Weekly Info Bulletins

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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/19/2012

October 19, 2012
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Lakewood is the City that Reads: The Lakewood Library, Barnes & Noble, and the Lakewood Arts Commission celebrated “September is National Literacy Month” by creating the 3 Favorite Books event from September 1st – 30th. Readers were encouraged to visit the Lakewood library to fill-out a form and list their three favorite books. All forms were entered into a drawing with prizes donated by the Lakewood Playhouse, Barnes and Noble, Lakewood RAM and Taco Del Mar. The drawing for prizes was held on October 10th at the Lakewood Library; Aubriana Edelmann was the top prize winner for the 12 and under age group; Yuliya Legkun for the 13 to 20; Michael Stevenson for the 21 – 49 and Theresa Heller for Age 50 plus.
  • Nationwide Earthquake “Shake-out: The City conducted a full exercise as it participated in the national earthquake drill at 10:18am on 10/18. An audio announcement played at Lakewood City Hall and Lakewood PD announced the earthquake and reminded everyone to "drop cover and hold". Parks and Public Works also participated. Once the announcement was completed, employees evacuated the buildings with the able assistance of floor captains. It was a successful exercise and will enable us to refine the training to address questions that came up.
  • Officers save 2 after car accident: On October 12th, Officers McClelland and Davis arrived on the scene of a car accident that occurred when a vehicle going approximately 110 mph struck a tree. Two people were still in the car, and shortly after the police arrived, the vehicle caught on fire. Officers McClelland and Davis were able to remove both the driver and the passenger from the car and get them up onto the roadway to safety. West Pierce Fire and Rescue arrived on the scene, extinguished the fire and treated the occupants. Both were transported to Madigan Hospital, where the passenger had to have major surgery due to injuries received in the crash. The heroic efforts of the officers made a major difference in the outcome and the survival of the persons.
  • Lakewood hosts Public Records Officers conference: The annual Washington Association of Public Records Officers (WAPRO) conference was hosted at the Clover Park Technical College McGavick Center in Lakewood this week. Lakewood City Clerk Alice Bush is the past-president of the association, and the city manager presented a welcome to the 279 attendees.
  • City hosts Metal Theft Investigation Class: The Lakewood Police Department hosted a metal theft investigation class on October 15th, taught by Metal Theft Training & Consultants, LLC. The class was attended by seven LPD employees, as well as 15 others from different agencies. Copper theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the civilized world, costing billions to businesses and individuals. The goal of the training was to teach law enforcement, security guard companies, prosecuting attorneys, contractors, and even metal recycling companies how to identify, prevent, and prosecute all forms of metal theft, especially copper theft.
  • Lakewood’s “Community Connector” Prepares to Deploy: The 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) is Lakewood’s adopted brigade at JBLM. On Thursday, October 18, the 4-2 SBCT conducted a “Casing Ceremony” at JBLM in preparation for its 9-month deployment to Afghanistan. The brigade will deploy in phases over the next 2-3 weeks. Mayor Richardson, Deputy Mayor Anderson and Councilmember Whalen represented the City of Lakewood at the ceremony.
  • Billboard Update: In 2003, the City Council adopted an ordinance which amended parts of the sign code, requiring property owners to remove billboards in the event the property owner desired to redevelop, or otherwise expand existing use. Alternatively, if the property owner wanted to retain the billboard, the billboard could remain, but no additional development would be allowed. So, how effective was this ordinance? Between 2005 and 2012, 15 billboards have been removed, almost all of them were located along the I-5 Corridor. Methodically, the City is removing clutter and improving the visual image of Lakewood.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/12/2012

