner Award: Dennis Higashiyama, Recreation Coordinator in the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, received the Community Partner award from the Clover Park School District at their annual community partnership breakfast celebration this week. He was recognized for his work with the District’s service learning projects during the 2006-2007 school years. Dennis and a group of students from Clover Park High School have been working on restoring an abandoned blueberry farm in Lakewood, so that one day we will be able to invite the community to come pick blueberries each spring.
  • Lakewood Council Members Sworn-In: U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton conducted a swearing-in ceremony on January 7th for Council Members Walter Neary, Claudia Thomas, and Don Anderson. The new City Council’s first action of 2008 consisted of the unanimous election of Mayor Doug Richardson and Deputy Mayor Don Anderson.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 12/28/07

December 27, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Cosby in Lakewood Televised: Bill Cosby’s “Call Out” presentation from November 14th will air daily on CPTC-TV (Comcast Cable Channel 28 and Click! Network Channel 89) now through February 13, 2008 at 8 am, 4 pm, and midnight. The entire spectrum of production came from the Clover Park Technical College’s studios in Lakewood.
  • City Prevails in DV Case: The Legal Prosecution Team (Sean Parrent, Matt Kaser, Rebecca Hendricks and Ann-Marie Dvorak) achieved a positive trial outcome in a domestic violence case involving a repeat offender. The perpetrator assaulted his wife while their young children hid in a bathroom and frantically called 911. Although the victim and 11-year-old witness did not appear for trial, the City was prepared to take the matter to trial based on the 911 tape and officer testimony. When the City clearly conveyed to the defendant that it would proceed with trial despite lacking the victim and witness, he pled guilty. He was ordered to enroll and complete one year of domestic violence treatment, parenting classes and a domestic violence victim impact panel. He will be strictly monitored for compliance by the Court’s probation officer.
  • New Police Officer: Michael Johnson graduated from the Basic Law Enforcement Academy where he has been for the last 19 weeks. He begins his field training in the PTO program on December 30th.
  • LPD and “Joe’s Sports and More” Adopts-a-Family: Animal Control Officers Bill Mathies and Correne Buck removed several animals from a family who could no longer properly care for them in Tillicum. The family has been having a tough time financially. Community Services Officer Dawn McGinnis heard about this and got to work. The little boy told Dawn that Christmas was “just another holiday” and that he didn’t expect any presents. She collected money from whoever she could find around the precinct. She called a contact at G.I. Joe’s and they generously donated two brand new bikes, coats, hats, mittens, socks, and shoes for the kids. She also got two loads of firewood donated so the family can heat their home this winter.

    Bill, Correne, Dawn, and Dave “Santa” Guttu then went back to the family and gave them all of their Christmas presents.
  • Finance Department Adopts-a-Family: The City’s Finance and Information Services staff adopted a family through Greater Lakes Mental Health consisting of a grandmother, a 10-month-old boy, a 3-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl. They collected items from a wish list and added on some special items as a surprise. The gifts were wrapped and delivered before Christmas. Additional gifts were donated to the main Greater Lakes Mental Health “store” for their clientele Christmas shopping. A few staff adopted individuals on their own through the Greater Lakes Mental Health program.
  • Public Works and Community Development (not to be outdone) Adopt Families. Staff delivered Christmas gifts to Melvin, who is working only temporarily right now, and his family last Thursday. Upon seeing the new bikes for the three girls there were tears of joy and disbelief. Tvetens Auto Clinic agreed to repair the family’s car. The family said that city staff “made our Christmas special” this year.

    Staff also adopted a struggling single mother and her family and made extensive contributions in time, talent, and treasure (and tools):
    • Removed all furniture
    • Painted the entire apartment; Replaced all 3 interior doors and trim
    • Replaced the decking on the deck
    • Replaced the toilet, vanity and vanity light
    • Brought in furniture enough for every girl (and mom) to have her own bed.
    • Furnished their living room and dining rooms
    • Bought enough food for a month
    • Cleaned the place from top to bottom
    • Bought, lighted, and decorated a Christmas tree
    • Made countless finishing touches (lamps, area rugs, new plates, new glasses, etc…)

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 1/4/08

January 4, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • 5th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Observance: Please join us in honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King on the 80th anniversary of his birth on Saturday, January 12th, 10am-Noon at the Clover Park Technical College Student Learning Center (4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW). This spiritual and patriotic celebration includes various choirs and dancing routines from local performers.
  • Domestic Violence in Lakewood: There were approximately 850 reports of Domestic Violence in the City of Lakewood in 2007 which represents a 4% decrease from 2006. Charges were filed in 722 of these cases and 664 of these cases proceeded to Readiness Hearings. 76% of these cases were resolved favorably.
  • Evening Reporting Center for Juveniles: Lakewood has been offered the opportunity and funding to have a pilot Juvenile Court evening report center here. This program is a great fit with our former Reclaiming Our Youth program – now in process of transitioning to Kids at Hope – Intervention (associated with the opening of the Hope Center and our partnership with the Boys & Girls Club). The evening report center will also engage us in the innovative juvenile justice programs now underway in Pierce County.
  • Emergency Management: The Pierce County Department of Emergency Management is preparing the Hazard Mitigation Plan for presentation to the Lakewood City Council in March. There was a public presentation for the plan at Lakewood Fire Department on December 12th. The plan was developed by numerous local jurisdictions throughout Pierce County and can be viewed on the Pierce County DEM website.
  • Former Governor Visits City Hall: Booth Gardner, Washington’s Governor from 1985 to 1993, visited Lakewood this week, and met with the city manager for a briefing on Lakewood’s issues and priorities. Governor Gardner grew up in this community, and attended both Park Lodge School and Clover Park High School as a child. This was his first visit to Lakewood’s city hall. As Pierce County’s first county executive from 1981-85, he was the city manager’s boss.
  • DV Assault 2/Unlawful Imprisonment: Officers responded to the Laurel Garden Apts. for a reported physical domestic violence. The female victim called and said her boyfriend assaulted her and threatened to kill her; the phone call was cut off. When officers arrived they got no answer at the door and saw blood on the door. They could see movement through the slats of the blinds and decided to force entry. As officers were entering the front the suspect was hot-footing it out the back, with an officer close behind. After several commands to stop went unheeded, he was Tased and arrested. The victim claimed to have been strangled and had a possible broken finger and nose. This occurred in front of 2 and 4 year old children, and in violation of a No Contact Order. Detectives responded to interview the victim further.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 12/14/07

