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City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 12/19/08

December 19, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Santa arrives in Springbrook, Tillicum, Woodbrook and Northeast Neighborhoods: Members of the LPD Community Policing Unit, the Public Safety Advisory Committee, Lakewood Volunteer Observation Patrol, and Lakewood Police Independent Guild Charity Fund will be helping bring Santa and his sleigh to some neighborhoods in Lakewood this Saturday, December 20th, from 3PM until 7PM. Santa will be riding in his sleigh, with full police escort, through the Springbrook, Tillicum, Woodbrook, and Northeast neighborhoods. According to confidential police sources, Santa and his elves will be handing out candy canes and Santa will be available to hear kids' last minute gift wishes.
  • Lakewood's Judge is Lakewood United speaker: Judge Ernest Heller and Senior Court Specialist Deana Wright gave a power point presentation at Lakewood United regarding the court system, the jail, and sentencing alternative programs, such as work crew and Electronic Home Monitoring on December 4th.
  • Court awarded Interpreter Fees Grant: The Lakewood Municipal Court has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the State for Interpreter Fees. We may also be receiving $20,000 for an additional grant for Public Defense Fees.
  • Sound Transit D to M Street railway progress: Lakewood's city manager met this week with the Sound Transit CEO and the Tacoma city manager to facilitate the community input and approval process for the railroad improvements in Tacoma, which are necessary for Sounder service to Lakewood. The plan is for decision on design alternatives by end of January.
  • City employees adopt two families: Staff in Public Works and Community Development adopted two Lakewood area families through the Tillicum/ American Lake Gardens Community Service Center. The first family is a mom, dad, 8-year boy, and baby on the way, with Dad having lost his job due to an industrial accident. The second family is an elderly couple with no family in the area living on a fixed income. Staff members pooled their resources and were able to provide a queen-size bed and recliner for the older couple, a bicycle and numerous Transformer toys for the 8-year old boy, a stroller and car seat for the baby, and bedding, clothes, food, and toiletries for all.
  • Meals delivered to 60 families at Tillicum Elementary: Police Officers Moody, Catlett, Borchardt, Porche, Hector, Herritt, Figueroa and Carrell along with DOC's Matt Goebel delivered 103 meals to 60 families involved in the Head Start program at Tillicum Elementary on December 15th. The LPIG Charity Fund coordinated the effort and donated $400. The Iron Pigs Motorcycle Club, Seattle Chapter, donated $1,400, and other officers donated the rest.
  • OEA Grant Update: The City submitted a planning management grant to the Department of Defense's Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) on December 5th; the purpose is to study how current and future growth of Ft. Lewis and McChord AFB impacts traffic operations along Interstate 5 between SR 512 and Mounts Road. It was anticipated that OEA would approve the grant application within two weeks and that the City could publish a Request for Proposals for consulting services by Friday December 19. However, OEA informed the City this week that their review of our application has been rescheduled for January 15th. This delay pushes our proposed schedule out by 30 days. The City now expects to publish a RFP on January 22nd.
  • Business Retention Program: The economic development manager met this week with Relm West, a company located in the Lakewood Industrial Park that designs and produces labels and packaging for products in the food and beverage industry. Their customer base is primarily companies in the Northwest, although some of their clients are large national companies. This business retention expansion meeting was one of many this year coordinated with both the County's economic development office and the Tacoma/Pierce County Economic Development Board (EDB). The company is a great example of the businesses we've been meeting with this year that operate nationally or internationally from Lakewood who are experiencing growth and enjoying the business climate with an operations basis in Lakewood.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 12/12/08

December 12, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • 13th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting: Over 1,200 people enjoyed the lighting of the City's Christmas tree on December 5th, with arts and crafts, music, live reindeer and refreshments. An estimated 600 children received gifts from Santa Claus at City Hall. Several partners shared in the planning and presentation of the festival including volunteers from the Lakewood Senior Activity Center, Clover Park School District, Lakewood First Lions, and the State Department of Corrections, with toys contributed by Purdy and McNeil Island.
