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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 5/3/2013

May 3, 2013
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Heidi Wachter, Interim City Manager

  • Council Priority: Develop a vision for the City Center
    • Lakewood Towne Center Redevelopment: As a part of RPAI’s intensive and proactive approach to asset management, they are excited to begin a redevelopment project at Lakewood Towne Center. The redevelopment will include the demolition of the former Gottschalk’s building and the addition of some exciting new retail concepts and dining options. They look forward to announcing new tenants for the project soon.
  • Council Priority: Foster Redevelopment of Pacific Highway Corridor, Woodbrook and Tillicum
    • Lakewood Public Works to receive additional grant funds: With the new push by the federal government to get federally grant funded transportation projects implemented in a timely manner, the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) recently expanded their list of grant approved projects. PSRC programs federal grant dollars for 4 county regions including Pierce County. They expanded their list to ensure that its present allotment of federal transportation grant dollars gets fully utilized thus ensuring its future allotment for its 4 county region is not diminished. The added projects all came from prior approved project contingency lists from the respective counties. As a result, Lakewood will get $233,550 in federal grant money for its Bridgeport Way improvement project from Main Gate JBLM to I-5. The grant funds are for the design of the project which includes curb & gutter, concrete sidewalks, street lighting, traffic signal upgrade, pavement overlay and other related improvements.
  • Council Priority: Maintain and enhance public safety
    • CPSD and LPD present Active Shooter Awareness Program: Clover Park School District and the Lakewood Police Department staff worked together to set up and present an Active Shooter Awareness training program for all Clover Park School District employees. Sgt. John Unfred and Lt. Steve Mauer conducted 30 presentations to staff at 26 locations throughout the school district. Each school was visited twice, once to survey and photograph and then a second time to present the training. The training emphasized the “Get out, Hide out and Fight” options for staff to discuss and prepare for, should this rare, but very real type of incident occur in one of Clover Parks facilities. There will be follow-up meetings to decide what further steps can and should be taken by both Clover Park and Lakewood PD to help prepare the district and its employees for this kind of incident.
    • CSRT provides self defense awareness training: On Saturday, April 27th, Lt. Mauer taught a self defense awareness class for members of the Lakewood New Hope Church with approximately 30 members of the congregation in attendance. The class discussed situational awareness, trusting your instincts, proper use of force, different types of weapons i.e. personal, impromptu and real and the goal of getting away from an attacker as opposed to fighting it out with them. The class was well received.
  • Council Priority: Continue cooperative partnership with educational institutions in Lakewood
    • LPD and Tacoma Community College teach Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) class: A team of instructors from the Lakewood Police Department and Tacoma Community College worked together to provide a women’s self defense class at the Lakewood Police Station. The program is called Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) and is only for women. It was presented over 4 days for a total of 12 hours. There were 18 students who were taught about self defense awareness with the goal of preventing them from having to physically defend themselves. The students came from all around the Lakewood area and the class will be offered again later in 2013.
  • Other items of interest:
    • National Rebuilding Together Day: The Rebuilding Together South Sound Program repaired and up-graded more than a dozen Lakewood homes on Saturday, April 27th. Mayor Don Anderson and County Councilmember Doug Richardson kicked off the day-long event at the home of Don and Marilynn Nickle. Mayor Anderson swung the first hammer to launch BECU volunteers into action. A local family had their deck repaired and new barrier shrubs planted to add beauty and safety from a very busy Custer Road. The City supports this effort with its Human Services Fund. www.rebuildingtogetherss.org .
    • Code Enforcement Officers attend Conference in Issaquah: On April 26th, Code Enforcement Officers Doug Price, Randy Richards and Sandi Stauffer attended the spring Washington Association of Code Enforcement Officer’s Conference. The topics included how to address hoarding situations, locating and restoring VIN’s and declaring junk vehicles.
    • Wellness Committee hosts BBQ to support Foster Children Sock Drive: The Wellness Committee sponsored a Hawaiian BBQ lunch to raise funds for the Foster Children Sock Drive. The event was well attended by city staff raising $374 to purchase socks. This event assisted children in Lakewood who have a basic need (socks) that most of us take for granted.
    • CenterForce “A Look into the Future”: Mayor Don Anderson and city staff attended an after hours event this week at Lakewold Gardens focusing on CenterForce’s plans for expansion. CenterForce is a private non-profit agency located in the Springbrook area of Lakewood. They have provided employment services and training for people with developmental disabilities in the greater Puget Sound area since 1968. Their expansion plans include a “Home Town Dogs” food truck, training kitchen, restaurant, and events center. To learn more about CenterForce, please visit www.centerforce.net .
    • WAPRO Spring Conference: Interim City Manager Heidi Ann Wachter and Acting City Attorney Matt Kaser presented at the Washington Association of Public Records Officers Conference in Everett on April 30th. Their topic was entitled “Proactive Public Records Act Solutions in Litigation” Analyzing the pros and cons of seeking affirmative relief in the courts.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/26/2013

