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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 11/23/07

November 23, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Public Works adopts two families for Thanksgiving: The City’s Public Works staffmembers collected food and delivered several boxes on Thanksgiving to two families in Lakewood who have undergone difficulties and are in need of help. The staff have already started preparation for Christmas by collecting toys for the young children in both households.
  • Mobile Home inspection activity in Tillicum: Community Development, with the support of Police Department’s neighborhood patrol team and other public agencies, performed a health and safety inspection on November 20th at a mobile home park located in Tillicum. A variety of safety violations were identified. Reports are being prepared and we will soon be in contact with the property owner. In addition, one person was arrested for heroin possession and the police department recovered a stolen vehicle.
  • AG’s Domestic Violence Advisory Group: Victim Advocate Ann-Marie Dvorak, in the City’s Legal Department, was invited to be part of a Domestic Violence Advisory Group through the Attorney General’s Office. Ann-Marie represented the City of Lakewood when the advisory group met previously at a meeting which addressed various issues including potential legislation proposals, review of batterer’s programs and the address confidentiality program.
  • Sound Transit’s connection to Lakewood: Joni Earl, Sound Transit’s CEO, briefed the Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board (EDB), which includes Lakewood’s city manager, on November 16th regarding the imminent decision point on the alternative Pacific Avenue routes through Tacoma for the completion of the commuter rail connection from Tacoma to Lakewood. The Tacoma City Council will hold a workshop on November 28th, and a decision by the Sound Transit Board is due in early December. The scheduling of train service to Lakewood depends on the successful completion of the upgrade of the tracks. There will be express bus service to the Tacoma Dome station during the interim period between completion of the Lakewood station and final upgrade of the railroad connection.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 11/16/07

November 16, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • $1.6M TIB Grant for Bridgeport: The Washington State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) awarded the City of Lakewood a $1.6 million grant this week for completion of roadway improvements on Bridgeport Way from 75th to the north city limits, including street lights, curb, gutters, and sidewalks. The City’s project was one of 14 selected from 100 applications.
  • Sylvan Park Property Maintenance Inspections: With assistance from one of the neighborhood patrol teams, Community Development this week began making property maintenance inspections in the Sylvan Park neighborhood which is comprised of over 300 properties. Of those, 35 properties have been identified as having significant property maintenance violations. Nineteen properties were inspected with more to follow. Correction notices will be delivered to property owners beginning next week. During the inspection of one property, a code officer noticed unusual behavior of one individual residing in a trailer. He was interviewed by code and police officers. The police officer performed a background check. The individual possessed two outstanding warrants, was taken into custody, and transported to Pierce County jail.
  • APA Presentation on Abatement: Asst City Manager Dave Bugher and Asst City Attorney Mike McKenzie were invited to an American Planners Association (APA) brown bag luncheon at Renton City Hall this week to discuss the City’s code enforcement, property maintenance and abatement programs. Representatives from numerous Puget Sound cities were present, and appear to be interested in Lakewood’s approach to public nuisance control.
  • Pac Highway Signal Outage: The signal outage at Pacific Highway and Bridgeport Way that was scheduled for November 14th has been delayed until after Thanksgiving. This work is part of the construction of the new signal bridge at that location.
  • City Prosecutors Prevail: The City’s Legal Department had a successful trial week this month with two jury trials resulting in two guilty verdicts. The trials were handled by associate city attorneys Sean Parrent and Matt Kaser.
  • Roadway Gas Main Replacement Project Continues: Pilchuck Contractors will be running several crews in town to complete several miles of gas main replacement by the end of the year. Some work will also spill into the first part of next year as well. They will be beginning work on Bridgeport Way (southbound outside lane from Steilacoom Blvd to 84th), Steilacoom Blvd (eastbound outside lane from Custer to Bridgeport Way), and Gravelly Lake Drive (northbound outside lane from 112th to Bridgeport Way). Most of the work in these areas needs to occur during the day due to the adjacent residences. The exception will be work on Gravelly Lake Drive between Main Street and Bridgeport which will occur at night. This gas main replacement project is ordered by the Washington Utilities Commission (WUTC) to address aging and leaking Puget Sound Energy gas infrastructure and ultimately will provide better service and safety to everyone. Contact Public Works if there are any questions.
