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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 6/22/07

June 22, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Hill Ward Community Meeting: Options will be considered at the next community meeting on Tuesday, June 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. This will be the follow-up to the community meeting held in April where participants visited the Hill Ward site, learned about its history and shared information, issues and ideas regarding the site after demolition.
  • Kiwanis Park Climbing Rocks: Members of the Clover Park Rotary Club installed climbing rocks at Kiwanis Park on Saturday, June 16th. Kiwanis Park is located at the corner of Bridgeport Way and Fairlawn Drive. The new climbing rocks and other site amenities, valued at $15,000, were a welcome addition to this neighborhood park. Besides the Rotary Rocks, we also have the First Lions Skate Park at this site.
  • Wind Storm Tree Debris: Following the December 14th wind storm, there were 61 sites throughout the city where the abutting property owners were inappropriately piling their tree debris within the road right of way fronting their property. After our first notice advising them that this was in violation of city code and that they needed to have the debris removed by a certain date, we were down to 13 sites that needed additional follow-up enforcement. After further follow-up, we are now down to two sites for which both have requested and received additional time to complete their clean up. It appears that we will have achieved 100% compliance at minimal City expense or citizen ill will.
  • Pierce County Courts Liaison Meeting: Judge Heller and Court Services Director Kathy Westerdahl attended a Piece County Courts Liaison Meeting this week with other area Courts regarding persons cited with Driving While License Suspended (DWLS), which continues to be a major issue taking up a lot of public resources. Participating courts agreed to work together in a cooperative spirit to address how best to reduce the amount of unlicensed drivers on our roads, and future networking meetings will be held.
  • Spring Alive with 5 & 5 Campaign: It is mid-point through the Spring Alive with 5 & 5 campaign of the City’s wellness program, and the City’s team has collectively participated in 114,329 minutes of physical activity in the past five weeks. Our mid-point goal was 69,400 minutes and we have surpassed that goal.
  • Fireworks Enforcement Preparation: Our public awareness Fireworks Safety tri-fold brochure has been updated to include the changes in the ordinance approved by Council last fall. It is posted on the City website and will be liberally distributed to block watches, neighborhood associations and civic groups. This year a tri-fold Fireworks Safety flier will be also distributed in neighborhoods that had a high volume of fireworks complaints in 2006. Copies of the flyer will also be available at fire stations, the police station, City Hall and the Library. An electronic copy will be sent to the Suburban Times and the News Tribune as well. In-service fireworks enforcement training will be held for all LPD patrol officers. Supplemental special fireworks enforcement teams will be out on July 3rd, 4th and 5th. – two additional cars on the 3rd and 5th, and 6 additional cars on the 4th.
  • Korean American Youth Police Adventure Camp: LPD and Korean American Police Advisory Group (KAPAG) are running a Korean-American Youth Police Adventure Camp for the third time again this year on Saturday, June 30th at City Hall. In 2005, over 50 junior and senior high school kids attended this program; in 2006 70 attended; and in 2007 so far, 72 kids have already registered and we expect over 80. This is the only youth camp for the Korean Community run by a law enforcement agency in Washington State. This year’s camp is formatted for 11 hours of instructions and activities. The training curriculum includes criminal law, traffic safety, conducting low risk and high risk vehicle stops, preventing street racing and road rage, K-9 and SWAT demonstrations, crime scene investigations, gang and drug awareness training and workshops, calling 911, and an LPD Police Explorer Program recruiting presentation.
  • Senior Center Father’s Day Men’s Breakfast: The Lakewood Senior Activity Center hosted a Father’s Day Men’s Breakfast last week. It was a success with over 32 men attending, who enjoyed a delicious pancake breakfast made especially in their honor.
  • Governor's Task Force on Offender Reentry: Chief Saunders has been nominated by the Washington Association of Sheriff's and Police Chiefs (WASPC) to serve on the Governor's Task Force on Offender Reentry.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 6/15/07

June 15, 2007
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • C.O.P.S. (Come Out & Play Sports):  The Lakewood African-American Police Advisory Committee (LAAPAC) and the Lakewood Police Department are hosting our annual C.O.P.S. (Come Out & Play Sports) at Oakwood Elementary School on Saturday, June 16th. This event is one of the major events we sponsor to foster positive interactions between youth in the community and the Police. Teenagers will be paired with police officers to form teams for Soccer, Frisbee Football, 3 on 3 Basketball, Volleyball, Chess, and others.   The event begins at 11 am and will run until 4 pm.  Respect, Trust, and Positive Interaction are being promoted with this event. Call Mrs. JoEthel Smith at (253) 584-4673 or email Julius Brown at for more information
  • AWC Annual Conference in Tacoma: Mayor Thomas, Councilmembers McGovern and Neary, and the city manager attended the Association of Washington Cities annual conference this week, with about 500 in attendance from cities around the State. Governor Gregoire was a keynote speaker, and her theme was the improving partnership between local and state government. Numerous workshops covered topics ranging from economic development to the new streamlined sales tax program, and from private-public partnerships to infrastructure funding.
