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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/6/07

April 6, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Baseball returns to Tillicum: With LPD support, Lakewood resident Kathy Gano, a member of the Gravelly Lake Improvement Club "block watch", and former volunteer leader of the Lakewood Baseball Club, was able to acquire a $2,000 grant from Wal-Mart to allow the Tillicum Woodbrook Neighborhood Association to sponsor a 9-10 year old team. The Tillicum Merchants Association, with support from the Parks Department, is also raising funds to support a 7-8 year old slow pitch co-ed team in the Lakewood Recreation League. This will be the first time Tillicum has had organized baseball in three years. Both leagues rearranged their schedules at the last minute to allow all Tillicum games to be played at Harry Todd Park due to transportation challenges. The kids and their parents have committed to doing street clean up along Union Avenue for the remainder of the season to thank the Tillicum Merchants for their support. Last week-end, over 50 baseball kids and parents were out picking litter up in Tillicum.
  • WSH Security Officers sworn in as LPD Disabled Parking Enforcement: A number of DPE volunteers, Lakewood officers, and many Western State Hospital employees including CEO Andy Phillips, COO Dale Thompson, and Director of Emergency Services Spike Millman attended the swearing in of the 11 WSH Security Officers who successfully completed LPD Disabled Parking Enforcement training. It was a special event to support the DPE program.
  • Lakewood Online Citizen Comment and Request System: The City expects to launch its new “Lakewood Online Citizen Comment and Request System” (LOCCRS is the current acronym) early next week. LOCCRS is an initiative of the City Manager and will provide a standardized system for citizens to submit requests and other input to the City. It provides the staff a standardized means to receive, document, and resolve citizen requests for service (comments, compliments, complaints and public records requests) and materials (such as maps or zoning information). All departments but police will be featured in LOCCRS when it is initially launched. Police will be added once the department works through some implementation issues with the Guild.
  • Lakewood University: Lakewood University is scheduled for April 18th and 25th from 5:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. each evening. There are still a number of open seats at this time. Staff will continue to recruit attendees for the program and interested citizens are encouraged to call Melody Perrussel at 589-2489.
  • Interlaaken Bridge Overlay – Bridge Closure: The City’s contractor, Tucci & Sons Inc. has scheduled to do the grind and overlay on the Interlaaken bridge starting on April 23rd. The bridge will be closed to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic for up to 2 weeks. Staff will be mailing out informational postcards to residents within a 1,000 foot radius of the bridge. In addition, vehicle message signs (VMSs) will be placed starting on April 16th at both bridge approaches notifying users of the pending closure. Staff is also coordinating with affected public safety, bus providers (School District and Pierce Transit), and utilities.
  • Crime Prevention Conference: Last week, Code Enforcement Officer Randy Richards and Associate Planner Alexandra Bilderback attended a two-day training conference on the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), hosted by the City of Olympia and the National Crime Prevention Council. They learned about leading crime prevention methods, how to conduct a security assessment and strategies to encourage community involvement in crime prevention. Participants created an “Action Plan” to implement changes and improve community safety, which sets forth specific objectives that can be applied to target areas within the city. They plan to find ways to incorporate the training into the City’s code enforcement program.
  • Senator Murray Interested in Lakewood: Mary McBride, South Puget Sound representative for Senator Patty Murray’s office, asked LPD for a briefing on their community policing programs. She had heard from several different sources of the success we were having in reducing crime and building community, and commended our holistic approach.
  • Probation “Job Shadow”: A Clover Park High School senior has been job shadowing Jeanette Matthews – Probation Counselor with Lakewood Municipal Court. The student is interested in the probation field and will complete 20 hours of Job Shadowing before the end of April.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/30/07

March 30, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Support Staff Conference: The City sponsored the 2007 Support Staff Conference held at Tacoma Community College this week. Dawn Avcular of HR and Cheryl Thompson of Legal have been working with the planning committee since last September to assist with organizing this event. 700 people registered for a myriad of topics to inspire, motivate and educate support staff personnel.
  • Criminal Justice Summit: Associate City Attorney Sean Parrent and Victim Advocate Ann-Marie Dvorak attended the Criminal Justice Summit in Gig Harbor on March 28-29. Topics included strategies for prosecuting domestic violence crimes; stalking; and “dating violence” among adolescents.
