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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/27/06

October 27, 2006
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • South Korean Delegation Visit: Four government officials form Gimhae, South Korea will spend a week in Lakewood as part of friendship building mission in anticipation of future sister city relationship with Lakewood. The delegation will tour the city, Pierce College, Pierce College Library exhibits, meet with the Governor’s staff, Korean Counsel General and also tour several businesses and tourist facilities. The Mayor is scheduled to meet the group officially Wednesday evening with the Lakewood Sister Cities Association.
  • Photo Enforcement: The photo enforcement CSO’s have generated 400 infractions this week; the motor officers have generated 70 school zone infractions this week. (Note: Clover Park School District had a reduced schedule, as well as other events that restricted the amount of enforcement time.)
  • Felony Arrest through Motel Program: As part of the Crime Free Motel Program, Lakewood Officers discovered that a male in a motel room had a felony warrant. That arrest led the Officers to discover one adult female and a juvenile female that had been earlier bound and assaulted by the arrested male. The twelve year old victim had also been sexually assaulted by the male. Several new felony charges were added to the long list of crimes in the suspect’s criminal history as a result of this program at work.
  • Robbery Suspect Apprehended: On October 21st, an armed robbery of two citizens occurred in the 12000 block of Pacific Hwy. SW.  Officer Gildehaus noticed a suspicious male on the way to the call. He stopped and contacted the male on Pacific Hwy and detained him.  During the investigation, a third victim made contact and said that they had been robbed.  All three victims identified the suspect and he was booked into the Pierce County Jail.
  • Speed Humps on Interlaaken: As was concluded at the public meeting held at the Idlewild elementary school on September 28th regarding the installation of speed humps on Interlaaken Dr north of Washington Blvd, the speed humps have now been installed, and feedback from residents on Interlaaken is positive.
  • Business Retention Visit: David Nishamura, Economic Development Board and Joe Hannan, City Economic Development Administrator, made an annual business retention visit to Jim Gallagher, general Manager of BMC Building Materials. The 130 employee company is one of the City’s largest private employer and also one of the top sales tax generators. The company provides truss’s to the house building industry. The company is stretched at their current facility, but continues to be profitable with a positive outlook to the future.
  • CPTC Business Training: New No Cost Business Start-up Training is available at the Center for Business Development, Clover Park Technical College, and Be Your Own Boss Assessment is available free every Thursday at Building 19.
  • Pet Sitter arrested: The Lakewood Police, in conjunction with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Tacoma Police, and Steilacoom Police, worked a joint investigation involving the owner/operator of a pet sitting company. Since 2002, the owner has been stealing from her business clients. Although the actual total amount of the thefts in dollars is unknown, it is at least several hundred thousand dollars. Most of the victims either refused to name the owner as a suspect because they couldn’t believe she would do such a thing, or they just didn’t report the loss. Based on the overwhelming number of cases and the pooling of resources between all the agencies, the Lakewood Police Department was able to make the arrest. Currently, the woman is being held in the Pierce County Jail on the following charges; 14 counts of Theft 1st, 14 counts of Theft of a Firearm, 4 counts of Theft 2nd, and 2 counts of Identity Theft 1st, with bail set at $480,000. Originally recovering the victim’s property was looking grim, but with ongoing and aggressive investigation, it is very likely some of the property will be located. Since this arrest, the Lakewood Police Department has taken an additional 15 theft reports that name the woman as the suspect.
  • Personal Care Facilities and Home Based Business Task Force: The task force met this week and discussed a variety of topics including good neighbor policies and dispersion of group and adult family homes.  They also received comments on Tacoma’s proposed special needs housing ordinance.  The task force is likely to provide recommendations to the Planning Advisory Board in November.  After that, the task force and the PAB will provide a report to the Council in December/January.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/20/06

