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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 11/30/2012

November 30, 2012
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Lakewood Christmas Tree Lighting and Inaugural 5K “Jingle Bell Run”: Next Friday, December 6, the City will host the 17th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Festival from 4-7pm. The festival will begin with a “Kiddie Parade” procession from the former “Joes” parking lot across the street from City Hall. The Lakewood Christmas tree will be lit at approximately 4:30pm. The Festival will also feature Santa, treats, and live holiday music. The following day, the City will host the first ever Jingle Bell 5K run/walk at 9am starting at City Hall. For more information on each event, please visit www.cityoflakewood.us .
  • Third Annual Fallen Officer Food Drive: As initiated by Chief and Mrs. Bret Farrar, the Police Department hosted its annual food drive this week to commemorate the third anniversary of the deaths of our four officers – Mark Renninger, Greg Richards, Tina Griswold, and Ronnie Owens – on November 29, 2009. The event was a successful kick-off to a food drive to provide support for families in need. Governor-elect Jay Inslee was a speaker at the Lakewood Police Station at the ceremony at the start of the event.
  • City receives TIB Grant for STW/Steilacoom intersection: Public Works received the official grant award notice from the State Transportation Improvement Board for its Steilacoom Blvd/S Tacoma Way Intersection improvement project. A total project cost is estimated at $1,550,000 and the grant award is for $1,240,000. The project includes adding an additional right turn lane on Steilacoom Blvd at the S Tacoma Way intersection thus providing two dedicated right turn lanes on to S Tacoma Way, upgrading that intersection with new traffic signal system, also upgrading the intersection of S Tacoma Way & 88th St with a new traffic signal system and adding a fourth leg which becomes the ingress and egress driveway for the shopping center along the west side of Steilacoom Blvd. In additional new sidewalks will be installed along with asphalt overlaying the pavement throughout the project limits.
  • CSRT staff presents at homeowners meeting: CSO Gail Conelly and NPO Ken Devaney attended the annual Oakbrook 4th Addition Home Owner’s Association Meeting on November 28th held at the Oakhouse Restaurant. They spoke to the 35 resident attendees about the latest crime and scam trends occurring, as well as providing information on Burglary and Vehicle Prowl/Theft prevention; Identity Theft and Aggressive Begging.
  • City manager is speaker at Lakewood’s Gyro Club: The city manager provided a presentation on City budget issues and priorities to the local Gyro Club in Lakewood on November 27th. Gyro International is a non-profit service and fraternal club with groups throughout the U.S. and Canada. A number of questions were discussed about City challenges for the upcoming year.
  • Springbrook Park Clean-Up: Saturday, November 17, City staff and over fifty community volunteers spent the morning cleaning up the recently purchased Springbrook Park property expansion. A shed was torn down and two 40-yard dumpsters of waste were removed by volunteers, totaling 8.62 tons of garbage. The donated disposal value was over $1,200 (not including transport expenses). Volunteers included members of the Partners for Parks Board, Lakewood First Lions, Clover Park and Lakewood Rotary Clubs, and Air Force personnel from JBLM. Coffee and snacks were donated by Forza Coffee.
  • Acquisition completed for PW maintenance facility property: Public Works completed the acquisition of a 2-acre site off of Front Street S north of 96th St for its new Public Works Maintenance & Operation Facility.
  • Metal Theft presentation to Task Force: Lt. Steve Mauer testified on November 30 before the Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness committee for the State House of Representatives in Olympia. Rep Goodman, who chairs the Metal Theft Task force, asked for several participants on the task force to come speak to the committee. The speakers included Lt. Jepsen from Tacoma PD as well as representatives from WSP, DOL, and the metal recycling industry. Mauer shared Lakewood’s experience with WOTC Scrap Metal specifically outlining the serious violations of RCW 19.290.020 that were identified by our investigation. The consensus of the speakers was for more specific licensing laws and licensing restriction and revocations for businesses that blatantly disregard Washington laws.
  • Senior Center Volunteer Recognition: On November 27th, volunteers at the Lakewood Senior Activity Center were recognized and honored at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Reception. The theme this year was “A Royal Thank You”. Our volunteers are our “Knights in Shining Armor”! The two guest speakers were Mayor Richardson and Councilmember Brandstetter. Each volunteer was recognized for their service to the Center. The event ended with a drawing for prizes that were donated by businesses in and around Lakewood.
