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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 2/24/06

February 24, 2006
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To:          Mayor and Members of the Council
From:     Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Storm Clean-up: In the aftermath of the February 17th windstorm, most of the City’s rights-of-way were cleared of tree-limbs and debris in a few days, and the City’s traffic signals resumed operational status. Efforts have been coordinated with Lakewood Refuse regarding special pick-ups to be requested by residents, as well as availability of the recycling site at Sales Road. To publicize the information, a bulletin will go out in today’s City Happenings.
  • Domestic Violence Training: In May, the City will be sending a team comprised of a prosecutor, police officer and a community advocate to a three- day training entitled Advocacy, Law Enforcement and Prosecution: Working Together as a Team. This training is offered once a year and is provided by invitation only. The training is designed to bridge the gaps between law enforcement, prosecutors and community advocates in an effort to help government and non profit organizations provide better service to victims.
  • DV Info: The temporary protection order kiosk has now been moved. It is still located on the third floor but is at the end of the hall way to afford citizens to use more privacy.
  • Targeted Crosswalk Enforcement = Pedestrian Safety: In order to lessen the risk of serious pedestrian injuries and fatalities, the Police Department has again implemented the Targeted Crosswalk Enforcement Program. This program will help focus drivers to show due care when driving a motor vehicle past a cross walk when pedestrians are present. LPD implemented this program in 2005 and found it be effective on the small scale in which it was used. These Pedestrian Emphasis Patrols will help us clearly define where our problem pedestrian crosswalk issues are located. We will then educate the public by enforcing the laws and providing educational literature.
  • LAAPAC: The LAAPAC (Lakewood African American Police Advisory Council) was the feature on the February 22nd Lincoln DeMarco Radio show in Lakewood.  LAAPAC was asked to make this a monthly event. There was the opportunity to talk about the other police outreach programs in the community as well. The concept of making for a safer community by filling voids and getting services into families as a prevention strategy was introduced.
  • Lawyer recruitment: The Legal Department will be sending an attorney to participate in Seattle University School of Law’s annual National Minority Law Student Recruitment month event located at Mt. Tahoma HS on February 24th.
  • Community Debrief: With the help of community members Ed Kane and Pam Roebuck last Saturday, CSO Jason Jennings conducted a community debrief meeting at the fire station on Washington Blvd regarding a shots fired call that had recently occurred in the area. There were 15 people in attendance. The debrief began with review of the incident and the police response.  It then moved into what a block watch is and how it works. Two strong block watches are being formed, on 114th and on Forest.
  • Theft of Bait vehicle ended with 2 arrests:  Lakewood Police Department’s bait car was activated this week. This is a highly sophisticated vehicle, donated by State Farm Insurance, that is monitored and information is forwarded to the Police when it is activated. Activation occurs when any door opens, ignition is turned on, or the trunk or hood is opened. A GPS tracking system allows us to safely follow the vehicle’s course. At a safe speed and location, the doors lock and the engine is disabled. The suspects in this case admitted to “taking” the bait vehicle.  They said they were on their way to work when they saw the car and decided to take it instead of going to work.  Both subjects were in their construction clothes and were wearing tool belts. Both suspects were booked for Theft 1st Degree.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 2/17/06

February 17, 2006
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To:      Mayor and Members of the Council

