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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/19/07

October 19, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Truck & Tractor Day: The Parks and Recreation Department will host the second annual Truck & Tractor Day on Saturday October 20th at Fort Steilacoom Park from 9am-noon. Children will receive a hard hat, climb up in trucks and tractors, make crafts and take a tour of the park with their families on our hayride. Many local organizations are supporting this event by providing a truck or tractor and staff person for the day. Event co-sponsors include Lakewood Fire, LeMay Enterprises, Lakeview Light and Power, AgriShop, and McChord AFB.
  • Driving Behaviors are Changing on 108th: A public survey taken in the St. Frances Cabrini neighborhood indicated a preference for an L.E.D. speed sign. Before the sign was installed, tube study results showed on a typical Tuesday between 7AM and 5PM (school zone speed limit 20mph) there were 359 drivers going 25mph and over on 108th in the West-bound direction. After the sign was installed, and doing a study on the same day of the week, same direction and during the same times, that number dropped to 160 drivers going 25 and over. This is a considerable improvement although this direction still needs enforcement. The East-bound direction was unchanged even though Public Works installed 2 more school zone signs to better inform the drivers of the upcoming school zone. The Photo-enforcement vans are able to enforce both directions on 108th without using the school’s frontal property.
  • Halloween at the Lakewood Police Station: The Police Station will be open on Halloween night providing treats, glow stick necklaces, and safety information. Police staff will be there from 5 pm until 8 pm. Invitational flyers have already been distributed to all 2,617 Kindergarten through Third grade students of the Clover Park School District within the City limits.
  • Bill Cosby Coming to Lakewood: At the invitation of Mayor Claudia Thomas, Bill Cosby has agreed to host two free events in Lakewood on November 13th aimed at disadvantaged youth and their families. The first will be at the new Hope Center (Boys and Girls Club) and the second will be at the new Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College. A detailed press release will be forthcoming, and tickets will be distributed within Mr. Cosby’s guidelines.
  • Steilacoom Blvd. Storm Drainage Project: Work begins this Sunday, October 21st, at 7:00 pm, on a project to replace a storm drain line located in Steilacoom Blvd. from Lakeview Avenue to South Tacoma Way. The eastbound lanes of Steilacoom Blvd. will be closed in this area from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am. A detour route will be provided. Most of the work will be completed in 6 weeks, weather dependent.
  • October 18th wind storm: The only Public Works issue from the storm event was the obstruction by a fallen tree of Avondale Rd SW at Horizon Bank. Other than that, the roadways were clear for this morning traffic. There were also no flooded streets as the Public Works Department with the help of Parks Department personnel spent Thursday afternoon clearing catch basins of leaves and debris.
  • American Lake Park Boat Launch: Construction at the American Lake Park boat launch facility began on October 2nd. The boat launch portion of the park is closed at this time and will remain closed until the project is completed. The boat ramp is currently being rebuilt and should be completed within the next few weeks. Other elements of the project include new docks, removal of the house, hangars and old office structure as well as adding a new entrance, stacking lanes and ADA accessible parking. It is anticipated construction will continue into early 2008. Only the launch facility is closed - the remainder of American Park is open for use. Check the city’s website for updates on this project.
  • State Representative Bill Fromhold Visit: Rep. Fromhold, who is the chairman of the House Capital Projects Committee which reviews all major State capital improvement projects met with Mayor Thomas, City staff, and the City’s legislative consultants on October 18th to review progress on the Hill Ward (Fort Steilacoom Park) clean up and restoration project (a $543,000 State allocation). City officials also discussed with him the Tillicum neighborhood planning process and the need for State financial support to improve infrastructure at key locations in Tillicum and I-5.
  • Woodbrook Late Nite: This popular school-based program originated during the Weed & Seed grant era and has been sustained by volunteers and city staff with minimal funding and is held on the first and third Friday nights from 6:00-9:00pm. Approximately 35 students attended the first Late Nite of the year on October 5th. The snack portion of the program is being provided through the GREAT grant through the end of the year. Open to Woodbrook students only, this program provides a fun, safe environment where they feel welcome and can enjoy recreational activities. Registration is required through the school office. Potential volunteers are welcome to contact Dennis Higashiyama at 589-2489.
