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City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 8/5/08

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

  • 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) at Lakewood United: At 7am on Thursday, September 11 at Burs Restaurant, representatives from the 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Lakewood's "Community Connection" to Fort Lewis, will provide an overview of their 15-month deployment to Iraq. Lakewood residents are encouraged to commemorate "Patriot Day" by attending this presentation and learning more about the 4-2 SBCT's historic deployment.
  • Police Volunteer Coordinator to speak at Patriot's Landing Event: LPD Disabled Parking Enforcement (DPE) Volunteer Coordinator Kristy Kernen has been asked to address the Military Officers of World Wars on September 14th at Patriot's Landing, regarding DPE/RADAR and volunteers at LPD and the positive impact they have on Lakewood and law enforcement.
  • Lakewood Observation Patrol Makes Generous Donation: The Lakewood Observation Patrol has again made a very generous donation of equipment to LPD and citizens of Lakewood. They've donated UV markers, electric engravers, and a carrying case to each of the six police districts so that we can implement an Operation ID program. The kits will include an invisible UV sharpie marker, an engraver, Operation ID stickers, an inventory sheet for listing serial numbers, and an instructional sheet. Citizens can check out a kit for up to a week by contacting their district's Community Service Officer.
  • Summer Playground Program at Springbrook Park: This free program, in honor of our past Police Chief Larry Saunders, was funded by the Lakewood First Lions, and operated from June 23rd to August 14th. Games and activities for neighborhood youth began at 11:00am and a free lunch was provided by the Food Connection and the USDA Summer Food Service program. The games and activities continued until 3:00pm, Monday through Thursday. Soccer was by far the most popular activity, followed by basketball, kickball, board games and arts & crafts. Unofficially, there were about 500 visits by children to the program.
  • Detective Makes Huge Contributions To The Washington State Missing And Exploited Children's Task Force: Detective Kim Holmes has been actively working as Lakewood's representative with the Washington State Missing and Exploited Children's Task Force since 2006. She travels state wide assisting police agencies investigating internet sex crimes against children, and she follows up on leads provided by police agencies from around the country. There was a warrant service this week in Tacoma as a result of Detective Holmes' following up on a lead provided from a detective in Florida who had posed as a 14 year old girl on line which resulted in an arrest.
  • Officers Participate in "Operation Crackdown": Four Neighborhood Police Officers from the COPS unit participated in "Operation Crackdown," a two day Washington State Department of Corrections sponsored operation to locate and arrest Sex Offenders who have outstanding arrest warrants living in Pierce County. Other agencies included Tacoma PD, PCSD, and the US Marshal's Office.


  • Missing Boy Found: Reserve Officer John Henterly found a missing 2 year-old boy in Tillicum on August 31st. He had wandered out into a field and fallen asleep. Henterly found him shortly after arrival while the father was running around in the woods looking for him as well.
  • Pit bulls Confiscated: Lakewood streets are now a bit safer after Animal Control confiscated two Pit bulls that were in violation of the City's Potentially Dangerous Dog Ordinance. After about $9,300 in fines and shelter costs, and two failed attempts at appealing the order, the owners of these two dogs would not come into compliance and continued to allow the dogs to run at large. The citizens and children in the Custer Elementary School area can now once again walk without the fear of two potentially dangerous dogs threatening them.
  • Officer Actions Above and Beyond the Call of Duty: Officer Vince Sivankeo went above and beyond when he was called out to a Burglary on August 8th. A young Canadian citizen came down to purchase a nostalgic car. The deal went bad, the young man drove away and in the process got into a car accident; his car was towed, and he took a taxi to a motel on South Tacoma Way. While the young man was asleep in his room, someone broke in and stole his wallet which contained all of his money and credit cards. Officer Sivankeo wanted to help this young man get home. CSO Dawn McGinnis made contact with a Lakewood Trucking company, who agreed to take the young man all the way to Canada. The young man called the next day to say he had made it home safe and sound with lessons learned and to thank LPD.
  • Suicide Attempt Thwarted: On August 30th, LPD Officers Griswold, Maysonet, and Jeff Johnson responded to a suicide attempt in progress. The officers determined that it was necessary to make entry to the residence to check the welfare of the subject, and they found him in a running vehicle in an enclosed garage, attempting to asphyxiate himself. The officers detained the subject without causing further harm and subsequently involuntarily committed him for mental health treatment.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 8/29/08

