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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/25/08

April 25, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Lakewood to host Secretary of the Army and Covenant Signing: The City of Lakewood will welcome senior Army leaders, State and local government officials, civic and business leaders, educators, and others throughout the Puget Sound region next Friday, May 2nd, to sign the Army Community Covenant. The event will be at 2 p.m. at Lakewood's Sharon M. McGavick Student Center at Clover Park Technical College (CPTC). Secretary of the Army Pete Geren will attend the Fort Lewis-area community ceremony at CPTC - just the second Community Covenant event in the nation. Secretary Geren kicked-off this nationwide effort April 17 at the first Community Covenant signing ceremony in Columbus, GA, with members of the Fort Benning community. The event will be held as a commitment of support to the Soldiers and Families of our active Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve. Coordinating the May 2nd event has been a collaborative effort between Lakewood Mayor Doug Richardson, Steilacoom Mayor Ron Lucas and Mr. Jack Creighton, Washington State Civilian Aide to the Secretary Army and other community members.
  • Volunteers make Parks Appreciation Day a success: About 400 volunteers participated in Parks Appreciation Day activities during the week of April 14-19, including 300 people who came out to four park sites on a snowy, windy, freezing cold Saturday morning last weekend. In one day, over 1,200 man-hours of labor were spent preparing Lakewood's parks for the spring/summer season. The annual county-wide Park Appreciation Day event offers residents an opportunity to take real ownership in their favorite park facilities. The dedication and commitment of local volunteers to Lakewood's parks is appreciated. Projects were completed at Fort Steilacoom Park, Harry Todd Park, Springbrook Park and the City's newly restored blueberry fields. Accomplishment of the day included: filling four (4) 30 yard dumpsters with scotch broom; filling one (1) 30 yard dumpster with old fencing materials; spreading 30 yards of bark; spreading 30 yards of engineered wood chips in playground; spreading 20 yards of mulch in flower beds; spreading 20 yards of gravel for a new sidewalk; laying 500 feet of form board for a new sidewalk; removing 1000 feet of old fencing; spreading 60 yards of wood chips in the blueberry fields; planting 1200 annuals; planting 20 shrubs; planting one (1) kwanza cherry tree; planting one (1) red maple tree and weeding 1000 feet of flowerbeds.
  • CABC Training Workshop: About 30 members of the City's citizen advisory boards and committees attended a training workshop on April 22nd. The session included presentations on open government and parliamentary procedures, and general discussion about committee process and member effectiveness. The feedback from participants' evaluations was very positive.
  • Medical Aid Call: Police responded to a residence to assist with a medical aid call where parents had called 911 for their 4 month old baby who was found not breathing and unresponsive. Responders scooped and ran with the baby to MAMC where CPR was continued for over 2 hours before a very weak heart beat was regained but the baby was still not breathing. The baby was then transported to Mary Bridge with the probability of brain damage and/or damage to major organs. Investigation pending.
  • Fatal Traffic Accident: In the afternoon of April 20th a collision occurred between a red Ferrari and a Transpro bus shuttle. Initial indication is the Ferrari possibly lost control on Gravelly Lake Dr between Lake Steilacoom and Tower Road, crossed center line, and was struck by the bus. Male driver and female passenger in the Ferrari died at the scene. The bus driver and both passengers were transported with non-life threatening injuries. 
  • Domestic violence assault: A female reported she just stabbed her boyfriend who was still in their apartment next door. When units arrived she was waiting in front of the residence. She was detained and the male subject was contacted inside the residence. He was stabbed one time in the head but was alert and talking. She is claiming self defense after being assaulted by her boyfriend. The argument became physical and she grabbed a knife. After he was released from the hospital he was arrested and booked for assault 2 and assault of a child.
  • Apartment Fire Addison Street: An officer responding to 108th and Bridgeport for an unrelated call observed flames coming from 109th and Addison. He observed an apartment unit that was fully engulfed. The occupants all got out. The husband is a double amputee and was lying on the ground in front of the residence. The officer picked him up, got him into his wheel chair and away from the fire. The resident suffered a large burn to the back of his neck. Officers kicked in some doors around the fire but the units were empty. The occupants stated they were sleeping and were awakened by their two dogs that were barking. They smelled smoke, could hear glass breaking and evacuated. The unit that caught on fire is a total loss. Two other units also suffered fire damage. Preliminary investigation indicates that something may have been left on the stove.
  • Homicide: Early in the morning of April 25th, an apparently gang-related homicide occurred in the Lakeview neighborhood, off of 108th St SW. this morning at 3am. In appears someone brought a knife to a gunfight; one shot was fired. Suspect was caught by police with a gun in his hand attempting to flee the area.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/18/08