  • CABC Training Session: The City conducted a training session this week for leaders of the City’s Citizen Advisory Boards/Committees (CABC’s). The workshop included reference to the Open Meetings Act, the Public Records Act, and the City’s Ethics Code. Specific emphasis was offered on parliamentary process, the role of the charier, and tools for consensus building.
  • Offender Re-entry Program: Further discussions took place over the last two weeks between the City of Lakewood, Tacoma, and Pierce County regarding participation in the newly enacted bill for a coordinated approach between Department of Corrections and local governments regarding placement of offenders. The County’s Law and Justice Council may well become the vehicle for program oversight, and the City of Lakewood is pursuing active involvement.
  • Police Officer Graduates the Academy:  Officer Mike McGettigan graduated from the 19- week Basic Law Enforcement Academy on June 14th, and he begins his field training on June 18th.  He is the first entry level recruit hired since 2004. 
  • Puget Sound Energy Projects: PSE gas just recently submitted for right-of- way permits for 3 major projects within the City’s downtown core area.  This includes replacing their existing system with new 2 thru 4 inch diameter gas lines.  Portions of their replacements coincide with our proposed street improvement projects. The total replacement footage they are proposing to do is over 33,000 linear feet (6.25 miles).  The major of streets impacted include Gravelly Lake Drive from 112th St to Bridgeport Way, Bridgeport Way from 111th St to 83rd St, and Steilacoom Blvd from Meadow to Fairlawn.  Their project involves the replacement of their old steel pipe system which PSE is focusing on eliminating from their system. The City noted a similar need for our Tillicum/ALG sewer project, and PSE may come back with a reduced scope change for these 3 projects in light of the sewer project.  However, since the City has near term improvement projects on GLD from 112th St to Bridgeport Way (2008 asphalt overlay) and on Bridgeport Way from 59th Ave to 83rd (reconstruct with sidewalks between 59th and Steilacoom in 2007, and between Steilacoom and 83rd in 2008), their final project will still be significant. 

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 6/1/07

June 1, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Asphalt Overlay – Bridgeport Way and Custer Road: The overlaying of the intersection of Bridgeport Way and Custer Rd, which is part of this year’s asphalt overlay contract, will commence on Monday June 4th. The contractor is limited to doing this work during the night time hours of 7 PM to 5 AM. This work will be completed on June 15th. To do this work on Monday through Friday during the designated work hours, Bridgeport Way will be closed to thru traffic and Custer will be limited to one lane in each direction. During the work hours local access traffic will be allowed on Bridgeport Way but all through traffic will be detoured over to Lakewood Drive. All affected businesses and residences have been notified as well as the School District and emergency responders. Reader-boards on Bridgeport Way and Custer Rd informing the driving public of this pending work have been up since June 30th.
  • Neighborhood Traffic Control Program: A Neighborhood Traffic Control Program has been implemented on 104th Street between Lake Louise Drive and Idlewild Rd as a result of citizen complaints. A speed study has confirmed excessive speeds (7mph over posted speed limit). Phase I measures including targeted enforcement have not been successful in reducing speeds, and we are presently evaluating Phase 2 measures including the installation of permanent traffic calming devices. Accordingly, a survey is being sent within the next week to adjacent property owners, to include a total of 282 survey letters, seeking their input on 6 possible measures. Once the results of the survey are compiled a public meeting with all stake-holders (adjacent residences, School District, public safety and CTRC) will be held to discuss the pros and cons of the preferred traffic calming measures. Implementation of traffic calming measures may be dependent on available funding.
  • Gravelly Lake Association Meeting: The city manager was a speaker at the annual meeting this week of the Gravelly Lake Association on the subject of street ends. The proposed strategy was presented in regards to extensive community input, the September informational meeting, development of criteria for assessment by the PRAB, and the role of the City Council in determining policy after recommendations are developed later this fall. The meeting was well attended and there was quite a bit of dialogue, and questions and answers.
