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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 11/04/05

November 4, 2005
To:      Mayor and Members of the Council

From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • 100 Best Communities for Young People Award: Five delegation members (Claudia Thomas, Andie & Bill Gernon, Ria Johnson, and Edith Owen) representing the City of Lakewood, traveled to Washington, DC to be recognized for the 100 Best Communities For Young People award on November 2nd.  Although Lakewood is still recognized as one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People in the nation, Long Beach, California was the Region I (Western region) winner of the $20,000 grant from America's Promise 100 Best Communities for Young People.  The four other grant winners were Salisbury, MD; Houston, TX; Mankato, MN and Rock Hill, SC.
  • Lakewood Police Birthday Celebration: Lakewood Police held its first Departmental Awards and Recognition event on November 1st to showcase special programs and lifesaving actions by its officers. Also recognized were officers and employees who were founders of programs which were successfully started and would not be in progress without these individuals’ actions. Each was provided a certificate and a brick with their name and the name of the program they initiated. Volunteers who have provided 100 hours of volunteer service to the Department were also recognized for their contributions. 72 Awards and Recognitions were provided during the event.
  • Sound Transit Open House: Public Works participated in Sound Transit’s open house meeting on November 2nd on their Commuter Rail Station project at Pierce Transit’s Training Center.  The City had a display of its Pac Hwy improvement project from Bridgeport Way to 108th St SW.
  • Open Bidding: Public Works department open bids on October 27th on both a city wide street sweeping contract and storm drainage system cleaning and maintenance contract.  Four bids were received for the street sweeping contract and five bids were received on the storm drainage system cleaning and maintenance contract.  Preliminarily the total of the apparent low bid reflects a substantial saving over present budgeted costs.
  • Economic Development Corporation Board: The city manager was appointed this week to be the Pierce County Cities & Towns Association’s representative on the EDCB Board of Directors, which oversees distribution of economic development loans for new business development.
  • Front Desk Hours: Last month, the Police Department attempted to increase the hours of its Front Desk from 8:00 AM- 5:00 PM to 6:00 AM- 6:00 PM. The trial period demonstrated that citizens were forced to wait for service at the front desk and when calling in for service, because the front desk is generally handled by two Community Service Officers. We are now moving the hours of the Front Desk to 9:00 AM -5:30 PM, which will provide two CSO’s for most of the day and still provide citizens with the ability to make it to the Department after 5:00 PM.
  • Public Works Grant Applications:
    • Applied to Washington State Department of Transportation for a $2,700,000 Regional Mobility grant for the Lakewood Commuter Rail Station project.  Sound Transit (ST) asked the City to apply for this grant.  If successful ST would get $2,000,000 and the City would get $700,000.  ST would use their share to offset some of the additional costs associated with building a parking garage structure versus a surface parking lot.  The City would use its share to provide the pedestrian/bicycle link along Pac Hwy between ST’s rail station and Pierce Transit’s Park & Ride lot. No new match is required because submitted the entire ST/City project as the scope so existing budgets were the match.
    • Applied for an EDA grant of $924,000 for the extension of additional gravity sewers lines within the American Lake Gardens Area.  If successful, use of the grant is subject to whether or not the fronting property owners will provide the associated local match.
  • Police Training Bullets:
    • Three police officers attended a 3 week Collision Investigation- Technical course hosted by LPD. This is the third level of Collision Investigation courses that are beyond what is taught at the Basic Law Enforcement Academy.
    • Several more employees attended the Weapons of Mass Destruction recognition course offered by the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management.
    • Evidence Technician Terry Neumann attended a 40 course on Crime Scene Investigation at the Academy.  This will allow Terry to better assist in crime scene processing and evidence gathering.
    • Several Officers and Detectives attended the Fall Firearms in Service training at Bremerton’s Range.  This training focused on Low Light firing skills.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/28/05