  • Abatement Notice and Order at Washington & Interlaaken: Community Development has initiated abatement actions for the property at the northwest corner of Washington Blvd. & Interlaaken Blvd. SW (the former Shortstop Market) for the house, old store, and associated property. The owners reportedly intend to demolish the buildings and build a strip-mall, but the City has received no permit applications and the demolitions are already several months behind the owners’ projected timeline. This action will ensure the dangerous conditions are corrected even if the owner does not proceed with the redevelopment project in a timely manner.
  • Domestic Violence Resource Fair: Victim advocate Rebecca Hendricks of the Legal Department attended a Domestic Violence Resource Fair at Pierce College on November 14th. She provided information about the City’s domestic violence kiosk, the criminal case process and domestic violence statistics. Students and others attended to learn more about domestic violence and our community’s response. Hendricks also attended the National College of District Attorneys Annual Conference on Domestic Violence in late October, where the focus was on criminal justice response to domestic violence, as well as stalking, victim/witness interviewing, and use of technology.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/19/07

October 19, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Truck & Tractor Day: The Parks and Recreation Department will host the second annual Truck & Tractor Day on Saturday October 20th at Fort Steilacoom Park from 9am-noon. Children will receive a hard hat, climb up in trucks and tractors, make crafts and take a tour of the park with their families on our hayride. Many local organizations are supporting this event by providing a truck or tractor and staff person for the day. Event co-sponsors include Lakewood Fire, LeMay Enterprises, Lakeview Light and Power, AgriShop, and McChord AFB.
  • Driving Behaviors are Changing on 108th: A public survey taken in the St. Frances Cabrini neighborhood indicated a preference for an L.E.D. speed sign. Before the sign was installed, tube study results showed on a typical Tuesday between 7AM and 5PM (school zone speed limit 20mph) there were 359 drivers going 25mph and over on 108th in the West-bound direction. After the sign was installed, and doing a study on the same day of the week, same direction and during the same times, that number dropped to 160 drivers going 25 and over. This is a considerable improvement although this direction still needs enforcement. The East-bound direction was unchanged even though Public Works installed 2 more school zone signs to better inform the drivers of the upcoming school zone. The Photo-enforcement vans are able to enforce both directions on 108th without using the school’s frontal property.
  • Halloween at the Lakewood Police Station: The Police Station will be open on Halloween night providing treats, glow stick necklaces, and safety information. Police staff will be there from 5 pm until 8 pm. Invitational flyers have already been distributed to all 2,617 Kindergarten through Third grade students of the Clover Park School District within the City limits.
  • Bill Cosby Coming to Lakewood: At the invitation of Mayor Claudia Thomas, Bill Cosby has agreed to host two free events in Lakewood on November 13th aimed at disadvantaged youth and their families. The first will be at the new Hope Center (Boys and Girls Club) and the second will be at the new Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College. A detailed press release will be forthcoming, and tickets will be distributed within Mr. Cosby’s guidelines.
  • Steilacoom Blvd. Storm Drainage Project: Work begins this Sunday, October 21st, at 7:00 pm, on a project to replace a storm drain line located in Steilacoom Blvd. from Lakeview Avenue to South Tacoma Way. The eastbound lanes of Steilacoom Blvd. will be closed in this area from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am. A detour route will be provided. Most of the work will be completed in 6 weeks, weather dependent.
  • October 18th wind storm: The only Public Works issue from the storm event was the obstruction by a fallen tree of Avondale Rd SW at Horizon Bank. Other than that, the roadways were clear for this morning traffic. There were also no flooded streets as the Public Works Department with the help of Parks Department personnel spent Thursday afternoon clearing catch basins of leaves and debris.
  • American Lake Park Boat Launch: Construction at the American Lake Park boat launch facility began on October 2nd. The boat launch portion of the park is closed at this time and will remain closed until the project is completed. The boat ramp is currently being rebuilt and should be completed within the next few weeks. Other elements of the project include new docks, removal of the house, hangars and old office structure as well as adding a new entrance, stacking lanes and ADA accessible parking. It is anticipated construction will continue into early 2008. Only the launch facility is closed - the remainder of American Park is open for use. Check the city’s website for updates on this project.