  • Storm Damage Claims: In regards to the December 14th wind storm, the City has been notified that $52,219 of the $63,853 in claims submitted by Public Works has been approved by FEMA as eligible cost for reimbursement, at an 87.5% reimbursement rate, which totals $45,692. In addition, Parks will receive $1,626.64 and Police will receive $979.76 for their respective claims. Most of the FEMA non- eligible costs related to the preventive action the City took to remove a potentially hazardous tree at 9 Forest Glen, and the City will now pursue restitution of its expenses from the property owner. Official notice to the last remaining nine of the original 61 properties who have yet to remove their December 14th wind storm trees from their fronting street right- of-way will be sent this week. These notices will give the property owner until June 15th to remove the debris; noncompliance could result in a $500 fine for violating city code.
  • Torch Run: A statewide “Torch Run” is held each year prior to the opening of the Special Olympics Washington Summer Games. Police officers carry the “Flame of Hope” across the state in a relay that culminates at the SOWA Summer Games Opening Ceremonies at McChord Air Force Base. This year’s event took place on June 1st as the torch passed through Lakewood on its way to the opening ceremony at McChord, with staff at City Hall cheering our officers on.
  • Sewer Project: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the City of Lakewood released this week the American Lake Gardens/Tillicum Sewer Extension Project Environmental Assessment (EA). The release of the EA initiates a 30- day comment period which expires on July 7th. Public Works has maintained an extensive list of individuals who have expressed interest in the sewer project, and these persons will receive written notice of the availability of the EA. Copies of the EA are available at Lakewood City Hall (second floor), the Lakewood and Tillicum libraries, and online at www.cityoflakewood.us, starting early next week.
  • Abatement Report: Code Enforcement completed the physical abatement of a long-time nuisance property in Tillicum, removing two houses and two mobile homes that were heavily contaminated from methamphetamine production, three sheds, two cars, and three septic tanks, leaving a clean, vacant lot. The largest abatement conducted by the City to date, the final cost for this abatement is expected to be $37-40,000. Legal filings and hearings must still be conducted by the Legal Department. Additionally, staff issued an abatement order for a vacant, dilapidated house in Lake City, which has also been the repeated site of drug activity, and is receiving bids for the abatement of a dangerous carport and junk vehicles on a third property. The division is also preparing an abatement order for another long-standing nuisance property, in Woodbrook, containing three illegal and/or dilapidated mobile homes and a dilapidated house.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 6/8/07

June 8, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • WASPC Motorcycle Safety Sub-Committee: Chief Saunders presented an overview of the Lakewood Motorcycle Safety Awareness campaign to the Traffic Safety Committee of the Washington Association of Sheriff’s and Police Chiefs last week. The campaign is jointly sponsored by Fort Lewis, McChord and LPD and was initiated at the request of Deputy Mayor Arbeeny. It will become an annual spring/summer initiative. It involves increasing awareness of principles for safe motorcycle operation, emphasizing the need for the appropriate state motorcycle endorsement on the driver license, encouraging registration for beginning and advanced motorcycle operator training courses offered locally, and recruiting new riders to join in a voluntary “mentoring” program offered by more experienced riders. We have connected with motorcycle dealers, businesses offering motorcycle operators training, and local motorcycle clubs to assist our campaign. We have established booths at Fort Lewis, Madigan and McChord safety fairs and will host a major road rally safety booth at Summerfest on June 23rd. The WASPC Traffic Safety Commission supported our efforts and noted the motorcycle collision related deaths were the only category of traffic fatalities that have increased in recent years. They voted to establish a sub-committee to assess what more could be done state-wide to improve motorcycle safety.
  • Youth Council: The Youth Council participated as a team at the Lakewood Relay for Life held last weekend. The team met their goal, raising over $1,000 for the American Cancer Society in their final event of their year of service. Several members will be returning to form the nucleus of the 2007–08 Youth Council and will provide strong leadership for the group. Graduating seniors from the current Youth Council will be attending Gonzaga University, University of Washington and Cal Lutheran University.
  • American Lake Park Pay Station: The pay station at the American Lake Park boat launch has been reinstalled. The station was removed earlier this year after it had been vandalized and in anticipation of construction. The fee for launching a boat is $10. Annual passes can be purchased at Lakewood City Hall. Annual passes are $80 for Lakewood residents and $125 for non residents, with identification required. Fees support maintenance and future development of the site.
  • Adult Coed Soccer: Sunday, June 3rd marked the start of Lakewood Parks & Recreation’s second Adult Coed Soccer League. Leagues are expanding and we now have about 60 adults staying active at Fort Steilacoom Park on Sunday afternoons.
