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City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 8/1/08

August 1, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Public invited as the City will Honor the 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT): Lakewood's Community Connection to Fort Lewis, the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division returned to Fort Lewis in June after a 15-month deployment to Iraq. The City will have a program as part of the regular council meeting on Monday, August 4th at 7:00 p.m. to recognize the brigade's deployment and its sacrifices. The brigade was an integral part of the Army's "surge" effort which was widely credited for quelling violence in Iraq. The public is highly encouraged to attend. The program will include:
    • Introduction of the 2008 "Lakewood Idol" winner, Maureen Elias, an Army veteran and Army wife who will sing the National Anthem.
    • A Proclamation recognizing the "2008 Army Times Soldier of the Year" winner, First Sergeant William Harlan, a Lakewood citizen and 4-2 SBCT Soldier.
    • Comments and video by Colonel Jon Lehr, the 4-2's brigade commander.
    • Unveiling of a memorial plaque prototype identifying the 54 soldiers (assigned and attached) who died while serving with the brigade in Iraq.
    • A brief social period with refreshments.
  • National Night Out on August 5th: We have 43 registered events for National Night Out, which is next Tuesday, August 5th, and any council members who wish to attend the 2pm kick off are welcome to join us in the council chambers. Ambassadors from Communities in Schools, Kids and Hope, Lakewood's Promise and Caring for Kids will join LPD staff as we make our rounds for what will surely be another tremendously successful NNO
  • Coordination with Fort Lewis: The city manager and directors of Community Development, Public works, and Communications met with the senior Garrison Command staff at Fort Lewis on July 30th to discuss mutual concerns between the city and the installation. Special emphasis was on the upcoming grant application process to the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) of the Defense Department targeting at planning for mitigation related to the growth at Fort Lewis.
  • LPD escorts Remains of Fallen East Pierce Fire Chief: On July 30th, Lakewood PD motorcycle officers assisted with the escort of the remains and family of fallen East Pierce Fire Chief Dan Packer. The escort started in Bonney Lake, moved to the Narrows Airport and concluded back in Puyallup at Powers Funeral Home. The formal memorial ceremony and interment will be held on August 7th and Lakewood PD Motors will likely be asked to assist.
  • Pierce County Auto Theft Prevention Task Force (ATTACK): Lakewood PD is the lead in a multi-agency Pierce County Auto Theft Prevention Task Force (ATTACK). State funded program to focus on theft of auto and related crimes partnering with WSP, Pierce County, Fife, City of Tacoma. Total award is $530,000 -- $500,000 for the grant program and $30,000 for the auto license plate reader.
  • 50th Search Warrant for Drugs in Tillicum: Officer Waller authored the 50th search warrant in Tillicum since the inception of the LPD. SWAT and Special Ops served the warrant on July 31st resulting in Heroin and cash being seized.
  • Pacific Highway Phase 3 (108th to SR512): Construction is progressing on Pacific Highway Phase 3 including installation of the large storm drainage vault and infiltration gallery in front of the vacant properties just north of 108th Street. There was a pedestrian/vehicle accident within the work zone - after hours - late Monday night. There was no construction occurring at the time. A state trooper was behind the vehicle that struck the pedestrian. We are awaiting final filing of the accident report.
  • Street Light Copper Wire Theft: Public Works crews have uncovered 3 separate copper wire thefts in our street light system. Two of the areas were on Steilacoom Blvd between Clover Park Technical College and South Tacoma Way. The third area was on Tacoma Mall Blvd from 80th south to the casinos. Public Works is in the process of welding shut the street light lids where possible. Although this may slow the thieves down, it may not completely stop the problem. Public Works and Police have been coordinating efforts to work both ends of the problem - the thieves that are taking the wire, and the recyclers who illegally pay cash for the salvaged copper wire.