  • Open Government Training Session: The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) training on "Open Government - What Local Officials Need to Know about WA's Public Records Act and Open Public Meetings Act" was attended on December 2nd at CPTC in Lakewood by city attorneys Heidi Ann Wachter and Anita Booker-Hay, paralegal Cynthia Wright, and city clerk Alice Bush. The detailed topics presented were the Public Records Acts Essential Features of an Effective Public Records Program, How the Public Records Act's Exemptions Serve the Public Interest, Public Records Act "Best Practices," Open Public Meeting Issues, Checklists and Executive Sessions. The News Tribune provided a lunch speaker who addressed "The Media and Public Records Requests."
  • City wins on Public Disclosure Case motion: Associate Attorney Matt Kaser in the City's legal department prevailed in Superior Court last week on a preliminary motion related to a public disclosure request. The City, after many informal efforts to confirm a complete response to a disclosure request, has had to resort to litigation in order to ensure full compliance with the Public Records Act. Toward that end, the City requested information from the requestor such as to what, if any, part of the City's response falls short of compliance with the Public Records Act. To date, the only issue appears to be that the requestor is seeking driver's license numbers which have been redacted from documents provided. The requestor has been ordered by the Court to provide the City with requested information that should facilitate expedient resolution of this matter. The City remains committed to keeping compliance with the Public Records Act a priority and will continue to work to protect City resources from unnecessary expenditures related to "career litigants".
  • Public Meeting held on Street Improvement Project: Public Works held an informal public meeting on December 10th regarding the construction of its Bridgeport Way (59th Ave to Steilacoom Blvd) Street Improvement project to raise the awareness of the potential impacts associated with constructing this project. About 400 notices were sent out and notices were specifically hand delivered to all the fronting businesses on the project. Attendance at the meeting was very low. To those who did attend we noted that construction wouldn't start until the week of January 5th and would probably last for 6 months. We also noted that during much of the construction activity thru traffic would be limited to one lane in each direction. In addition, we noted that some of the construction work, such as the asphalt overlay work and trench crossing work at the Steilacoom Blvd intersection, would be night time work.
  • Annual Employee Appreciation Awards: The City honored its employees at a "Wild West" themed breakfast on December 11th, at the Clover Park Technical College Student Services Center, with over 140 in attendance. The mayor and city manager thanked employees for their valuable service and strong commitment to making the city a success. The award for Police Officer of the Year went to Andy Gildehaus for his support of the transition to the 800 MHZ police radio system, Special Olympics, and for resolving a number of serious felony cases. The award for Teamwork went to Buzz Burgess and Sherwin Fermahin for the cooperative response to facilities maintenance matters. The award for Productivity went to Weston Ott of Public Works for his leadership in establishing a Toastmasters group to help City employees develop communication skills. For Customer Service, the honorable mention went to Kim Dodds for her support of human services agencies, and the annual award went to CSO Dawn McGinnis for her active support of neighborhood policing.
  • City employees mentor students in Lakewood Schools: In response to a request by Communities in Schools (CISL), an additional five members of the Lakewood Police Department answered the call and volunteered to mentor children in Lakewood schools. They have now been through the required training and will begin meeting with their assigned students on a weekly basis. Dawn McGinnis, Ryan Larson, Scott Novasky, John Unfred and Victor Celis are the newest City mentors and they join a number of other City employees who are volunteering to support Lakewood students. Employees are encouraged by management to participate, and manager will support the employees in this important effort.
  • "Coffee with the Mayor": At the December 12th briefing at the St. Clare Resource Center, Parks and Recreation Director Mary Dodsworth provided an update on Parks projects and activities, and Communications Director Jeff Brewster gave a presentation on the City's 2009 legislative priorities.