From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Proposed 20-Lot Subdivision at Butte and 104th Street SW: City staff conveyed information about the sensitivity of the community concerns, and the developer has chosen to submit alternative subdivision design proposals to address traffic issues. These are under preparation which has delayed any action on the application.
  • Wal-Mart Update: Subcontractors have begun preliminary work at the Wal-Mart construction site, which includes installation of construction entrances, and drainage and erosion control measures. Onsite grading activities may begin once these items have been installed and inspected by the City, and after the current status of the Red-Tailed Hawk and associated nest is reviewed. If the nest is active, the City will require minimized construction activity in proximity of the nest from April 1st through July 31st. A haul route plan, which is part of the project’s pre-loading process, has been submitted, but has not been approved. Wal-Mart has yet to acquire various easements along Bridgeport Way SW; off-site improvements will not be constructed until these easements have been acquired. Pre-loading is still planned to begin in mid- to late- March. Prior to pre-loading, variable message boards are required to be placed along appropriate rights-of-way as required by and approved by the City Engineer.
  • Police Outreach: The Pierce College Dental Hygiene Program held a sealant clinic for kids on February 11th, and. Community Service Officer Gail Conelly fingerprinted and photographed the kids for a child safety ID kit. There were approximately 100 kids throughout the day, and over 70 were fingerprinted. On February 7th, Chief Saunders gave a power point presentation to the Tillicum Merchant’s Association outlining his new Anti-Property Crime initiatives.  Some of the new programs to be introduced include Operation ID to help citizens properly document and mark their property, faster access to fingerprint analysis, assignment of a detective to the district teams, increased development of block watch and citizen patrol teams. On February 11th, Officer Austin Lee conducted safety seminar to 56 Korean Senior Citizens at a local church in Lakewood; he covered Pedestrian Safety, Identity Theft Prevention, Fraud against Senior Citizens, Domestic Violence, and Calling 911.
  • EOC Training: EOC (Emergency Operations Center) training was held for Department Directors and Emergency Management Council and Planning Cell members on February 9th. This training, which included detailed review of the Katrina experience from responders there, will enhance our awareness and coordination capabilities to handle emergencies.
  • PSE Performance Standards: Puget Sound Energy reports that for 2005, both indices measuring performance in terms of duration of outages and outage frequency improved significantly from the previous year.  Both indices are well below the company wide average and the PSE Service Quality Index. The two indices are the SAIDI (System Average Interruption Duration Index) and SAIFI (System Average Interruption Frequency Index).

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 2/3/06

February 3, 2006
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To:      Mayor and Members of the Council

From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Washington Economic Development Association: Joe Hannan attended workshops and legislator education in Olympia this week sponsored the Washington Economic Development Association (WEDA), and was elected to WEDA’s Board of Directors. The Association represents cities/counties, economic development districts, community colleges and work force organizations as an advocate for economic development to the Legislature. WEDA’s 2006 Legislative focus is workforce development and infrastructure assistance.
  • Proposed Armed Services Highway: At the February 1st  Regional Access Mobility Project Meeting (RAMP) meeting, co-hosted by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, Port of Tacoma, and Pierce County, a resolution was passed requesting that the State Legislature amend RCW 42.17.140 to re-designate SR 704 (aka: Cross Base Highway) to “SR 704 Armed Services Highway”.
  • Planning Advisory Board: The Planning Advisory Board met this past week and made recommendations to fill seats on a task force to review the regulatory environment regarding personal care facilities located in residential zoning districts. The effort was previously endorsed by both the PAB and the City Council.  The recommended appointees include PAB members, DSHS, local neighborhood groups, Lakewood adult family home providers, and patients’ rights groups. The recommendations will come to Council later this month.
    The PAB also reviewed and confirmed their work plan for 2006, which includes:
    1. amending the sign code,
    2. performing 2006 comprehensive plan amendments,
    3. auditing the level and types of land use activity occurring at Fort Steilacoom Park,
    4. continued work regarding personal care facilities located in residential zoning districts,
    5. implementation of the Public Participation Plan (regulation of correctional facilities located in Lakewood’s Public Institutional (P/I) zoning district),
    6. providing land use recommendations to the City Council regarding the current gambling moratorium, and
    7. updating the City’s capital facilities plan.
  • LPD Booth at CPHS: Seniors from Clover Park High School presented short films on current social problems on January 14th.  LPD Community Service Officer Joy Browne set up a table with information on drug abuse, domestic violence, gang problems, and other law enforcement related concerns. Over one hundred students, parents and friends attended the event.
  • Officers Trained in Crime Free Motel Sweep Program: On January 17th, Officer John Henterley and Officer Austin Lee trained 10 Motel Sweep Team officers in support of the Crime Free Motel Program.  These officers will be conducting monthly motel “checks” and “sweeps.”   The Crime Free Motel Program is one of the important crime prevention programs associated with the Crime Free Housing Program.  Under this program, the local motel owners are trained with best practices to deter problems from occurring at their motels. It also creates a close partnership between the motel owners and the police.  These trained officers will check and evaluate all the motels on the progress that the motel owners are making towards reaching crime free motels.  The motels that are experiencing high levels of police calls for service will be checked regularly to ensure compliance.
  • Golden Lion Success Story: Between 2004 and 2005, Golden Lion Motel had become a place where extensive criminal activities were occurring.  It was  experiencing problems of drug trafficking and many other violent crimes including robberies and serious assaults   As the result of the “best practices” partnership with the City, the crime rate at the motel was reduced by approximately 95% (based on the call statistics comparison between April 2005 and January 2006).

