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

December 22, 2006
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.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 12/15/06

December 15, 2006
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Lakewood’s Citizen Corps Council: We recently submitted a request for our existing Emergency Management Council to receive formal designation from Homeland Security as a Citizens Corps Council. Citizens Corps is part of the USA Freedom Corps, and was created after September 11th to inspire and enable all Americans to find ways to serve their communities. This week we learned our request has been approved and we are now the Lakewood Citizens Corps Council (Washington). The new jurisdiction will now be posted on the Citizen Corps website and will be displayed on the Citizen Corps map. This enables us to use their logo and increases our competitiveness for technical assistance and grant funding. The newly re-designated Lakewood Citizens Corps Council supports community emergency preparedness and response activities. Our Council consists of senior representatives from the water district, fire department, hospital, schools and colleges, police and other city staff, schools, the private sector, and volunteers.
  • Hopkins House: The Landmarks and Heritage Advisory Board (LHAB) designated the Hopkins House, located on the north shoreline of American Lake, as a Lakewood Landmark on December 7th.  This house, built in 1917, is a classic one-and-one half story vernacular craftsman with a rectangular floor plan, bevel siding, and almost all the original wood windows with original glass.  The home’s placement on the Lakewood register establishes and honors the property as significant to the history of Lakewood.  It entitles the property owner to acquire a Lakewood Historic Register plaque and to apply for special valuation property tax relief commensurate with rehabilitation expenses and any other financial incentives for re-use of historic buildings.  The LHAB expects to consider several additional properties for designation in 2007.
  • Disabled Parking Enforcement Team at WSH:  As of December 13th, eleven Western State Hospital security officers have been approved to issue NOI’s (Notice of Infraction) on Western State Hospital grounds.  They have successfully completed the LPD-DPE training and been issued the limited commission that allow them to cite illegal parking there. We have a similar program with Pierce College security.
  • Lakewood a Finalist for DOJ Weed and Seed Grant: The City recently learned we are one of 140 finalists nation-wide for a Department of Justice Weed and Seed Grant. The grant could provide up to $150,000 yearly for four years. We were the recipient of a DOJ Weed & Seed grant from 2001 to 2005, which was the primary impetus for programs used to clean up Tillicum, Springbrook and Ponders. If successful, this grant will be used to enhance community policing, crime and blight reduction and economic redevelopment of Police District 3, Southgate, Wards Lake, and the mobile home parks along 96th and South Tacoma Way north of the 512 interchange.
  • Police Department Invited to Meet the Secretary of the Army: Because of the strong relationship we have built with our community connection partner at Fort Lewis, the 4th Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division, we were invited to meet the Secretary of the Army when he visited with the unit. Chief Saunders and Sergeant Michael Noel – our Community Policing section supervisor – were introduced to the SecArmy, who was then given a quick overview on the community policing training we are providing their non-commissioned officers, as well the NCO ride-along program we are instituting to patrol Lakewood bars on week-ends.
  • Arrest at Lakewood Motel: LPD located a subject at the Ft. Lewis Motel who was wanted by Thurston County for a robbery where the victim was shot.  This is regarding the note Officer Wiley put in the log a couple of weeks ago. Patrol Officers confirmed she was inside room #26 and that she had two felony warrants. She also had local warrants. She was taken into custody and booked into Pierce County Jail and the Thurston CO Detective was notified. She had apparently confessed to the crime in his voicemail.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 12/1/06