  • Make a Difference Day: The Youth Council will be coordinating events and projects for Make a Difference Day which will be celebrated on Saturday, October 27th. The Kick-Off event will be held at the Clover Park High School Performing Arts Center with refreshments at 8:00am, the program will begin at 8:30am with a welcoming speech by Mayor Thomas, and the projects will begin at 9:00am. The projects this year include: removing invasive plants, beautifying the entrance area and replacing markers in the cemetery at Fort Steilacoom Park, sorting and organizing donated clothing for Caring for Kids at Custer Elementary, rehabilitation of the abandoned Flett Creek blueberry farm, and a Salute to our Soldiers in Iraq with a card/letter writing project which will be done in the Gathering Hall at Clover Park High School. Join us in celebrating this national day of community service.
  • Chambers Clover Watershed Conference: Greg Vigoren, Surface Water Division Manager, was a presenter at the Chambers-Clover Watershed Conference held at Pacific Lutheran University on October 5th and 6th. The focus of the conference was to learn more about the functioning and management of the Chambers-Clover Creek watershed. Greg presented to an audience of 100 a summary of Lakewood’s storm water management program.
  • Police Officer Angel Figueroa: Lakewood Officer Angel Figueroa was featured in an October issue of the area’s only Spanish newspaper “Fronteras”.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/12/07

October 12, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • LPD Officer “Caught in the Act”: Police Officer Austin Lee was selected by Lakewood’s Promise to be a recipient of their “Caught in the Act” for doing something important for kids. Austin was recognized for his sponsorship, along with the Korean Police Advisory Group, of the LPD Korean Youth Summer Camp. He received a standing ovation when the award was presented at the October 10th Human Services Collaboration meeting.
  • United Way contribution by employees: City of Lakewood employees exceeded their contribution level from last year by over 24%, with a total of organizational effort at over $11,707. Special credit is due to co-chairs June Aguon and Erika Sullivan.
  • 93rd Annual ICMA Conference: The city manager attended the national city management conference in Pittsburgh this week, with 3,312 attendees from all over the country. As WCMA president, he hosted a reception for the Washington delegation at the History Museum, which is associated with the Smithsonian Institute. The ICMA conference included workshops on citizen engagement, ethics, cost-cutting strategies, schools and cities partnerships, leadership, public safety, employee development, and ICMA’s Performance Measurement program. The city manager will be recommending that we participate in the growing consortium of Performance Measurement (CPM) cities in Washington State.
  • Armed Robbery Arrest: Dayshift officers responded to an armed robbery this week. The victims, a male and a female, reported they were robbed at gunpoint about 45 minutes previously inside their motor home, which was parked at the address. The victim reported that a male subject wearing a ski mask entered the motor home after breaking the glass to the door and took their valuables (jewelry, laptop, cell phone) at gun point. Officers asked for neighbors to call if the suspect vehicle was seen again, and it did show up again. The suspect was found near the vehicle and was taken into custody without incident. Several items taken from the robbery were located on the suspect and the suspect was booked into PC Jail for an armed robbery. The arrestee is a convicted felon.
  • Meeting with CTED Director: Four city senior staffmembers are meeting today with Juli Wilkerson, the director of the State’s Community, Trade, and Economic Development Department (CTED), who is a member of the Governor’s cabinet, to discuss support to the City’s projects underway in economic redevelopment, infrastructure (sewer and road), and housing.
  • LPD/Safe Streets Presentation to the Governor’s Juvenile Justice Commission. Chief Saunders and Safe Streets Director Priscilla Lisicich were invited to present gang prevention and intervention programs to the GJJC, representing one of two agencies state-wide. They discussed the Lakewood Kids at Hope Intervention Project (formerly known as Reclaiming Our Youth, or ROY) and the DOJ “Meth Busters” and Gangs gang prevention grant in which Safe Streets, Pierce County Sheriff, Tacoma and Lakewood will all be participating.
  • Animal Summit: The City hosted a successful shelter operations training session on October 6th for 23 community volunteers representing five neighborhood facilities and four public agencies. The purpose of this training was to develop a plan and train volunteers to support community needs during an emergency. The City is now ready to move forward with planning for the needs of people, pets and other animals during an emergency. The City’s Parks and Recreation Department together with the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, Humane Society and other animal support groups have created the Animal Care Alliance and are inviting the community to attend an Emergency Animal Shelter Summit on Saturday, October 27th from 8:00 a.m. to noon at Lakewood City Hall. The summit will feature presentations by Pasado’s Safe Haven and workshops on emergency animal shelter planning, pet search and rescue in a disaster, shelter operations and shelter financing. For more information or to attend please RSVP to Daucie Willson at (253) 798-2751 or dwillso@co.pierce.wa.us.