  • Missing Person Located: The endangered missing person reported last Sunday morning was located that evening at her boyfriend’s apt in Lakewood. She was voluntarily committed and taken to the hospital for treatment/evaluation.
  • Northwest Regional Management Conference: The annual regional conference of Washington City/County Managers (WCMA) and Oregon managers at Stevenson WA last week drew over 150 attendees, a larger group than previous conferences. In addition to the emphasis on emergency management, there were workshops on citizen engagement, employee satisfaction, personal effectiveness and leadership, career development, and international service. The Lakewood city manager was the conference committee chair.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/16/07

March 16, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Lakewood Senior Center St. Patrick’s Day Party: Over 55 lucky leprechauns hunted for treasure and enjoyed snacks at a Saint Patrick’s Day party at the Lakewood Senior Activity Center. Monthly special events are just one of the many exciting offerings available to Lakewood older adults. Upcoming events include a Mothers Day tea, Fathers Day breakfast and Easter Egg Hunt. Stop by the Center located at the Lakewood Community Center on Lakewood Drive for a tour or to pick up a monthly newsletter.
  • American Lake Park Boat Launch and Site Improvements: The City just received a long awaited permit which will allow us to start construction of the boat launch and other site improvements at American Lake Park. Unfortunately, since the permit process took over a year to complete the water is now too high to work on the boat launch, so that this work will wait until the end of the boating season. However, we will start work on the upland site improvements to meet grant and other financing time schedules. The park will be closed during construction which is expected to begin in about eight weeks.
  • The Amazing Lakewood Race: The Lakewood Youth Council held the “Amazing Lakewood Race” on March 9th as an activity for high school youth on a day when they were out of school. The race had 14 check-in sites representing businesses, historic landmarks and youth-serving organizations. The teams had to decipher cryptic clues to find each site. Ten teams and over 45 youth participated in the event. The winning team was a group of students from Lakes High School.
  • Public Works Trust Fund Application: Public Works submitted an application to the Public Works Trust Fund Board for preliminary engineering related to construction of site side sewers in conjunction with connecting individual residential properties to the City’s American Lake Gardens/Tillicum sewer project. The submittal was essentially a dry run on our part to see how the application rated. This week we were notified that our application got a score of 86. We also got critical information on how to improve that score which we will use to modify the application when we resubmit it in May for about $1.2 million in side sewer construction assistance funding.
  • City employee receives Outstanding Volunteer Award: Anita Booker-Hay, Assistant City Attorney, will receive a 2007 Outstanding Adult Volunteer award from Pierce County on March 17th for her work with the Community Juvenile Accountability Board.
  • Street Lights: In conjunction with our $25,000 CDBG funded street light project, we have reached an agreement with PSE to install approximately 91 street lights in the Lake City area, which is a CDBG eligible area. This project would essentially light up all the streets south of Veterans Dr except Lakeholme Rd. PSE will do this work for under $12,000. Lights should be up and operating some time in May. Because PSE facilities are not on Lakeholme Rd it would cost $30,000 just to do that road so it is being proposed as a potential future project. With the completion of this project, many of the requests on the City’s Street Lighting Request list are also addressed. This also frees up some funding for the Springbrook area which is also a CDBG funding eligible area, and will enable funding to assist with installing street lighting along Bridgeport Way from I-5 to San Francisco Ave.
  • Gang Presentation at Clover Park High School Community Cafe: LPD gave a presentation at the CPSD Community Café on community response to gangs, with about 120 citizens attending. The presentation provided an overview on LPD gangs and the LPD, CPSD, Safe Streets, and Lakewood Promise programs currently in place to provide prevention, intervention and suppression of gang activity.
  • Update on Current Abatements:
    • Next to the lot where a crime scene last year was located, a rental house sat burned out. Under encouragement from the City, the house was demolished. No other enforcement was necessary.
    • BEFORE: An old industrial building sat vacant and dilapidated, after years of enforcement problems. The structure was failing and the rear wall partially collapsed in the December windstorms.
      AFTER: Under enforcement and an abatement order from the City, the owner had the building removed.
    • BEFORE & AFTER: An abandoned business and neglected property. Portions of the building were dangerous. The owner was unresponsive through several years of enforcement efforts. The site became occupied by transients and was extensively vandalized.
