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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/15/2011

April 15, 2011
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • City earns WellCity Award: The City of Lakewood recently earned a WellCity Award from the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) Employee Benefit Trust, one of 82 cities receiving the award. The award is based on meeting stringent best practice standards in employee health promotion. Award recipients receive a 2% premium discount on medical coverage for employee and spouses in 2012. AWC's Employee Benefit Trust provides health benefits to over 15,000 city employees in Washington.
  • Landlord/Tenant Training Workshop: Over 100 landlords and tenants attended the City's first Landlord/Tenant Basics Training workshop on April 14th, sponsored by the Housing Justice Project, supported by City staff in the Human Services and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) divisions The training included a panel of attorneys and agency representatives offering information regarding Fair Housing and the Mobile Home Landlord Tenant Act. Additional support and resource information was provided by the City's Building and Code Departments and the Community Safety Resource Team (CSRT). The training was a pilot program that will be expanded elsewhere in the area.
  • Rebecca Drive Block Watch meeting: the Rebecca Drive Block Watch held its quarterly meeting, on April 9th with about 20 neighbors present at the home of co-captains. Alan Hart talked about several issues affecting the neighborhood and the City, and CSO Mike Miller informed the group on the community's first quarter crime statistics, creative ways to reduce/prevent crime in the area, and made a pitch about this year's National Night Out on August 2nd.
  • CSO's conduct personal safety presentation: CSOs Gail Conelly and Mike Miller conducted a personal safety presentation for the staff at a local addiction clinic on April 13th. The request for the presentation is due to increasing problems with patients who were attempting to verbally and physically intimidate staff, as well as increasing vehicle prowls on the property.
  • Telecare Evaluation & Treatment Facility: The city manager and ass't city manager toured the Telecare mental health crisis program facility on April 14th on the Western State Hospital campus. The Telecare program is a temporary facility that houses persons in crisis, and is leasing space from the State. They require an extended conditional use permit from the City to continue their operation. The program has complied with all City requirements for over a year.
  • 1st Annual Fairy Garden Tea Party: On Saturday, April 9th, the City of Lakewood's Parks, Recreation and Community Services department hosted its first Fairy Garden Tea Party, with a sold out crowd. Each little girl was taken through a fairy transformation where they received wings, wands, crowns and more. After that they were able to enjoy snacks, celebrate with old and new friends and create a beautiful craft. This event was so successful the City is planning a Mad HatterTea Party in the fall and another Fairy Garden Tea Party next spring.
  • Family of 6 relocated: Staff in Human Services with support from Lakewood Area Shelter Association (LASA) successfully relocated a single mother and five children into permanent housing this week. Utilizing grant funds, human services works to relocate qualified families displaced through no fault of their own. This family would have become homeless after they were evacuated from their apartment because of serious building code violations. Relocation assistance ensures low-income, self-sufficient residents do not incur homelessness during times that the City has to shut down complexes due to serious health and safety code violations.
  • April 16 is Parks Appreciation Day: Citizens are encouraged to join in on Saturday, April 16th at the City of Lakewood's 10th Annual Parks Appreciation Day celebration. Projects are planned at Fort Steilacoom Park, Harry Todd Park, Kiwanis Park and Wards Lake Park between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and noon. To register families, service organizations, school or church groups, please call Suzi Riley at (253) 983-7758.
  • 7th Annual Helmets vs. Shields Baseball Game on April 16: Saturday, April 16th is the 7th annual Helmets vs. Shields Charity Basketball Game between West Pierce Fire and Rescue and the Lakewood Police Department. The game will be held at Pierce College, at 9401 Farwest Drive, at 6:00 p.m. This has been a great fundraiser for our two charities and all of the money raised is put right back into the community. Tickets are $5 at the door and children under 5 are free. There will also be a silent auction, a raffle and t-shirts for sale.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/8/2011