August 29, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Lakewood Station Grand Opening on September 20th: Lakewood citizens are encouraged to attend the grand opening of the Sound Transit's Lakewood station on Saturday, September 20th from 11am to 2pm., located at 11424 Pacific Highway SW across from Lakewood Ford. Starting September 21st, Lakewood Station will be served by Sound Transit, Pierce Transit and Intercity Transit. The station will include a 600-stall parking garage, bike storage, and ticket vending machines for the Sounder Connector Route 599. This express bus will be timed to transport riders to the Tacoma Dome Station for transfers to Sounder trains serving Puyallup, Sumner, Kent, Tukwila, and Seattle. Visit for schedule info.
  • Cemetery Zoning Change: Four cemeteries within Lakewood are part of this year's comprehensive plan and zoning amendments. In response to the yellow notice signs posted at the sites, City Hall has received numerous inquiries, particularly about the Byrd Cemetery located within the state game farm off Phillips Road. It seems a rumor got started that the rezoning would mean development of the game farm, which is not being considered. The four cemeteries - in addition to the old Byrd family plot, the historic Old Settlers' and Masonic cemeteries in the Lake City area, and the Home of Peace Cemetery off Steilacoom Blvd. - would be moved from one open space zone to the other, a technical correction to adjust a misapplied zoning district that does not allow for cemeteries. Development of the game farm cannot occur as a result. Public comment will be taken on these and all other proposed comprehensive plan/zoning amendments at a Planning Advisory Board hearing on September 10. For more information, call (253) 983-7770.
  • Human Services Needs Assessment Update: Fifteen (15) focus group meetings have been held since July to obtain citizen input on human services needs in our community. These include meetings with each of the neighborhood associations, various advisory boards, housing providers, health care providers, ministerial/churches, City departments, employment services, education providers, and various ethnic groups. We have also received 272 citizens' responses from the web-based survey. The draft Needs Assessment Report is scheduled to be presented to the Council in November. The City received 51 human services applications requesting $937,165 in funding. The Human Services Funding Advisory Board is scheduled to conduct oral presentations from the applicants on September 24 and 25 and present funding recommendations in November.
  • Armed Robbery Successful Response: LPD Patrol responded to Union 76 station at 11919 Pacific Hwy SW for an armed robbery call. Officers arrived in the area within 2 minutes of the call being dispatched. Containment was set up and officers immediately started a track; one quickly located the first suspect and then tracked to some clothing and the pistol used in the robbery. A short time later, Patrol located the second suspect a short distance away in the stairwell of the Juniper Court Apts. Detectives were called out and obtained a confession from the suspects.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 8/15/08