  • Paralegal Internship Program: another successful Paralegal Internship was completed by the legal department for Highline Community College student Hilary Beeman on December 4th. She put in 150 hours of internship time under the tutelage of City paralegal Cynthia Wright, covering such topics as criminal law, civil and municipal law, public disclosure, trial preparation, discovery, and case management. Hilary is the 4th paralegal intern the City has successfully trained in cooperation with local colleges with paralegal degree programs.
  • Presentation at Local Bar Association: Associate city attorney Matt Kaser presented a Criminal Law Update at the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Seminar held by the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association on December 6th, which was attended by about 70 local attorneys. His presentation provided an update on changes that occurred in the past year in Criminal Law that may affect local jurisdictions.
  • Lakewood Senior Center supports Tillicum with Christmas Dinner: The Lakewood Senior Activity Center teamed up with the Youth for Christ Youth and Family Center to help them with their Christmas dinner. The Youth Center was planning to distribute over 75 stockings filled with candy, fruit, a small gift and a gift card to be used at a Tillicum business. Participants at the Lakewood Senior Activity Center donated over $260 and a big box of candy for the kids in Tillicum. Although many of the older adults have their own financial difficulties, they opened their hearts (and wallets) to help the kids with even greater needs.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 11/28/08

November 28, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Pierce College Bomb Threats case resolved: The Lakewood Police Department arrested a Pierce College Fort Steilacoom student on campus on November 24th following an investigation of recent threats made against the college. The suspect was booked into the Pierce County Jail on two felony counts of threatening to bomb or injure property. The arrest was the result of collaboration between Campus Safety, faculty, administration, and LPD.
  • City Employee walks sixty miles for cancer research:, GIS Coordinator Maria Sevier of the Finance and Information Systems Department traveled to San Diego for the annual Breast Cancer 3Day Susan G. Komen for the Cure event, November 21-23. She joined 5,500 other volunteers in walking twenty miles each day for 3 days to raise money for breast cancer research. She raised, with the support of many friends, over $2,200 of the $11,200,000 total raised by the event. She reported that she was very moved by the courage of the many cancer survivors with whom she walked, and by the kindness and encouragement of the many supporters along the route.
  • Police Chief is speaker at Clover Park Rotary Club: Chief Bret Farrar was the speaker this week at Clover Park Rotary, and answered questions about gang activities, school zone signage, and the backlog in felony case processing.
  • Sound Transit station dispute resolved: The city manager and the Sound Transit CEO finalized an agreement this week to resolve the dispute over security and maintenance pending rail service at the station. The City will take over security and Sound Transit will cover station maintenance until rail service is in place.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 12/4/08

December 5, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Bridgeport Way Construction Open House at City Hall: The Public Works Department will host an open house in the council chambers on Wednesday, December 10th between 4:30pm and 6:30pm to discuss a major construction project that will begin in early 2009. This $3.7 million project includes installation of curbs, gutters, and sidewalks on this major arterial between Steilacoom Blvd and 59th Ave. The project will also include new and modified traffic signals, street lighting and widening of Bridgeport Way north of 93rd St. to accommodate a 2-way left turn lane. It is anticipated that construction will take 6-8 months. Federal grants will cover $1.4 million and the City will pay the rest. During construction, traffic will be confined to one-lane each way and left turns may not be permitted. Affected local businesses and residents are encouraged to attend.
  • Sound Glass project review: The city manager, ass't city manager for development, and economic development manager met with the president and manager of Sound Glass, as well as the construction manager, this week as an "after action" de-brief in order to review the process involved in the successful completion of the major new commercial building on 75th Street W. This process is part of the City's emphasis on economic development and a way to ensure quality improvement in the City's business development practices. The process allows for a critical review of what steps went well in the City's review of the project, and what steps could have been improved. Sound Glass in its new location is a very welcome enhancement to the City's business community. The company was featured in the latest Business Examiner's "2008 Fastest Growing Companies".