October 28, 2005
To:      Mayor and Members of the Council

From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Community Arson MeetingIn reference to the recent arsons, a meeting was held on October 24th at the Mt. Vernon Village Condos, with about 100 in attendance. LPD and Safe Streets participated. The fire department discussed how the fires occurred and the way they respond to fires. They then moved into fire prevention. The Police Department gave an update on our side of the investigation and then presented on crime prevention and safety tips.
  • Pierce County Responder Updates: The School Resource Officers have contacted all the Middle and Elementary Schools and updated the information currently on file for Pierce Responder, a work in progress with the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC).  The information was used in the two day meetings with Prepared Response.  All schools are mapped and have tactical plans.
  • Tillicum/American Lake Gardens Community Service Center Anniversary: The city manager and LPD community resource officer attended the 20th anniversary celebration for the community center on October 28th. A number of present and past board members were present, and the City’s support for the community center was the subject of a number of appreciative comments.
  • Pumpkin Patch: The Lakewood Pumpkin Patch was held last Saturday, at the Lakewood Fire Station 2-1 on Steilacoom Blvd. Lakewood Police participated in the event. There was a lot of fun for all of those who attended. The attendees were able to go around to different booths, learning about fire safety, boating safety, 911, and child passenger safety. The Pierce County Child Passenger Safety Team was present, conducting a free car seat check.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/14/05

October 14, 2005
To:      Mayor and Members of the Council

From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Construction Update: Street improvements (LID 1103) at the Pacific Hwy and Gravelly Lake Drive intersection began this week. Construction is scheduled to last approximately one month.  The project includes the installation of street pavement, curb and gutter, sidewalks and one street light along the Pac Hwy/Gravelly Lake Dr frontages of the Union 76 gas station/mini-mart. Also included are curb radii and related sidewalk improvements on the northwest corner.

    The Lakewood Water District has started a water main upgrade project on Pacific Highway from Bridgeport Way to 112th St.  The project is estimated to last 3 months. Their work is the result of a coordinated City/District effort to minimize future dig-ups of the City’s pending the Pac Hwy reconstruction improvement project.
  • Planning Advisory Board: This week the Planning Advisory Board conducted a kick-off meeting regarding work release and essential public facilities, with about 40 people in attendance.  The public participation plan was reviewed, along with proposed timelines, and growth hearings board decisions regarding work release.  Attendees included citizens from both Steilacoom and Lakewood, and representatives from the Steilacoom City Council, the Historical Steilacoom School District, Department of Corrections, Keep Lakewood and Steilacoom Safe (KLASS), and Progress House.
  • Colonial Motel: With the combined support of the Lakewood Fire District, LPD, the State Department of Health, and the State Department of Labor & Industries, the City’s Building Official declared the Colonial Motel unsafe this week.  Inspections revealed numerous and imminent life safety violations which compelled the immediate closure of all commercial/residential operations.  Both the City’s Building Official and the State’s electrical inspection field supervisor caused power to be disconnected because of imminent fire and shock hazards.  About 60 tenants were affected by this action, and were assisted in relocation by the City’s human services staff along with local volunteers.  A very special thanks go to Martha Larkin, Melissa Cordeiro, the Lakewood Area Shelter Association (LASA), representatives from the Tacoma Area Coalition for Individuals with Disabilities (TACID), and Network Tacoma.
