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

February 2, 2007
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Abatement Achievement: The City’s nuisance abatement program has scored another success in the Tillicum neighborhood.  Many months ago a fire at 14805 Portland Avenue SW caused extensive structural damage to the house located there.  The building had been boarded up, but over time it had become insect- infested and trespassers had begun entering the building. The building was posted with a notice and order to abate this dangerous building, but the owner had not taken action.  Renewed enforcement efforts were taken by the City’s Abatement Team, a unified work group consisting of representatives from the police, building, code enforcement, fire and legal departments.  The Team has pending enforcement actions filed again approximately two dozen commercial and residential properties throughout the City.  The Team’s fundamental mission is to preserve the public safety and health in business and residential districts by removal of dangerous and blighted conditions.  As soon as this building was demolished, the City received an inquiry from a developer as to whether this property was available for sale.  The property owner, however, has announced tentative plans to build a new residential structure at this location. While the team seeks to achieve voluntary compliance from property owners, it is also prepared to act when a property owner refuses or is unable to resolve such problems.  Currently the Team has three buildings scheduled for demolition and is in the process of obtaining contractor bids for the performance of such work.
  • January Building Permits: For January, 2007, the Community Development Department issued building permits for over $11.4 million dollars in new construction activity.
  • Utility Coordination: The city manager and senior staff met this week with the heads of Lakewood’s development-related utilities – Pierce County Sewers, Lakewood Water, Lakeview Power, TPU, Puget Sound Energy, and Lakewood Fire – in a first-time group effort as a means to provide overall coordination of development planning at the “big picture” level and to discuss the City’s long-range development plans. It was a productive meeting which helped to supplement the project-specific coordination meetings already taking place.
  • Crime Free Housing: The Police Department has recently completed a "re-engineering" of the crime free housing training seminar, which is the one-and-a-half day class provided at no cost to rental housing property owners and managers every two months.  We just recently completed a very successful class with thirteen in attendance, and attendee reviews were uniformly positive.  Additionally, CSO Chuck Matthews, the class coordinator, received a thank you card afterwards from one of the attendees with the following comment:  “Thanks for an outstanding crime-free multi-housing program seminar.... I got a lot out of it and am very grateful and appreciative of the program and its contents. The jokes really weren’t that bad either. Thanks for taking such great care of me/us and thanks for the program itself!!"  LPD cordially extend the invitation to any councilmember to attend a session or a graduation ceremony.
  • Serious Domestic Violence Incident: On January 30th at 1217 hours, officers responded to a DV with a knife.  Upon arrival the victim was able to step away from the suspect and the armed suspect retreated back into his apartment.  The suspect got angry with his father and pulled a box cutter type knife on him and thrust it at him in a threatening manner.  LPD negotiators attempted to talk the suspect into surrendering for over three hours with no luck, and eventually LPD deployed gas into the apartment. Within minutes the suspect surrendered without incident.  Mental Health Professionals were on scene and escorted the ambulance to a secure facility to have the suspect medically placed and held.  LPD has forwarded a report to prosecutors to charge Attempted DV Assault 2nd Degree.  It was a group effort, and all of traffic, all NPO’s and some SRO’s assisted patrol with this call and containment.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 1/26/07

January 26, 2007
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Lakewood – 100 Best Community for Young People: America’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth announced that Lakewood is a winner, for the second time, of the national competition to identify the 100 Best Communities for Young People. The 100 Best competition honors communities for their commitment to provide healthy, safe and caring environments for young people. Hundreds of communities in all 50 states took part in the competition. Lakewood is one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People, in part, because several schools serving high percentages of low-income students have made double-digit gains in test scores over the past four years.  Five small learning communities were created with support from the Gates Foundation to provide a more personalized high school education. The results are dramatic. The district's graduation rate increased from 56.1% to 66.9% from 2004 to 2005. A complete list of winners can be found at www.americaspromise.org.
  • Pandemic Flu Planning Conference: HR Director Debi Young, Chief Saunders, and Lt. Mauer attended a King County- sponsored Pandemic Flu Planning Conference in Tukwila as part of the City’s on-going emergency management process.
  • MLK Award Presentation: Lakewood’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Observance Committee held the 4th annual observance on January 13th, and  Chief Saunders was presented the first Lakewood Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award.
  • City Hosts Regional Legal Taxing Meeting: On January 25th, the City’s Legal Department hosted a meeting of attorneys and professionals involved in state and local taxing issues, including representatives from the Department of Revenue and municipal attorneys from throughout Washington.  Distant jurisdictions participated via speaker phone.  This group was recently formed to discuss current tax and tax enforcement issues pertaining to local jurisdictions, such as classification of taxes and taxes upon new technologies.  As Lakewood is a location central to most of the participants, this group will meet again at City Hall in May of 2007.