April 18, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • American Lake Park Update: Demolition has started near the boat launch at American Lake Park. The caretaker house, hangers and business office were removed this week. This is one more step towards completion of the American Lake Improvement Project. The park is open for use but the boat launch area is still closed. Until the site is re-opened, the City recommends boaters use the State Fish and Wildlife’s boat launch facility in Tillicum near Camp Murray. This site does require a “vehicle use permit” that can be obtained online at or at any store that sells state licenses. We appreciate the patience of boaters while this project is completed, and we believe the new launch site will be worth the wait.
  • Ardmore Alley Meeting: Public Works will be holding an informal meeting on April 29th with the property owners in the Fairlawn Dr./Ardmore Dr area between Whitman and Steilacoom Blvd to discuss the ownership status of their alley and the ramification regarding its maintenance. Letters were sent out this week to approximately 39 property owners.
  • Parks Appreciation Day Preparation: In preparation for Parks Appreciation Day, City of Lakewood Parks staff has been working this week with youth from Clover Park High School at Active and Kiwanis Parks and at the blueberry patch. Approximately 140 students improved and beautified the park sites by weeding, planting shrubs and annuals, spreading mulch at the two parks and spreading chips and hauling branches at the blueberry patch. The youth receive community service hours and the City benefits from the site improvements, so it is “win-win” for everyone.
  • ICMA Summit for Western/Mountain States: The city manager participated on April 17-18 with 75 fellow city managers from about 15 states in an ICMA-sponsored (international City Management Association) summit in Incline Village NV. The focus was “The Manager’s Role in Moving Communities from Good to Great”, based upon a dialogue with the author Jim Collins. The city manager represented Washington as the president of the state association. .

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/4/08

April 4, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Pacific Highway Phase III Street Improvement Project: Public Works is presently out to bid on our Pacific Highway Phase III (SR 512 to 108th St) street improvement project. The project includes widening for bike lanes, asphalt overlaying, installing curb & gutters, concrete sidewalks, street lighting, landscaping, a new traffic signal at Tacoma Way S/Pac Hwy intersection and an upgraded the storm drainage system which includes water quality treatment. Bid opening date is April 29th.
  • Emergency Sheltering Program: Over the past year, the Parks and Recreation Department has been committed to the development of an emergency sheltering program. Sites throughout the City will be used to support those needing shelter and their companion pets. City staff and other social service agencies will not be available to operate the sites on their own. Trained volunteers with a variety of skills will be needed and called into action. On Saturday, March 29, approximately 40 citizens representing a variety of facilities and agencies attended a shelter training class at City Hall. This was the second such training provided by the city in the past 6 month. The purpose of this class was to teach volunteers how to open a shelter and provide a variety of support services to our community. Training was provided by the City of Lakewood, American Red Cross and Pierce County Department of Emergency Management.
  • Domestic Violence Statistics March 2008: There were 88 misdemeanor DV cases charges by the City, and 23 petitions submitted for DV protection order by third floor kiosk.
  • Bridgeport/Pac Hwy Gateway Artwork: About 15 citizens participated this week in a workshop attended by the Arts Commission and heard an artist's presentation of proposed artwork for the Bridgeport/Pacific Highway gateway. The bronze abstract sculpture is about 12 feet tall and was well received by the group. The proposal will be formally reviewed later this month by both the Arts Commission and Keep Lakewood Beautiful.
  • Code Enforcement Backlog: The coordination between our Code Enforcement staff and our Neighborhood Policing Teams, including the increased activity of our community service officers (CSO's), has resulted in a decrease of our backlog cases from 213 to 115.
  • Court-supervised Work Crew Update
    • Parks: During the month of March we again expended large amounts of work crew man hours assisting parks staff with the maintenance of the City's parks. We completed the normal parks rounds, but also raked the playground chips, cleaned and raked the beaches, weeded flower beds, and maintained the boat ramp at American Lake Park North. We assisted in the moving of concrete picnic tables, and installed a small post and flag fence in Fort Steilacoom Park to block off areas of no parking along the main entry road. The crew also replaced boards on several picnic tables so they could be returned to their original locations.
    • Litter: During the month we removed hundreds of pounds of litter from city streets and the parks system.
    • Courts: We assisted court staff by supplying a small crew for the cleaning of the court rooms, chairs, dusting, and general clean-up. We also assisted with the moving of large amounts of boxes of forms and other materials off of carpeted areas to allow for the carpet to be cleaned.
    • Special Project: We utilized the skills of several work crew participants in the installation of 2X6 forms to allow the pouring of two concrete pads at the shop at Fort Steilacoom Park. One pad was 20X25 which will be utilized by parks staff, and a 12X22 pad to be utilized for housing the work crew shelter tent.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/11/08