  • American Lake Boat Launch: The City of Lakewood received notice that we may receive a $600,000 state grant to redevelop the boat launch located at American Lake Park.   Site improvements will include demolishing and removing the structures on the property, adding parking, redoing the circulation pattern to open up access to the three launch ramps, adding transient dock facilities and other park amenities.  Total project estimate is $800,000.  The American Lake Improvement Club donated $5,000 towards the project.  Staff is looking for additional resources to fund the remainder of the project.  Our intent is to begin construction in late spring and finish before the summer boating season.
  • Walk Across Washington: Lakewood was one of92 cities participated in the Association of Washington Cities’ Walk Across Washington, with 69 walkers including 50 staff members. Our walkers ranged in age from babies in strollers to active older adults from the Lakewood Senior Center, and they walked together from City Hall to Active Park on Wednesday at noon.   This walk kicked off a six week walking program which challenges everyone to continue a commitment to physical activity.
  • Closure of Papayas: A notice and order to revoke their business license for one year was served October 10th on the Papaya tavern on South Tacoma Way, due to on-going criminal activity.   The owners have 10 days to close the business or request a hearing.
  • Gang Training at Clover Park High School: LPD has prepared a gang training presentation for CPSD staff and will present it at the High School this week for the first time, as a prelude to training in both high and middle schools.
  • Police Chief speaks to Neighborhood Meeting: On October 3rd, Chief Saunders was the speaker at a neighborhood association meeting at the Lakewood Oaks Development, with about 20-25 people present. Chief Saunders spoke about goals including responsiveness to speeders and property crime.
  • First meeting of the Regional Vice Task Force: Representatives from LPD, Fife PD, King Co Sheriff, the PC Health Dept, Safe Streets, attended the first meeting of the Regional Vice Task Force in Fife this week.  The intent is to follow these strategy sessions with a multi-jurisdictional prostitution emphasis each month. The task force will conduct its first full operation in November.  The first John School will also launch in November.
  • Chiefs meet with Ft Lewis commanders: Lakewood Police Senior Leadership held a successful meeting on October 12th, with Colonel John Lehr, commander of the 2 Cavalry Regiment, LTC Alfredo Mycue, his 2nd Squadron commander, and their Command Sergeants Major of the 2nd Calvary Brigade to discuss cooperative programs to ensure the safety and discipline of soldiers and their families while in Lakewood.
  • WSP Meets with LPD: Thursday, October 13th, Lakewood Command Staff met with Lieutenant Julie Johnson of the Washington State Patrol and two of her command Sergeants to discuss State and City law enforcement cooperation.
  • Patrol Play of the Week: On October 8th, at 0549 hours Sgt. Kolp, Officers Wurts, Wiley, and Herritt were dispatched to a possible vehicle prowl in progress at 8308 Berkley Street. The reporting party indicated she had witnessed two subjects break the passenger side window of a vehicle and were stealing multiple items. The officers observed a subject inside the vehicle. That subject was immediately taken into custody and search incident to arrest showed the suspect had possession of the victim’s credit card. After securing that subject, the officers began looking for the second subject, who was located in some nearby bushes and also had possession of several of the victim’s items. The charges include Theft 2nd, Theft 3rd, Vehicle Prowling, Malicious Mischief 3rd and Possession of a Dangerous Weapon. Another great example of Lakewood’s Finest!
  • Special Olympics Final Talley: The funds raised from LPD’s four Special Olympics fund-raisers in 2005 exceed $5,000, gaining us honor unit recognition. The Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run Conference will be held this month in Minneapolis. Honor agencies are allowed one member to attend at conference expense; Sergeant Alex Kasuske led our effort and will represent us.
  • Diversity Grant. Thanks to a Diversity Grant from the Association of Washington Cities, interested employees attended two workshops on September 29th. .  Participants in the first class, You and Your Cultural Awareness, learned how cultural norms affect the workplace, and The Gender Communications Differences workshop promoted the best possible communication and understanding between men and women in the workplace.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/21/05

