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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 7/15/05

July 15, 2005



To:       Mayor and Members of the Council

From:  Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Bridgeport Closure: Construction begins on the Leach Creek Culvert Replacement Project on Monday, July 18th.  The project is located on Bridgeport Way at the city limits with University Place.  Work includes replacing a 5’ diameter culvert which is located approx. 25’ below the road surface.  A larger replacement structure will allow fish to pass further upstream and thus open up additional habitat for salmon and other fish.  To accommodate the culvert replacement, Bridgeport Way will be closed for approximately two weeks beginning Saturday, July 23rd.  The closure will be between 67th Avenue in University Place and Meadow Park Road in Lakewood.  Notices were hand-delivered to the properties most closely affected, and the contractor is required to display timely readerboard announcement both north- and south-bound.  A detour route will be posted during the closure.  The entire project is scheduled for completion in mid-September.   Please contact Greg Vigoren, ext. 7771, Public Works Dept., if you have any questions about the project.  We are thanking everyone in advance for their patience.
  • Building Permit Statistics: The new building permit valuation for the end of June, 2005 is $4,253,481.64.  The total building permit valuation from January though June, 2005 is $24,552,612.85.
  • HR Grant: Congratulations to the Human Resources Department for their successful grant application to AWC for a $1,000 Diversity Learning Grant. The training funded is targeted for this year and includes:  Attitudes Towards Differences, Gender Communication Differences, and You and Your Cultural Awareness.
  • City Connections: Attached for Council’s information is an outline of topics for the next City Connections newsletter.
  • Traffic Safety Camera Summit: The Washington Traffic Safety Commission and the City of Lakewood are sponsoring a one day traffic safety camera summit on August 5th at the SeaTac Marriott Hotel, 3201 South 176th Street, in SeaTac, (206) 241-2000, from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm.  Presentations on camera enforcement issues that arise for law enforcement, court personnel, attorneys, public works, and engineers will be addressed. The Summit is free to all interested city and county officials.  Lunch and coffee will be provided.  Attendees should register in advance so that sufficient lunch will be available.
  • Crime Free Business Seminar: The first ever Crime Free Business Seminar will be on July 26th at St Clare Hospital Resource Center from 8:00 am to 9:00 am.  Safe Streets Campaign is partnering with the Lakewood Police Department, Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and St. Clare Hospital to present this breakfast workshop.   Learn about Identity Theft, Methamphetamine and Other Drugs, Counterfeiting, and updates on crime trends.  There will also be an opportunity to meet and discuss your concerns with your local Lakewood Community Service Officer or Safe Streets Campaign representative. Reservations are through the Lakewood Chamber at 582-9400; prices are   $15 Lakewood Chamber of Commerce Members, $20 non-members, $25 at the door.
  • Veterans Support Commercial: Patrol Sgt Joe Kolp has been picked to be the lead speaker during a commercial showing how the State supports its veterans. The commercial will be filmed at the State Capital on July 18th, and includes the Governor and a few hundred people in the background.   Sergeant Kolp will be wearing his LPD uniform in the commercial.  This will be shown on all TV stations.
  • LAAPAC/COPS: On July 9th, the Lakewood Police Department in cooperation with the Lakewood African-American Police Advisory Committee (LAAPAC), the Daniel Chappie James Masonic Lodge Chapter and other community organizations sponsored the Come Out and Play Sports event at Springbrook Park in Lakewood. The event was a success, reaching out to nearly 50 young people in our community and providing a safe, fun environment to break down some of the barriers between the Police Department and the community. The events included 3 on 3 basketball, touch football, chess, dominoes and volleyball.   Helping to make this event possible was the support of local businesses and organizations including, Saar’s, The Tacoma Grocery Outlet, the Lakewood QFC and Safeway, the Clover Park School District, the Lake City Community Center, L&L Printing, the Lakewood Fire Department, Lakewood Explorers Post 253, the Lakewood Community Service Officers and most importantly the Lakewood Parks and Recreation.
  • YMCA: There have been a few serious police calls at the YMCA Friday Late Nights events.  One involved a young male run away from the location after he was spotted with a gun in the locker room.  They have also had a disturbance or two in the parking lot during closing time at midnight. The YMCA and LPD have implemented several new procedures to ensure that further incidents do not occur and that there is an increase in the safety of the guests and staff.   The YMCA and LPD have a strong partnership in protecting the children and young adults in the community.  Out teams agree that the main goal is to create a safe and healthy environment for the children to have a good time and give them an alternative to being on the streets causing problems.
  • Lakewood Idol: 29 singers auditioned Thursday night at Lakewood’s Idol competition.  Contestants ranged in age from 12 to 40 and types of songs ran the gamut from ballad, hymn, hip-hop, country and an acappella rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.  Eight finalists stood out for their singing ability and showmanship.  These contestants will perform in the Lakewood Idol final competition at the July 26 Concert in the Park.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 7/08/05