    • BEFORE & AFTER: The week the abatement was to begin; the owner stepped up and agreed to clean up the property. In a very short timeline, under an agreement with the City, the owner corrected the violations. Minimal funds were expended by the City, and will be repaid by the owner.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/23/07

March 23, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Lakewood Municipal Court Audit: The triennial audit to insure compliance with WASIC/NCIC Access and Records Management was performed on the Lakewood Municipal Court by the Washington State Patrol on March 21st. The court is in compliance, with only one minor housekeeping item that has been corrected. The auditor acknowledged in the report the outstanding job being done by the Lakewood Municipal Court and especially Senior Court Specialist, Deana Wright, the Technical Agency Coordinator, and also commented that very few Courts demonstrate such outstanding performance.
  • 5th Annual Father-Daughter Dance: About 200 guests danced the evening away at the City’s fifth annual Father-Daughter Dance held on March 17th at Clover Park High School. Over half of all those present have attended the City’s other dances and now consider it a part of their family’s traditions. The youngest daughter in attendance was 18 months old and the eldest was 39.
  • Boys and Girls Club HOPE Center Orientation: The leadership of the Lakewood Boys and Girls Club, with the help of Dick Miller from ASU, provided an overview of the goals of the HOPE Center philosophy to personnel from the Clover Park School District, the City, Safe Streets, and other community agencies on March 23rd in City Hall. Lakewood will become one of 15 communities around the nation activating a HOPE program where young people are trained that “all children are capable of success – No exceptions.”
  • Youth Focus Groups: Approximately 60 freshmen from Clover Park High School were given a brief introduction to the workings of city government and the process of public input by participating in two focus groups organized by the Parks and Recreation Department. The students had the opportunity to express their ideas about what they would like to see available for teens in the City of Lakewood. Top choices included a teen center/club, more stores for teens and a wider variety of teen-oriented restaurants. The students were participating in the focus groups as part of their service learning requirement.
  • Special Police Training: Several Police Department members attended a free one day seminar on lessons learned in the Russian School Massacre in Beslan.
  • Northwest Regional Management Conference: Lakewood’s city manager is the conference chair for the joint Washington and Oregon city/county managers conference in Stevenson WA on March 27-30. About 120 managers are expected to attend. The focus of several workshops will be on Emergency Management, with presenters including the two State EM directors and FEMA management.
  • Animal Control Officer Graduates: Lakewood’s Animal Control Officer Bill Mathies was chosen Class President at the Animal Control Academy and will be giving the graduation speech at his graduation Friday, March 23rd, 2007.
  • Youth and Law Forum Associate City Attorney Rocio Guerra volunteered at the Youth and Law Forum on Saturday March 17th. The forum is designed to expose middle- and high school students to the law and the legal system. The volunteers assist the students in a mock trial where they play different roles in a criminal prosecution.
  • DOC facility siting bill: Community Development Director Dave Bugher testified at the State Senate’s Government Operations Committee in support of HB 1733, and relayed the City’s position that Lakewood wants existing language modified to ensure our zoning laws will not be subordinated to DOC’s undrafted guidelines regarding “operational requirements.” The City Attorney is drafting proposed edits on this matter for primary sponsor, Representative Steve Conway.
  • Legislative Update on Hill Ward Building Funding and WSH: Lakewood’s State delegation in Olympia is on track to successfully secure over $1M for two high priority projects in Lakewood: clean up of the Hill Ward Building at Fort Steilacoom Park and Community Policing at Western State Hospital.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/9/07

March 9, 2007
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Milgard Foundation award of $100,000: The Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation announced this week that it has awarded Safe Streets $100,000 to fund community mobilization work in the City of Lakewood and to support the continued expansion of the Youth Leading Change program.
  • Seaplane “Splash In” at American Lake: The Washington Seaplane Pilots Association will host a Splash In at the American Lake Seaplane Base on a Saturday in April for their “Season Opener." The schedule will depend on the construction schedule for the seaplane dock project The City approved the event and will allow WSPA to use the park area and the swimming beach for tailing up their float planes. WSPA will host a potluck with burgers and hot dogs.
