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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 9/9/2011

September 9, 2011
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • City Hall Art Display: A new art display by painter Pat Graham is currently exhibited in the first floor elevator alcove of City Hall. Her favorite focus is painting realism, primarily portraiture and figurative works. Pat endured a period in which she experienced a loss of visual clarity. Years later, her vision was surgically restored and she was able to return to painting and drawing again. Since that time, Pat has been creating paintings with more focus than ever before, entering contests and selling work for others to enjoy.
  • Tunnel of Hope at Lakeview: CSRT member CSO Conelly participated in the Lakeview Hope Academy’s Tunnel of Hope on September 7th. The “Tunnel” is made up of caring adults who are welcoming the students of Lakeview Hope Academy back to school. Participants include Lakewood Police, West Pierce Fire and Rescue, as well as teachers and other adults who are encouraging young students to have a good school experience.
  • Youth Council: The new group of 17 high school students, who were appointed to the Youth Council this past Monday, are representatives from Clover Park, Lakes High Schools, Harrison Prep, Bellarmine Prep and an on-line student. The new Youth Council will be kicking-off a very busy year with “Make a Difference Day” on October 22nd. They will also complete the “Green Initiative” that was begun last year and slated to be in final draft form by June.
  • Lifeguards: The lifeguard program concluded this past Labor Day. With the arrival of a late summer and warm temperatures, swimmers are reminded to always swim with a buddy. Parents and adults should supervise their children at all times as the swim beaches are now unguarded.
  • Cheer Camp: All eight of the Lakewood Parks, Recreation and Community Services Cheer Camp participants, ranging in age from 5 to 7, showed off what they learned this summer at the first home game for Lakes High School. They went in front of a large crowd of Lancer fans and family members and cheered for the home team on September 2nd when Lakes played Clover Park in a pre-season game ending in victory for the Lancers.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 9/2/2011

September 2, 2011
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Medal of Honor Recipient Visiting Lakewood Salutes: 10am-4pm, Saturday, September 10th the Lakewood Towne Center will host “Lakewood Salutes” on the eve of Patriot Day – the 10 year anniversary of September 11th. The City, West Pierce Fire and Rescue, and the 4th Stryker Brigade are all participating. Lakewood Salutes was initiated three years ago by the Towne Center to honor first responders and our military. Two Stryker vehicles and two Humvees will be present for hands-on viewing as well as vehicles from Fire and Police. Music, food, and games will also be featured in this family-friendly event. This year’s primary focus will be honoring our local firefighters. At 1:30pm we will take a moment to pause and pay tribute to the victims of 9/11 and all those who have made sacrifices since then. Medal of Honor recipient, Colonel (retired) Joe Jackson (who has a main road named after him on McChord Field) will be this year’s guest of honor and is expected to make remarks at the stage by Pier 1 Imports at 1:30pm. Colonel Jackson’s biography can be viewed here:
  • LPD host Law Enforcement Youth Camp: On Saturday, August 13th, Lakewood Police held the Law Enforcement Youth Camp next to the stadium at Clover Park High School. Lowes and Farmers Insurance have become even stronger partners this year. Lowes brought all the tables, extension cords, some water and tents. They also gathered backpacks and school supplies from other local businesses. In addition, eight Lowes employees volunteered their time. This has become the primary annual community support event for the Lakewood Lowes. Participating children ranged from 6-12 years old and were required to be accompanied by a parent the entire time.

    Each child received a LPD Junior Police Academy Passport and visited nine stations to get a free backpack

    1. Bicycle Rodeo
    2. K-9 demonstration
    3. Radar/baseball throw
    4. SWAT
    5. Obstacle Course
    6. Tae Kwon Do demonstration
    7. Forensics
    8. Lowes’s craft project
    9. Farmers fingerprint, photo and ID kit.

    In addition a Lakewood police car was made available for a hands-on tour. The charity fund also was on hand to take pictures and sell bike helmets. 150 kids showed up this year and we ran out of backpacks. There are already plans to have more next year as this event keeps growing.