August 15, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Code Enforcement Records Update: As of today, there have been a total of 232 records entered for 2008, of which 73 have been closed, 52 are active, and 107 are pending. 23 cases have been closed in the past week.
  • Abatement Update: Abatement contracts were signed this week for demolition of two burned houses. Asbestos surveys preparatory to demolition are expected to begin next week, with demolitions expected to begin approximately two weeks thereafter. Abatement of another burned-out house was completed by the property owner. In the City’s first appeal of a dangerous building abatement order, the hearing examiner upheld the City’s action. The owner subsequently expressed his intent to work with the City and comply with the order. There are currently 20 active abatement cases and at least seven additional cases pending. Staff expects to issue abatement orders in at least two of the pending cases within the next week.
  • Lakewood Volunteer Observation Patrol Recruitment: The new Lakewood Volunteer Observation Patrol (LVOP) has begun citizen recruitment. This grass-roots citizen-designed and operated “mobile block watch” has successfully become a non-profit organization, obtained liability insurance, and begun monthly training sessions with Lakewood Police. These concerned neighbors want to support local law enforcement efforts by being the “eyes & ears” of the LPD. They patrol their neighborhoods in personally owned vehicles and look for signs of ongoing crime and blight, which they report to police or other City departments as needed. Volunteers do not carry weapons, and do not involve themselves directly in police actions. They serve as early warning, and they make good eyewitnesses in cases of emergent crimes. Training provided by the Lakewood Police consists, in part, of Suspect Identification, Vehicle Identification, Gang and general crime awareness, How to Work With Police and 911, and other aspects of observation/evaluation/reporting of criminal or suspicious activity in their neighborhoods. They are not trained in defensive tactics or surveillance, or any other ‘police-type’ activity, and do not wear uniforms, carry badges or weapons; they are not police or City employees or agents. Interested persons are asked to contact the LVOP President Carol Hudgins at (253) 584-5905.
  • Exceptional Homicide Sentence: Thanks to excellent police work by LPD, a homicide of a 3-month old child that occurred in July 2007 at the Kelly Court Apartments has resulted in a conviction and an exceptional sentence of 50 years in Superior Court last week. Francisco Sao was charged with killing his 3-month-old son. Sao stood trial and was convicted on all counts, Murder 2nd degree, Harassment, and Tampering. The jury returned special verdicts as it pertained to the vulnerability of the infant and threats to kill that Sao had made while on the run. The good work that was conducted by LPD Patrol and Investigations made an impact with the jury and made their decision that much easier.
  • LPD sponsors Special Olympics Golf Tournament: The Special Olympics Golf Tournament was held on August 8th and was a huge success. Over 56 golfers showed up to swing their way around the Lakewood Meadows Golf Course. There was some specific interest in the 2009 Ford Flex (donated by Lakewood Ford) being given away at hole 4- if you were able to shoot a hole in one. Unfortunately no one was able to make that shot for the second year in a row and the Ford Flex was taken back to the lot. Over $10,000 was raised for the Special Olympics and Lakewood PD had yet another successful event for this important cause. Coincidentally, the Lakewood Ford team won the tournament.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 6/22/08

August 22, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Pacific Highway Phase 3 - 108th Street to SR 512: Construction is progressing smoothly with the Contractor's completion of storm drainage installation this week. In addition, 4 of the 9 video detection cameras were set at the South Tacoma Way / SR512 intersection in preparation of the contractor cutting the vehicle detection loops in the pavement. The Contractor is scheduled to install illumination and signal conduit next week and prepare for curb and gutter installation. The project is on schedule and within budget. It is anticipated that final paving will occur in the middle of October and final traffic signal switch out in December.
  • Neiditz presides at state city managers conference: Lakewood's city manager presided over the annual Washington City/County Managers Association (WCMA) annual conference August 20-22 in Winthrop WA. About 120 were in attendance from around the state. The conference theme was "Sustainability" and the keynote speakers included Dan Burden, an expert on community development strategies and the founder of Walkable Communities, Inc.; and Margaret Larson, former news anchor on Dateline NBC and The Today Show, who now leads an international humanitarian community aid effort. Neiditz's one year term as WCMA president was concluded on August 22nd, and he was succeeded by Ben Yazici, the city manager of Sammamish.
  • COPS Event: The COPS community event on Saturday August 16th was supported by participation by LAAPAC, the Pacific Neighbor Association, Lakewood Fire, Lakewood Police Department and Radar Volunteers. About 500 hot dogs were served. Officers took the time to talk with a group of kids about law enforcement and pulled out some of SWAT gear for a presentation. Our Explorers did an outstanding job and were instrumental in this event being a success, and were great representatives of the Lakewood Police Department.
  • Code Enforcement/Abatement Update: As of August 22nd, there have been a total of 249 code enforcement records entered for 2008. Of these, 78 have been closed, 52 are active, and 119 are pending. Also, the City successfully defended itself in a small claims hearing related to a drug lab abatement in 2007. The City was represented by its insurance agent and staff from Police and Code Enforcement.
  • Tyee Elementary School - Pedestrian Safety Improvement: Public Works staff with contractor support are in the process of completing a minor pedestrian safety improvement on Seminole Road approaching the entrance to Tyee Elementary School. The project includes construction of a traffic barrier curb and gravel walkway which will provide a physical separation between the students walking to school and the vehicles at the only school access point. The project is part of the City's Minor Pedestrian Safety Improvement Program and was selected as a top priority after citizens brought the project to the Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee.
  • LPD Explorers Completed Academy Last Week: Two LPD explorers went through the basic academy where they focused on basic patrol procedures. They received classroom training and were graded on mock scenes. We also had one explorer go through advanced academy which focused on investigations; he received training on homicide, fraud, and other types of investigations. All of our explorers graduated.
  • Police and Fire Games: Officers Jim Syler, Michelle Hector and Jeff Martin are currently competing in the Police and Fire Games being held in Boise, Idaho. Hector and Syler took 2nd place in the "Toughest Man Alive" event. This competition has several events within it. Some of the events are running, rope climbing, shot-put, weight lifting and an obstacle course. They both received the silver medal and a moment on the awards podium. Michelle Hector competed in the 5K cross country run on Tuesday and took the gold medal. She competed against men and women and apparently smoked everyone. The 5K was no easy course; it consisted of pavement, dirt trails, large hills, and sand. Congratulations to all officers who participated!
  • Back to School Event on McNeil Island: NPO Charles Porche and CSOs Sandi Stauffer and Dawn McGinnis participated in the annual back to school event for children of inmates at McNeil Island Penitentiary on August 15th. Approximately 90 children participated in the event which included lunch with their dads, backpacks provided to each child filled with school supplies, and a chance to visit the booths set up by various agencies including LPD.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 8/8/08

