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

March 16, 2007
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
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 3/9/07

March 9, 2007
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
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 djohnson@cityoflakewood.us.
  • 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.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 2/16/07

February 16, 2007
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Lakewood Refuse Service Rates: Lakewood Refuse Service has submitted its revised rates for garbage/recycling/yard waste services which will go into effect March 1st.  The contract allows for an automatic annual increase related to either a change in the Consumer Price Index for the area or a change in the disposal fee. The new rates incorporate both a CPI increase of 2.513% and disposal fee increase of $5.93 per ton resulting in an average net increase of approximately 5% to the residential customer.
  • AWC Legislative Conference: The city manager and Government Relations/Communications Director attended the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) Legislative conference in Olympia this week.  Governor Gregoire presented her priorities in the areas of education, economic development, and health care, and the legislative leadership of both parties also presented to the group of city representatives from around the State.  Staff was able to schedule meetings with 5 of our 6 legislators and our lobbyists.
  • Military Affairs Committee:  Councilmember Richardson presented a PowerPoint presentation on the Berk Report on military lands annexation feasibility to the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee.  There were about 40 people in attendance, including representatives from McChord AFB, Fort Lewis, Rep. Adam Smith’s and Dave Reichert’s offices, and Pierce County.  Questions were raised about the issue as a federal not local problem, partial land acquisition, timing, phasing, and fiscal impacts.
  • Traffic Signal Changes: Traffic signals on Gravelly Lake Dr between 112th St to Mt Tacoma Dr.  will be switched starting this Sunday night/Monday morning to flashing lights (red on the side street and yellow on Gravelly Lake Drive except for the 100th St signal which will be red on all directions) between the hours 10:00 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 12:00 midnight. to 5:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. We are doing this in response to a number of citizen complaints about the long side street wait times during night hours.
  • Helen Tucker Slater Litigation: A defense verdict was received in the Helen Tucker Slater litigation this week, which was a win for the City.  Ms. Slater originally sued the City on a variety of grounds with claims stemming from her termination as a Victim Advocate in the Legal Department in 2002.  The City was represented by insurance defense counsel and the City’s witnesses included a number of City employees.  A debriefing is planned to review any “lessons learned” either from the case itself or from feedback we are able to collect from the jury.
  • Angle Traffic Calming Meeting: On March 6th, at Idlewild Elementary School from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Public Works will hold a neighborhood meeting with residents and users of Angle Lane to discuss traffic calming options.  Speeding on Angle Lane has apparently been a long standing issue with the neighborhood.  Traffic studies have confirmed that under the City’s Neighborhood Traffic Control program, action is warranted.  Because police enforcement emphasis has failed, we have now progressed to the Phase II stage of the program which involves an engineered solution.  Options have been presented to the neighborhood via a survey involving 120 residences.  60 responses were received with the order of preference as follows:  install sidewalks, raise speed limit to 30 mph, install speed hump(s), install curbing along edge of roadway, install traffic circle(s), install center island narrowing(s) and install chicanes.  The purpose of the meeting is to inform the citizens of the issue and possible solutions and to provide another opportunity for input.
  • Jackson Case Update: The AdreAnna Jackson investigation remains a major priority for the Lakewood Police Department’s Homicide unit.  Part of the ongoing investigation is to elicit leads and tips from the public at large.  The LPD Homicide unit, with the assistance of the FBI, has been trying to get the reward ($60,000) information and the request for assistance to the public through bulletin boards.  Clear Channel Corporation was contacted and has agreed to donate four bulletin boards in the area and will produce and install them.  This works out to be a $100-150,000 donation. The anticipated roll out date of the first billboard will be around March 7th and the unveiling will be announced through a press conference.  We are hopeful that individuals with knowledge in this case will come forward.
  • Follow-up from domestic violence stakeholders' meetings: A bill has been introduced into the Washington State Legislature by the Attorney General that would make assault by strangulation a Class B Felony crime. Since its inception, LPD has handled strangulation cases as second degree assaults, and our officers have been trained to investigate strangulation cases and understand the seriousness of this type of crime and the potential for lethality to the victim. The passage of this bill should prove helpful to the prosecution of these cases since it is likely that more of these cases will be charged at the felony level.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/2/07