  • Lakewood Transit Station Update: Sound Transit and their general contractor, PCL, hosted a mid-project tour of the Lakewood Transit Station for city officials today. PCL and over 20 subcontractors have been working on the project since late March. The station is four months ahead of schedule with a projected completion date of mid-March 2008 for bus transit and the park-and- ride. The vast majority of concrete has been poured. The photos below were taken during the tour.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 9/28/07

September 28, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Byrne Grant: The City of Tacoma and City of Lakewood Police Departments have been awarded a Byrne grant application to Target Violent Crime with Active Crime Data Monitoring (ACDM) in the amount of $385,272 to cover the 2008 fiscal year. The money will be used to establish a multi-jurisdictional response to violent crime and gangs and reduce violent crime by implementing a computerized system that manages data and facilitates analysis .The system will be developed by ESRI and disseminated by LESA. It is expected that the FBI and Homeland Security will find this tool to be a law enforcement advantage.
  • Safe Streets Grant: The City of Lakewood and City of Tacoma under coordination of Safe Streets have been awarded a grant from the Department of Justice that will allow the City to focus on interdiction of organized gang methamphetamine distribution. The City of Lakewood will receive $19,800 to use for special task force emphasis, equipment and training in 2008-09.
  • Emergency Management Hazard Mitigation: The City is working with the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management (DEM) to develop a Hazard Mitigation Plan. The DEM process has included Municipalities, Public Utilities, and any interested non-governmental entities. The goal is to have a plan that is county- wide and clearly outlines the hazards that each entity may face and possible steps to mitigate those hazards or steps to deal with them when they occur. The plan is very close to completion and should be presented early next year. If you are interested in what has been going on you can go to the Pierce County Emergency Management web site and click on Mitigation.
  • International Visitors for Education and Trade: Our Economic Development Administrator represented the City this week during a City of Dupont dinner for a visiting delegation of business and government leaders from Poland. Dupont has an active government and educational relationship with selected areas of Poland. On Wednesday, business leaders from Lakewood’s Sister City, Okinawa City Japan, visited City Hall and also Clover Park Technical College and Pierce College. Okinawa city business investors are actively searching for investment opportunities in Lakewood and South Puget Sound. Okinawa City also has a large number of students attending the colleges.
  • United Way Day of Caring: A number of City employees participated in a United Way Day of Caring event on September 21st at the South Yakima Ave Multicare Adult Day Health Center putting on a Puyallup Fair style carnival for senior and disabled individuals served there.
  • Community Service Award from Boys & Girls Club: Chief Larry Saunders this week was awarded a special Community Service Award from the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound at their annual luncheon at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall. He was recognized for exemplary service to youth in the area.
  • Lakefront Street Ends Meeting: About 140 citizens were in attendance this week at the first community workshop to provide input to the development of a city-wide strategy or plan for lake access and resolving the street ends issue. While there were a number of strong opinions and emotions on this long-standing issue, the meeting was a healthy first step in the process of assessment of the sites as part of an overall plan. A link for the City‘s street end presentation is now available on the front page of the City’s website -- www.cityoflakewood.us . The planning schedule for the process is also included as a link and is subject to change.
  • Association of Washington Cities Board: The city manager attended the AWC Board meeting this week, representing Lakewood and the state city managers association. The agenda included the upcoming Streamlined Sales Tax (SST) process, the training agenda for elected and appointed officials, and the AWC insurance trust program.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/5/07

October 5, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Lakefront Street Ends Planning Schedule: The City has identified planning dates for the Street Ends process that will be hosted by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. More information can be found on the City’s website www.cityoflakewood.us under “Latest News.” There will be no meetings in October. Meetings for February and beyond will likely be scheduled in early 2008. All meetings will start at 6pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW.
    • November 27th – Define constraints and opportunities for each street end; develop criteria
    • December 11th – Conduct site review of street ends on American Lake, Gravelly Lake, and Lake Louise.