July 8, 2005


To:       Mayor and Members of the Council

From:  Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Wal-Mart Update:  Community Development and Engineering have had meetings with Wal-Mart representatives regarding the commencement of construction of the new Wal-Mart project located on Bridgeport Way SW.  The Growth Management Hearings Board recently ordered that the City’s Ordinance 323 was in compliance with State law, and that their former determination of invalidity be rescinded. Wal-Mart is close to meeting all of the of project conditions related to zoning certification and SEPA.  Outstanding items include submission of revised landscaping plans, completing hawk nest mitigation, installation of protective fencing, notifying Department of Ecology of petroleum contaminated soils, and removal of all existing billboards.  Wal-Mart has indicated a desire to have permits issued in August or September.  During construction, the City will have a compliance officer present to monitor land use and SEPA project conditions.
  • Independence Day Enforcement:  The July 4th Fireworks celebration went off well with LPD fielding Extra Duty Officers to handle fireworks call exclusively. A total of 28 citations were issued. Prior to the holiday, LPD conducted a thorough education and awareness campaign, including the distribution over several thousand fliers to residents in areas that had a high density of fireworks calls in 2004.
  • Lakewood Idol Competition: Check out Lakewood’s musical talent at the Park and Recreation Department’s first Lakewood Idol audition competition, Thursday, July 14th  from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers.  Eight finalists will be selected from those auditioning to compete at the July 26th Concert in the Park.  Contestants must be age 12-adult and (unless singing acappella) they must bring a back-up/karaoke CD for instrumental accompaniment.  There is a great deal of interest in this program and we expect local performers will treat us to some great music!
  • Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon:  Please mark your calendars for August 5th from 11:30 to 1:00 for the annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon.
  • Safety Fair:  The McDonalds at Hwy 512 & South Tacoma Way conducted a Safety Fair this week. CSO Gail Conelly provided child safety information to numerous families.
  • Vice Task Force Appreciation: In recognition of the leadership of Assistant Chief Dave Hall and Detective John Unfred in the establishment of a Lakewood/Tacoma/Fife/Pierce County Vice Task Force, and the creation of a Regional Prostitution Diversion Program (also known as "John School"), the Tacoma Weed and Seed Steering Committee will be presenting the Lakewood Police Department with a certificate of appreciation at their quarterly meeting.


City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 6/24/05

June 24, 2005
To:       Mayor and Members of the Council

From:  Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • GFOA Award  A press release has been issued from Chicago office of GFOA:

“The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States (GFOA) is pleased to announce that the City of Lakewood has received the GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its 2005-06 Biennium Budget.  The award represents a significant achievement by the entity.  It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting…..”