April 26, 2013
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Heidi Wachter, Interim City Manager

  • Council Priority: Develop a vision for the City Center
    • Lane Bryant Opened in Towne Center: A “Soft” opening of the new store occurred on Thursday. They officially opened on Friday to welcome shoppers and provide a new niche shopping experience. Be sure to stop by the store and take a look.
  • Council Priority: Maintain and enhance public safety
    • City Meets with Lakefront Homeowners: Mayor Don Anderson and a neighborhood policing team attended a community meeting with lakefront homeowners associations on April 16 at the Tacoma Golf and Country Club to discuss crime trends and crime prevention. Mayor Anderson talked about the versatility of the Community Safety and Resources Team (CSRT) in addressing neighborhood concerns with crime, blight, and nuisances and encouraged all neighborhoods to continue communicating with the City to address these issues.
  • Council Priority: Continue cooperative partnership with educational institutions in Lakewood
    • Pierce College New Learning Environments: Pierce College President Denise Yochum invited economic development staff to a tour of the beautiful and inviting new facilities at Pierce College. Creative learning environments have been established that engage for the students and faculty from the library, outside education space, new planetarium, and amazing health and sciences building. They are embarking on a test pilot project based on how students learn today and into the future. The planetarium currently has programs and shows available to the public with additional sessions planned for people of all ages. Visit the site for additional information and to purchase tickets here: http://wp.pierce.ctc.edu/blog/sciencedome/shows/ .
  • Council Priority: Protect the capital investment in the transportation system through adequate maintenance and preservation of facilities
    • North Gate Road Area – Open House – Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 6 PM: A public open house will be hosted by public works and police staff on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 6 PM at the Harrison Prep gym for follow up information sharing and discussion on the North Gate Road area traffic issues. Staff will present results of recent traffic revisions and discuss additional traffic revisions and traffic calming measures that may be implemented to mitigate the cut-thru and speeding traffic.
    • Nyanza Road PSE Gas Main Replacement – Starting Next Week: Infrasource, a PSE contractor, will be completing gas main replacement on the entire length of Nyanza Road. Work will commence next week and take approximately 8 weeks to complete. Through traffic will be maintained during the construction with temporary lane diversions during working hours. Pavement cuts in the new overlay at Gravelly Lake Drive will be mitigated by a full width overlay and additional pavement repairs on previous gas main work completed on Nyanza Road.
  • Other items of interest:
    • USGA Open Championship Briefing: Economic development staff attended a USGA Open Championship briefing at Chambers Bay Golf Course this week. Denise Dyer, Pierce County Economic Development Director, Kevin Phelps, Deputy Pierce County Executive, and Danny Sink, the Championship Director for the United States Golf Association, each outlined the “Road to the Open” – only 779 days from Friday, April 26, 2013. Frequently asked questions and answers about the Open are at www.chambersbaygolf.com . In addition, a Championship timeline was provided as well as a U.S. Open Chambers Bay Fact Sheet; that information is available on Pierce County’s website with additional information at www.usga.org
    • 2013 Pierce County Export Forum: The 2013 Pierce County Export Forum was held at the Environmental Services Building on Friday. Attendees learned about what they should know before entering foreign markets, new products/developments in export finance, speaking the language of commerce, the role of social media, freight forwarding trends, and making the decision to export. Panel experts and exhibitors were on hand to assist businesses. Washington State is the third largest exporter of food and agriculture products in the United States. Total exports increased by over 16% from 2011 to 2012, and by far our largest state export items are civilian aircraft, engines, and parts topping $36.7 Billion in 2012.
    • Youth Council Recruitment Dinner: The current Youth Council held a recruitment dinner for potential new members Wednesday evening, April 24th. The dinner was hosted by Councilmember Barth with Councilmember Brandstetter also in attendance. The food was supplied by Lt. Mauer and his wife Andie and was purchased through a United Way fundraiser for the city. Potential members heard from both councilmember’s about the importance of their input to the City Council and the positive impact they can have in the community. Current and potential members had the opportunity to ask questions and engage in dialogue regarding youth involvement in our city. Applications are currently being accepted until Friday, May 3rd, 5:00 p.m. The position announcement is available on the city website: www.cityoflakewood.us