  • Happy ending for a Stray Dog: Lakewood Animal Control had been trying to catch a "street wise" stray dog for about 2 years. Since they had not seen or heard of her for about a year they feared the worst. Recently, while responding to another animal complaint they discovered that the wily stray was living with a new owner that the dog had "adopted". She'd had a litter of pups and is scheduled to be spayed. She is now owned by a Lakewood business owner, who takes her to work every day.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 7/25/08

July 25, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Chip Sealing Program Cancelled: This year's road chip sealing program which was to include approximately 14.1 miles of local access streets primarily located between S. Tacoma Way on the west and I-5 on the east; and 83rd St on the north and 96th St on the south has been cancelled since the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes just officially announced that they will no longer produce liquid asphalt. Tesoro was the major manufacturer of liquid asphalt to the region and the source of liquid asphalt to Pierce County, our streets maintenance contractor, who has now suspended its program for this year. There is now only one manufacturer (US Oil) for the region remaining and their supplies for this year have already been allocated.
  • Initiative Update: The City received notification on July 22nd from the Pierce County Auditor that it had validated less than 3000 of the required 3707 signatures on the initiative seeking to ban mini-casinos in Lakewood. Staff immediately relayed this information to the "Save Lakewood" group. Petition signers must be registered voters in Lakewood. The petitioners have an additional ten days to obtain the required signatures; the new deadline is August 1st.
  • AWC Board Retreat: The city manager participated this week in the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) board retreat to refine the legislative strategies for both the upcoming state session as well as federal relations. The 21 AWC board members direct the association's approach to representing the 281 cities and towns in Washington State.
  • 4-2 SBCT Recognition: Lakewood's "Community Connection" to Fort Lewis, the 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, returned to Ft. Lewis in June after 15 months in Iraq. The City will recognize the brigade at its regular Council meeting on August 4th at 7 p.m. Brigade commander Colonel Jon Lehr will provide an overview of the brigade's deployment. The public is encouraged to attend.
  • Historic Preservation Grant: Dan Penrose of the Community Development Department, who provides staff support to the Landmarks & Heritage Advisory Board, received a $1,000 scholarship from the Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation to attend the National Association of Preservation Commissions Biennial Conference in New Orleans. The conference was designed specifically for historic preservation commission members and staff, and its unique combination of working roundtables and educational breakout sessions provided the opportunity to learn from top preservation experts and advocates from across the country.
  • Lakewood Idol - Season 4: Anyone who was at American Lake Park the evening of July 22nd knows that Lakewood is one very talented community. The Parks and Recreation Department hosted the Lakewood Idol Season 4 finals. Eight finalists ranging in age from 14-47 competed for a $250 cash prize and the title of Lakewood Idol 2008. Our winner was Maureen Elias, a 31-year-old Army veteran, mother of two and wife of a soldier currently serving overseas. She mesmerized the crowd with a beautiful rendition of "Over the Rainbow." A special thanks for their support of Lakewood Idol to Brenda Leech of Countrywide Home Loans, the event sponsor and judge; Crane's Creations for donated rose bouquets for all eight finalists; Dr. Ben Keller, the Lakes HS Choir Director: Judge; Phil Raschke, Arts Commission Chair, who was the judge; and Randy Richards, emcee.
  • Police Incidents:
    • Stabbing/Idlewild SW: Lakewood Patrol responded to Idlewild Rd. SW for a stabbing with the suspect fleeing on foot. Patrol arrived on scene in 3 minutes and containment was set up. Apparently the victim heard someone in his carport so he went outside and saw the suspect grabbing tools out of his toolbox. He confronted the suspect who fled on foot. The victim followed and when the suspect got to the tree-line, he turned and stabbed the victim in the left side of his stomach and then ran off into the woods. . K9 tracked for the suspect but he was not located.
    • Vandalism/112th St. SW: An officer contacted AMR ambulance regarding a vandalism. Apparently while AMR was on a call at on 112th St. SW at 1254 am. The ambulance was tagged with spray paint.
    • Burglary in Progress/Washington Ave SW: Patrol responded to a Washington Ave. SW address for a burglary in progress. Once on scene, an officer located the suspect in the garage of the listed residence with a handful of tools he had just taken from the garage. The suspect was arrested and booked for Burglary 2nd degree.