  • Assistant City Attorney makes presentation at Lakewood United: On August 25th, Assistant City Attorney Mike Savage presented the legal issues surrounding the new medical marijuana legislation and its potential impact on Lakewood. Mr. Savage pointed out that those local jurisdictions regulating marijuana risk violating federal law because marijuana is still a federally prohibited substance. Dr. Scott Havsy also presented and argued that medical marijuana has legitimate pain relieving qualities and that local governments should embrace its regulation.
  • Sale of Fir Acres Mobile Home Park delayed: The sale of Fir Acres Mobile Home Park that was expected to close two months ago was delayed when the buyer failed to comply with the terms of the purchase and sale agreement. Additional offers were accepted by the receiver and a new buyer was approved by a Superior Court judge on August 26th. The buyer has 45 days to close. There is another qualified and interested buyer in case this sale falls through. Staff continues to monitor the situation and the condition of the property and work on abatement issues. The receiver will repay the City’s costs from the proceeds of the sale.
  • Human Services Teams Up with TACID: The Human Services Coordinator teamed up with local non-profit TACID’s HELP program in an effort to seek reasonable accommodation for a severely disabled man in Lakewood. The City provides landlord tenant resources to individuals in Lakewood to increase citizen awareness regarding the Residential Landlord Tenant Law. City staff, along with TACID’s staff successfully worked with a local landlord to seek reasonable accommodation that afforded a blind gentleman an extension of time to move out of his apartment into another apartment that could accommodate his disability.
  • Springbrook Summer Playground Program: The Springbrook Summer Playground Program provided nearly 1,500 free lunches and over 1,000 snacks this summer to youth and children, 18 years old and younger. The lunches were provided by St. Leo’s Food Connection through the USDA Summer Food Service program and distributed by City of Lakewood recreation staff. The recreation staff provided games, arts & crafts and other activities for the young people and was funded by a $4,000 grant by the Lakewood First Lions. The City also enlisted two Spanish speaking teens to assist staff in all activities. This program shows how organizations can partner to assist an underserved and isolated portion of our community. Nearly all of the participants in this program walked to the park and live in the surrounding apartments, mobile homes and houses. Entire families came to the park to receive the free lunches and snacks.
  • Lakewood Senior Activity Center Visits “Sand in the City”: Twenty older adults from the Lakewood Senior Activity Center gathered for a trip to Olympia to experience the “Sand in the City Festival” and explore the Olympia Farmers Market on August 26th. The older adults watched as 240 tons of sand and 200 competitors were brought together for the annual Team Sand Sculpting Competition. The Farmers Market offered the opportunity to purchase farm fresh produce from local farmers and artisans.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 8/19/2011

August 19, 2011
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Raider Night at the Tacoma Rainiers Game: The Lakewood Sub-Chapter of the Association of the US Army (AUSA) raised funds to send 1,000 soldiers and family members to the Tacoma Rainiers baseball game on August 18th The 4-2 Stryker Brigade is Lakewood’s “community connection” to the Army and the City is an active member of the sub-chapter. The public was able to get a hands-on tour of a Stryker vehicle; the brigade provided a color guard to accompany the National Anthem; brigade commander Colonel Mike Getchell presented the sub-chapter and the Rainiers organization a Raider Appreciation plaque; Command Sergeant Major Paul Balmforth lead the stadium in the “7th Inning Stretch” and a squad of spirited Raider soldiers managed to get “the wave” rolling through Cheney Stadium in the bottom of the 7th after a few attempts.
  • Lakewood climbers scale Mount St. Helens: Seven climbers participated in a climb of Mount St. Helens this past Saturday and Sunday through a trip provided by the Parks, Recreation & Community Services department. The trip was planned around the annual Perseid meteor shower that occurs each August. The climbers hiked two miles to the 4800 foot level with full packs, set up camp and watched the meteor showers. The next morning began at 6:00 a.m. for the remaining three miles and 3500 vertical feet to the summit. Four climbers made it to the Crater Rim while the other three climbers attained different heights on the trek to the top. It was particularly impressive that their ages ranged from the mid-50s to the mid-70s with one participant celebrating her birthday on the trip.
  • City manager attends WCCMA conference in Blaine: The Washington City/County Management Association (WCCMA) held its annual conference in Blaine this week, with about 90 participants from around the State in attendance. The Lakewood city manager is the West Coast regional vice president of ICMA (the International City/County Management Association) and participated in the WCCMA board meeting on August 19th. Conference sessions included performance management, leading practices in city/county cooperation, complex public processes, and leadership strategies.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 8/26/2011