October 12, 2012
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Youth Celebration at City Hall: From 6-7pm on Monday October 15th, the City, its Youth Council, and Lakewood’s Promise will host a “Youth Celebration” to commemorate the City’s recognition as one of “100 Best Communities for Young People.” Mr. Jordan LaPier from America’s Promise will present this award to the City. The Youth Council will challenge young people, community groups, and families to engage in volunteer service. The City will provide refreshments and the public is encouraged to attend.
  • Citizens can help when leaves clog storm drains: As autumn approaches, falling leaves can combine with heavy rains to cause problems. Leaves in street gutters can clog storm drains, potentially causing flooding of neighborhood streets. The citizens’ help with prompt removal of fallen leaves is appreciated; potential flooding will be reduced; and pollution to local creeks may be prevented. Everyone should check storm drains near their property to make sure they are free of leaves and debris, and they should rake leaves away from storm drains and dispose of them with the yard waste. Do not remove the grate! Street sweepers cannot pick up large piles of leaves, so please do not rake or blow leaves from your property into the street.
  • Air Force Commander speaks at “Coffee with the Mayor”: U.S. Air Force Colonel R. Wyn Elder, Commander, 62nd Airlift Wing, was the guest speaker at Coffee with the Mayor on October 12th with about 25 people in attendance. He provided a briefing on McChord and its numerous missions, and its support of its airmen. He also updated the group on the joint base relationships with the lead role of the Army on command of the overall installation.
  • Sounder Train Ceremony and Service: Mayor Richardson, former Mayor Claudia Thomas, and Councilmembers Moss and Bocchi represented the City during the Lakewood Sounder ribbon-cutting event on October 6th. Sound Transit initiated Sounder commuter train service from Lakewood on October 8th. City staff will monitor ridership and parking levels at the station, in cooperation with Sound Transit, as service continues.
  • City Manager attends ICMA conference: The city manager joined about 2,750 others in attending the 99th annual ICMA (Int’l City Management Association) conference this week in Phoenix. He participated in workshops on County/City relations, public safety management assessment, innovations in professional development, and organizational leadership (with Jim Collins, the author of “Good to Great”). He also met with the Professional Conduct committee, of which he is a member, to review a series of ethics cases involving members, and facilitated the meeting of state leaders among city managers in Washington, Oregon, and California. His term as ICMA West Coast regional vice president will conclude in September 2013.
  • 7th Infantry Division Activation at JBLM: Mayor Doug Richardson and Deputy Mayor Don Anderson represented the City at the historic re-activation of the 7th Infantry Division (ID) at JBLM on October 10th. The 7th ID will serve as an intermediate headquarters between the operational brigades assigned to JBLM and the I Corps Headquarters. Mayor Emeritus Bill Harrison, a retired I Corps and Fort Lewis Commander and Lakewood’s first mayor, was specially recognized at the event as a former 7th ID commander while serving at Fort Ord CA from 1985-1987. The Division has a distinguished history, serving in combat during WWII, the Korean War, and Operation Just Cause in Panama.
  • City economic development staff visits four businesses this week: Getting to know our local businesses and their needs is a top priority for Lakewood. This week team members met with a local one-of-a-kind manufacturer that distributes both nationally and internationally, a restaurant that recently changed owners, a recreational vehicle dealer and repair service, and a transportation provider. These companies provide over 150 jobs in the community ranging from entry to masters level. Notably, each business is encouraged by the wealth of resources the community provides, and is committed to treat their employees exceptionally well.
  • American Heart Association South Sound Heart & Stroke Walk: City of Lakewood employees participated in the annual American Heart Association South Sound Heart & Stroke Walk on Saturday, October 6th. The City’s team assisted with funding efforts in excess of $240,000, with great interaction with other south sound public and private entities.
  • Point Defiance Bypass Rail Project EA Released: Earlier this week, WSDOT released an environmental assessment (EA) related to the Point Defiance Bypass Project. WSDOT will host an open house in Lakewood at CPTC’s Rotunda Building at 4500 Steilacoom Blvd on Wednesday, October 24, 4 to 6:30pm. WSDOT will conduct a public hearing the following evening at the Dupont City Hall at 1700 Civic Drive from 5 to 6:30pm. Citizens can access the EA and related information at www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/rail/PNWRC_PtDefiance .

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 9/28/2012

September 28, 2012
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Clean audit report: The City received a “clean audit” this week from the State Auditor’s Office with no findings or management letters for the review of federal grants and financial statements recently completed for 2011. The accountability portion of the audit is still being conducted and that report will come out in October or November.
  • Congressman Norm Dicks joins in Sounder service celebration: The mayor, councilmembers, and the city manager and staff, joined Sound Transit boardmembers and staff, along with several hundred invited guests, to ride the Sounder commuter train from Lakewood station to Freighthouse Square in Tacoma on September 24th. Regular service will start on October 8th, and the public is invited to a grand opening on Saturday October 6th at Lakewood station.
  • CSRT provides new wheelchair to mobile home park tenant: A manager for a local mobile home park contacted CSRT staff to let them know that one of their tenants needed a wheelchair. The tenant is disabled, with no family and very little money, and the wheelchair that she had been using was too big to fit through her bedroom and bathroom doors making her quality of life very difficult. CSRT staff jumped into action and sent out an email to City staff asking for help. They received a positive response offering to either buy a new wheelchair or track down a good used one. Animal Control Officer Bill Mathies donated a wheelchair that was in new condition. CSRT delivered the wheelchair to the woman, who was overwhelmed with emotion and very grateful.
  • CSRT clean up property: The yard and driveway of a highly visible residence on Steilacoom Blvd. which was covered with discarded household items and the source of numerous citizen complaints, has been substantially cleaned up. Code Enforcement worked closely with the residents of the home to bring the property into compliance with property maintenance codes.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/5/2012