    LEGAL DEPARTMENT 2006 YEAR END STATISTICS

    Ordinances Prepared

    38

    Resolutions Prepared

    42

    Legal Opinions Prepared

    19

    Contracts Reviewed

    246

    RALJ Appeals Filed

    15

    Forfeiture Hearings Handled

    76

    US Currency Seized

    $369,643.13

    US Currency Forfeited

    $187,425.35*

    Criminal Cases Filed

    3,112

    Infractions Filed

    9,460

    Photo Infractions Filed

    11,482
    John School Referrals
    34

    Domestic Violence Cases

    878

    Domestic Violence Referrals

    1,378

    Legal Employees

    14

                                                                                       *Add'l $180,000 Pending Decision from Superior Court

  • Domestic Violence Statistics: The statistics for Domestic Violence cases that were prosecuted in Lakewood Municipal Court for the period of April 1, 2006 through December 31, 2006 are as follows:
    • 48% resulted in convictions.
    • 32% resulted in deferrals/stipulations.
    • 14% dismissed
    • Less than 1% resulted in an acquittal.
    • 6% were bargained for pleas on other cases.
    Accordingly, 85% of the cases have resulted in some level of batterer accountability, i.e. treatment, probation, abiding by a NCO (no contact order).
  • Washington Traffic Safety Commission Speed Pilot Project: Lakewood officers are participating in Phase Two of the East Pierce County Speed Pilot Project which is funded by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. The emphasis began on January 25, 2007 and will continue into February. The goal is to reduce speed- related collisions, more specifically, speed-related fatal collisions. LPD officers will join police agencies from other cities within Pierce County in this massive campaign to slow traffic to safer speed limits. A public relations effort is underway to advise motorists of extra patrols and inform them of the joint effort. Each motorist stopped will receive a pamphlet explaining the reason for the speed program and background on why multiple agencies are participating in the event. Upwards of 70 extra officers per day will be deployed.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 1/12/07

January 12, 2007
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Traffic Accident Reductions: Final figures indicate a 16% reduction of collisions in Lakewood from 1,308 in 2005 to 1,094 in 2006. The decrease was more substantial until the recent period of bad weather in November and December.
  • All Hazard Radios: The state Department of Emergency Management has provided all schools in the state with NOAA "all hazards radios." Lakewood PD volunteer Mike Kanter and Lakewood citizen Terry Mason, both members of the Pierce County Citizen Corps Council, have volunteered to set up the radios in all Clover Park District schools.  All hazards radios provide continuous weather information directly from the National Weather Service and are a single source for comprehensive weather and emergency information.  Emergency information includes warning and post-event information for all types of hazards, including natural, environmental and public safety (such as AMBER alerts).
  • City Manager’s “State of the City”: The city manager presented a “state of the city” speech to Lakewood United and also the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce on January 4th. The program highlighted progress made in 2006, and emphasized four areas for 2007 priorities: customer service, public safety, economic development, and communication. Reference was made to the newsletter, Lakewood University, the upcoming community summit on February 24th, and the new on-line customer service system about to be launched.
  • Seizure Money: The Special Operations unit of the Lakewood Police Department seized $361K in assets in 2006. A net amount of $148,480 related to narcotics investigations has been banked for 2006. The money is the result of direct cash seizures and property converted for department use or auction. This figure is reported to the State of Washington and the City pays ten percent of this figure to them. Remaining seizure assets are either not narcotics related or still pending the completion of seizure hearings.
  • Joint Legislative Task Force on Prison Reform: As the representative of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) on this issue, Chief Saunders testified on January 11th in favor of the pending legislation sponsored by Senators Carrell and Regala to reform state prison and offender community re-entry.    He has participated for the past year in the joint legislative task force and as co-chair of the sub-committee studying community transition and state/local partnerships. He also represented the City of Lakewood on this issue.
  • Lake City Neighborhood Meeting: On January 11th, the Lakewood Police and Community Development departments conducted a neighborhood meeting in Lake City, with 11 residents in attendance.  The neighborhood had been experiencing some problems with a legal nonconforming business and was seeking advice on how to address such topics as vehicle storage, right-of-way violations, and noise.
  • Community Development Director passes mid-century milestone: Director David Bugher celebrated his 50th birthday this week on January 11th, and the department staff agreed to wear sweater vests in his honor.
  • Building and Development Activity Recap: The following chart is a summary of progress made in development activity in 2006.