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 2/10

February 10, 2006
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To:      Mayor and Members of the Council

From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Pacific Highway Street Improvement Project: Public Works has finally cleared the necessary environmental approvals associated with the Pacific Highway Street Improvement project from Bridgeport Way to 108th St.  Phase I will be advertised for bids around February 16th with bid opening scheduled for March 9th.  Phase I includes all the improvements (widening, curb & gutter, sidewalk, street lighting, landscaping, overlaying) except the Sounder Station site area improvements, and also the signalization at the Bridgeport Way intersection.  Those subsequent improvements are in Phase II which is anticipated to be bid in the beginning of 2007.
  • McChord Air Force Base proposed changes to Overflights: There will be a public open house on February 22nd to hear public comments on the proposed changes to overflights from McChord. Our preliminary review of the “supplemental environmental assessment” document indicates that a greater area in both Lakewood and Tacoma would be overflown and that the number of nighttime overflights would increase. Also, the air show training currently conducted at Moses Lake would be moved to McChord.
  • City Automated Traffic Enforcement Program: Requests for Proposals (RFP) responses are due on February 10th  from potential venders for the City’s Automated Traffic Enforcement program, which includes automated speed enforcement in school zones and automated red light running enforcement.  It is anticipated that Council award of contract would be March 20th with program start on May 15th.
  • Consultant Services Request for Proposal: Public Works is presently advertising for RFP’s for consultant services to assist in the update of that portion of the City code relating to Public Construction and Development Standards.  It is anticipated that the year-long process will involve a technical advisory group to represent the development community.
  • Neighborhood Traffic Control Open House Meeting: Public Works and Police held an open house meeting on February 9th on neighborhood traffic control with the residents along 104th St between Lake Louise Dr and Butte Dr.
  • Speed Enforcement in School Zones Program: Public Works sought and received a proposal from the City’s existing red light running vender to implement an early start of the automated speed enforcement in school zones programs.  If implemented said school zones enforcement program could be up and running on March 1st.  This would be just a short term program in place until May 15th when the longer more permanent would be in place.
  • Avian Flu: The Police Chief attended a table top exercise on the Avian Flu Crisis by State DOH, along with other State and County representatives.
  • Wal-Mart: Public Works and Community Development met on February 8th with Wal-Mart’s agents and contractors to discuss the construction of the proposed Wal-Mart located at the northerly end of Bridgeport Way SW.  We were informed that construction would begin either mid-or late March, 2006.  At this stage of the project, staff is waiting on the submittal of a projected work schedule and traffic control plan.  Public notification of surrounding property owners was discussed at length; a notification letter will be mailed to affected property owners 30-days prior to commencement of construction.  Their public relations consultant’s job is to keep the community informed of ongoing construction activity; and Wal-Mart proposes to conduct neighborhood meetings while the project is underway. The City will strictly adhere to enforcing the EIS mitigation measures, the hearing examiner’s decision, & zoning and building controls.
  • Armed Robbery Prevention: Community Service Officer Laurie Lowery taught an armed robbery prevention class at Sound Credit Union on February 7th to member employees from the branch at Bridgeport Way SW as well as a couple of Tacoma branches. She taught methods of recognition of potential suspects as well as robbery prevention methods.
  • LAAPAC:A radio interview about the Lakewood African American Police Advisory Council with Julius Brown will be on 1180 AM in Lakewood on February 22nd at 12 noon.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 1/27/06