October 5, 2012
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Sounder Train Ceremony and Service: Sound Transit invites the public to participate in a three-station celebration Saturday, Oct. 6 as it launches Sounder train service to Lakewood and South Tacoma. The Lakewood event will last from 10:30am to 4pm at Lakewood Station, 11424 Pacific Highway. Sound Transit will provide free train rides and other family-friendly activities. The City’s Public Works Department will be on hand to educate the public about the pedestrian bridge currently under construction and projected to open toward the end of 2012. Commuter service starts Monday, Oct. 8 . For more information including Saturday train ride schedules, please visit: http://www.soundtransit.org/About-Sound-Transit/News-and-events/Calendar/Lakewood-Launch-Celebration-10-6-12.xml .
  • October 8th Study Session Cancelled: Lakewood City Hall is open for business on Columbus Day (Monday, October 8). However, that evening’s Council Study Session has been cancelled due to scheduling complications with the guest presenter.
  • Youth Celebration at City Hall: From 6-7pm, Monday, October 15, the City, its Youth Council, and Lakewood’s Promise will host a “Youth Celebration” to commemorate the City’s recognition as one of “100 Best Communities for Young People.” Mr. Jordan LaPier from America’s Promise will present this award to the City. The Youth Council will challenge young people, community groups, and families to engage in volunteer service. The City will provide refreshments and the public is encouraged to attend.
  • Transportation Coordinating Committee recommends PCRC funding: The Transportation Coordinating Committee (TCC) of the Pierce County Regional Council (PCRC) met on Oct 4th to recommend a project funding list. The PCRC must determine how to allocate an additional $2,585,596 in federal transportation grant funds. The TCC selected projects based on a previously approved contingency list. With PCRC’s concurrence, Lakewood would receive an additional $100,000 required to complete the $750,000 Traffic Signal Upgrade-ITS-Phase IV project. PCRC is scheduled to take action on TCC’s recommendations on October 18th.
  • Hot-Mix Asphalt (HMA) Patching – next week: City contractor, Asphalt Patch, will complete major hot-mix asphalt (HMA) patching during the week of October 8th during day-time hours. Most notable locations include Lakewood Drive (Flett Creek to 74th); Pacific Highway at 108th; and Gravelly Lake Drive near Country Club Drive. Temporary lane closures will be in effect during these projects.
  • HR Director attends Washington Public Employers Labor Relations Association (WAPELRA) Conference: HR Director Debra Young attended the annual Washington Public Employers Labor Relations Association (WAPELRA) conference. WAPELRA presented a wide variety of topics such as recent PERC decisions, social media, investigations, and health care reform.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 9/21/2012

September 21, 2012
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Farmers Market a Success: Tuesday, September 18, marked the finale of what was a very successful market season for the City of Lakewood. The project, which started out as a pilot program to test the feasibility of holding a Farmers Market in Lakewood, turned out to be the first of many market seasons to come for the community. With 24 vendors and an estimated 500 shoppers on opening day, the market got bigger and bigger as the season continued, and was so successful the City extended its run for three additional weeks. By the end of the season the market had featured over 50 different vendors
  • Senior Center commemorates 9/11: The Lakewood Senior Activity Center’s 9/11 Remembrance event occurred on the afternoon of Tuesday September 11th. The well-received event provided an opportunity for the older adults in this community to feel connected with the rest of the country as all joined together to remember the events of 9/11/01, and to honor those who gave their lives that day. Elizabeth Scheid, recreation coordinator, started off the event with an appropriate speech, the national anthem was sung, and some poignant quotes about some of the 9/11 heroes were read. Three Lakewood Fire Fighters arrived to visit, and posed for pictures and conversed with the other guests.
  • Health director visits City Hall: Dr. Anthony Chen, the director of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, met with the mayor and city manager on September 21st to discuss community health issues. The discussion included water quality at several lakes in the city, the DOE soil clean-up project at Kiwanis Park and American Lake Park, and also mental health issues.
  • Day of Caring: Eleven City employees contributed their time and effort on September 21st to assist with the United Way’s “Day of Caring” volunteer program to assist community agencies in need.
  • Sounder Train Service Begins October 8: Sound Transit announced that train service will begin in Lakewood on October 8th. The public is invited to a ribbon-cutting event and free ride on Saturday, October 6th. For more info, visit http://www.soundtransit.org/Rider-Community/Rider-news/Lakewood-South-Tacoma-Sounder-Service.xml.