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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 9/23/2011

September 23, 2011
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • 12th Annual Lakewood International Festival: Lakewood Sister Cities Association is proud to present its 12th Annual Lakewood International Festival on Saturday, September 24th, in the Sharon McGavick Student Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, Washington. This year’s festival begins at 11:30 a.m. and will feature international musical performances representing all parts of the globe. There will also be a kids’ art and play area, food and market vendors, and prizes. The festival is free to the public and celebrates Lakewood’s cultural diversity and its Sister City relationships with Okinawa, Japan, and Bauang, Philippines; and Friendship City relationships with Gimhae, South Korea, and Danzhou, PR of China. This year’s highlighted city is Danzhou, PR of China. We are happy to welcome the Danzhou Municipal Song & Dance Ensemble from Danzhou!
  • City Attorney elected to Executive Board of Administrative Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association: At the annual section meeting of the Administrative Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association, City Attorney Heidi Ann Wachter was elected to the Executive Board. After serving as the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) committee chair for the past year, she will serve as Chair-elect for 2011-2012 and Section Chair the following year.
  • Steilacoom Blvd Water Quality Project: Work on this project which includes installing two (2) storm water treatment units in Steilacoom Blvd between Phillips Rd and Edgewater Dr. will begin on Monday, September 26th. This work is anticipated to be completed by October 7th. Work will be performed at night between 7:30 PM to 5:30 AM. During work hours, traffic on Steilacoom Blvd will be reduced to one travel lane in each direction and Edgewater Dr. between Steilacoom Blvd and 87th St will be temporarily closed.
  • Economic Development and Economic Development Board staff meeting with businesses: Economic Development and Economic Development Board (EDB) staff Derek Kilmer met with representatives from TaChen, a business in the 112th Street business park, and Cascade Sonoco which is a business located in the Lakewood Industrial Park. The meetings are part of our ongoing business outreach calls with Lakewood businesses to thank them for being in Lakewood and talk with them about their business growth and plans.
  • Freedom Furniture Store Grand Opening: Freedom Furniture Store in the Lakewood Towne Center held its Grand Opening on Thursday morning. The Chief Operating Officer of Freedom Furniture is very pleased with the location and the new store, and commented that it has been one of their longer site location searches. City staff initial contact with Freedom Furniture was in April of 2008 and continued ongoing contact over the last several years. Congratulations and welcome to Freedom Furniture!
  • 2011 United Way Day of Caring: 14 employees from several departments volunteered their time in revitalizing a transitional house for LASA (Lakewood Area Shelter Association). The group trimmed an approximately 200 foot hedge, raked and pulled weeds, power washed the entire house, and cleaned the gutters to name a few things.
  • Code Officers Attend Annual Washington Association of Code Enforcement (WACE) Conference: Code Enforcement Officers attended the annual WACE code enforcement conference in Leavenworth last week. One of the highlights was a one-day class “Spanish in a Pinch.” The class was a lesson in common Spanish terms that can be used on the job while conversing with Spanish-speaking tenants and property owners. In addition, there were lectures on mediation, improving health by reducing exposure to hazards, mortgage field service and property preservation providers, and human trafficking crimes in Washington State.
  • Community Clean-up in Tillicum: On Saturday, September 17th Habitat for Humanity sponsored a community clean-up in Tillicum. This was an effort by Habitat to get Tillicum excited about the upcoming additions to housing in the area. Habitat will be building 30+ homes over the next few years, with several already in progress. 40 volunteers, including Lt. Steve Mauer arrived at 8:30 AM to assist in the clean-up. Habitat worked with residents and scheduled pick-ups of large items to be discarded. The items were stacked up on the curb and volunteer teams loaded the items into trucks provided by Habitat. The trucks then took the items to a designated lot in Tillicum, where LeMay, Inc. had placed four large garbage containers. Over twenty households had large items for disposal, and volunteers filled up over eight, 40-yard containers with trash from the clean-up. It was a very successful event with visible results. A big “Thank You!” to all the volunteers who assisted.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 9/16/2011

September 16, 2011
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Arts Commission presentation to Council: The Arts Commission gave their annual presentation to City Council at their study session on Monday, September 12th. The presentation covering the events of the previous year was followed with a discussion of current goals and objectives to be achieved in the coming year which included: promoting the visual, performing and literary arts, encouraging the creative contribution of local artists and creating a public art policy. The Commission was encouraged to create a work plan that would reflect the vision they have for art and the arts community in Lakewood.
  • Interim Communications Director: Communications Director Jeff Brewster, an Army Reserve officer, received mobilization orders earlier this week and will deploy to the Middle East in early October to serve as a logistics advisor to one of our military allies in that region. Assistant City Attorney Mike Savage will serve as the City’s Interim Communications Director for about eleven months until Mr. Brewster’s return.
  • Community Development and Human Services Hold Joint Public Hearing: Community Development and Human Services held a joint public hearing on September 8th to identify strategies on the use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership Act grant funds. The public hearing offered an opportunity for the City to gain insight from citizens and local non-profits regarding what services they identify as essential for low- and moderate- income citizens in Lakewood. Recommendations included continued support of programs providing food, housing and other basic human needs including support of youth.
  • CSRT attends Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board Meeting on JBLM: Lt. Steve Mauer recently attended the quarterly meeting of the Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board (AFDCB) on JBLM. This panel, which includes representatives from all the military services in the area, discusses issues of mutual concern related to military members. Military representatives are joined by staff from the State Liquor Control Board, Tacoma Police Department, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and others. The discussion included issues facing the courtesy patrol. The group also discussed “Spice” (a synthetic drug), which is illegal under federal law. Lakewood Police are communicating with the AFDCB to report businesses selling Spice; those businesses will be made off limits to servicemembers unless they drop that item from their inventories.
  • Staff completes Washington Cities Insurance Authority Land Use Training Series: Legal staff completed a land-use training series this month conducted by Washington Cities Insurance Authority. The training was part of a three-part program that included information on the legal basis for land use development, regulations and permits.
  • The Discovery Trail continues: The City of Lakewood installed a 1940’s era Ford tractor near the blue barn at Fort Steilacoom Park last week. The tractor is a replica of one shown in an original photo on the Discovery Trail Farming Legacy sign located nearby. The tractor is an interactive part of the Discovery Trail system and people are welcome to climb on it as they imagine what life was like when the area was an active farm.

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 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 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.