  • Regional Identity Forum: Senior Planner Deborah Johnson participated in the Regional Identity Forum at University of Washington on March 2nd, a workshop hosted by Puget Sound Urban Design Team, and underwritten by the WA Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED). Following a brief presentation, the forum broke into focus groups to identify and examine the region’s important physical and visual characteristics, how they relate to regional identity and values, and how they can be addressed at both the regional and local level. The Urban Design Team’s work will be integrated into the VISION 2020 update and a draft manual for CTED.
  • Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Amendments Public Application Period: The public application period for comprehensive plan and zoning amendments is open from March 1-31. Application forms are available during regular business hours at the Community Development Department on the 2nd floor of City Hall or online at /department-pages/community-development-forms.html. Applications are subject to review under established criteria and the State Environmental Policy Act, as well as review by the City’s Planning Advisory Board, which will take public testimony, and are subject to approval by the Lakewood City Council. For information, contact Deborah Johnson at (253) 512-2261 or
  • Harassment Training: Twenty-three City employees from various departments participated in the Harassment training provided at City Hall on February 28th and March 1st. This 3.5 hour class presented by Maura Maye from Pierce County received outstanding feedback from our employees. The course is designed to stimulate discussion about all forms of harassment. Maura provides employees with valuable tools to help eliminate the emotional and financial problem of harassment in the workplace. Upon completing this training session, participants are able to: Discuss protected categories under federal law; Identify behaviors that can be considered harassing; Explain the effect that harassment has on people; Promote the concept that harassment of any type is a form of discrimination. This class will be offered again and employees are encouraged to attend harassment training annually.
  • Police Training: Lt Mauer attended a 3 day course on ICS-300 (Emergency Management/ Incident Command System) through Pierce County DEM, and several Investigators attended a 2 day course on Money Laundering & Asset Forfeiture in Federal Way. Several department members attended a 2 hour class on Biased Based Policing and The Latino Culture, and a 3 hour Defensive Tactics In-Service training.
  • Wild Sky Wilderness Act of 2007: Mayor Thomas has joined Seattle’s Mayor Greg Nickels in a letter of support for the Wild Sky Wilderness Act (HR 868, S520) which will protect 106,000 acres of old growth forests, alpine lakes and salmon streams on national forests and near Steven Pass as federal wilderness.. If passed, it would be the first National Forest Wilderness area to be designated in Washington State in 22 years.
  • Offender Re-Entry Update: Wednesday March 7th, Chief Saunders attended a meeting on March 7th hosted by Senator Carrell, which included key leaders from the Joint Legislative Task Force on Offender Reentry, staffers from various senate committees, and lobbyists to make final refinements on Senate Bill 5070 – on Offender Re-Entry. It appears as if it will receive a full floor vote shortly.
  • Angle Lane Neighborhood Traffic Control Program Meeting: About 45 citizens attended the forum on March 6th to discuss concerns about safety on Angle Lane. Public Works and Police will be reviewing the input received and making recommendations.
  • Sound Transit Station Groundbreaking Ceremony: The Groundbreaking Ceremony for the City’s new transit station on Pac Highway is scheduled for March 26th at 10 a.m. Officials from the City, Sound Transit, and Pierce Transit will be presenting, as will Lakewood Chamber of Commerce.
  • Lakewood Connections: The first “Lakewood Connections” of 2007 will be arriving at Lakewood residences and businesses early next week and will soon be posted to the City’s website.
  • Commercial Burglary: Miles Sand and Gravel located at 107th and Chapel had an audible alarm. The owner of Tactical Tailor located a suspicious vehicle parked at the entrance to the business and also observed several items from the business stacked next to the gate. He heard the alarm go off to a storage building and called 911. Officer Syler arrived 1st and started tracking with K9 Astor. During the track Officer Moody who was on containment stopped a suspicious car leaving the area. The passenger was sweating heavily and happened to be the registered owner of the car parked in front of the business. K9 Astor also tracked to the exact same spot as where moody saw the suspicious vehicle leaving. The suspect said his car overheated so he left it in front of the business, went home to get his wife and was now coming back to get his car. Syler and Officer Fraser located footprints on a concrete bag inside the storage building that was broken into. It happens that the boots the suspect was wearing matched the footprints on the bag. There was also red clay in the tread of the boots that was also located inside the storage room. His boots were taken for evidence and the prints were photographed. They are working on getting the prints cut from the bag for additional evidence. It was excellent police work by all since no one ever saw him in the yard of the business. The suspect was booked for the burglary.