January 27, 2006
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To:      Mayor and Members of the Council

From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Student Mock Trial: The Clover Park High School American Studies class is hosting a student Mock Trial and for the second consecutive year, the expertise of the City’s Legal Department Attorneys has been called upon to help these students prepare in a trial strategy session on January 27th.
  • AWC Legislative Conference: The city manager, mayor, and government relations director attended the Association of Washington Cities Legislative Conference this week in Olympia. Much discussion centered around the success of the Streamlined Sales Tax proposal which had just been approved unanimously by the State Senate. Governor Gregoire was the keynote speaker at the session.
  • SWM check from Pierce County: The City received a check from Pierce County in the amount of $529,089.64.  These Surface Water Management (SWM) designated funds had been held as part of an understanding between the County and City until all outstanding claims were resolved for storm events that occurred around the time of City incorporation.  The last claim was recently settled.
  • Automated Photo Enforcement: The City has advertised a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Automated Photo Enforcement Program.  This program includes vendor support for red light running enforcement and speed enforcement in school zones.  A vendor contact should be ready for presentation to Council in March.  In the interim, the City’s current contract for red light enforcement will remain active and may be expanded to add school zone speed enforcement.  Before resuming the school zone speed enforcement program, we will begin notification of residents through media and newsletters.  The City will issue warnings only during the first two weeks of school zone speed enforcement.
  • ID Theft Ring Busted: Lakewood Police, University Place Police, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and the Secret Service concluded a year long ID theft, fraud and forgery investigation this week.  The joint investigation resulted in the arrest of numerous individuals who have been operating this sophisticated criminal enterprise statewide over the last three years, and were responsible for losses to the business community and individuals in excess of $1 million.
  • LPD Command Staff Selected For County Incident Management Team: Assistant Chiefs Dave Hall and Tim Lopez were recently selected for membership in the Pierce County Type 3 Incident Management Team.  This team, comprised of public safety and emergency management professionals from agencies throughout the county, is designed to augment incident command staff during major incidents and events throughout the county, and the State. Both Hall and Lopez are attending a 6-day long training course in Puyallup this week, which includes advanced incident command skills, and features instructors with extensive experience assisting during the World Trade Center, Oklahoma City, and Hurricane Katrina Disasters.
  • Closure of the Bridgeport Bar and Grill: The owner of the Bridgeport Bar and Grill has accepted the City’s revocation of his license to operate this business.  The City’s Building Official coordinated a multi-jurisdictional inspection of the establishment, finding electrical, building code, fire code and health-related violations at the business.  On December 29, 2005, the Building Official posted the building as unsafe to enter or occupy, and then a few days later, a notice was issued declaring the building unsafe and dangerous.  The owner at first appealed the City’s action, but then dropped the appeal.
  • 24th Annual Traffic Safety Superstars Award: Lakewood PD is one of several agencies set to receive recognition for its participation in a federally funded pilot program. This group of agencies made up the Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) project enforcement team. In 2005, LPD worked in partnership with WSP, Lacey PD, Everett PD and several other agencies to reduce truck/car collisions on I-5.   The program was very successful, and the officers and the department will receive an award as part of a ceremony February 9th.
  • Homeless Coalition: On January 26th, General Service participated with members of the Homeless Coalition in the annual count of homeless individuals throughout Pierce County. The homeless count, a requirement of the federal government, serves as a basis for funding and planning decisions in Pierce County. It also serves as a basis for tracking and monitoring homelessness as part of the 10-Year Plan to end chronic homelessness and reduce homelessness by 50% as provided for in SHB 2163. Locations where homeless census was taken included in and around roadsides, bowling alleys, taverns, restaurants, stores, dumpsters, Labor Ready, hotels/motels, and fire stations.  Homeless counts were taken in Lakewood and the Lakewood Area Shelter Association provided bed count information.
  • Wellness Snowshoeing Trip: The first snowshoeing trip for the employee Wellness program had 10 people participate. The weather was good and the company even better as the group followed the Nisqually Loop trail at Mt. Rainier.