December 14, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • 2007 DoD Growth Summit: The City was invited by the U. S Defense Department’s Office of Economic Adjustment to participate in a conference on December 11-13 in St. Louis, and we were represented by Senior Planner Deborah Johnson. The “2007 Growth Summit- Communities Responding to Change” conference focused on growth issues in communities near military bases that are affected by BRAC actions and other activities associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The conference was also attended by representatives from the Clover Park School District, the City of Tacoma, the Tacoma Employment Consortium, and McChord and Fort Lewis.
  • Sound Transit decides Lakewood route and elects Claudia Thomas: The board of directors of Sound Transit on December 13th approved the routing of Modified Alternative 3-Grade Separated over Pacific Avenue in Tacoma as the final step for authorizing the Lakewood-Tacoma connection for commuter rail service. The board also elected its new officers: Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels as Chair, and Lakewood Mayor Claudia Thomas as Vice-Chair.
  • Lake Steilacoom Grant Award: Public Works has received notification from the State Department of Ecology that we were successful in our grant request for $50,000 to treat Lake Steilacoom with a granulated formulation of calcium hydroxide. If this experimental treatment is successful in reducing the lake’s phosphorus concentration then a complementary reduction in the toxic blue-green algae blooms should follow. The cost of the treatment is estimated at $169,000 for which the Lake Steilacoom Improvement Club is providing the match money.
  • New Police Station Bid Process: The new Police Station is presently being advertised for bids. Bids will be received until 2:00 pm January 15th, and bids will be opened at 3:00 pm that day. Public Works is also presently advertising for bids for landscape maintenance services associated with some 20 different landscaped areas within the City’s road rights of way. Bids will be received until December 27th.
  • Special Olympics Fund Raising Efforts: In 2007, the Lakewood Police Department raised $15,000 for Special Olympics and is a member of the Circle of Honor. The fund raising activities included: Krispy Kreme Roof Sit; Law Enforcement Torch Run and T-shirt sale; Golf Tournament; Jiffy Lube coupon books; and Red Robin Tip-a-Cop.
  • Holiday Festival: Lakewood Parks and Recreation hosted the 12th annual Holiday Festival on December 7th at City Hall. About 500 children, along with their parents, enjoyed holiday musical entertainment and the lighting of the City’s Christmas tree, made craft projects, got up close and personal with a live reindeer and visited with Santa Claus who gave each child a handmade toy. This event was made possible by support from Lakewood Senior Activity Center, Lake City Christian Church, Clover Park School District, Lakewood Police Explorers, Old Country Buffet, the Washington Corrections Center for Women, McNeil Island Corrections Center, citizen volunteer Carole Weir and numerous community volunteers.
  • Holiday Craft Fair: Lakewood Parks and Recreation hosted the 3rd annual Holiday Craft Fair on December 8th at Park Lodge Elementary. The event featured 31 craft vendors and live holiday entertainment, and 465 shoppers attended.
  • Youth Basketball Leagues: 160 Lakewood youth began practices last week as part of Lakewood Parks and Recreation’s Youth Basketball Leagues. The leagues serve children in grades K-7 with support from nearly 30 volunteer coaches and 13 team sponsors. With the help of numerous individuals, scholarships were granted to several youth in need.
  • Building Permit Valuation: Total 2007 building permit valuation through November came to $61,714,491. The Community Development department is averaging receipt of 155 building and 33 planning permits per month.
  • Armed robbery arrests: Two victims called from a local motel last week to report they had been robbed at gunpoint. They said they were at a club in Lakewood where they met a male subject who told them about a female who would do a lap dance for them. The victims got the female’s phone number and she showed up at the motel room a short time later. When she got into the room she called another female friend that would be willing to join them. A few minutes later there was a knock at the door. When the victims opened the door they were met by male subjects with guns. The two victims were ordered to the floor and were robbed. All four subjects fled in a vehicle, but a Lakewood officer located the vehicle nearby and it was stopped. The subjects were positively identified and both guns used in the robbery were located in the vehicle. An officer located the victim’s wallet on the road where the suspect vehicle was first seen. Two of the suspects eventually confessed to the robbery, and all four suspects were booked for armed robbery. Two of the suspects are active duty Army and another one is a civilian that works on base. Both victims are attached to a medical unit after they were hit with an IED in Iraq.