  • Independence Day Celebration The Parks and Recreation Department will host Independence Day on the Plaza on Thursday, June 30th from noon to 2:00 p.m. in front of City Hall.   Please come enjoy good music, arts and crafts for the kids, refreshments and a children’s parade along Main Street at 1:00 p.m.  This is a good old-fashioned family-oriented event designed to kick off the holiday weekend.
  • Summer Youth Camp Summer Youth Camp begins Monday, June 27th at Tillicum Elementary School.  This program, funded by a federal Weed and Seed grant, a City of Lakewood Human Services grant, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire USA, Lakewood Boys and Girls Club, Clover Park School District and the Lakewood Parks and Recreation Department, will run through August 19th and is free for children ages 6-18.  A free lunch is provided at noon during the 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. program.  Extended care before and after the program is available for a fee through the Boys and Girls Club.  This is a very popular program and is drawing large numbers of neighborhood children who will benefit from the safe and well supervised planned activities.
  • Come Out and Play Sports (COPS):  The Lakewood African-American Police Advisory Committee along with the Lakewood Police Department, the Lakewood Weed & Seed Program, Daniel "Chappie" James Lodge # 72, the Lakewood Neighborhood Associations, and Human Sports are proud to bring you, C.O.P.S. (Come Out & Play Sports).  This is an annual event that brings teens and Police together for a day of sporting activities and fun.  There will be free hot dogs, juice, and snacks available.  Events will include everything from Frisbee Football, 3 on 3 Basketball, Soccer, Volley Ball, Chess, Dominoes, an Obstacle Course, and so much more.  There will be prizes and gifts for all who attend and free literature about other events and positive things for teens throughout the Pierce County area.  The location of this event is Springbrook Park. This event is scheduled for July 9th and set to begin at 11:00 am and last until 5 pm. 
  • Youth Police Adventure Camp:  LPD and the Korean American Police Advisory Group will also be co-sponsoring a youth police adventure camp on June 24th and 25th at the police station.  Over 50 Korean-American youth have already signed up.  There has been extensive coverage on this in the Korean media and we expect News Tribune coverage as well.
  • AWC Annual Conference:   Deputy Mayor Helen McGovern, Government Relations Director Candice Bock, and the city manager attended the annual Association o Washington Cities conference in Kennewick this week, along with representatives from cities throughout the State.  There were workshops on City finances, economic development, “best practices”, public information marketing, and changing demographics and growth management.  The City of Lakewood received an AWC award for its Wellness program. 
  • SummerFest Success “Build a playground and they will come” – literally – by the thousands!  SummerFEST drew over 3000 people to Fort Steilacoom Park last weekend.  It was a very successful event, a great way to formally dedicate the new play structure and kick off the summer season.  We hope to expand SummerFEST to and all day event next year and include many more community partners.
  • KUDOS from the Prosecutor:  Lakewood Police Department recently received special recognition from the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, regarding a case in which the defendant was a repeat violent felon with associated gang and drug trafficking history with multiple arrests in Lakewood.  It was about to be dropped due to material witnesses refusing to meet deposition appointments and respond to subpoenas.   LPD located and arrested the witnesses on very short notice and as a result the case successfully went to trial.  James Osborn was convicted and is looking at over 200 months in prison.