  • Lakewood Officer participates in 20th Annual Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Stair Climb: Lieutenant Heidi Hoffman participated in the 20th Annual Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Stair Climb on December 4th. Her team climbed the 56 floors of the Washington Mutual Building in Seattle and raised over $2,000 for the foundation. This is Heidi's second year with this event and she completed her climb in 19 minutes, 27 seconds --14 seconds faster than last year.
  • Lakewood Officers attend CALEA Conference: Ass't Police Chief Mike Zaro and Officer Jeff Carroll attended the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma this week.
  • Emergency Management Training Exercise: City staff from all departments participated in a table-top planning exercise this week with Pierce County Department of Emergency Management to practice response to a train derailment emergency. The City continues to work on improvement of its preparedness skills to deal with real disasters and emergencies.
  • City Staff and Local Agencies Serve Turkey Dinner To 650: Human Services Program Specialist Kim Dodds joined Greater Lakes Mental Healthcare (GLMH) staff, Board members and community volunteers in serving its annual Thanksgiving dinner to 650 clients and their guests from Lakewood, Tacoma and Pierce County on November 25th. The event was funded by donations from staff, past and present Board members, Genoa Pharmacy, and Tacoma Public Utilities employees. The food was prepared by GLMH staff. This was the 15th dinner sponsored by GLMH which started by a small group of GLMH staff for clients participating in the Greater Lakes day treatment program. This year's dinner brought an increase of approximately 150 guests over last year's event. The City is one of many regional partners who have funded GLMH through human services.
  • Burn Ban Changes: Rick Hess from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency provided details on burn ban changes in the region to the Tillicum-Woodbrook Neighborhood Association on December 4th. Washington State is coming into compliance with Federal EPA guidelines to reduce harmful particulates resulting from burning wood. More "Stage 2" burn bans are anticipated this winter; this means that the burning of wood will be strictly prohibited except in homes that have no other source of heat. These burn bans typically last for 2-4 days. PSCAA has seven inspectors working the area south of Seattle. Those citizens who burn wood as a primary source of heat can track burn ban periods on PSCAA's website: or newspaper or TV weather reports. Those wanting more information should visit this website. Violators could be fined up to $1000.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 11/21/08

November 21, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Gambling policy included as AWC major Legislative Priority: The city manager participated this week as a boardmember in the establishment of AWC (Association of Washington Cities) priorities for the upcoming legislative session. Over 25 issues were debated and reviewed by five subcommittees of the AWC Legislative Committee. The proposal for cities' authority to zone or partially ban gambling facilities emerged as one of the AWC 7 major priorities.
  • DUI Victim’s Impact Panel awards Officer Dustin Carrell: Mayor Richardson will attend the annual candlelight vigil on November 21st in Fife to kick off the impaired driving emphasis for the holiday season in our region. The group will be honoring LPD Officer Carrell for his dedication and efforts in working to make our community safer.
  • Officers attend Active Shooter Training: About 30 officers from Lakewood, Fife and other cities in the Metro Cooperative Cities Group attended ten hours of Active Shooter training on November 19th at a training site sponsored by Clover Park Technical College. The training prepared officers for responding to an incident involving a suspect who is actively assaulting citizens with deadly force at a school, workplace or other location. The training included a classroom presentation on past active shooter incidents, police response and current tactics, techniques and procedures for resolving these incidents.
  • LPD Receives New Grant Funded Equipment: The Lakewood Police Department received the Monocular Night Vision Device F6015 Series that was awarded from the 2007 CEDAP grant application on November 19th. The equipment is valued at $10,000. This helmet-mounted equipment will be assigned to SWAT to assist in their low light operations.
  • Lakewood officers provide Thanksgiving meals to 18 families: The COPS (Community-oriented Police) unit of LPD, along with the Great American Casino and the Lakewood African-American Police Advisory Committee (LAAPAC) are joining forces to provide Thanksgiving meals to 18 families in need this Thanksgiving. The COPS unit reached out to the community to find the needy families, while the Great American Casino and LAAPAC are donating all of the meals.