April 11, 2008
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Care Packages for Redeploying Soldiers: Lakewood’s adopted brigade, the 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) will begin its redeployment to Fort Lewis next month. The brigade has had a very difficult and bloody – but profoundly successful – 15 month tour in Iraq. The 4-2 has about 2,000 “unaccompanied” Soldiers. That is, no immediate family to come home to at Fort Lewis. As a simple gesture of “thanks,” the City, through Councilmember Helen McGovern’s leadership, agreed to coordinate 2,000 care packages for these young warriors. Citizens are asked to bring the packages (about the size of a shoebox) to any receptionist at City Hall. Arrangements can be made for pick up by calling (253) 380-6720. Staff will coordinate transportation to the brigade’s rear detachment at Fort Lewis. The packages will then be placed in individual barracks rooms.

    Suggested items:
    • Packaged crackers and cheese
    • Energy drinks, juice, bottled water, soda
    • Discount coupons to movies or for pizza
    • gift cards, calling cards
    • goodies-gum, candies, chips, granola bars, etc.
    • towel/washcloth
    • toothbrush/toothpaste/mouthwash
    • shampoo; deodorant; razor/shaving cream
    • bars of soap; foot cream
    • candles-they miss good smells
    • nail clippers/files
    • a personal note of “thanks”
  • Loving Families Needed for Cats: The City has a restriction on the total number of cats and dogs allowed per home in a residential neighborhood – no more than five. One resident, who has gained some media coverage by caring for dozens of unwanted animals, is attempting to come into compliance with this law and needs good people to step forward and adopt them. If you might be interested in helping, please call Melody at City Hall (253) 589-2489 for more information.
  • Bill Harrison Volunteer of the Year Award: If you know of someone who has made a significant contribution to our community through volunteer work, please consider taking the time to submit a nomination for this annual award. Submissions are due to Deanne Wegmann by Friday, May 23rd. The award will be announced and presented in June. Application forms can be downloaded from the City’s website:
  • Lakewood University: If haven’t yet attended Lakewood University, mark your calendars now! Are you interested in learning more about how the City of Lakewood and other local governments operate on a day-to-day basis? Lakewood University offers a crash course in public safety, economic development, finance, parks, management, planning and permitting and much more. Attendance at both sessions is necessary to get a full overview.
    Wednesday, May 28th 5:30-9pm
    Wednesday, June 4th 5:30-9pm
    Refreshments will be served from 5-5:30. The main session will be conducted in the Lakewood City Council Chambers at 6000 Main Street SW. Space is limited, so please contact Melody Perrussel at or 983-7769 to reserve a seat. All graduates will receive an honorary diploma and T-shirt. Refreshments will be served each evening from 5-5:30pm.
  • Frontiers of Innovation Conference: Senior Planner Deborah Johnson attended last week’s “Frontiers of Innovation” conference held on by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation in Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The three-day event brought together academics, professionals, and government officials from all over the world. Topics included public sector ethics and accountability, citizen engagement in deliberative democracy, global health/neglected diseases, social justice, emergency management, and 21st Century management models. Held in Boston, the conference was fully hosted by the Institute and its partners, allowing Deborah to participate at no cost to the City.
  • Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA): The City of Lakewood GIS team completed their Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA). The corrections made by City staff have gone to the US Census Bureau where they will be reviewed. When accepted by the Census Bureau, this will mean the addition of nearly two thousand addresses that the census' Master Address File did not have, the deletion of over one thousand non-existent or duplicate addresses, and corrections to nearly four thousand other addresses. In all, nearly one in four records was affected during this update. All of this should help make the City of Lakewood's 2010 census numbers more accurate.
  • Lakewood Station is on schedule for opening in 2008 (April 10, 2008 photo)