    • January 22nd – Conduct site review of street ends on Steilacoom Lake
  • Tillium Planning Meeting: On Tuesday evening, October 2nd, City staff hosted a community meeting in Tillicum to discuss alternatives for widening Union Avenue as an anticipated feature of the Tillicum Neighborhood Plan, overall redevelopment, and sewer service. A little over 50 residents participated. Staff discussed widening the right of way from 40 to 60 feet and presented the option of making Union Avenue a one-way street among other highlights. The presentation was well received but not as well attended as staff hoped for despite 600 mailings to affected tenants and property owners alike. The City will likely host another meeting in Tillicum before the end of October to solicit additional input from owners and tenants.
  • Mobile Workshop: Lakewood staff collaborated with the architectural firm BCRA on a “mobile workshop” as part of the Washington-Oregon American Planning Association conference being held this week in Tacoma. On Thursday morning, a group of planners and planning students toured Tillicum with an eye toward the BCRA Progress Plan as well as the City’s own planning efforts for the area, examining the neighborhood’s assets and challenges. The tour was capped with an extensive tour of Thornewood Castle, of particular interest to the historic preservation planners in the group.
  • Building Permit Valuation: New building permit valuation for September, 2007 totaled $15,204,509. Total for the year to-date, comes to $46,448,192.
  • Rose Garden Motel Demolition: On Thursday, October 4th, the Rose Garden Motel was demolished, concluding an abatement process initiated by the City. On July 12th the City issued a Notice and Order requiring buildings on the site be abated. In May, 2007, the State Department of Health had inspected the business and found “widespread and systemic” construction maintenance, electrical, fire, and safety risks. The buildings had never been connected to the public sewer system, and a mobile home/RV park had been established without permits or any connection to sewer. The property owner determined that it would be more expensive to repair the buildings, which were constructed in 1928, than it would be to demolish them and redevelop the site. The demolition contractor was hired by the property owner. In the next week the City will monitor the final clean-up of the site including removal of an older mobile home and decommissioning of an old septic tank.
  • Shelter Training This Weekend: On Saturday, October 6th over 20 community volunteers representing five neighborhood facilities and four public agencies will participate in a shelter operations training session at Lakewood City Hall. The City of Lakewood Parks and Recreation Department has taken the lead in put together a Shelter Resource Team to plan for the needs of our community during an emergency. The City’s Shelter Plan includes comfort stations (warming or cooling centers), short term shelters (2-10 days) and mega shelters (long term support for relocation efforts). The City is divided into six shelter districts to ensure that each neighborhood area is supported. The Red Cross and Pierce County Department of Emergency Management helped lead the training. We are looking for more community volunteers to support our efforts. Additional training will be provided.
  • Shooting Suspect Arrested: A gang related shooting occurred at O’Gallaghers Sports Pub. The victim, who has strong gang connections was there when several other gang members walked in and left without any problems. Shortly afterward the victim went outside; he told someone he had a feeling something bad was going to happen. He was right. When he went outside he was shot at least 4 times. He ran back inside the business and collapsed. Injuries do not appear life threatening. A witness provided a description of the suspect and his vehicle. A couple hours later WSP contacted two subjects that were walking away from a vehicle that matched the descriptions given. (seen by a DOT camera) A witness was able to ID the shooter. The car was impounded to the station. The suspect and the other occupant in the vehicle were also taken to the station for interviews with detectives.
  • Legal Department Open House: The Legal Department Open House held on Wednesday, September 26, 2007, was a success. Representatives from the Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the YWCA Legal Department, the City of Auburn, the City of University Place, and McChord AFB Judge Advocate were in attendance as well as many City employees.
  • 2007 Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys Annual Fall Conference: Anita Booker-Hay, Assistant City Attorney and Matthew Kaser, Associate City Attorney are attending the 2007 Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys Annual Fall Conference which ends today. At the conference Ms. Booker-Hay represented the City of Lakewood by serving as a moderator for the Criminal Law Section.