December 1, 2006
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Lakewood assists Steilacoom with Dangerous Person: LPD assisted Steilacoom PD this week with an armed and barricaded subject near the border of Lakewood. The subject had just gotten out of the Army where he spent two tours in Iraq. He held Police at bay for over two hours and claimed to suffer from PTSD. SWAT negotiators were called to the scene just before the subject became more aggressive, exiting his home with knives in both hands, closing in on officers and demanding to be shot. LPD officers applied multiple rounds from a less-lethal shotgun at long distance which struck the subject in his torso and hit one of the knives in his hand. He gave up a short time later and was transported for medical evaluation by Steilacoom Fire.
  • Bond Rating Presentations to get City rated: The city manager, mayor, and finance director made three presentations in San Francisco this week to Standard & Poor’s, XL Capital Assurance, and Financial Security Assurance (FSA) to establish the City’s first rating for bonded indebtedness. This will allow the City to move forward on its LID (Local Improvement District) financing as well as the proposed LTGO (Limited Term General Obligation) Bond for the police station project.
  • DUI Grant awarded: The City was awarded $3,500 in grant money for LPD’s December DUI patrols. This will cover nine 6-hour shifts form December 1 through January 1. These funds are part of the “Drive Hammered Get Nailed” campaign and will be provided by LPD Traffic and Patrol Response units.
  • WASPC Conference: Chief Saunders attended the annual State Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Conference November 13-16. For the second consecutive year Lakewood Police Department was celebrated as a Washington state Circle of Honor Member for our successful fund raising towards Special Olympics.
  • Cyclocross: The City received a very special compliment from the organizers of last week’s Cyclocross event at Fort Steilacoom Park, thanking the City for its support and for their participation in the cyclocross race on last Saturday at Steilacoom Park.  “…nice, friendly officers, I hope they had as good a time at the event as the riders and spectators did.  By the way, I noticed on the national bicycle racing website, this race was touted as being held in LAKEWOOD, WA.  So, a little national recognition for your town...”
  • Motorcycle Protective Suits: LPD recently received a grant from the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission for the purchase and wear of the Aerostich motorcycle suits. All five motorcycle officers are now wearing these all-weather suits which add an increased level of protection and enables all-weather, all-season motorcycle enforcement.
  • Speed Projects through WTSC: The first phase of the East Pierce County Speed Project ended with over 11,000 tickets issued for speeding within the predetermined safety concern corridor. This is one of two test sites in the State sponsored by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.   LPD provided staffing for the project that was funded 100% by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. Our officers are set to participate in the second phase of the program which will start late January of 2007. The overall goal of the program is to reduce speed-related collisions thus reducing the amount of serious-injury and fatal collisions. LPD was recognized for its effort by receiving grant funding from the WTSC for three laser speed measuring devices. The LIDAR devices will be arriving later this month and will be placed into service with the traffic and patrol divisions.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 12/8/06

December 8, 2006
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • American Lake Gardens/Tillicum Sewer Grant: On December 8th, US Ass’t Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Sandy K. Baruah announced a grant award of $1,500,000 to the City of Lakewood and Pierce County for the City’s American Lake Gardens/Tillicum sewer project.  Secretary Baruah’s announcement included presentation of the symbolic check, which was accepted by Deputy Mayor Arbeeny, County Councilman Dick Muir, County Public Works Director Brian Ziegler, REDAB members Linn Larsen, Dan Durr and Jim Charboneau, and City Public Works Director Don Wickstrom.  Joshua Johnston also attended, representing Rep. Norm Dicks.
  • NLC Congress of Cities: The mayor and city manager participated this week in the National League of Cities’ annual conference in Reno with over 3,500 attendees from cities across the nation. A central theme of the conference was “Inclusive Communities” and there were reports from several cities on their efforts to bring together members of their respective communities.
  • Continuing Legal Education Seminar: On Saturday, December 2nd, City Attorney Heidi Wachter facilitated a Continuing Legal Education Seminar (CLE) sponsored by the Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association. The CLE covered a variety of different topics with presentations made by local attorneys and judges.
  • DUI Case Dismissal: Associate City Attorney Rocio Guerra successfully appealed the dismissal of a DUI case.  The trial court ruled that the officer’s observation of weaving on a public roadway was insufficient to justify a traffic stop and dismissed the case.  The Superior Court and the Court of Appeals reversed the ruling and remanded the case back to the Municipal Court.
  • Lakewood Police Drug Dog in Action: Officer Jeremy Prater and “Duke” recovered nearly 10 grams of crystal methamphetamine on a routine search incident to result in an arrest following a traffic stop.
  • Fatal Accident: On December 7th, at 0613 hrs., Officer Latimer and Officer Knott were flagged down by a citizen regarding a hit and run that had just occurred. Officer Knott located the suspect vehicle at 72nd St. and I-5.  Officer Knott initiated a traffic stop on the on N/B on ramp to I-5 from 72nd St.  The suspect slowed but never pulled over.  As they continued on to the freeway, Officer Knott notified dispatch that the suspect was failing to yield.  A few seconds later, he called out in pursuit.  A few seconds after that, Officer Knott called out that the suspect vehicle had crashed. Moments later, he updated that the suspect had been ejected from the vehicle.  Apparently, the suspect swerved across all lanes of traffic and hit the cement barrier/divider of the N/B and S/B lanes of traffic. After the suspect was ejected, the vehicle continued down the barrier/divider for approximately 300 feet before coming to a stop.  The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.  No other people were injured or involved in the accident.  I-5 was shut down for several hours and LPD and WSP are doing a joint investigation of the accident.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 11/17/06