    Community Development Department 2006 Year-End Statistics

    1.           New construction valuation:

    $87,845,546

    2.           Total number of building permit applications submitted: 

    1,909

    3.           Total number of building permit applications issued: 

    1,698

    4.           Percentage of building permits issued the same day as the application date: 

     
    43%

    5.           Percentage of building permits issued within 10 days of the application date: 

     
    57%

    6.           Percentage of building permits issued within 30 days of the application date: 

     
    80%

    7.           Total number of land use/planning permit applications submitted: 

    355

    8.           Total number of land use/planning permit applications issued: 

    273

    9.           Number of Permit Counter Walk-in clients: 

    12,020

    10.       Number of telephone calls received by the community development department:

     
    14,036

    11.       Number of business license renewal applications processed: 

    4,060

    12.       Number of building inspections performed: 

    5,077

    13.       Number of Hearing Examiner hearings:

    10
    14.       Number of department employees:
    21

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 1/19/07

January 19, 2007
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • LESA Contract: The Law Enforcement Support Agency (LESA) Board unanimously approved this week a five-year contract with the City of Lakewood for police dispatch and records services, including transition to 800 MHZ. The mayor’s appointment of Councilmember Doug Richardson, who is the Public Safety Advisory Committee liaison, as LESA advisory boardmember was also approved by the LESA Board.
  • Crime Stoppers Tip Received: LPD received a Crime Stoppers tip on John “JD” Davis, who was in yesterday’s paper after TPD got a warrant for him for 2 counts of Assault 1st from a shooting about 6 months ago.  He was located at 5221 San Francisco and taken into custody without incident.  He was booked for the TPD warrant and other warrants.
  • Port presentation to PAB: The Planning Advisory Board conducted a meeting on January 17th at which Port of Tacoma officials presented onindustrial warehouse development trends occurring within the greater Pierce County region and intermodal rail transportation.
  • Wal-Mart: Wal-Mart and Anchor Bank were issued conditional certificates of occupancy today, which allow Wal-Mart and Anchor Bank, a tenant within the Wal-Mart building to conduct business.  There are some minor street improvements remaining to be installed and/or corrected, therefore, a cash guarantee was required.  All street improvements are to be completed within 30 calendar days.  Community Development required submission of a landscaping audit no later than March 12th due to storm-damaged landscaping.  The applicant may be required to replace landscaping as required by the City, no later than April 3rd.
  • Communications/Gov’t Relations Director: Jeff Brewster has been appointed to this position effective February 1st. Major Brewster was on city staff previously, and left in 2001 to serve the US Army Reserve Command, where he’s been stationed as Policy Plans and Training Officer in Atlanta since 2005.  He has an MPA from University of Washington.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 12/22/06

December 22, 2006
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Wind Storm Clean-up Information: In response to the wind storm, the City continues to clean up debris in the public roadways. Please note that property owners are responsible for cleaning up and disposing of debris from their properties, and should not pile debris curbside or on the public right of way.

    Lakewood residents may place storm debris in their yard waste cans for pickup on their normally scheduled pickup dates.  Storm debris includes tree limbs, branches, leaves and shrubs.  Please note: tree branches can be no larger than 4 inches in diameter, and no longer than 4 feet.  if you need additional yard waste cans or more frequent pickup, please contact Lakewood Refuse Service at (253) 588-1705.  Costs for the supplementary services are in addition to your normal refuse service charge. As an alternative, you can haul your debris to the Hidden Valley Transfer Station, 17925 Meridian E., 8:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. everyday except Christmas and New Year's until January 21st.  There is no charge for this service. You can also haul your debris to the Land Recovery, Inc., located at 10308 Sales Rd South, Lakewood.  Please call (253) 589-6993 for directions and disposal costs.
  • Building Official action on storm-damaged buildings: Following last week’s wind storm, the building division performed inspections on homes and businesses damaged by falling trees and/or structural failures caused by high winds.  “Unsafe, Do Not Enter or Occupy” Orders were issued to six residential properties:  6612 Linwood Lane SW, 7018 Cameo Drive SW; 12524 Addison Street SW; 10011 South Tacoma Way Space 2 (mobile home); 12906 Naomi Lawn Drive SW; and 8820 Dolly Madison.  Two “Restricted Use” Orders were issued at 19429 Portland Avenue SW, and 6620 Linwood Lane SW.  Inspections also revealed that many residences experienced “near misses” and were fortunate to escape damage.  Detached garages which were under construction at the time of the wind storm collapsed.  Some private roadways were blocked by fallen trees. Lastly, the large metal building located at 3906 Steilacoom Boulevard SW, adjacent to the railroad right-of-way, had been structurally damaged as a result of high wind loads to the south side of the building.
  • Public Works summary of storm activity: In response to the December 14th storm, Public Works estimates that we will have spent about $85,000 in labor, equipment & materials associated with addressing both road flooding issues and down trees and tree debris issues within the right of way.  That cost estimate includes the cost of taking down a number of additional trees within the right of way that had become a safety hazard issue as a result of the storm event.
  • Franchise with Lakewood Water District: The Lakewood Water District board of commissioners unanimously approved the franchise with the City at their meeting on December 21st.
  • Santa’s Sleigh: The Lakewood Police Department took to the streets Wednesday and Thursday evening with Santa’s Sleigh. Department employees were dressed in costume and gave out candy-canes and small toys to children. The sleigh was escorted throughout the city by a marked police car. This is the third Christmas now that the Community Policing section of the Department has arranged this event for the children in the community.
  • Search Warrant Pays Off: Lakewood Police Officer Dave Crommes, working with the Task Force, conducted a search warrant on a gangster that shot at a TPD officer three years ago.  The warrant resulted in 18 pounds of Marijuana, ½ ounce of Crack, ½ ounce of powder Cocaine and $27,000 being located.  Much of the Marijuana was hidden in small amounts throughout the house. Officer Sean Conlon and his new drug detection dog, Phelon, responded to conduct a search.  All of the drugs were located by Phelon, included very small amounts hidden in the back of drawers. The dog also located $9,000 in cash, with no drugs near-by.  Phelon has helped us locate many small amounts of drugs and has already become an indispensable member of Special Operations.