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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 1/19/07

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.

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 12/15/06

December 15, 2006
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
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.