April 8, 2011
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • LPD presents the flag at Seattle Mariners' Opening Night game: About 30 members of the Lakewood Police Department, joined by the chief and the city manager, are carrying and presenting the large flag on the field at the opening ceremony of the Mariners' game on April 8th against the Cleveland Indians.
  • Saturday April 16 is Parks Appreciation Day: Citizens are encouraged to join us on Saturday, April 16th at the City of Lakewood's 10th Annual Parks Appreciation Day celebration. Projects are planned at Fort Steilacoom Park, Harry Todd Park, Kiwanis Park and Wards Lake Park between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and noon. This is a regional effort associated with a county-wide Parks Appreciation Day and celebrations of Earth Day, Arbor Day and National Parks Week. Participants should dress appropriately for the weather and bring clearly labeled hand tools from home, including such things as pruners, gloves, rakes, shovels and small pitch forks. Participants will be able to help prepare our local parks for the busy spring/summer seasons and have fun as well. To register families, service organizations, school or church groups, please call Suzi Riley at (253) 983-7758.
  • 7th Annual Helmets vs. Shields Baseball Game on April 16: Saturday, April 16th is the 7th annual Helmets vs. Shields Charity Basketball Game between West Pierce Fire and Rescue and the Lakewood Police Department. The game will be held at Pierce College, at 9401 Farwest Drive, at 6:00 p.m. This has been a great fundraiser for our two charities and all of the money raised is put right back into the community. Tickets are $5 at the door and children under 5 are free. There will also be a silent auction, a raffle and t-shirts for sale.
  • Police Officers participate in Special Olympics "Tip a Cop" Program: On Saturday, March 26th, eight Lakewood police officers participated in the Special Olympics "Tip a Cop" program at the Lakewood Red Robin Restaurant. The officers helped wait tables and serve food, soliciting tips as donations. The officers ended up raising $4,000 for Special Olympics.
  • Ass't city manager presents to APA Federal Planning Conference: Ass't city manager David Bugher is attending the American Planning Association's Federal Planning Division Training Conference this week in Boston to present the region's experience in planning for growth at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He is on a panel with other regional representatives and officials from the Office of Economic Adjustment of the Defense Dept, and costs are covered by the City's OEA grant.
  • Police train JBLM Human Resources staff on self defense: On March 25th, the JBLM Human Resources Office hosted a training session with the Lakewood Police Department on Self Defense. Associates learned how to be aware of their surroundings, how to react, what to say and the importance of the word " NO". In great exchange spirit, McChord had 57 associates attend and stay for the class, while at least 15 more observed. LPD Lt Steve Mauer taught the importance of self awareness and the proper stance. He demonstrated different defense techniques that can be used by anyone to get themselves out of a bad situation. JBLM plans on having more in classes the future.
  • Burglary case resolved: On March 30th, police officers investigating a burglary in the area near Lake Steilacoom found the suspect vehicle at a residence near Fort Steilacoom Park. Investigating officers obtained a search warrant, and recovered a large amount of stolen property linked to at least two burglaries. Meth and heroin was also recovered. Officers also noted several building issues and large amounts of discarded trash piling up in the back yard as well as a number of junk vehicles. Officers called in Building Department staff who posted the house as unsafe to occupy. Code Enforcement directed the property owner to remove the trash and junk vehicles. The owner is currently in the process of cleaning up the property.
  • Homicide Detectives arrest murder suspects: Lakewood Homicide Detectives made two arrests this week in a quick resolution to the murder case that occurred at Wards Lake Park on March 31st. Detectives learned that the victim had been lured to the park by a female, who had planned to rob him of his money with help from her boyfriend. Once the female got the victim to the park, the boyfriend came out of hiding and began to assault the victim with a handgun. The victim fought back and tried to run away, but the boyfriend fired two shots at the victim, who later died from the gunshot wound. The suspects took the victim's money and belongings and fled on foot. Both were arrested and charged with Murder in the 1st degree and Robbery in the 1st degree.
  • Lakewood to host Washington State Archives training session on public and electronic records management: On April 15th, Lakewood is again hosting another Washington State Archives training session on the basics of Public Records Management and Electronic Records Management in the Council Chambers at Lakewood City Hall. These two half-day sessions are designed for state and local government agencies in public records management.
  • City Clerk appointed to IIMC committee: Lakewood's City Clerk was recently appointed to serve on the 2011-2012 International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC) Education and Professional Development Committee. The committee's goals and objectives are to identify resources for existing on-line and on-land educational opportunities, to recommend new online course topics, and to provide feedback on educational concerns such as new trends in education, unmet educational needs and certification celebration models and questions from the membership.
  • Staff to present at Washington Association of Public Records Officers Spring Training in Yakima: On April 13th, Legal/City Clerk and Information Systems staff will be presenting at the Washington Association of Public Records Officers Spring training in Yakima. Staff will be speaking on "Litigation and the Public Records Act - What Happens after They Sue" and the "Nuts and Bolts: Exemption Logs, Records Tracking, Redaction and Other Basics for Public Records Officers."