  • Firearms Simulation Training Simulator: There is still time for Council Members to sign up to try out the Firearms Training Seminar put on by Canfield & Associates’ (our insurers) June 27th through July 14th.   The training focuses on “shoot/no shoot” drills designed to help officers to become more proficient in responding to suspects with possible opposing weapons.  Training participants are judged on about decisions when to use deadly force.  They are provided a fully functional modified weapon which uses a laser detected on a screen to show marksmanship against a moving target.  Each participant will go through four scenarios and a debriefing with the instructor, which will take approximately 40 minutes. Please contact Charleen if interested. 
  • Meth Watch Training:  On Thursday 6/23/05 The Safe Streets Campaign provided Meth Watch training to LPD CSO's and NPO's.  The training provided awareness on the drain in a community imposed by this drug and the tragedy it places on a family, especially children. It also covered all the indicators of Meth use and manufacturing.  It was designed to prepare our NPO teams to give similar presentations for the community, and mobilize community support in locating the manufacturing labs and reducing drugs use.
  • Fireworks Suppression:  The LPD approach this year will be much more pro-active against the unlawful discharge of fireworks in the city.  Special officers will be detailed to a SPECIAL FIREWORKS EMPHASIS TEAM and are expected to quickly respond to all fireworks complaints.  They will also take enforcement action rather than warning whenever possible.  Additionally, the emphasis patrols will pro-actively look for unlawful possession, transport or discharge of fireworks, again taking enforcement action whenever possible. There will be extensive warnings distributed about the more aggressive approach prior to the holiday. 
  • Lakewood Water Safety Council:   A standing council on water safety was formed on June 21st from the work group developed to assist with recent changes to the water safety ordinance, initiated by Lakewood Police.  The group includes representatives from the improvement clubs of all four Lakewood lakes, the Fire Department, Fort Lewis military police, the rowing association and the Washington Power Boat Racing Association.   In the first meeting, members reviewed the changes in the ordinance, covered the adjusted fine structure for ordinance violations (which will be presented to Council on June 27th), satisfactorily resolved American Lake use for power racing boats and rowers, decided they would sponsor a special LPD/LFD lake safety day at each Lakewood lake in 2006, and received an orientation on LPD, military police, and citizen lake patrol enforcement plans for 2005. 
  • Reclaiming Our Youth (ROY):   Chief Saunders, Superintendent McEwen and associated primary staff of LPD and CPSD met June 23rd to outline concepts for revitalizing ROY.  This program for coordinating intervention strategies for multiple risk youth had slowed during the police transition between the City and the County, but very positive steps were taken to rekindle partnerships and programs designed to pull kids away from gang activity, chronic truancy and delinquency and into healthy lifestyles and civic activities. 
  • Street Survival Course:  Sergeant Andy Estes, Detective Steve Parr, and Officer Sean Conlon attended the week long “Street Survival” course hosted at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. They received training in advanced street level investigations, officer safety tactics, and legal ramifications that they can apply to their roles in the Special Operations Section, as well as share with the rest of the Police Department. The training was at no cost to the City, since it was funded through a grant from the Pierce County Violent Crimes Task force.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 7/01/05