  • State Representative Bill Fromhold Visit: Rep. Fromhold, who is the chairman of the House Capital Projects Committee which reviews all major State capital improvement projects met with Mayor Thomas, City staff, and the City’s legislative consultants on October 18th to review progress on the Hill Ward (Fort Steilacoom Park) clean up and restoration project (a $543,000 State allocation). City officials also discussed with him the Tillicum neighborhood planning process and the need for State financial support to improve infrastructure at key locations in Tillicum and I-5.
  • Woodbrook Late Nite: This popular school-based program originated during the Weed & Seed grant era and has been sustained by volunteers and city staff with minimal funding and is held on the first and third Friday nights from 6:00-9:00pm. Approximately 35 students attended the first Late Nite of the year on October 5th. The snack portion of the program is being provided through the GREAT grant through the end of the year. Open to Woodbrook students only, this program provides a fun, safe environment where they feel welcome and can enjoy recreational activities. Registration is required through the school office. Potential volunteers are welcome to contact Dennis Higashiyama at 589-2489.
  • Make a Difference Day: The Youth Council will be coordinating events and projects for Make a Difference Day which will be celebrated on Saturday, October 27th. The Kick-Off event will be held at the Clover Park High School Performing Arts Center with refreshments at 8:00am, the program will begin at 8:30am with a welcoming speech by Mayor Thomas, and the projects will begin at 9:00am. The projects this year include: removing invasive plants, beautifying the entrance area and replacing markers in the cemetery at Fort Steilacoom Park, sorting and organizing donated clothing for Caring for Kids at Custer Elementary, rehabilitation of the abandoned Flett Creek blueberry farm, and a Salute to our Soldiers in Iraq with a card/letter writing project which will be done in the Gathering Hall at Clover Park High School. Join us in celebrating this national day of community service.
  • Chambers Clover Watershed Conference: Greg Vigoren, Surface Water Division Manager, was a presenter at the Chambers-Clover Watershed Conference held at Pacific Lutheran University on October 5th and 6th. The focus of the conference was to learn more about the functioning and management of the Chambers-Clover Creek watershed. Greg presented to an audience of 100 a summary of Lakewood’s storm water management program.
  • Police Officer Angel Figueroa: Lakewood Officer Angel Figueroa was featured in an October issue of the area’s only Spanish newspaper “Fronteras”.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/26/07

October 26, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Sylvan Park neighborhood code emphasis: 337 letters are being sent out this week to property owners in the Sylvan Park neighborhood to advise them of upcoming activities of the City’s code enforcement team to identify problem situations such as deteriorating buildings, junk vehicles, property maintenance issues, right-of-way encroachments, and other such matters.
  • Lakewood Police Sponsor 4-2 SBCT Spouses: Mayor Claudia Thomas and Councilmember Doug Richardson welcomed a number of spouses of Lakewood’s Community Connection – the deployed 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team on October 26th at City Hall. These Lakewood residents were teamed up with Lakewood Police officers and police staff to provide a direct link for public safety concerns and other City services. The spouses also received briefings on services provided by the Lakewood Fire Department, the Clover Park School District, and City staff (Police, Parks and Recreation, and Communications). The 4-2 SBCT deployed last May to Iraq and is projected to return to Fort Lewis next summer.
  • 2007 Healthy Worksite Summit: On October 16th, Nancy Packard of the Community Development Department and Cheryl Thompson of the Legal Department represented the City‘s Wellness Committee at the 2007 Healthy Worksite Summit sponsored in part by the Association of Washington Cities (AWC). Each year, AWC provides the City with two pre-paid registrations to this event. There was the opportunity to network with Wellness Committee members from all over the state and share ideas on successful events and campaigns.