    • Males Fighting/29th Ave Ct. S: Officers were dispatched for two male subjects fighting. Upon arrival they observed both subjects physically fighting each other. One subject decided to run and an officer gave chase. The subject ran into the side of the apartment complex building as he rounded a corner and the officer was able to force him onto the ground. After a short struggle to gain control, the subject was restrained and escorted back to the patrol vehicle. Lakewood Fire responded to treat the subject for the abrasions caused by the concrete. During the medical evaluation, it was discovered the subject had a very small puncture wound on the lower right side of his abdomen. Both subjects denied any knowledge of a weapon being used during the fight and the original 911 caller stated no weapons seen. A check of the location of the fight and arrest location was completed for any signs of a weapon or other item likely to cause injury, but nothing located. Subject transported to St. Clare Hospital for medical treatment that resulted in a gauze pad being placed over the small hole. Both subjects booked into jail for multiple felony and misdemeanor warrants.
    • Residential Burglary: The victim is a soldier who returned from a 2 week field training exercise to his apartment. He discovered someone had forced open a window to the bottom floor unit. The victim lost televisions, electronic equipment, a comic collection and other property. The manager of the complex was in another apartment and located some of the victim's property which was returned. Good suspect information obtained and a search warrant was written and served at the suspect apartment, but no additional property recovered.
    • Stabbing: A male subject was located walking near the entrance to a complex bleeding from his neck. He told a passerby he was stabbed by an unknown male suspect. When patrol arrived, the victim was very evasive and did not provide any real description of the suspect. He eventually said he became involved in a confrontation with a male suspect who was making fun of the Army. The victim recently returned from Iraq and was intoxicated. He was transported to Madigan with non life threatening injuries.
    • Burglary in Progress/114th St Ct SW: The residents of a home on 114th St Ct SW woke up to find a male subject inside the residence. The suspect fled out the back door. The victim didn't find anything missing and said she left the back door unsecured. K9 tracked but the suspect was not located.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 7/11/08

July 11, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Pacific Highway Phase 3 (108th to SR512): Construction has begun on Pacific Highway between 108th and SR512. This project is a continuation of the curb, gutter, sidewalks, and bicycle lane improvements. The Contractor will grind off the existing striping and re-stripe the roadway on July 14th. The re-striping will provide narrower lanes and in some cases, elimination of the two-way center turn lane in order to facilitate construction of the sidewalks and other improvements. Construction will take place through December 2008.
  • "City of Lakewood Award" to best platoons: The city manager presented two trophies at the Warrior Forge Regimental Graduation Ceremony at Fort Lewis on July 11th to recognize the best platoons in the 2008 Leader Development and Assessment Course. Family members from around the nation were also present as their sons and daughters were recognized as future leaders by the U.S. Army.
  • Building Activity Remains Above Average. From January through June, building permit valuation totaled $87,056,647.23. A significant amount of new construction activity has centered on public projects, namely a new police station, the Lakes High School remodel and construction of the new Pierce College Science & Technology Building. Also, during this same time period, the City has received 832 building and 155 land use permit applications, and of the total received thus far this year, 80% and 61% respectively have been issued.
  • Code Enforcement Backlog Handled: Community Development has finally closed out its backlog of 2007 code enforcement cases. Attention now has focused on keeping up with 2008 cases; the most recent report shows that 23 have been closed, 54 are active, and 102 are pending.
  • State Health Dept Closes Units At Biltmore Hotel: This week, the State Department of Health took action to close 12 units at the Biltmore Hotel located on Pacific Highway SW. This action was the result of an investigation in May. Copies of the state’s report were forwarded to the Community Development Department, and are currently under review. Depending upon the seriousness of the violations, the City may choose to take additional enforcement action.
  • Demolition of 12907 Naomilawn Dr SW: A burned-out house that had been posted for abatement has been purchased. The buyer worked with City staff before his purchase, to understand the City’s requirements and to have the required permits and approvals in place by the time the sale closed, and moved immediately upon completion of the purchase to begin demolition. He is moving quickly and the demolition and cleanup of the property should be completed within about a week. This builder has a good track-record and is looking to purchase and rebuild other problem properties in the City. Staff worked with the probate attorney and the realtor to accommodate the private sale and abatement, because the house was boarded-up and was a lower priority than some of the other more dangerous properties currently in the abatement process.
  • Police actions:
    • Vehicle Prowl Interrupted: At 0022 Hrs. Patrol responded to a vehicle prowl in progress one night this week at 12:22am where it had been interrupted by neighbors who had chased the suspect into thick brush next to the Seeley Lake Apts. Containment was quickly established, which pinned the suspect down. K-931 initiated his track and the suspect was located within minutes. The suspect was booked for Theft 2nd and Vehicle Prowl 2nd degree.