July 1, 2005


To:       Mayor and Members of the Council

From:  Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Holiday Closure:   City Hall will be closed Monday, July 4th in observance of the Independence Day Holiday.
  • Lifeguards:  Lifeguards begin summer service July 2 at American Lake Park and Harry Todd Park.  They are on duty from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. seven days a week unless inclement weather conditions dictate a cancellation of service.  The summer swim season ends following the Labor Day holiday.  Several of the lifeguards have worked previously for the City, so they are familiar with conditions associated with open water service.
  • Lakes/Parks Security Patrols Begin:  The Marine Unit began its formal patrol last week in the parks and lakes in Lakewood. The MSU Unit and Department Training Division held a State Certified Sound Meter Class on Friday June 24, 2005 that was attended by Clark County Sheriff's Office, Military Police, Camas Police Department, and Lakewood Officers. This provides state certification for the MSU Officers on sound meter readings.
  • Creekwood Update:  The Community Development Department has been in formal contact with the property owner at 6 Creekwood Lane SW.  City staff will be meeting with the owner to discuss business licensing and zoning requirements, to ensure there are no inappropriate activities scheduled at that location.  As of this writing, there are no violations to report.  This subject remains under investigation.
  • Clear Zone Update: The Community Development Department has received the McChord AFB Clear Zone appraisals.  A summary of the report shall be transmitted to the City Council at a future date.  Briefly, acquisition costs for the Clear Zone properties are estimated at $27,964,550
  • Joint Police/Fire Dive Unit Completes Training:  The MSU Unit and Lakewood Fire Department concluded underwater Dive Training with sound equipment and radio training.  They are now a fully integrated Dive Rescue and Recovery Team.  To the best of our knowledge, this is the only joint police/fire dive rescue and recovery team in the state.  Service to citizens and water safety are dramatically improved by this partnership.
  • WSH Escapee Training Exercise:  On Thursday 6/30/05 the Lakewood Police Department, Steilacoom Police, and Western State Hospital conducted a tabletop scenario exercise on a dangerous escapee from the WSH Forensics Sciences Unit for the criminally insane. The exercise was planned over a three month period by Sergeants Jeff Alwine and  Joe Kolp. The participants in the tabletop were all LPD Command Staff, Sergeants, and Senior Officers in Charge, as well as the Director of Public Safety at Steilacoom and Western State Hospital Security Supervisors. The event took about 2 hours to go through from beginning to end but provided valuable insight into the needs related to such an event in manpower, equipment, facilities, and public notification.
  • Mandatory Homeland Security Training Complete:  The Department of Homeland Security mandated that all public safety first responders, which includes all commissioned police officers, successfully complete a course that outlines the National Incident Management System (NIMS) by January, 2006.  The Lakewood Police Department achieved 100% certification six months early this week, when all of our officers had successfully taken and passed a rigorous online class and test.
  • Korean American Youth Police Adventure Camp 2005:  The camp was co-hosted by LPD and KAPAG (Korean American Police Advisory Group).   The youth camp was conducted at the police station between June 24 and 25.  The camp was designed for Korean American teens (between 14-18) in support of LPD’s Korean Community Out-reach vision.  Attendees received 11 hours of police related training and demonstration on various police related fields (Criminal Law, Traffic Law, K-9, Fire Prevention, First Aid, SWAT, Defensive Tactics, and Police Explorer).  Fifty people registered for this camp and 49 showed up on the first day.  All attendees, with an exception of one person, were Korean-Americans between 11-18 years of age.  On the second day, 53 teens showed up to the camp.  The certificates of completion were awarded to 48 students who attended both days of the camp.  All students were also given with the camp T-shirts (provided by KAPAG), City of Lakewood pins with the Mayor’s welcoming notes, and Lakewood Police pens.  KAPAG also provided lunch (pizzas) for the first day and dinner (double cheese burgers) for the second day.  Out of 54 total attendees, 12 were from Lakewood, 21 from Tacoma (both city and unincorporated Pierce County), 5 from UP, 1 from Graham, 1 from Olympia, 2 from Gig Harbor, 1 from Lacey, 3 from Puyallup, 2 from , and 6 from Federal Way.  Among the attendees, 39 were males and 15 were females.   Ten of the attendees have already asked for applications to our Police Explorer unit.
  • LPD Significant Training:  Officers Young, McLamore and Lavalley attended community oriented school resource officer training in Portland, OR.  The four day course was at no cost to the city.  FATS is on-going.  All of the detectives in our homicide/assault section attended a 2 day course on Investigating Officer Involved Shootings.
  • Lakewood’s Concerts in the Park:  This series begins Tuesday, July 5th at American Lake Park.  Concerts start at 6:30 p.m. and end at 8:00 p.m.  A variety of musical styles will be represented during the season running through August 23rd.   No concert will be held August 2 due to the celebration of National Night Out.

7-5          High Rollers                                              Rhythm and Blues

7-12:       Deems Tsutakawa and Seattle Groove       Funky Jazz

7-19:       Incendio                                                           Latin guitar world fusion 

7-26:       Lakewood Idol                                                 Local Talent Competition Finals  

8-2          No concert                                                       National Night Out         

8-9:         I Corps Army Band                                         Traditional Patriotic Music

8-16:       Bruce Robertson and the Reverbs                   Golden Oldies

8-23:       Island Jamz                                                      Authentic Caribbean Steel Drums

  • Tennis Lessons:  The City is again offering tennis lessons for youngsters ages 8 through 15.  Seven four-day a week sessions begin following the holiday weekend and are scheduled according to age and ability levels.  Classes are offered at hourly intervals from 9:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. at the Clover Park High School tennis courts.  This is the third year tennis lessons have been provided by the City, and we already have many repeat students whose skill levels have improved significantly.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 6/17/05