March 2, 2007
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Asphalt Overlay for Interlaaken Bridge: Public Works is presently out to bid on the 2007 Asphalt Overlay and Patching Program project, which includes the overlay of the Interlaaken bridge deck. This means the route will be temporarily closed to through traffic for about two weeks.
  • Pac Highway Project Status: The call for bids for “Pacific Highway SW—Phase 2 will be published on March 6th.  Phase 2 includes the street frontage and signal work along the Sounder Station and the Ford dealership sites as well as improvements at the Pac Hwy/Bridgeport Way intersection. This includes improvements northerly along Bridgeport Way to and across the RR tracks.
  • LPD Explorers: The Explorers have made LPD proud once again.  They attended the Federal Way challenge on Saturday and came home with several awards.  They all worked as a team in the Crime Scene investigation portion and won first place.  Explorers Smith and Hinkle won first place in the Field Interview portion.  Explorer Smith also won first place in the Drill down portion.  Explorer Martin won third place in the Physical Agility course. The Explorers also had an awards banquet where Explorer Smith was voted as the Explorer of the Year.
  • LPD Traffic Officers teach collision investigation: Lakewood Traffic officers just completed teaching collision investigation to 23 area law enforcement officers. The 40-hour course, sponsored by the State Criminal Justice Training Commission, was held at Pierce Transit’s new training facility in Lakewood. The course included numerous hours of practical application and class work investigating collisions. Officers Prante, Novasky, Gumm, Russell and Sergeant Norton represented the city as instructors. The class was a major success ensuring LPD’s future role as a lead agency for instructing additional advanced collision courses.
  • WTSC Speed Emphasis enforcement ended: Lakewood officers wrapped up nearly 700 hours of speed emphasis enforcement in East Pierce County. This project, running from mid-January to mid-February, was funded 100% by the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission and resulted in over 2,000 traffic stops and nearly 1,500 tickets generated for speeding and other infractions to include no insurance, seatbelt violations and driving while revoked. Additional phases of this project are set for later this spring.
  • Legal Department Training:  Legal Support Specialist David Jones attended a day-long seminar entitled, “Dealing with Difficult People,” this week.  Topics included:  Essential Communication Skills, Tuning into Body Language, Identifying Personal Communication Styles, Dealing with an Angry Person, and Conflict Resolution Techniques.   Victim Advocate Ann-Marie Dvorak attended training on Vicarious Trauma last weekat the Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County.  Vicarious Trauma is “the experience of bearing witness to the atrocities committed against another,” and the workshop focused on identifying the signs and symptoms of Vicarious Trauma and presented coping mechanisms, including personal care, professional boundaries and organizational response.  Vicarious Trauma experts identify it as an occupational hazard. Ann-Marie also applied for and was admitted into the Washington State Bar Association Rule 6 Program.  Under the city attorney’s direct tutorship, she will follow a four year structured law curriculum with prescribed courses. Victim Advocate Rebecca Hendricks attended a conference presented by the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, which focused on providing information to advocates in the social work/ law enforcement fields on increasingly popular technologies, including MySpace, chat rooms, and on-line gaming, which predators can use to find victims.  It is essential for law enforcement, including probation officers, to be knowledgeable in these areas of emerging technology to effectively investigate and monitor sex offenders.
  • Robbery suspect apprehended: Officer Latimer responded to the Safeway at the Towne Center for a shoplift. The suspect played the name game and was not forthcoming with any information.  Officer Latimer started doing some research on his computer and was able to locate a report out of Puyallup PD from earlier that morning with this suspect also being the suspect in a robbery.  Officer Latimer interviewed her and after awhile, she admitted to the robbery.  Puyallup PD was contacted and two detectives came out to the station and took custody of the suspect for Robber 1st Degree.  She gave the detectives a handwritten confession admitting to the crime.  Officer Latimer did an excellent job following through and figuring out the suspect’s identity and locating the information that she was the suspect in the robbery and getting a confession from her!
  • Stolen Car Suspect Apprehended: Officer Moody found an occupied stolen vehicle in the area of 74th and STW last week. The vehicle attempted to flee when Officer Moody pulled behind him. A pursuit was then initiated in which the suspect attempted to intentionally ram the officer, and it continued up to Fircrest.  Guardian 1 advised they saw a hot tub in the back yard of a house in the area that had the cover displaced. Officers responded to that house and found the suspect completely naked and hiding inside. After 1 ½ hours in the hot tub the suspect was very relaxed and taken in to custody without incident. There was a baggy of meth floating in the hot tub with him. The suspect was taken to the hospital for precautionary measures prior to going to jail for 1st degree Assault for attempting to ram Officer Moody, PSP for the truck, eluding, and UPCS for the meth in the hot tub. He also had a Pierce County warrant for Hit and Run.
  • Abatement Update: As a result of the Community Development Department’s emphasis on abatement, the following status report shows nine active cases.
    1.  
      Property Address 3906 Steilacoom Boulevard SW
      Condition Commercial building vacant and heavily vandalized. Rear wall is collapsing; substantial quantity of asbestos to remove.
      Status Notice and Order was issued. Property owner applied for demolition permit. Demolition is currently underway.
    2.  
      Property Address 11435 Pacific Highway SW
      Condition Former Lakewood Court Mobile Home Park. Park contained nine abandoned mobile homes and two dilapidated buildings. Large amounts of garbage, and junk found onsite. Property has been vandalized.
      Status Notice and Order was issued. Vehicles and junk removed. Most of the mobile homes have been removed.
    3.  
      Property Address 11618 Pacific Highway SW
      Condition Abandoned auto body shop. Building in deteriorated condition and has been vandalized on numerous occasions. Property contains numerous junk vehicles, junk, trash, extensive weeds and an abandoned pole sign
      Status Notice and Order issued. City hired a contractor to demolish building and clean site. At the eleventh hour, the owner agreed to clean the property. Work is currently underway.
    4.  
      Property Address 14617 W. Thorne Lane SW
      Condition Property is unsecured. Property contains a dilapidated/collapsing house and garage. Trees are dangerous.
      Status Property was abated once already in 2001. A second Notice and Order was issued. Owner is currently obtaining an asbestos report preparatory to issuance of a demolition permit.
    5.  
      Property Address 12907 Naomilawn Drive SW
      Condition House burned; property owner died
      Status Notice and Order was issued. Building was secured at no cost to the City. Property is currently in probate.
    6.  
      Property Address 11404 Cloverdale Court SW
      Condition House destroyed by fire.
      Status Notice and Order was issued. Property owner obtained demolition permit; site is clean of all debris.
    7.  
      Property Address 95 West Shore Avenue SW
      Condition Notice and Order was issued. Hoarder house: numerous junk vehicles, extensive junk, trash, weeds, and construction debris.
      Status Over half the clean up completed by the owner. Owner has also been fined and is currently delinquent. City abatement is likely.
    8.  
      Property Address 6717 100th Street SW
      Condition Burned out house (owner died in fire).
      Status Emergency abatement performed to secure structure. Notice and Order issued. Family member has arrived out-of-town to settle estate.
    9.  
      Property Address 6902 146th Street SW
      Condition Abandoned hoarder house; abandoned vehicles; extensive piles of garbage.
      Status Notice and order issued. Abatement performed by the City.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 2/2/07