November 17, 2006
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Council Voting Record: The Clerk's Office and Information Systems have deployed the Council's Voting Record with associated links to a database of Council minutes, ordinances and resolutions on the City's website. These records can be found under City Council Meeting Minutes/Council Voting Record.
  • Lakewood Historical Society: The Lakewood Historical Society received official notice from the IRS with a determination that it is exempt from Federal income tax under section 501 (c) (3). In addition, they accepted the Society’s request to make the effective date October 15, 1998, the formation date of the Society. Now that the Society is approved, they can move ahead with fund raising plans, with emphasis on the Annual Fund for this year.
  • 1st Degree Burglary Arrest:  Patrol was dispatched for a home invasion robbery in which the known suspect had just fled. Arriving units were setting up containment and Officer Fraser saw a male matching the suspect description running from the scene. He was able to apprehend and detain him and the subject was positively identified by the victim as the suspect. The suspect entered the victim’s house through a back window when the victim was gone. The victim arrived home to find him, a neighbor from across the street, still in the house holding a bunch of the victim’s property, to include the victim’s gun. The victim made the suspect drop the gun and the rest of the property. Suspect then fled the house until caught by Fraser. He was booked for 1st degree burglary.
  • Foot Pursuit/Warrant Arrest: Officer Noble attempted a traffic stop on a moped rider for not wearing a helmet. The rider laid the moped down and fled on foot from the area of 109th and Montgrove. The suspect was found by Officer Russell near the railroad tracks at 108th and Lakeview. There was a brief foot chase before the suspect was taken in to custody. Once we got his real name we found a warrant out of California for 2nd degree robbery parole violation.
  • Domestic Violence Conference: Rebecca Hendricks, Victim Advocate, attended a conference titled “The Children and Families Experiencing Domestic Violence Conference.”  It was held at the University of Washington and had over 500 participants.  One of the keynote speakers was from the University of Toronto and had developed a program called Caring Dads, which is a parenting program for Dads, which appears to have some success in the area of domestic violence.  The other keynote speaker was from the University of Michigan, and works with a program called Kids’ Club, a kind of support group for kids affected by domestic violence.  The speaker spoke to the realities that children are incredibly traumatized and damaged by domestic violence, even if they only hear the violence and don’t personally witness it.   The training was very beneficial, and highlighted a lot of great ideas, while also addressing the reality that funding and implementation of services is essential.
  • Legal Training: Mike McKenzie, Assistant City Attorney, attended a legal ethics training about amendments to the Washington State Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys, taught by two Seattle University law professors and the Washington State Bar’s disciplinary counsel.  Cynthia Wright, Paralegal, attending training in Seattle this week entitled Trial Preparation from Start to Finish.  The course covered case management and organization, discovery techniques, document control and organization, witness preparation for deposition and trial, use of evidence and exhibits and legal ethics.
  • Police Department Commissioning and Awards Ceremony: LPD’s quarterly commissioning ceremony on November 17th included new commissions for new officers and promotions for Asst Chief Farrar, Lt Maurer, Sgt Zaro, and Det. Miller. Special awards were also awarded to several citizens for their roles in assisting police in major arrests. The Chief’s commendation was awarded to former CSO Jason Jennings and Explorer Lisa Cree, and also to Officer David Butts; and the Chief’s Citation Award was issued to Office James Syler.