June 17, 2005
To:       Mayor and Members of the Council

From:  Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Joint Retreat Reminder:  The City Council/School Board joint retreat is scheduled for Monday, June 20th at 4:00pm in the Executive Conference Room.
  • Latino Festival:  The Lakewood United Latino Festival will be held this Saturday June 18th from 1:00-6:00pm at Springbrook Park. This event is likely to be the largest Latino Festival to occur within Pierce County history. The event will host more that 50 vendors, low riders, classic cars, food, and educational booths. Their will be music, mariachis, charo's and other entertainment. The event is sponsored by the Lakewood Police Department Latino Police Advisory Board, The Safe Streets Coalition, the Pacific Neighborhood Association, Centro-Latino, the City of Lakewood, and the D.E.A.  Councilmembers are encouraged to attend.
  • Reserve Academy Graduation:  The Reserve Academy Graduation is this Saturday June 18th at 6:00pm.  We will have three graduating from this academy that was put on by the Fife Police Department.  All are welcome if you are interested in attending.  The ceremonies will be held at Pacific Lutheran University in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center on campus.   It is in building #19 in the NW corner of campus. 
  • Update on Economic Development: Site work has started on the new LaQuinta Hotel on Pacific Highway at Bridgeport.
  • Adult Family Homes:  On June 15th, the Planning Advisory Board reviewed possible regulatory alternatives regarding adult family homes based on the premise that the City cannot regulate adult family homes differently than any other type of single family residential use. About 125 participants were at the meeting.  Staff listed 11 possible regulatory techniques.  The meeting provided the audience the opportunity to critique the alternatives, in addition to commenting on adult family homes overall.  Public comment was emotional and lively.  The Board directed staff to bring back a draft recommendation that included the following items:  1) requiring DSHS to establish an accountability board within Lakewood; 2) adopting a “zero tolerance” approach for property maintenance violations in all single family residential neighborhoods throughout the City; 3) requiring parking management plans for all home-based businesses; 4) strictly enforcing the International Fire Code accessibility standards on all non-standard road widths; and 5) requiring screening of certain sized refuse containers in all single family residential zoning districts.   The draft recommendation is to be forwarded to the Board within the next 30 days.  After that, the Board will finalize the recommendation for submission to the City Council.
  • Construction Bid Advertisement:   Public Works is presently advertising for construction bids for LID #1101 which is the Steilacoom Blvd and Lakewood Drive sidewalk improvements project. Also included in this project is the installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of Steilacoom Blvd and Hageness Drive. Bids are scheduled to open on June 28th.
  • SummerFest: At the grand opening of SummerFest on June 18th, traffic officers will be showing a motorcycle and a traffic car.  The Marine Services Unit will have two officers with the boat as well as bikes. SWAT will have two and an armored vehicle for the kids to enjoy.   Patrol will drive through during their slack time as well as near the end of the evening. All of the explorers will be there helping with the parking, crowd control, and the mass exodus after the show.
  • Firearms Simulation Training Simulator: Canfield & Associates’ FATS (Firearms Training Simulator) is coming to LPD June 27th through July 14th.   The training focuses on judgment.  However, the goal is to make officers more aware of safety so that they return home to their families after every shift.  Training participants are provided a fully functional modified weapon which uses a laser detected on a screen showing where the participant has hit or missed a target.  The participant must interact with actions or reactions of the life size on-screen actors to make split-second decisions on whether to shoot or not shoot.   The actions or reactions of the on-screen actors will vary depending on the participants handling of the situation.  Each participant will go through four scenarios and a debrief with the instructor, which will take approximately 40 minutes. Councilmembers are encouraged to come out and go through the simulator; please contact Charleen if interested. 
  • Senior Center:  Elizabeth Scheid, newly hired recreation coordinator for senior services, is off to a strong start as the City moves forward with its plan to begin operation the Lakewood Senior Activity Center on July 1st.  Programs will remain at the current senior services center located on the campus of Clover Park Technical College until renovations are completed at the Lakewood Community Center on Lakewood Drive later this summer.   Over 800 older adults are registered in this program and the City sought the input of many of them when designing the layout of the facility.  The new headquarters will fully meet the needs of active older adults long into the future. 
  • Ft Steilacoom Park:  56 City employees, and numerous police explorers, participated in work on the Fort Steilacoom play park construction last week.
  • Drug Seizure Update:  LPD has had nearly $117,000 in drug seizures in nine months of special operations work.  This contrasts to $11,000 for the first nine months of 2004. 
  • Management Team;  All City management team members participated in an all-day assessment and team-building retreat on June 14th.
  • Staff Teams:  Two groups of randomly-selected employees from each department participated in an organizational assessment with the city manager on June 7th-8th.