October 21, 2005
To:      Mayor and Members of the Council

From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys: The WSAMA Conference was attended by Heidi Wachter, Rocio Guerra and Mike McKenzie of the Legal Department on October 12-14, City Attorney Heidi Wachter was asked to chair a task force to review the Attorney General’s draft model rules on public disclosure and also serve on a committee to revise the publication of the public law ethics primer. She has also been appointed editor of the land use section of a model forms book being produced by MRSC.
  • Project Update: Sentinel Dr / Steilacoom Blvd / 87th Ave (Western State Hospital – LID 1102: This project was let out to bid on October 18th, with bid opening scheduled for November 1st; it includes street frontage improvements (primarily curb & gutter and sidewalk) on Sentinel Dr and 87th Ave and street and pathway lighting improvements along Steilacoom. Because the street and path lighting system utilizes significant amounts of PVC conduit, which is in short supply due to major manufacturing facilities being destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, Public Works was considering temporarily shelving the project.  After further consideration, Public Works decided to bid the project to evaluate the bidding climate.  If bids come in extremely high, we may choose to reject all bids and hold the project until next Spring.
  • Tillicum After School Program: This program, which combines academics, fitness and fun, will begin on Halloween, October 31st. Tillicum students are referred to the program by their teachers.  The program is a result of the collaboration of Communities in Schools, the USDA snack program, the Clover Park School District and the City’s Parks & Recreation Department.  It features a one hour classroom session that emphasizes reading and math skills and a follow-up recreation session that incorporates the skills practiced in the classroom.
  • Woodbrook Late Nite Program: This popular Weed & Seed funded program presented in conjunction with the Parks & Recreation Department will begin October 21st. Open to Woodbrook Middle School 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.
  • Schooner’s Tavern: LPD has been working with the Schooner’s Tavern on a Voluntary Crime Prevention Plan. The cooperation with Schooner’s has been extraordinary and it has proven to help reduce violent and general calls for service at the facility during this time frame, and Schooner’s manager has become co-chair of the Lakewood Police Bar Owners Association. This is an example of cooperative work with a business in ensuring that the owners, management and employees understood and implemented the “Raising the Bar” best practices.
  • LPD “Play of the Week”: Last weekend, LPD received information that a Lakewood prisoner serving time at Wapato Jail had escaped by walking away from a work crew.  The escaped prisoner had been seen at Meadow Road.  Officers responded, but he had left the area.   Later, information was received that he was possibly hiding out at a house in Lakewood located on  78th St West.  Several officers responded but learned they were about an hour late.  Surveillance was also set up at the escapee’s mother’s house in Lakewood, where his truck was parked in front and word was that he had been trying all day to get the keys to the truck.  Later units converged on the 78th St West address and located the escapee in the carport; he was taken into custody without incident. He was booked into the Pierce County Jail for Escape 1st degree.
  • Public Works Grant Applications submitted (all listed in the 6-year TIP):
    1. Safe Routes to Schools Program – Lochburn Middle School: The City supported Clover Park School District’s application for this grant which will include: a) sidewalks along one side of 86th Street SW from Bridgeport to Lochburn; b) yellow flashing lights along Steilacoom Blvd.; and c) educational materials and resources for encouraging safe walking and bicycling to school.  The City dedicated $50,000 toward this project as designated in the 6-Year TIP (2006-2011).
    2. South Tacoma Way / 88th Street Intersection and Corridor Safety Program: The City applied for funding to provide modifications to this intersection including driveway relocation to line up with the existing 3-legged signal.  Other signal and access control improvements are proposed.  The City anticipates matching funds to come from the adjacent property owner who approached the City in helping provide such improvements.
    3. Motor Avenue / Whitman Avenue Intersection and Corridor Safety Program:  The City of Lakewood applied for funding to construct a 4-leg mast-arm traffic signal at this intersection.  This intersection has historically been the City’s top accident location.  The traffic signal will provide a controlled intersection and be consistent with the adjacent signal system through the Central Business District (CBD).
    4. Custer Road / John Dower Road Intersection and Corridor Safety Program:  The City of Lakewood applied for funding to provide protected left turn pocket and signalization on Custer Road.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/7/05

October 7, 2005
To:      Mayor and Members of the Council

From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Steilacoom Lake Public Meeting: City staff will participate in LSIC’s public meeting on October 11th at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers to discuss the framework for an aquatic vegetation management plan for Steilacoom Lake. This cooperative effort is part of the recently-approved agreement with LSIC.
  • Domestic Violence Healing Field: In honor of Washington residents who have lost their lives to family violence, The Lakewood Partnership Against Domestic Violence and the Business Masters Exchange Club of Pierce County presented a “Domestic Violence Healing Field” on the grassy area adjacent to City Hall on October 3-5, 2005. A brief dedication ceremony was held on October 3rd in the Council Chambers.
  • LPD Officers assist Puyallup Police Shooting Investigation: Puyallup Police officers became involved in a shoot-out with two burglars in their city on Friday, September 30th in the afternoon. As part of the Crime Response Unit agreement between our two cities, Puyallup requested assistance with their investigation. LPD detectives headed to the scene immediately, followed by two LPD traffic unit members with the “Total Station” mapping instrument. Leadership from the Puyallup Police Department has thanked LPD for all of our assistance and praised their work.
  • LPD officers on the radio. Angel Figueroa and CSO Melissa Wagner spoke at a Spanish radio spot on 1360AM Radio Sol, about the relationship between the Lakewood Police and the Latinos of the Lakewood Community and the collaboration between the two groups. They also addressed the need for Latino Youth in our Lakewood Police Explorer Program, and attended the Spanish Mass at St. Francis Cabrini on October 2nd.
  • Loss Prevention Meeting RecapOn September 28th, the Lakeview District NPO and CSO held a Loss Prevention meeting for the large businesses and Property Managers in the Lakewood Towne Center.  We had 20 attendees representing 15 businesses.  Topics included: Business Crime Trends, Preparing for the Holiday Season, and the issues included in the Crime Free Business Catalog.  We received positive feedback from the attendees, with a firm commitment to meet quarterly.  A phone tree will be put in place by November 1st, for businesses to share information as crimes and suspicious circumstances arise.