  • Youth & Adult Tennis: Lakewood Parks & Recreation’s Spring tennis lessons are now taking place Saturday mornings at the Clover Park High School courts. 18 students between the ages of 3 and 43 are learning the game from Instructor Amy Markhoff who is ranked 1st and 2nd in the nation in doubles and singles respectively.
  • Public Works Project Bidding: The Public Works Department will be soliciting for bids for two projects on June 12th. . The first is the construction of 86th St Sidewalk Improvements (north side only) from Bridgeport Way to Lochburn Middle School, partly fund by a grant from the Safety near Schools federal grant program. The second project is for asphalt pavement patching over the next two years titled “2007-2008 On-Call Pavement Patching”, and is a part of our normal street maintenance work.
  • LPD Patrol: Units responded to a reported burglary that just occurred, and a neighbor followed the suspects to a bus stop at Vernon and Washington. The suspects were located and contacted, and subsequently identified by witnesses. Ten suspects were arrested. Long story short, the suspects went to the victim residence where the female from their group was supposed to fight a female living at the address. One of the males went to the front door to contact the female to tell her to come outside for the fight, and discovered the front door was unsecured with nobody inside. A free-for-all ensued, with numerous subjects wandering through the house vandalizing and stealing. Detective Westby was called out to assist with the numerous interviews. Some crack cocaine and most of the stolen property was recovered. Most of the suspects were Tacoma Gangsters (GD’s). All 10 were transported and booked at RH and PCJ.
  • DUI Restitution Program: Lakewood Police Officers and the City’s Legal staff are ready to implement the new DUI Restitution Program. As authorized by RCW, this program will allow the city to recover up to $1,000 of the expenses associated with the response to a DUI incident. It’s estimated that the city could recover between $47,500 (60% recover rate) and $79,180 (100% recovery rate) based on 2005 convictions. The funds recovered will support between 24 and 40 more DUI emphasis patrols per year. Increased emphasis would also likely increase DUI convictions and associated civil recoveries, thus further increasing the number of potential emphasis patrols.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 5/25/07

May 25, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Lakewood Senior Center Open House: The Lakewood Senior Activity Center celebrated its first full year at the new location on Lakewood Drive with its Second Annual Lakewood Senior Activity Center Open House held on May 17th, with well over 125 guests in attendance. Many diverse vendors and booths were displayed throughout the center including AARP, Lakewood Police and Fire Departments, Therapeutic Footwear, and St. Clare Hospital. Word is spreading about the many programs we offer for Older Adults. The event would not have been nearly as successful without the great help of our many volunteers.
  • Seatbelt Enforcement Project: LPD is currently participating in a nation-wide seatbelt enforcement project. The Washington State Traffic Safety Commission has awarded grant funding for 45 extra patrols from 21 May through 3 June, 2007. The patrols focus on nighttime seatbelt use, LPD is conducting enforcement at all major intersections throughout the city.
  • Victim Rights Conference: Ann-Marie Dvorak of our Legal Department attended a Victim Rights Conference in Portland on May 18-19. The Conference focused on successful, effective implementation of constitutionally protected crime victim rights. Although crime victim rights are mandated, implementation strategies are still evolving.
  • Motorcycle Safety Update: Officer Jeff Hall is scheduled to coordinate efforts with Puget Sound Safety as a part of the Department’s partnership with them to further motorcycle safety in Lakewood and greater Pierce County. The meetings include:
    • May 28, 2007- Presentation to PSS instructor cadre on enforcement issues and trends we see as traffic officers in reference to motorcycles on our roads. Meeting at their outdoor facility behind Tacoma Mall.
    • June 1, 2007- Meet with PSS at Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA, for a street riders track day. This is an advanced safety course for the street riding community on the closed race track course
    • September 21, 2007- Again meet with PSS at Pacific Raceways for another street rider track day, interacting with instructors and civilian clients.
  • Disaster Preparedness Fair: Approximately 140 people attended the Lakewood Fire Department-sponsored a Disaster Preparedness Fair on Saturday, May 21st, supported by the Lakewood Police Department. The goal of this event was to provide citizens with information they could use to assist in preparing for any type of disaster. There were displays set up by electrical and water utilities, the Red Cross, Health Department as well as local businesses with products that could be used by citizens to help them survive in a disaster situation.
  • Clover Park Rotary Club SWAT Briefing: LPD Sgts Kolp and Eakes, and Officers Sivankeo and Hall, conducted a SWAT briefing for the Clover Park Rotary Club this week. The brief included an equipment display, an overview of the Metro SWAT team, its mission, and a question and answer session. Everyone that attended came away with a better understanding of the dynamics of SWAT, how it is used, and what it takes to maintain the capability required to maintain training currency.