October 20, 2006
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • The NRPA congress in Seattle: Several Lakewood Parks and Recreation department staff members attended the National Parks and Recreation Association Congress and exposition last week in Seattle. Over 6,000 delegates from throughout the United States attended this annual event. Scott Williams, Park Supervisor coordinated two national playground safety training institutes and Mary Dodsworth, Director, supported a panel discussion regarding effective plans and strategies for the future.
  • Lakes Council: Representatives from the homeowners/improvement clubs from American Lake, Lake Steilacoom, Gravelly Lake, and Lake Louise met this week with the police chief, parks & recreation director, and city manager to review progress made over the summer months on lake safety matters. Also in attendance were representatives of Fort Lewis, Lakewood Fire, and the State. There was overall consensus that the City’s new ordinances on noise and speed were appropriate, and that the overall Marine Services Unit (MSU) coverage in 2006 was effective. Commitments were made for training and orientation for boaters at each lake prior to summer.
  • Monthly City Managers Economic Development Discussion: The city manager facilitated the meeting on economic development at the monthly Pierce County CAO’s meeting this week, with the city managers present from Tacoma, Fife, Puyallup, Fircrest, Orting and Bonney Lake, as well as economic development staff from the cities and Pierce County.
  • Freedom Bridge Sign Dedication: The City’s new sign at the Freedom Bridge (Berkeley interchange) in Tillicum will be unveiled October 27th at 11:00am.
  • 2nd Annual Domestic Violence Training at Fort Lewis: On October 18th, Ann-Marie Dvorak, Victim Advocate attended the 2nd Annual Domestic Violence Awareness Training at Fort Lewis. Nationally recognized speaker, Jackson Katz, made the keynote presentation, “Learning Exemplary Leadership: Best Practices Building a Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence at Fort Lewis, Washington.” Following the keynote address, Mr. Katz facilitated a discussion about wrap around services. Ann-Marie was able to glean information about how to best assist clients who are wives or girlfriends of soldiers.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/6/06

October 6, 2006
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Police Patrol Response Time: The LPD crime analyst has just completed a review of patrol response time to citizen calls for police service for 2005.  It indicates that for priority one calls (imminent danger) the median response time was 3.5 minutes and the 95th percentile was 5.9 minutes; for priority two calls (crime has just occurred immediate danger past) the median was 7 minutes and the 95th percentile was 13.4 minutes; and for priority three calls (crime not recent or service request, not a crime) median was 12 minutes and the 95th percentile was 37.6 minutes.  A graph with more information is attached.
  • Interlaaken Speed Humps: There was a public meeting at Idlewild Elementary school on September 28th with residents and users of Interlaaken regarding our NTCP (Neighborhood Traffic Control Program) proposal to put speed humps on Interlaaken between 104th and Washington.  There were 28 people in attendance (excluding staff). A staff study established that the 85 percentile speed on Interlaaken Dr is 9.9 MPH above the posted speed of 25 MPH.  Staff confirmed that the County lowered the posted speed limit to 25 MPH in order to meet established vertical site distance safety standards due to the dips in the road profile.  Staff confirmed that even under today’s standards 25 MPH is still the appropriate posted speed limit.  Residents asserted that speed-related accidents are occurring there.  Police concurred that accidents do occur there (2 last month).  Staff’s analysis of recent installation of speed humps on Tower Rd supports that they work.  Because no new issues were raised by the users of Interlaaken Dr., Public Works will proceed with the speed hump installation.  (A draft of the minutes of both the public meeting and the 9/26/06 CTRC meeting where this issue was discussed are in the council packet.)
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department coordination: Senior staff met this week in the city manager’s office with the director of health and environmental health manager to discuss issues regarding septic systems in Tillicum and American Lake Gardens in relation to the City’s sewer extension project, and to coordinate response to issues of water quality.
  • Bids for Local Improvement District: Advertising for bids for the construction of LID 1108 Street (S Tacoma Way/112th St SW/34th Ave) Improvements associated with the Panattoni development were posted.  Bid opening date is October 10th.
  • Annual Business Retention Visit: Joe Hannan, City economic development administrator, and Kevin Clegg of Pierce County Economic Development made an annual business retention visit this week to Armour manufacturing on Durango. Armour has five employees and manufactures specialized containers and airfield commercial and military equipment for Boeing. The business has operated since 1988 and has sales in excess of $350,000 with plans for expansion; they have challenges finding qualified employees and asked for help resolving right of way and utility easements in advance of new building construction. The company is the landlord to several adjoining manufacturing, service and distribution businesses along their busy stretch of Durango.
  • Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful Certificate of Appreciation: Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful Director Sallie Shawl presented the City of Lakewood with a Certificate of Appreciation for City employees who participated in the Paint-Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful Project. Over 2,000 volunteers and more than 50 local businesses and foundations contributed time, resources or financial support to help paint 84 homes throughout the area over the summer months. The following assisted with the Paint Lakewood Beautiful: Cassey Jankowiak and husband Rick, along with Cassey’s parents, brother and cousins; Mary Dodsworth, daughter Emily and son James; Debra Young and husband Roger; Joe Sandall and wife Donna; Melissa Wagner. Lakewood Lowe’s donated all the supplies except the paint.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/13/06

