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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/1/2013

March 1, 2013
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Heidi Wachter, Interim City Manager

  • Council Priority: Foster redevelopment of the Pacific Highway corridor, Woodbrook and Tillicum
    • Lakewood Projects Recognized By EDB: At its annual meeting today, the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County announced the “2013 Excellent 10 Awards.” Two Lakewood projects were on the list: the City’s “Sound Transit Connector Project” (Pedestrian Bridge – pictured below) and the Clover Park Technical College Health Sciences Building. The City expects the pedestrian bridge to generate private investment in residential redevelopment near the station. Developers will be able to take advantage of convenient commuter rail transportation to northern destinations in the Puget Sound. The bridge will be completed by the end of March.
  • Council Priority: Foster redevelopment of the Pacific Highway corridor, Woodbrook and Tillicum
    • Lakewood – “America’s Hidden Gems”: The City will debut a short video, “Today in America with Terry Bradshaw” during its regular Council meeting on Monday, March 4 at 7pm. This video features Lakewood as part of the “America’s Hidden Gems” series. It is available for viewing at the City’s website . Additional information will be forthcoming.
    • Also at Monday’s meeting, the City will also recognize former City Manager Andrew Neiditz for his eight years of service. All citizens are encouraged to attend. Refreshments will follow.
  • Council Priority: Foster redevelopment of the Pacific Highway corridor, Woodbrook and Tillicum
    • Gloria Motel Demolished: Under an abatement order from the City, the Gloria Motel was recently demolished by the property owner. Long one of the most troublesome motels in Lakewood, the City and the Washington Department of Health closed the Gloria Motel in 2010. It was deemed unfit for habitation. After obtaining the property through foreclosure, the current owner determined it would not be feasible to repair the 63-year old motel. He is exploring options for redeveloping the property and the City will support his efforts as appropriate.
  • Council Priority: Maintain and enhance public safety
    • LPD Supports Operation “Shiny Penny”: Lakewood Police are an integral member of the Washington Auto Theft Prevention Authority’s (WATPA) Auto Crimes Enforcement Task Force. The Task Force recently completed a six-month investigation resulting in multiple arrests. The combined effort investigated property crimes in Pierce County and across Washington State focusing on auto theft, firearms violations, residential burglary and fraud. For more information, please view the press release at under “news updates.”
  • Council Priority: Continue cooperative partnership with educational institutions in Lakewood
    • Healthy Start Program – Tyee Park: Fifteen students in the Healthy Start After School Program have qualified to participate in the upcoming regional Speed Stacking competition in Auburn, WA. Seven students gave a demonstration of the sport that emphasizes the use of both sides of the brain by using both hands during an all-school assembly. Six of the students competed against each other and the seventh challenged Principal Gillis and won easily. To see Speed Stacking in action, go to
  • Council Priority: Continue cooperative partnership with educational institutions in Lakewood
  • Council Priority: Maintain and enhance public safety
    • CSRT Supports Pierce College Event: CSRT staff participated in the 8th Annual Child Identification Event conducted by the Pierce College Criminal Justice Club on February 13. Parents brought their children in and had them fingerprinted, received DNA swabs and dental impressions. The City participated in public education efforts related to crime prevention. Thirty children received services at the event.

Lakewood featured on National TV Program "Today in America" with Terry Bradshaw

Lakewood featured on National TV Program Today in America with Terry Bradshaw

Lakewood showcased as one of “America’s Hidden Gems”

The City of Lakewood is featured on a segment of Today in America with Terry Bradshaw as part of the “America’s Hidden Gems” series. The video can be viewed on the City of Lakewood’s website homepage at or at .

The television show, hosted by former NFL quarterback and television personality, Terry Bradshaw, broadcasts nationally and regionally on many popular television networks. Tucked away between the larger, well-known cities of the U.S. are some of the nation's hidden gems: great places to live, work, play and visit. The segment tells the story of Lakewood’s contributions to the economic fabric of America, and highlights the business community and the outstanding lifestyle benefits of the area.

The show highlights Lakewood’s investments in infrastructure and transportation, as well as its supportive community for youth and the city’s recreational and cultural opportunities. Due to Lakewood’s noteworthy contributions to its economy and community, the Today in America segment draws attention to the city’s great amenities for residents and visitors alike. Many of the local business industries are highlighted in the piece as is Lakewood’s role as the host community for Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Camp Murray.

Filming occurred in August 2012 in key locations throughout Lakewood. Former Mayor Doug Richardson; former city manager Andrew Neiditz; Shawn Gagnon, chair of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce ; Yeh-Hee Han, vice president of brokerage services at CBRE; and Dan Durr, a member of the Lakewood Redevelopment Advisory Board , were all interviewed.

Lakewood is a relatively young city, having incorporated in 1996. There are currently 3,500 businesses and the population can support business growth as personal income within the area is expected to increase to $1.6 billion by 2016. There are four nearby golf courses, five lakes, great city parks as well as a thriving International District and many other recreational and cultural amenities.

“The video emphasizes the fantastic lifestyle and supportive business environment that Lakewood has to offer prospective residents and businesses from around the United States,” noted Ellie Chambers-Grady, economic development manager for the City of Lakewood. “Lakewood truly is one of America’s hidden gems.”