  • Youth Basketball registration opens: Youth basketball leagues for children in kindergarten through 5th grade are now open for registration. The leagues are Kindergarten/1st grade (coed), 2nd /3rd grade boys or girls and 4th /5th grade boys or girls. All games and practices will be held at Clover Park School District schools on a weekday evening. Practices will begin the week of January 7th and games will begin the week of February 4th. The league relies on volunteer coaches. For more info, contact Dennis Higashiyama, recreation coordinator at: (253) 983-7835. Registration can be done by going to our website at: www.lakewoodparksandrec.com or by phone to: (253) 983-7887. Registration deadline is Friday, December 14th.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 11/16/2012

November 16, 2012
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Public Works supports Lakewood Area Shelter Association (LASA): The Public Works Department held a food drive to benefit homeless families supported by the Lakewood Area Shelter Association. There was an outpouring of support from staff, with the drive collecting enough food to create 60 Thanksgiving holiday dinner baskets during the three-week event.
  • Lakewood Officers’ charitable event at the Old Country Buffet: The Lakewood Officers Charity held its 4th Annual Holiday event at the Old Country Buffet. School counselors from Tillicum, Lakeview Hope Academy, South Gate, South Gate Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), Oakwood, and Tyee Elementary attended and visited with the families they nominated for this event. All of the families are either struggling financially, or facing uncertain medical diagnoses. The event kicked off at 7pm with over 100 participants. Ham and turkey were donated by the Lakewood Officers Charity; the restaurant donated their staff time and home-style cooking. Several uniformed Lakewood police officers handed out stickers and coloring books.
  • Workforce Central strategic planning meeting: City staff attended the Pierce County Regional Community Leaders meeting on November 16th, the first of several meetings to be held over the next four months to identify regional priorities and strategies to increase resources for our region. Process, priorities and outcomes were identified. The meeting was hosted by Workforce Central. Upcoming topics will include community development, economic development, and workforce priorities, as well as K-12 and higher education priorities.
  • CSRT, Police and volunteers clean up house in Lake City: CSRT received neighbor complaints about a house in Lake City that was overgrown with vegetation and had been burglarized. CSRT investigated and found that the elderly person who owned the house lived out of state, was in poor health and unable to travel, and did not have the financial resources to bring the property into compliance. When Officer Peter Johnson became aware of the situation, he gathered a group of volunteers and neighbors who donated many hours to clean up the property, not only improving the neighborhood, but making it less attractive for criminal activity.
  • Swap meet code enforcement: Lakewood is currently home to one large regional swap meet. Recently, other property owners have expressed an interest in opening new swap meets. Management issues and substantial growth in the business of the Starlite Swap Meet, since the 2004 closure of the Midway Swap Meet, have resulted in excessive impacts on the community and City resources, required extensive law and code enforcement efforts, and revealed the need for changes to Lakewood’s swap meet regulations. The CSRT is reviewing the matter and met this week with the Planning Advisory Board to present information and begin a discussion of the issue. The owner of the Starlite and his attorney were invited to the meeting and provided brief comments.
  • 2012 Tourism Matters Meeting & Celebrity Awards: Mayor Richardson was the emcee for the Annual Tacoma Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau (TRCVB) Awards Luncheon this week. Regional tourism goals were shared in a lively, conversational, and story-telling manner. The mayor hosted the celebrity award presentations for “Community Unity,” “Tourism Professional,” “Sports Tourism,” and “Tourism Visionary.” To find out more about the TRCVB and to view the winners, go to: www.traveltacoma.com . Councilmember Whalen also attended the meeting as well as City Economic Development staff.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 11/2/2012

November 2, 2012
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Police host “Hiring Open House”: The Police Department will host a hiring open house on Sunday, November 4th, at the Police Station (9401 Lakewood Drive SW), from 1 to 4 p.m. This will provide information about how to become a Lakewood Police Officer. This is also an excellent opportunity to meet some of the officers, see the equipment used, and get a tour of the station.
  • Kenworth NW in Lakewood: Kenworth (Trucks) NW will break ground on Friday November 9th, at 11 a.m. on a new dealership. Their new site will be at 12507 Pacific Highway SW (south of Bridgeport Way SW). The public is welcome to attend. Kenworth expects the site to open for business next spring.
  • Staff meets with H-Mart: Economic development department team members met with H-Mart leaders this week at their new site under development on South Tacoma Way. The new location for H-Mart, an international market, looks forward to opening in Lakewood in the first quarter of 2013.
  • SSMCP meets at JBLM: On November 1st, the city manager and senior staff joined members of the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership (SSMCP) Steering Committee for a meeting on JBLM designed to further develop relationships between regional leaders and the JBLM garrison command. An hour-long briefing was given by JBLM Commander Colonel Charles Hodges that highlighted ongoing changes and developments at the base. Additional presentations were conducted by each of the installation's department directors, including Directorate of Emergency Services, Directorate of Public Works, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization & Security, Directorate of Family & Morale, Welfare, & Recreation, Directorate of Human Resources and by Colonel Dallas Homas at Madigan Army Medical Center. Attendees were shown a static display of aircraft and areas of JBLM experiencing the most significant construction activity.