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/25/2011

March 25, 2011
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Chief meets with U.S. Attorney General: Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar met with Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General, on March 22nd at the AG's invitation to discuss officer safety issues. The chief was joined by several other chiefs at the Justice Department in Washington DC.
  • Wal-Mart Homicide "Mastermind" Convicted: Closing arguments in the trial of the last defendant in the Wal-Mart Homicide case took place on Wednesday March 23rd and a guilty verdict was delivered by a jury the next day. Prosecutors presented their case against Defendant Odies Walker, who they characterized as the "mastermind" behind the planning and execution of the robbery/homicide that took place at the store on June 2nd, 2009. Loomis armored car guard Kurt Husted was murdered during the crime and Wilbert Pena was shot by the same bullet that killed Husted. The shooter, Calvin Finley, pled guilty almost immediately and was sentenced to life in prison. All of the other participants in the crime pled guilty and Walker was the only one to take his case to trial.
  • City manager presents to NW regional city managers conference: The city manager presented a new ICMA video production entitled "Life, Well Run" about professional management of local governments, to the annual regional conference of Washington and Oregon city managers in Stevenson WA on March 24th. Lakewood's city manager is serving as the West Coast Regional Vice President for ICMA (the International City Management Association).
  • Police participate in Basketball Game to Raise Money: On March 23rd, Lakewood Police Officers participated in the 2nd Annual Cops vs. Teachers basketball game at Ferrucci Jr. High in Puyallup. Puyallup PD, Pierce County Sheriff's Department, Tacoma PD, and Lakewood PD all played against the teachers of Ferrucci, and (also for the second year in a row) defeated them soundly. This was a charity event with all donations going to the Mountain View Community Food Banks "Seeds of Change" Program and the Kiwanis Child Cancer Research Project of Seattle.
  • Municipal Court Judge and Probation Officer attend substance abuse program at JBLM: On March 18th, representatives from Lakewood's Municipal Court attended a workshop sponsored by Pierce County District Court and the ASAP (Army Substance Abuse Program) at JBLM. Judges O'Malley and Sussman chaired the meeting with support from JBLM mental health professionals. The purpose of the meeting was to address the special needs of military personnel who present with substance abuse problems. Army staff outlined the ASAP program and discussed how best to provide necessary evaluation and treatment information to the courts. Judges from Tacoma, Roy, and Puyallup also attended.
  • CSRT conduct Police Station Tour for Cub Scout Pack: CSRT staff conducted a tour of the Lakewood Police Station for Cub Scout Pack 289 on March 22nd. The tour included discussion on crime prevention, bicycle safety, and fingerprinting. The Cub Scouts were working on requirements for rank advancement and were able to complete their requirements by coming to the police station for a visit.
  • CSRT Leader attends NW Command College program: Lt. Steve Mauer attended the NW Command College in Vancouver, WA, March 5th - 9th. This program is for law enforcement administrators who have already earned their mid-level management certificate from the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. This class was sponsored by the training commission and the FBI, which sponsors training like this all over the United States. Instruction focused on communication, leadership, and ethics. Forty-three officers from around the state participated.
  • CSRT secures abandoned houses: Within the span of a week, CSRT staff boarded up three houses that were in foreclosure, abandoned, and being vandalized. The team is now equipped to perform limited emergency board-ups that typically involve securing a few simple doors and/or windows. More substantial board-ups may be done by the Public Works Department or by outside contractors that can respond within approximately 48-hours.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/1/2011

April 1, 2011
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Father-Daughter Dance: The Lakewood Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department presented a very successful Father-Daughter Dance on March 19th The theme, "A Night Out at the Circus," brought out over 200 guests to the event, ranging in age from eight months to 80+ years, and a fun time was enjoyed by all with bright colorful decorations, refreshments and dancing. This is the ninth year the City has hosted this event and it continues to be the highlight of the year for many girls and their dads.
  • Class Action Complaint dismissed: On March 31st, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a class action complaint against the City of Lakewood and other municipalities pertaining to their photo enforcement programs. The Ninth Circuit held that the federal district court correctly rejected the plaintiffs' challenges to the camera fine amounts, compensation arrangements and camera infraction notices.
  • Staff demonstrates Lakewood's public disclosure request application at WA Municipal Clerks Conference: On March 24th, City Clerk Alice Bush and NIS Engineer David Tilman demonstrated Lakewood's in-house web based application for tracking and monitoring public records requests at the annual conference of the WA Municipal Clerks Conference in Vancouver, WA. 50-60 municipal clerks attended this concurrent session and many comments were received on the robust nature of the application. Many cities expressed interest in using Lakewood's application for tracking their public disclosure requests, including West Richland, DuPont, Ferndale, Ridgefield, and Riverside, CA. (upcoming President of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks.)
  • Washington State Court of Appeals Decision: On March 29th, the Washington State Court of Appeals issued a published decision in City of Lakewood v David Koenig. Although the court held that the discovery the City sent to requester exceeded the allowed discovery, it nevertheless held that agencies have the right to (1) seek court action against public records act requesters; and (2) held for the first time, the right of agencies to utilize court ordered discovery in public records act cases. Despite the requester's claims for attorneys fees, the court held that because the requester has not yet shown that he is entitled to the records which the City has redacted (driver's license numbers), neither party would be entitled to costs or attorneys fees on appeal. This litigation was handled in house by Matthew Kaser of the City Attorney's Office.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/18/2011