February 2, 2007
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To:     Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:Andrew Neiditz, City Manager
  • Abatement Achievement: The City’s nuisance abatement program has scored another success in the Tillicum neighborhood.  Many months ago a fire at 14805 Portland Avenue SW caused extensive structural damage to the house located there.  The building had been boarded up, but over time it had become insect- infested and trespassers had begun entering the building. The building was posted with a notice and order to abate this dangerous building, but the owner had not taken action.  Renewed enforcement efforts were taken by the City’s Abatement Team, a unified work group consisting of representatives from the police, building, code enforcement, fire and legal departments.  The Team has pending enforcement actions filed again approximately two dozen commercial and residential properties throughout the City.  The Team’s fundamental mission is to preserve the public safety and health in business and residential districts by removal of dangerous and blighted conditions.  As soon as this building was demolished, the City received an inquiry from a developer as to whether this property was available for sale.  The property owner, however, has announced tentative plans to build a new residential structure at this location. While the team seeks to achieve voluntary compliance from property owners, it is also prepared to act when a property owner refuses or is unable to resolve such problems.  Currently the Team has three buildings scheduled for demolition and is in the process of obtaining contractor bids for the performance of such work.
  • January Building Permits: For January, 2007, the Community Development Department issued building permits for over $11.4 million dollars in new construction activity.
  • Utility Coordination: The city manager and senior staff met this week with the heads of Lakewood’s development-related utilities – Pierce County Sewers, Lakewood Water, Lakeview Power, TPU, Puget Sound Energy, and Lakewood Fire – in a first-time group effort as a means to provide overall coordination of development planning at the “big picture” level and to discuss the City’s long-range development plans. It was a productive meeting which helped to supplement the project-specific coordination meetings already taking place.
  • Crime Free Housing: The Police Department has recently completed a "re-engineering" of the crime free housing training seminar, which is the one-and-a-half day class provided at no cost to rental housing property owners and managers every two months.  We just recently completed a very successful class with thirteen in attendance, and attendee reviews were uniformly positive.  Additionally, CSO Chuck Matthews, the class coordinator, received a thank you card afterwards from one of the attendees with the following comment:  “Thanks for an outstanding crime-free multi-housing program seminar.... I got a lot out of it and am very grateful and appreciative of the program and its contents. The jokes really weren’t that bad either. Thanks for taking such great care of me/us and thanks for the program itself!!"  LPD cordially extend the invitation to any councilmember to attend a session or a graduation ceremony.
  • Serious Domestic Violence Incident: On January 30th at 1217 hours, officers responded to a DV with a knife.  Upon arrival the victim was able to step away from the suspect and the armed suspect retreated back into his apartment.  The suspect got angry with his father and pulled a box cutter type knife on him and thrust it at him in a threatening manner.  LPD negotiators attempted to talk the suspect into surrendering for over three hours with no luck, and eventually LPD deployed gas into the apartment. Within minutes the suspect surrendered without incident.  Mental Health Professionals were on scene and escorted the ambulance to a secure facility to have the suspect medically placed and held.  LPD has forwarded a report to prosecutors to charge Attempted DV Assault 2nd Degree.  It was a group effort, and all of traffic, all NPO’s and some SRO’s assisted patrol with this call and containment.

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