August 26, 2011
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Bridgeport Way Construction near WalMart: The first phase of road construction work will begin along Bridgeport Way from 75th to north City limits at Leach Creek starting September 6th. This project will tie together improvements that were made as part of the Wal-Mart development as well as the turn pocket and wall improvements at Flanegan Road. During the construction period the roadway will be reduced to one lane northbound starting September 6, 2011. The lane restriction will stay in place 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday. At a later date similar lane restrictions will occur south of Flanegan Road in the south bound direction. Currently, variable message signs are in-place informing motorists about the upcoming work. Citizens with any questions may contact Weston Ott at (253) 983-7795.
  • Employee Picnic Successful: The Annual City Employee Picnic coordinated by the Wellness Committee was held August 24th at Fort Steilacoom Park. It was an opportunity for employees to come together to celebrate each other’s accomplishments and years of service awards. This quarter’s award theme was Teamwork and the two teams recognized were the Public Works Capital Project Team and the Wellness Committee. The management team served as the “grillers’, the Parks Department provided great support, and Jay was appreciated for his pulled pork barbecue.
  • Senior Activity Center Rides the Duck: Nineteen older adults from the Lakewood Senior Activity Center signed up for a joke-filled musical adventure to “Ride the Ducks” of Seattle. This lively group was met by a hilarious Coast Guard-certified maritime captain who narrated historical information and local folklore as they “quacked” their way through downtown Seattle and splashed into Lake Union. The WW II amphibious landing craft adventure was a hit.
  • Human Services funding helps support Caring for Kids Ready to Learn Fair: Held on August 13th at Lochburn Middle School, City funds helped 1,877 kids get the tools needed to ensure they are ready to start school on September 7th. Each child received a backpack filled with essential school supplies.
  • Shoreline Master Planning Process: On August 17th the Planning Advisory Board (PAB) discussed the Shoreline Master Program (SMP) update for the City. The PAB focused on the proposed draft regulations and process associated with the approving the updated master program. The PAB is tasked with reviewing the draft SMP document, holding public hearings, and making a recommendation to the City Council for final action. On September 14th the PAB will consider a finalized schedule for the SMP review, including in-depth review of the draft document, dates for public hearings, and development of a recommendation to the Council. Public hearings are expected to be held in October and November 2011. Additional meetings will be held to discuss the update document in the coming months. Citizens should contact Marc Amrine ( at (253) 512-2261, ext. 7753 if interested in receiving email updates in the future.
  • City’s Hearing Examiner: The City’s Hearing Examiner, James O’Connor, has indicated his intent to retire at the end of the year. The Hearing Examiner is a critical position within the City tasked with providing independent analysis and decisions regarding land use permits and other quasi--judicial matters as provided in the municipal code. The City will be initiating a Request for Qualifications and Proposal to solicit new candidates for the position. The Examiner position is appointed by the City Manager, subject to confirmation by the Council, to serve for a term of two years.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 8/12/2011

August 12, 2011
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Waughop Lake Closes Due to Toxic Algae: The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department issued a Closed Advisory for Waughop Lake in Fort Steilacoom Park this week due to high levels of toxic algae. The Health Department and the City Parks Department made the decision to close the lake to protect the community from the health risks posed by toxic algae. The Health Department’s surface water team and community volunteers have been monitoring the lake regularly to measure levels of microcystin. The City of Lakewood took over management of the site in 2006, and received a grant in 2008 from the State to apply calcium hydroxide to the lake on an experimental basis to reduce the algae growth. The application did not work as hoped. Waughop Lake has been under a Warning Advisory for toxic algae since May 2009. Waughop Lake is a kettle lake, fed by storm water runoff and precipitation with no outfall. The longer stretches of daylight and warmer water temperatures during the summer are likely contributors to the increased levels. The City will be considering various treatment options to improve the water quality of the lake. Although the lake will be closed to boating, swimming and fishing, the path around Waughop Lake will be open for walking and other recreation pursuits.
  • South Sound 911 presentation at “Coffee with the Mayor”: The city manager presented a power-point overview of the proposed South Sound 911 system on August 12th, with about 25 people in attendance. Chief Ken Sharp of West Pierce Fire & Rescue participated, as questions were answered about the proposed systems, its costs and benefits.
  • “Junk in the Trunk” – Community Rummage Sale: On Saturday August 6th the City held its inaugural “Junk in the Trunk” community rummage sale. Vendors came with gently used goods from around the house and sold them in the parking lot at City Hall. There was a lot of pedestrian traffic for the vendors, and overall the event was deemed a success. The Parks and Recreation department will be holding another “Junk in the Trunk” event on Saturday September 17; for more information call (253) 983-7887.