March 18, 2011
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Council to honor Lakes and Clover Park High School Basketball Champions: On March 21st, the Lakewood City Council will take a moment to honor our two high school basketball championship teams at 7pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall. All friends, families, and fans of Clover Park and Lakes High Schools are welcome to attend.
  • Employee of the Quarter awards for Willie Gardner and Svea Pitts: At the quarterly employee recognition reception on March 16th, special recognition for the guiding principle of "Service" was given to Municipal Court specialist Willie Gardner and Police senior office assistant Svea Pitts for their attitude and professionalism in providing service to the organization and the community.
  • Parks and Recreation and Community Services Department Volunteer Support: The parks, recreation and community services department uses many volunteers and partners to support City projects and events. In 2010, the City benefited from almost 12,300 volunteer hours. This included boards and commission members as well as volunteers working at community clean up events and on Eagle Scout projects. When calculated at a rate of $14 per hour (the state standard) the City received over $172,000 in volunteer support, which doesn't include the cash, supplies and in-kind services that come with many of the volunteer groups.
  • EFN honors PD and Chief's wife for "Substantial Collection Effort: The Emergency Food Network presented an award at its March 16th Recognition Breakfast at UPS to the Lakewood Police Department and Cindy Salazar (the Chief's wife) for the exceptional effort associated with the food drive to commemorate the first anniversary of our four fallen officers' death on November 29th. In a few days, over $31,000 was contributed and over 24,000 pounds of food donated to combat hunger in our area.
  • Emergency Management briefing to CPSD: School superintendent Debbie LeBeau hosted a briefing of her leadership team on March 14th regarding emergency management and preparedness. Lt. Steve Maurer, PC DEM rep Marci Scott, and the city manager participated.
  • Puget Sound Energy Upgrade Notices sent to property owners: The Community Development Department recently sent over 670 notices to property owners regarding a proposal by Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to upgrade a segment of their electrical transmission and distribution system between the northerly City boundary behind the B&I shopping center and the existing Gravelly Lake Substation on the southwest corner of Washington Blvd. SW and 83rd Avenue SW. The system will be upgraded from 55kV to 115kV. Property owners along the proposed alignment were notified of the project. The proposed alignment runs along Durango Ave SW, Lakeview Drive SW, 111th and 112th Streets, Gravelly Lake Drive and Washington Boulevard SW. The project will require the issuance of a conditional use permit from the City. The City's hearing examiner will hold a public hearing for the project on April 20, 2011, at 10:30am in the Lakewood City Hall Council Chambers.
  • Lakewood Organization of Concerned and Active Landlords hold monthly meeting: The LOCAL (Lakewood Organization of Concerned and Active Landlords) held its monthly meeting on March 15th. This meeting focused on emergency preparedness. CSO Dawn McGinnis encouraged attendees to enroll in the CERT training, and provided handouts on disaster preparedness checklists and Pierce County Alert program. The LOCAL will be soliciting donations for disaster kits. The emergency kits will be in conjunction with National Night Out. The goal is to provide one kit per apartment/mobile home family, and to continue to add supplies throughout the year. LOCAL landlords/managers will now include the disaster preparedness checklists with their move-in information for new tenants. (To donate supplies, contact CSO Dawn McGinnis at (253) 983-7854.) LOCAL meets every third Tuesday at the Lakewood Police Department at 11:00am - 12:30 p.m.
  • Multiple agencies help clean up house in Tillicum: A house in the Tillicum area which had been the source of several complaints due to a large amount of trash and discarded items piling up in the yard has been brought to a successful conclusion. A joint effort between Code Enforcement, Building Department, Health Department, and Lakewood Police Department, resulted in the trash being removed, an illegally-occupied motor home being removed, and the house which is in foreclosure being posted as unsafe to occupy due to lack of utilities. The house had been an illegal residence to a number of people with criminal backgrounds, who have now moved on.

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