August 8, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • National Night Out a Success: There were more than 40 National Night Out events in the City of Lakewood on August 5th. Ambassadors from Lakewood's Promise, Kids at Hope, Communities in Schools of Lakewood, and Caring for Kids joined staff and volunteers from the Police Department, Lakewood Fire Department, and the State Department of Corrections for another successful neighborhood-based event. This year's theme was "Keeping Kids Safe."
  • Building Permit Activity:

    Number of Building Permits Applied For

    Number of Building Permits Issued

    July 2007
    July 2008
  • Land Use Permit Activity:

    Number of Planning Permits Applied For

    Number of Planning Permits Approved

    July 2007
    July 2008
  • Building Valuation Totals:

    New Permit Valuation 2008

  • Code enforcement update: As of August 8th, there have been a total of 227 code enforcement records entered for 2008. Of these, 50 have been closed, 55 are active, and 122 are pending. Code enforcement division staff and the assistant city attorney made a presentation at "Coffee with the Mayor" regarding the City's abatement program.
  • Transition to 800 MHZ: The Lakewood Police Department transitioned from their old VHF radio system to a new 800 MHZ System on Sunday August 3rd. The benefits of the new system include clearer, encrypted transmissions and none of the "dead" spots in the city where the officers' previous portable radios would not work. That was a frustrating and dangerous problem with the old system. The reviews for the new system by the officers on the street have been overwhelmingly positive since the transition. This is a major step forward in the public safety goal of interoperability.
  • Paint Lakewood Beautiful: City of Lakewood employees partnered with The Little Church on the Prairie this year to participate in the annual Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful project. It was a tremendous success with 17 City employees volunteering over 88 hours to prepare and paint a home in Lakewood. We received a thank you card from the very happy home owner. The staff volunteers included Debra Young, John Howard, Sharbra Scott, Stori Sanders, Dawn McGinnis, Livia Rodriguez, Mike Zaro, Nicole Revuelto (HR Volunteer), Choi Halladay, Tes Ongoco, Mary Dodsworth, Julie Skaw, Steve Mauer, Gail Connelly, and Melissa Wagner; and councilmembers Helen McGovern and Pad Finnigan.
  • Lakewood explorers at Emerald Downs and SeaFair: Chief Farrar received a letter from the Director of Security at Emerald Downs thanking him for the help received from our Explorers at their 4th of July annual fireworks display. The Explorers assisted the Emerald Downs Security Department with traffic and crowd control of over 20,000 people. In his letter, they stated that the event was accomplished "without injury or damage to either vehicles or pedestrians and egress went more smoothly and quickly than has happened since this event first began," and were so impressed with the Explorers that they generously donated $350 to the program. At SeaFair, the LPD Explorers assisted Seattle Police Department with security all weekend, and were credited with assisting a five-month pregnant woman to the medical station after she starting having complications. The event was a great success and provided excellent experience for the Explorers who were praised as behaving in an extremely professional manner.