  • Police officer’s life-saving actions at the Communities in School Dinner: Detective Rey Punzalan in all likelihood saved the life of a local physician at the Communities in Schools Autumn Gala Dinner at CPTC on October 26th. The doctor was choking and trying to make his way to the restroom when the officer intercepted him and performed the Heimlich maneuver. The officer was able to get the doctor to expel the food item and breathe normally on his own again. Rey’s quick action prevented a potential tragedy.
  • Volleyball Championships to be held in Lakewood: The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) 2A Girls State Volleyball Championships will be at Pierce College and Lakes High School in Lakewood, as well as schools in Steilacoom on November 9 and 10. Lakewood welcomes WIAA and the 2A Girls State Volleyball Championships, players and their families. Hotel information for local Lakewood Hotels has been provided to WIAA.
  • Make a Difference Day Recap: Make a Difference Day was celebrated under rainy skies on Saturday October 26th; it was the 10th year that the Youth Council has coordinated this event for the City. Over 100 volunteers participated by working at the community garden, Tyee Park elementary, the cemetery at Fort Steilacoom Park with Grave Concerns, and the West Pierce Fire & Rescue Pumpkin Patch.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 11/9/2012

November 9, 2012
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Lakewood Recognizes Veterans Day: The City of Lakewood will be closed on Monday, November 12th in recognition of Veterans Day. The Lakewood City Council issued a proclamation at its last meeting designating November 11, 2012 as Veterans Appreciation Day and urges all citizens to thank military veterans for their contributions to our national security, to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans and those still serving in harm’s way, and to actively support local veterans in their transition to civilian life.
  • Lakewood’s Community Connector Deploys: Mayor Richardson and Deputy Mayor Anderson were on hand to wish the 4-2 Stryker Brigade commander, Colonel Mike Getchell, and other soldiers a safe deployment as they departed McChord Field for a 9-month deployment to Afghanistan on November 7.
  • Kenworth NW dealership Groundbreaking: The new Lakewood dealership for Kenworth trucks officially started construction on November 9th at its Pacific Highway location in Ponders. The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by the mayor, several councilmembers, and several senior staffmembers including the police chief. The new building will be about 26,400 square feet.
  • New Visitors Guide Expected to Increase Tourism: Economic development staff met with new Tacoma Regional Convention & Visitor Bureau President/CEO Bennish Brown and Marketing Coordinator Chad Hall to discuss the 2013 Visitor Guide design. The updated and inclusive Guide will look similar to travel magazines, providing stories and pictures from travel writers that focus on additional City destinations to increase tourism to our area. Circulation is expanding by 75% and will include Northern Oregon. The new and improved publication will be available in January 2013.
  • New restaurant in Lakewood: The new construction on the corner of Bridgeport Way SW and Steilacoom Blvd SW is for Delong’s Deluxe, a hamburger stand with walk-up service and outdoor seating. In addition to hamburgers, Delong’s Deluxe will serve fries, sodas, milkshakes and ice cream. The site is also designed to accommodate a future espresso stand in a separate building.
  • AWC Regional Meeting: Councilmembers Moss and Brandstetter, and the city manager, attended the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) meeting in Olympia on November 7th with representatives from a number of Pierce and Thurston counties. The focus of discussion was on the upcoming legislative session and policy priorities of Washington cities as they face redirection of State-shared revenues.
  • PSRC honors Congressman Norm Dicks: The city manager joined others from the Tacoma/Pierce County area at the Puget Sound Regional Council’s “Prosperity Partnership” luncheon in Seattle on November 5th. The event was a tribute to Norm Dicks and the contribution he has made to our area during a 36-year career in Congress.
  • Pierce College Workforce Advisory Board Meeting: Economic Development Director Ellie Chambers-Grady attended the Pierce College Workforce Advisory Board Meeting this week. The group meets quarterly to discuss workforce, education topics, emerging trends and opportunities for collaboration. Individual members of the group provide updates during the meeting and briefings are provided and several topics. This meeting the topics were Department of Labor Health E-Grant and Health Information as well as an integrated technology update, workforce grant, worker retraining, WorkFirst, and HEET. City Councilmember Mary Moss also attended the meeting.