Lakewood 2012 Year End Report

Lakewood 2012 Year End Report

Regional Undercover Operation Concluded

Washington Auto Theft Prevention Authority’s (WATPA) Auto Crimes Enforcement Task Force finishes up six month investigation with multiple arrests

On February 26th, 2013 officers and detectives from the Auto Crimes Enforcement (ACE) Task Force and other assisting agencies in Pierce County served a series of search warrants upon five residences and several vehicles in Pierce and Thurston Counties. This combined effort was the result of a long term undercover investigation involving ongoing property crimes in Pierce County and across Washington State which included auto theft, firearms violations, residential burglary and fraud. The operation, dubbed “Shiny Penny”, involved a six month undercover store front investigation in Pierce County in which detectives purchased stolen property from local criminals.

Regional resources utilized during service of these warrants included the following SWAT Teams: Pierce County METRO SWAT, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department SWAT and Thurston County Sheriff’s Department SWAT.

The ACE Task Force agencies involved in this undercover operation included the Lakewood Police Department, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Tacoma Police Department, Washington State Patrol, Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, Puyallup Police Department, Fife Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, National Insurance Crime Bureau and Washington Auto Theft Prevention Authority.

Operation “Shiny Penny” has produced the following results

  • 26 total suspects identified for felony crimes
  • 21 suspects currently in custody. A number of those were arraigned in Superior Court on 02-27-13.
  • 26 stolen cars recovered. Overall value $250,000 plus.
  • 16 firearms recovered which includes two assault rifles.
  • 4 narcotics violations.
  • 11 other property items recovered that included items such as televisions and laptops.
  • 34 total undercover transactions completed by detectives.

This is the third undercover operation conducted by the ACE Task Force in the last two years. All of these operations resulted in a significant number of stolen cars recovered and suspects arrested. The operation was funded by participating agencies and the Washington Auto Theft Prevention Authority. The ACE Task Force is dedicated to the pursuit of career criminals committing crimes against persons and property in the greater Pierce County region.

The task force is planning on returning stolen cars and property to victims on March 6th. We will be providing more details on this to allow the media to be on scene to film the event and possibly interview victims.

Please contact Lt. Chris Lawler for additional information.

Lt. Lawler can be contacted at the numbers listed below for more information;
Office (253) 830-5011
Cellular (253) 606-6981
Fax (253) 830-5069

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 2/22/2013

February 22, 2013
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Heidi Wachter, Interim City Manager

  • Council Priority: Develop a vision for the City Center -
  • Council Priority: Foster redevelopment of the Pacific Highway corridor, Woodbrook and Tillicum -
    • WEDA Legislative Conference: Lakewood Economic Development Manager Ellie Chambers-Grady attended the Washington Economic Development Association Legislative Conference last week in Olympia. Discussions and presentations topics included streamlining business rules, export finance, Aerospace/Advanced Manufacturing and Clean Technology, economic development results, legislative proposals and updates.
  • Council Priority: Develop a vision for parks and public spaces to improve quality of life and attract residents –
    • Public Works Department applies for State Ecology Grant: The Public Works Department applied for a state Department of Ecology grant to help fund the preparation of a management plan for Waughop Lake located within Ft. Steilacoom Park. The total cost to prepare the management plan is estimated at $200,000 for which the grant, if we’re successful, would pay $150,000 thereof. Notice was received this week that our Waughop Lake management plan project made the draft list of projects recommended for funding. The draft list is subject to public review and comment through March 20th. It’s also subject to passage of the state and federal budgets. A final list will be published on July 1st.
  • Council Priority: Sustain regional leadership and coordination role with military partners -
    • City Staff Meet with JBLM Officials on Lake City Traffic: Staff from the City Manager’s Office and Public Works met with senior JBLM staff on February 15 to discuss traffic mitigation measures where traffic from North Gate Road enters Lakewood’s Lake City neighborhood. JBLM agreed to allow the City to post signage on their property (“Reduced Speed Ahead” and “No Right Turn 4-6pm”) just before Nottingham Rd – the first intersection in Lakewood. The City will install this signage around March 15. The City and JBLM will work cooperatively on an “informational campaign” to advise commuters of the pending change and will also work together to pursue federal “Defense Access Road” (DAR) funding to fix an intersection in Lake City that generates the backups (Northgate and Edgewood Ave). The DAR funding request is at least a two-year process. City staff will provide an update to the Lake City neighborhood in March.
  • Other items of interest:
    • Congressman Heck Signs Lease with City Hall: Effective March 1, Congressman Denny Heck’s office will lease conference room 3B from the City of Lakewood. The lease will be in effect until early January 2015 (members of the US House can only enter agreements for the duration of their 2-year terms). Congressman Heck has a larger staff presence at the Lacey City Hall. He wanted a Lakewood presence due to Lakewood’s proximity to JBLM and a forum to meet with Pierce County constituents. Heck’s staff plans to keep regular office hours that will mirror City Hall’s hours (8:30am to 5pm, Monday-Friday).
    • Lakewood participates in City Legislative Action Conference: On February 13, Councilmember Barth and Communications Director Brewster attended the annual City Legislative Action Conference in Olympia sponsored by the Association of Washington Cities. They also met with members of the Lakewood delegation including Senator Conway and Representatives Green, Sawyer, and Kirby. They received constructive updates on city priorities including the Camp Murray Annexation (i.e. clarification of which state entity can negotiate state military land annexations), Western State Hospital community policing funding, capital funding requests, and potential city sharing of state-collected liquor taxes.
    • 2012 Year End Report: Staff has finalized the 2012 Year End Report. It will be posted to the City’s website next week and mailed to all Lakewood residences and businesses before the end of February.