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/12/2013

April 12, 2013
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Heidi Wachter, Interim City Manager

  • Council Priority: Develop a vision for the City Center
    • Real Properties of America (RPAI) presented this week to the Lakewood City Council: RPAI, the largest single property owner in the Towne Center Mall presented their plan for redevelopment in and around the Gottschalks building. The plan includes the possibility of demolition of the building and the addition of new retail space and restaurant pads. RPAI Senior Management indicated that they are in discussions with several tenants for the Joe’s building, new retail concepts, and have secured restaurant tenants. While the plan is not set in stone, they are very optimistic about the centers increased success, remain open to suggestions on best uses of space, and are a committed partner. RPAI owns 75% of the tenant space in the mall.
  • Council Priority: Foster Redevelopment of the Pacific Highway Corridor, Woodbrook and Tillicum
    • New Market and Gas Station: The City of Lakewood is pleased to welcome its newest Pacific Highway business just north of the Holiday Inn Express. Nisqually Markets opened on April 8th with a formal gathering of tribal council members, city officials, and other dignitaries. Store offerings include Nisqually fresh frozen salmon. And, if you don’t want to pump your own gas, attendants are on hand to assist.
  • Other items of interest:
    • City earns WellCity Award: Thanks to a very dedicated Wellness Committee with representatives from all departments, Lakewood earned a “WellCity Award” from the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) Employee Benefit Trust. Lakewood is one of 83 cities to receive the award. The award is based on meeting stringent best practice standards in promoting employee health. Award recipients receive a 2% premium discount on medical coverage for employees and their spouses in 2014.
    • Lakewood police officers carry American flag at Mariners’ home opener: The Lakewood Police Department was invited to present the American flag on the field of the Seattle Mariners’ home opener on Monday night at Safeco Field. Approximately 40 LPD officers/staff participated in the event, after attending a practice day on Sunday. Officers/staff walked the flag out onto the field and unfurled it in front of a nearly packed stadium. LPD was initially invited to present the flag after the four officers were murdered in 2009. The Mariners have invited LPD back three times since. The event was covered by the Tribune and pictures posted on the LPD Face book site. Everyone who participated had a great time and received seats to the game after the ceremony.
    • More about Lakewood in South Sound Magazine: The American Society of Interior Designers is showcasing their talent in the historic Wagner House at Lakewold Gardens from April 2-21. This “Tour Designer 2013 Showhouse” will benefit the Washington American Society of Interior Designers, Lakewold Gardens and Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Center. In addition, the Today in America show with Terry Bradshaw featuring Lakewood as one of “America’s Hidden Gems” is highlighted. The show is being aired across the country beginning this month.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/19/2013