  • Washington State Sister Cities Conference: Lakewood Sister Cities Association members Franclyn Heinecke, Darrellene Canada, and Lois Stokes will be attending the Washington State Sister Cities Conference to be held on Saturday-October 20 at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia. The programs will include:
    • Sister City relationships in cooperation with community colleges
    • Community resources available to Sister City programs and members
    • Accessing the ethnic and Native American communities in the State
    • Fund raising ideas that might work for you
    • From beginning to end, how to set up a workable Sister City program
  • Okinawa Taiko Drums Interactive Performance: Lakewood Sister Cities Association member David Bartley announced that the Okinawa Kin Jin Kai Tieko Group would have a welcoming reception from 11:00-12:00 pm and an interactive performance from 12:00-3:00 pm at Lakewood’s Clover Park Technical College (CPTC) on Thursday, October 11, 2007. Lakewood and Okinawa City have been Sister Cities since 2002. The public is encouraged to take part in the free event. Please RSVP to CPTC let them know how many will be in your group and what time you will arrive – (253) 589-4535, (253) 589-6089 or email International@cptc.edu.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 9/21/07

September 21, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Interlaaken Bridge Fishing Platforms: Beginning Monday, September 24th, the County maintenance crews will be reconstructing the two fishing platforms which presently exist at about mid span on the Interlaaken Bridge which spans Lake Steilacoom. The work will be finished by the end of the week. The fishing platforms are presently unsafe due to rot and have been flagged to keep people off of them. Because they were apparently an added feature to the bridge subsequent to its original construction, their condition has no impact on the overall structural integrity of bridge, which is considered structurally sound.
  • Comp Plan Amendments: The Planning Advisory Board (PAB) held a public hearing on September 19th regarding amendments to the City’s comprehensive plan for 2007. There are four proposed amendments this year. The proposed amendments involve: 1) property on the southern edge of the Pierce College campus which staff is proposing to re-designate from Single Family Residential to Public/Institutional; 2) Re-designation of one property along the northerly side of 93rd Street SW from Single Family to Central Business District (this item is proposed to be tabled until 2008, when the entire block is to be considered); 3) Re-designation of property along the southerly side of Steilacoom Boulevard just east of Fort Steilacoom Park, from Arterial Corridor to Neighborhood Business District; and 4) re-designation of property located just east of the Burlington Northern railroad tracks on the south side of Steilacoom Boulevard from Industrial to Corridor Commercial. Pursuant to State law, the City can amend the comprehensive plan only once a year and all proposed amendments must be considered together. The PAB will meet again on October 3rd to deliberate on the proposed amendments, and then forwarded a recommendation to the City Council for final action before the end of the year.
  • Fort Lewis Family Safety Presentation: CSO Kathy McCann and Sgt Noel made a safety presentation on September 18th to the women of the Family Readiness Group (FRG) on Fort Lewis. These are the spouses of the soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Among the topics covered were self safety, protecting your identity, and latch key children.
  • Legal Department Open House: The City’s Legal Department is having an Open House on Wednesday, September 26th from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. in an effort to showcase the various services it provides and the different responsibilities of each staff member. All City employees are invited to attend.
  • Burglary Suspects Apprehended: LESA dispatch received a call on September 15th from the victims of a burglary that had occurred in East King County. 20+ firearms, a safe, laptop computer, rare coin collections, and many other items were stolen from the residence. The victims gave information that the suspects were selling the firearms and other items out of a Jeep Cherokee in the rear parking lot of the B&I. Dayshift responded and Officer Bowl located the vehicle exiting the vehicle southbound onto STW and conducted a felony stop with several dayshift cars behind him. Three suspects were detained and 7 rifles and a plethora of property was recovered. The Jeep Cherokee was also stolen out of Gig Harbor. The victims were contacted and arrived at LPD and positively identified just about all of the property and rifles. All of the subjects are convicted felons and were booked into PCJ.
  • Drive-by Shooting Suspects Arrested: Officer Jeff Martin took lead on a drive-by shooting that happened on Tuesday. He quickly developed suspect information and had Ops set up surveillance in east Tacoma. Ops and Officer Martin made a stop on a car leaving the residence and interviewed the driver. The driver confessed and said that two other suspects and the gun were in the east Tacoma house. Officer Martin wrote a search warrant for the house and SWAT did a surround and call-out. After about an hour of calling-out, the residence was finally cleared. Two more suspects were arrested and two guns, including the 9mm from the drive-by were recovered. A possible motivation for the shooting was to give one of the suspects a better standing in a street gang.
  • Bridgeport Way/Flanegan Retaining Wall: Presently out for bids is the Bridgeport Way retaining wall project. This project constructs a retaining wall on the westerly side of Bridgeport Way from Flanegan Rd northerly. Its purpose is to improve vehicular site distances for cars exiting Flanegan Rd onto Bridgeport Way. It’s also being constructed in the alignment that fits in with the future widening of Bridgeport Way.