October 13, 2006
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Lakewood’s Promise:  Mayor Claudia Thomas participated in a conference in Denver this week sponsored by America’s Promise, representing Lakewood as one of the 100 best. She was a speaker and did a presentation to the panel on Municipal and State Action and Leadership: Improving Outcomes for Children and Youth.
  • Wal-Mart Court of Appeals Decision: The City of Lakewood and Wal-Mart received a favorable decision from the US Court of Appeals this week. This brings final resolution to all litigation related to this development.
  • B & I Gang Presentation: Officers Lee and Figueroa presented a power point on Gangs to 25 B & I businesses and six security officers. Gang member overflow from the Star-Lite on weekends has been a concern.
  • WSAMA 2006 Fall Conference: City Attorney Heidi Wachter, Assistant City Attorney Mike McKenzie, and Associate City Attorney Rocio Guerra attended the Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys (WSAMA) 2006 Fall Conference in Spokane last week. Ms. Wachter was the facilitator at a session on Personnel Law and Ms. Guerra was the moderator for the Criminal Law session.
  • Trial Preparation Training: Assistant City Attorney Anita Booker-Hay and Paralegal Cynthia Wright completed the final presentation of a two part series to the Lakewood Police Department providing training to the officers on trial preparation techniques.
  • Police PTO Academy Training: Officers Porche and Carroll taught the PTO Academy in Tacoma to members of the Tacoma, Lakewood, Puyallup, Milton and Fife Police Departments.
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Ann-Marie Dvorak and Rebecca Hendricks made excellent presentations both to the City Council at their October 2nd meeting and at the All Staff meeting on October 11th regarding Domestic Violence Awareness and accepted a proclamation on behalf of the City declaring October 2006 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
  • Legal Reference Library: The Legal Department has recently updated the Legal Reference Library. The resources are kept in the Legal Department but are available for other departments to check-out as needed.
  • Pierce County Public Hearing on Conservation District Charge: Received notice from the County that they will be holding a public hearing on Oct 31st regarding the reauthorization of the $5 per parcel Conservation District charge. The County originally authorized the fee to be effective over a 3 year period starting January 1st 2004.   At the time Lakewood was supportive and reduced its SWM fee the equivalent amount thus zeroing out any financial impact to our residents and businesses.  The County’s reauthorization proposal if approved is for a 10 year period and it includes all the prior supportive cities.
  • McChord’s Web Site:  McChord’s public web site has recently been upgraded to a standardized Air Force format that includes more information and resources and is easier to navigate.  Some of the information now available online at “http://public.mcchord.amc.af.mil ” includes:  press releases, McChord news and happenings, the weekly Northwest Airlifter, regularly updated base photos, the most recent fiscal year economic influence statement, fact sheets and Space-A travel information and guidelines.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 9/29/06

September 29, 2006
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Building permits issued. The building permit for the Sound Transit parking garage was issued this week; permit valuation was $17,000,000. The building permit for Titus-Will/Lakewood Ford is ready to be issued; permit valuation is $6,500,000, and construction is anticipated to begin in early October 2006.
  • Lakes High School. City and CPSD staff have initiated preliminary project review for the Lakes High School remodeling/reconstruction.
  • Landmarks & Heritage Advisory Board (LHAB). In its meeting this week the LHAB discussed a historic marker/ way finding program for Fort Steilacoom Park.  LHAB will present the way-finding marker proposal to a combined meeting of the PAB and PRAB in October.  The Boatman-Ainsworth house was also discussed; this structure is historically significant and could be in jeopardy.  The Council will receive a presentation on the subject in the near future.
  • Lifeguard program. The City’s lifeguard program, based at Harry Todd Park and American Lake Park, has ended for the season.  Lifeguards performed several ‘saves’ during the summer and were proactive in managing large groups of park visitors.
  • Fort Steilacoom Park events. Over 800 military personnel enjoyed activities in Fort Steilacoom Park on September 20th.  Promoted as an organizational day, the 42nd military police brigade from Fort Lewis enjoyed a BBQ and participated in sports and games throughout the day.  About 3,000 people shared space at Fort Steilacoom Park on September 16th as the Lakewood Soccer Club worked with its young soccer players and Lakes High School hosted the largest high school invitational cross country meet in the state.   Parks and Recreation staff assisted with logistics, and received compliments for its ability to coordinate these different activities and facilitate the parking, scheduling, routing and clean up associated with so many participants. Over 40 people gathered at the park this week to discuss the first six months of operation of the park’s dog park area.  They were very complimentary to City staff for their maintenance of this section of the park, and provided great input for improving the site in the future.
  • Senior activities. Two vans of active older adults from the Lakewood Senior Activity Center toured the Black Diamond Museum and Bakery last week.
  • Cooperative Efforts by Cities in Managing Wages and Benefits. As part of AWC’s WAPELRA (Washington State Public Employers Labor Relations Association) Fall Conference, HR Director Debi Young led a discussion group entitled “Cooperative Efforts in Local Governments in Managing Wages and Benefits”. References were made to the reports presented to the Pierce County-area city managers group.
  • Alfaretta House tour. 63 people from the Alfaretta House took a City Hall tour on September 29th.   There were 48 students and 15 adults accompanying them.