April 19, 2013
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Heidi Wachter, Interim City Manager

  • Council Priority: Develop a vision for parks and public spaces to improve quality of life and attract residents
    • Parks and Recreation Staff attend WRPA Annual Conference: Parks, Recreation and Community Services staff attended the Washington Recreation and Park Association (WRPA) Annual Conference in Vancouver, Washington, April 16th – 18th, 2013.
  • Council Priority: Sustain regional leadership and coordinate with military partners
    • Mayor Attends JBLM’s “Community Listening Session”: Mayor Anderson, Interim City Manager Wachter, and other senior staff attended a workshop hosted by Lt. Gen. Robert Brown at the Eagle’s Pride Golf Course on Thursday. The purpose of the session was for local communities to provide input and learn about how Army downsizing could affect JBLM. The Active Army will reduce its end strength from about 570,000 to 490,000 soldiers by the end of fiscal year 2017 through attrition and reductions in force. JBLM could lose as many as 8,000 soldiers. The Army will not likely make any decisions on cuts until this summer. Those cuts would be phased over a four-year period.
  • Council Priority: Protect the capital investment in the transportation system through adequate maintenance and preservation of facilities
    • City Participates in I-5 Interchange Planning Meeting: Public Works staff recently participated in a “technical stakeholder meeting” with other regional partners to discuss I-5 interchange upgrades along the I-5 corridor between Lakewood and JBLM. Staff reviewed the final drafts of the “Project Charter and Methods and Assumptions” document which will be used to establish traffic modeling. The group will meet next in May to review modeling results and alternatives.
  • Other items of interest:
    • Interim City Manager is speaker at Lakewood Rotary: This week, Interim City Manager Heidi Wachter was the guest speaker at the Lakewood Rotary and gave a presentation on the “State of the City”. She will be making similar presentations next week at the Lakewood First Lions Club and the Clover Park Kiwanis Club.
    • Coffee with the Mayor: On Tuesday, April 16th, Assistant City Manager Dave Bugher was the guest speaker at Coffee with the Mayor. He gave an update on the redevelopment of the I-5 corridor.
    • Lakewood Toastmasters host Speech Contest: Lakewood Toastmasters is hosting the first-ever Area Speech Contest this evening in the City Hall Council Chambers. The Lakewood Toastmasters Club started as an employee’s only club but has since expanded to include the greater Lakewood community and continues to recruit members. Visitors are welcome to attend their meetings held every Tuesday at noon in the Lakewood Council Chambers.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/5/2013

April 5, 2013
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Heidi Wachter, Interim City Manager

  • Council Priority: Maintain and enhance public safety
    • CSRT Staff conducts Robbery/Customer Service Training: Community Safety & Resources Team (CSRT) CSO Gail Conelly conducted training on robbery and customer service for 25 cashiers and management staff at the newly opened Nisqually Market, located at 11741 Pacific Hwy SW in Lakewood. The robbery portion of the presentation focused on prevention, as well as what to do after the robbery occurs. The customer service portion focused on preventing shoplifting and dealing with escalating/irate customers, as well as how to diffuse the situation and what happens if it all goes wrong. The staff was very pleased with the presentation and had several situations that they had questions about.
  • Other items of interest:
    • Interim City Manager is speaker at Clover Park Rotary and Lakewood United: This week, Interim City Manager Heidi Wachter was the guest speaker at the Clover Park Rotary Club and Lakewood United. She gave a presentation on the “State of the City”.
    • Fairy Garden Tea Party: This Saturday, April 6th, the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department will host the 3rd annual Fairy Garden Tea Party. At this event each participant will go through a fairy transformation when they get their wings, they create a beautiful craft and enjoy tea and snacks. A very special visitor will guide the new fairies through the fun activities. This event has sold out every year and we are really excited to once again be able to offer it.