    • Assault response: A fight that started at American Lake North Park spilled over to the convenience store, with two groups squaring off. One of the groups pulled out a baseball bat, which was promptly taken away by the others and used to smash windows out of their car. They then fled in their windowless ride, but the other group then clashed with the store clerk and a customer. A customer, after being charged at by a guy with a baseball bat, pulled his legally concealed .380 and pointed it at them. A display in the store was shattered by the bat which was thrown. Three were in custody on various charges.
    • Felony Elude/DUI Arrest: An officer was traveling N/B on I-5 just passing the 84th St. Exit when a vehicle passed them at a high rate of speed and was swerving in and out of its lane of travel almost sideswiping other vehicles on the freeway. After a short 1-2 minutes of failing to yield, the vehicle finally pulled over at the 38th St. exit. The driver was taken into custody and he was adamant that he didn’t see or hear the patrol car behind him and that he was “distracted” by the fireworks. The driver was processed for DUI and the BAC results were .161 and .148. The suspect was booked into the Pierce County Jail.
    • Fireworks Recap: The weather cooperated to make for a manageable 4th of July this year. The following statistics provide a review of fireworks calls for service over the last several Independence Day celebrations.
    •   July 3-4-5 2004 July 3-4-5 2005 July 3-4-5 2006 July 3-4-5 2007 July 3-4-5 2008
      Total Calls 563 705 693 764 597
      Fireworks Calls 114 167 122 149 90
      Total CFS 4 July 158 272 276 244 184

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 7/18/08

July 18, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • American Lake Boat Launch to Temporarily Open: American Lake Park Boat Launch will open temporarily on Saturdays and Sundays beginning July 19th. The site is open from 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. on the weekends and launching will be FREE. The Parks Department was able to build a temporary float system to support launching. The site is still under construction so everyone is advised to use care and caution when launching their boats. Informational signage and fencing is in place to help boaters use the site appropriately. We hope to have the new floats, gangways and piles in place by August 4, 2008, at which time the site will be open seven days a week for boat launching. The site will close in late September so we can finish the site improvements.
  • Lakewood city manager "credentialed" by ICMA: After completing the voluntary credentialing program of the International City Management Association (ICMA), the Lakewood city manager this month received official notification of his designation as an ICMA Credentialed Manager. The program is a means of defining and recognizing an individual ICMA member who is a professional local government manager qualified by a combination of education and experience, adherence to high standards of integrity, and an assessed commitment to lifelong learning and professional development. Managers are recognized by ICMA through a peer review credentialing process, and this self-directed program offers an opportunity to quantify the unique expertise city managers bring to their communities. There are currently 11 credentialed city managers/administrators in Washington State.
  • New Population Numbers: The Office of Financial Management approved updated population numbers for cities, towns, and counties in Washington State. For 2008, Lakewood's estimated population has been set at 58,780.
  • AWC Awards Mini-Grant to City: The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) awarded a $600 mini-grant to Lakewood's Wellness Program. These funds assist with program components/events that target intervention opportunities identified by the 2007 employee health questionnaire's risk factors.
  • 2008 Code Enforcement Cases: As of July 18th, there area total of 195 code enforcement records entered for 2008: 36 have been closed; 109 are pending; and 50 cases remain open.
  • Property Abatement Status Report
    • 10008 Lexington Avenue SW - Filed notice of intent to abate July 16
    • 9628 Oak Lane SW - Contract written; waiting for legal review.
    • 12907 Naomilawn Drive SW - Demolition by new owner nearing completion.
    • 10016 47th Avenue SW - Contract written; waiting for legal review.
    • 6717 100th Street SW - Lower priority project; waiting to complete higher priority abatements.
    • 6504 Hillcrest Drive SW - Filed notice of intent to abate July 16.
    • 8301 Custer Road SW - Filed notice of intent to abate on July 16; working on bid request.
    • 8011 Oakridge Drive SW - Emergency clean-up completed July 17. Compliance appeal date July 21.
    • Rose Garden Motel - Documents prepared; waiting to set City Council date for review/action.