  • Lakewood Sounder Station Ridership: City staff has been monitoring commuter rail traffic at the Lakewood Station. From October 8 through November 7, 2012, daily boarding’s on Sounder Commuter rail (5 northbound morning trains) range from 122 – 178. The heaviest days are Tuesday through Thursday and the heaviest trains are the last two in the morning.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/26/2012

October 26, 2012
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Make a Difference Day: The 10th annual Make a Difference Day Food Drive/Kick-Off event will take place on Saturday, October 27th at City Hall. Refreshments will be available at 8:00 am; the program begins at 8:30 am. The Youth Council will be coordinating events and projects, which will include: installing grave markers at the historic Fort Steilacoom cemetery, clean-up and winterization of the community garden, beautifying the grounds at Tyee Park Elementary with daffodil and tulip bulbs and decorating pumpkins at the West Pierce Fire & Rescue pumpkin patch at Station 21. Projects will begin at 9:00 am and will end at noon with the exception of the pumpkin patch which will run 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
  • Proposed lake management plan for Lake Waughop: The City is applying for a Centennial Clean Water Program grant through the State Department of Ecology. The purpose of the grant request is to prepare a lake management plan for Waughop Lake located in Ft. Steilacoom Park. Waughop Lake has excess nutrients in the water and sediment and as a result has frequent toxic algae blooms. A lake management plan will help determine what efforts are needed to improve the water quality and restore the lake to a more usable condition.
  • City Hall Art Exhibit: A new art display by photographer Cindy McNabb is currently exhibited in the first floor elevator alcove of City Hall. Ms. McNabb’s photos are a mix of close-ups and natural scenery taken on her travels throughout the United States. The art exhibit is sponsored by the Lakewood Arts Commission.
  • CSRT provides active shooter and personal safety training to DSHS employees: In cooperation with local businesses and other government entities, CSRT supervisor Lt. Steve Mauer gave a response to active shooters and personal safety training presentation to DSHS employees on October 24th and 26th. The presentations were made to two groups of 40 or more employees. The presentations were well received and help our citizens to be better mentally prepared in the event of an emergency.
  • WSAMA Fall Conference: City Attorney Heidi Wachter and Assistant City Attorneys Anita Booker-Hay and Matt Kaser attended the Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys Fall Conference October 17-19 in Spokane. Ms. Wachter currently serves as the Chair of the Civil Topics Committee and Ms. Booker-Hay currently serves on the Criminal Topics Committee.
  • Ass’t City Manager attends Point Defiance Rail Bypass Environmental Analysis Workshops: Ass’t City Manager Dave Bugher attended both Point Defiance Rail Bypass Environmental Analysis (EA) workshops conducted on October 24th and October 25th, and provided brief testimony outlining deficiencies in the EA at the public hearing on October 25th. Mr. Bugher stated that the project proponents, the Federal Railway Administration and the Washington Department of Transportation should modify the EA and include mitigation, or instead prepare an environmental impact statement. The City of Lakewood will also be submitting a letter before the close of the comment period on November 9th.
  • Healthy Start Program begins: Lakewood’s award winning Healthy Start Program began at Tyee Park Elementary on October 24th. This program was recognized by the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) with a Municipal Excellence Award in 2012. The program features a nutritious snack that includes uncommon fruits and vegetables. After the snack, the children do a few minutes of journaling followed by warm-up exercises, large group games and nutrition lessons. The students learn the values of sportsmanship, fair play, teamwork and striving to perform at their personal best. A second program will begin in January, 2012 at Oakwood Elementary.
  • CSRT provides training at Landlord Fair: CSRT member Gail Conelly gave a presentation on Crime Free Housing, as well as Crime Prevention topics at a Landlord Fair sponsored by the VASH (Veterans Administration Supporting Housing) Program through the VA Hospital on October 23rd. VASH representatives work with Section 8 Housing to coordinate housing for homeless veterans in the community. The Landlords were able to learn about the VASH program as well as speak with representatives from Section 8 Housing and Pierce County Fair Housing.
  • CSRT attends West Pierce Fire and Rescue Safety Fair and Pumpkin Patch: CSRT Staff Gail Conelly attended the West Pierce Fire and Rescue Fall Safety Fair and Pumpkin Patch. There were several activities for kids, including learning about water safety, helmet fitting, and child passenger safety (along with a car seat check), examining the fire and police apparatus, using a fire hose, and at the end, choosing a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. It was a successful event with many children dressed in their Halloween costumes.
  • WSBA Seminar: City Attorney Heidi Wachter and Assistant City Attorney Matt Kaser presented at a Continuing Legal Education Seminar on Advocacy in Administrative Law sponsored by the Washington State Bar Association on October 24. Ms. Wachter was elected section Chair at the annual meeting which followed.