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/28/08

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

  • PSE Gas Work: PSE gas will be working on Bridgeport Way over the next 3 to 4 weeks replacing their gas main from just north of 100th St to 112th St. They will be working at night from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am, starting this March 30th. The work will start at the north end and progress to the south.
  • Ellie Chambers hired as Economic Development Manager: Ellie Chambers has been appointed as the City's new economic development manager, to start on April 14th. She's been with the City of Puyallup for almost 4 years as the assistant to the city manager for economic development, and she's currently the president-elect of the Washington Economic Development Association (WEDA). She was previously with the Spokane-based Avista Corporation (formerly Washington Water Power Company) for 13 years, where she worked throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho in a variety of executive economic development positions. The position is a reclassification of the position formerly held by Joe Hannan who left to become the Mukilteo city administrator.
  • Springbrook Easter Egg Hunt: There was an Easter Egg Hunt for kids in the Springbrook Area. 77 baskets were given out, plus 20 bags of candy and other toys. About 80 children were present. Lakewood Lions members, Fire Department and the Kiwanis participated.
  • Cadet of the Year Award: Kevin Pressel, LPD's newest Community Service Officer, was presented with the Cadet of the Year Award at the Pierce County Awards Ceremony this week.
  • Political Demonstration in Tillicum: About 200 anti-war protesters rallied at Harry Todd Park on March 22nd and marched to Freedom Bridge, where they were met by about 100 counter-demonstrators. Incident command was led by LPD, and crowd control was coordinated with WSP, PCSD, WAARNG and TPD on stand-by. There was heavy media coverage, but no significant incidents occurred, and no use of force nor arrests. Swing-shift was called in early, and Dayshift was held over to handle the event.
  • Guilty verdicts in City cases: The Legal Department had two cases proceed to trial this month in Lakewood Municipal Court. Prosecutor Sean Parrent received a Guilty Verdict on a theft charge this week in a case involving a gate in the Wards Lake park area, after a two day trial with jury. Prosecutor Matt Kaser took a DUI charge to trial and also received a Guilty Verdict.
  • WA Municipal Clerks Association (WMCA) President: General Services Director/City Clerk Alice Bush was honored for her service as the 2007-08 WMCA President at the 38th Annual WMCA Conference in Wenatchee on March 18-21. She presided over a successful event with 166 attendees and over 25 vendors and sponsors. As the WMCA President, she also represented Washington at the regional conferences of the City Clerks Association of California and the British Columbia Local Government Management Association, as well as the 61st Annual Conference of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC).
  • American Lake Park Boat Launch Update: The American Lake Boat Launch Improvement Project is being completed in phases. The City divided the project into several phases to meet available budget. The first phase, the actual boat launch unit, is completed. The second phase involves the docks, piles and bulkhead repair, and Shoreside Marina is under contract to build the floats to be delivered and installed sometime in May. Another phase involves the removal of the house, business office, and hanger. The structures required asbestos abatement before demolition, which should occur in April. The improvements to the parking lot, storm water retention, staging lanes, site landscaping, lighting and new entry will start after the demolition is completed. Until the site is re-opened, the City recommends boaters use the State Fish and Wildlife's boat launch facility in Tillicum, near Camp Murray (this site does require a "vehicle use permit" that can be obtained online at
  • Victory Motel Demolished: Victory Motel located adjacent to Pacific Highway SW was demolished this week.
  • Domestic Violence Docket Innovation: The Legal Department in conjunction with the Municipal Court is working with the Center for Court Innovation to explore the implementation of a domestic violence specific docket. The Center is a non-profit think tank that helps courts and criminal justice agencies aid victims, reduce crime and improve public trust in justice. A core planning team from Lakewood will be visiting New York in May to observe nationally renowned domestic violence courts in action as part of the Center's technical assistance program. This team is comprised of Judge Ernest Heller, two Court staffmembers, and three representatives from Legal. Most of the site-visit's cost is funded by the Center, with federal funding support from the Office on Violence against Women.
  • Abatement Update: The code enforcement team issued abatement orders on three properties with dangerous buildings and significant public nuisances. The owners have 20 days to correct the violations, apply for building permits, or appeal the orders before the City can begin the process to hire contractors to complete the abatements. A request for bids was sent out for another previously-noticed dangerous building abatement. Because of potential asbestos contamination, the entire process is expected to take approximately 3 weeks. Owners of two other properties with very dangerous buildings have stepped up at the last minute and will apparently do their own abatements, freeing up staff to work on other properties.
  • Gateway Design Public Workshop: The City conducted a successful public workshop last week regarding a gateway design on North Bridgeport Way near the north city limits. Additional workshops will be conducted before Keep Lakewood Beautiful and the Arts Commission.
  • Supervisors Training: The City co-sponsored a supervisors training workshop with Pierce County this week, held at the Tacoma Community College campus. A number of city departments had staffmembers attend, and Dawn Avcular from HR assisted as a co-presenter.