    • Berthiamue - Documents prepared; waiting to set City Council date for review/action.
  • Police incidents:
    • DUI/MVC, Butte Dr SW/Butte Terrace SW: A minivan crossed the center line and hit a Honda head on. The Honda's driver was airlifted to Harborview but should be OK. The passenger of the Honda was treated and released. The driver of the minivan was arrested for DUI and provided involuntary blood prior to transport to the hospital. Traffic broke from the DUI emphasis in University Place to handle.
    • DUI/Assault/Resisting: Pacific Hwy SW/Bridgeport Way SW: An officer made a traffic stop and conducted field sobriety tests on the driver. As he was arresting the suspect driver for DUI, the suspect fought with the officer and ran on foot on Bridgeport over I-5. The officer chased him on foot to the other side of the bridge. The suspect was apprehended by K-9, and then airlifted to Harborview due to the severity of injury, with tendon and artery damage. The suspect will be charged with multiple crimes including Assault 3, DUI, obstructing, and resisting. The suspect also had several warrants for his arrest including a Mason County felony warrant.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 7/3/08

July 3, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • 4-2 SBCT Welcome Home Ceremony: Mayor Doug Richardson was joined by Councilmembers Helen McGovern and Pad Finnigan at the 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team’s welcome home ceremony at Fort Lewis on Tuesday, July 1st after the brigade’s 15-month deployment to Iraq. Featured speakers included Congressman Norm Dicks, I Corps Commander, Lt. Gen. Charles Jacoby, and brigade commander Colonel Jon Lehr.
  • Senior Activity Center Distributes Senior Market Vouchers: The Lakewood Senior Activity Center partnered with Pierce County Aging and Long Term Care to help distribute Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Vouchers. The program is funded by the US Department of Agriculture, State of Washington, and Pierce County. The check vouchers are valid at farmers markets and provide fruits and vegetables for lower income seniors and supports local farming by increasing the use of these farmers markets and roadside stands. The Center distributed over 60 vouchers this year to seniors in our community.
  • Lakewood Idol 2008. Auditions for Lakewood Idol will be held on Thursday, July 10 at Lakewood City Hall between 4-7pm. There is a $10 audition fee and all contestants must be age twelve or older, bring their own karaoke or back-up disc and perform as a soloist. Eight finalists will advance to the final competition on Tuesday, July 22 at 6:30pm at American Lake Park where they will compete for the cash prize of $250 and the title of Lakewood Idol 2008. For more information please call 589-2489 or visit us on the web at .
  • Robbery 2 / Assault 2: A victim called 911 reporting he was assaulted at the 7-11 in Tillicum by numerous subjects. He gave two suspect vehicle descriptions and officers observed located both vehicles leaving the area; suspect vehicles were stopped on Hosmer and on I-5. Numerous subjects were detained. Police were able to get enough evidence to arrest one subject who appears to be the main suspect. The victim suffered a skull fracture and had some jewelry taken.
  • Shooting: Police responded to an accidental shooting, arriving to find a 19 year-old male victim lying in the front hallway of the apartment with a gunshot wound to the left rear portion of his head. He had vital signs but was unconscious and the apparent weapon was nearby him on the floor. Another 19 year-old male told officers that he and the victim were playing around with a gun and that the victim had accidentally shot himself in the head. Two females who were also in the apartment at the time of the shooting claimed not to have seen what happened. The witnesses were taken to the station and interviewed by detectives. The suspect ended up confessing to detectives that he had actually been the one to accidentally shoot the victim. In addition to conducting interviews at the station, detectives also responded to the scene and wrote a search warrant for the apartment.
  • Marijuana Grow Operation: Officers responded to a dispute in a mobile home park. The complainant said her neighbor sprayed a garden hose into her trailer. Officers contacted the suspect male, who brought a handgun (later turned out to be a BB gun) to the door. Officers were able to take the subject into custody without incident. Officers then searched the residence and found significant amounts of marijuana growing equipment (but no plants). Officers noted other drug paraphernalia and various wiring that suggested a potential explosive devise. A bomb squad technician responded to the scene and determined that it was an alerting device that the homeowner had set up. The suspect was booked into PC jail for manufacturing illegal drugs.