  • Second annual Truck & Tractor Day: The Parks and Recreation Department hosted Truck & Tractor Day on Saturday, October 20th at Fort Steilacoom Park. Nearly 80 children and their parents braved the pouring rain and cold conditions to enjoy a morning in the park. Attendees climbed through trucks and tractors, made a craft project, explored the park through a scavenger hunt and took a hayride around Waughop Lake. Event sponsors included Lakewood Fire, Old Country Buffet, Lakeview Light and Power, AgriShop and Lakewood Refuse.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/12/07

October 12, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • LPD Officer “Caught in the Act”: Police Officer Austin Lee was selected by Lakewood’s Promise to be a recipient of their “Caught in the Act” for doing something important for kids. Austin was recognized for his sponsorship, along with the Korean Police Advisory Group, of the LPD Korean Youth Summer Camp. He received a standing ovation when the award was presented at the October 10th Human Services Collaboration meeting.
  • United Way contribution by employees: City of Lakewood employees exceeded their contribution level from last year by over 24%, with a total of organizational effort at over $11,707. Special credit is due to co-chairs June Aguon and Erika Sullivan.
  • 93rd Annual ICMA Conference: The city manager attended the national city management conference in Pittsburgh this week, with 3,312 attendees from all over the country. As WCMA president, he hosted a reception for the Washington delegation at the History Museum, which is associated with the Smithsonian Institute. The ICMA conference included workshops on citizen engagement, ethics, cost-cutting strategies, schools and cities partnerships, leadership, public safety, employee development, and ICMA’s Performance Measurement program. The city manager will be recommending that we participate in the growing consortium of Performance Measurement (CPM) cities in Washington State.
  • Armed Robbery Arrest: Dayshift officers responded to an armed robbery this week. The victims, a male and a female, reported they were robbed at gunpoint about 45 minutes previously inside their motor home, which was parked at the address. The victim reported that a male subject wearing a ski mask entered the motor home after breaking the glass to the door and took their valuables (jewelry, laptop, cell phone) at gun point. Officers asked for neighbors to call if the suspect vehicle was seen again, and it did show up again. The suspect was found near the vehicle and was taken into custody without incident. Several items taken from the robbery were located on the suspect and the suspect was booked into PC Jail for an armed robbery. The arrestee is a convicted felon.
  • Meeting with CTED Director: Four city senior staffmembers are meeting today with Juli Wilkerson, the director of the State’s Community, Trade, and Economic Development Department (CTED), who is a member of the Governor’s cabinet, to discuss support to the City’s projects underway in economic redevelopment, infrastructure (sewer and road), and housing.
  • LPD/Safe Streets Presentation to the Governor’s Juvenile Justice Commission. Chief Saunders and Safe Streets Director Priscilla Lisicich were invited to present gang prevention and intervention programs to the GJJC, representing one of two agencies state-wide. They discussed the Lakewood Kids at Hope Intervention Project (formerly known as Reclaiming Our Youth, or ROY) and the DOJ “Meth Busters” and Gangs gang prevention grant in which Safe Streets, Pierce County Sheriff, Tacoma and Lakewood will all be participating.
  • Animal Summit: The City hosted a successful shelter operations training session on October 6th for 23 community volunteers representing five neighborhood facilities and four public agencies. The purpose of this training was to develop a plan and train volunteers to support community needs during an emergency. The City is now ready to move forward with planning for the needs of people, pets and other animals during an emergency. The City’s Parks and Recreation Department together with the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, Humane Society and other animal support groups have created the Animal Care Alliance and are inviting the community to attend an Emergency Animal Shelter Summit on Saturday, October 27th from 8:00 a.m. to noon at Lakewood City Hall. The summit will feature presentations by Pasado’s Safe Haven and workshops on emergency animal shelter planning, pet search and rescue in a disaster, shelter operations and shelter financing. For more information or to attend please RSVP to Daucie Willson at (253) 798-2751 or
  • Lakewood Transit Station Update: Sound Transit and their general contractor, PCL, hosted a mid-project tour of the Lakewood Transit Station for city officials today. PCL and over 20 subcontractors have been working on the project since late March. The station is four months ahead of schedule with a projected completion date of mid-March 2008 for bus transit and the park-and- ride. The vast majority of concrete has been poured. The photos below were taken during the tour.