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

March 25, 2011
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 3/18/2011

March 18, 2011
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.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/4/2011

March 4, 2011
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Mayor Emeritus Harrison to give 15TH anniversary of cityhood presentation: During Monday's regular council meeting (March 7th at 7pm in the council chambers), Mayor Emeritus Bill Harrison will give a presentation on what fifteen years of incorporation has meant for Lakewood and will offer his historical perspective. All citizens are welcome. Light refreshments will be served afterwards to commemorate the City's 15-year anniversary.
  • Official dedication of the new West Pierce Fire & Rescue: The city managers of both Lakewood and University Place, along with Deputy Mayor Anderson and Mayor Klosowski, were present on March 4th at the official dedication of the newly consolidated fire department. The new logo of the new agency was unveiled, and a video presentation summarized the combined 140 years of service of both the Lakewood and UP fire departments.
  • Construction Update -- Bridgeport Way Improvement project (Steilacoom Blvd to 83rd St): From March 7th to March 9th, weather permitting, our contractor, Miles Resources, will be performing night work to install underground utilities across Bridgeport Way. During these days, Bridgeport Way from Steilacoom Blvd to Custer Rd will be closed to all thru traffic from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am. Local traffic with no detour option will be allowed access to/from their residence; however, delays should be expected. The link below provides detour information - Custer Rd and Lakewood Dr are the best options. As the project progresses, additional night work closures are anticipated in association with the traffic signal installation at 86th St and the final paving operation. To keep abreast of this project and others visit: .
  • Abatement Update: Contracts have recently been awarded for five property nuisance abatements, with work on all expected to begin within 2-4 weeks. A sixth abatement is currently out to bid. Four abatements are in District One (Tillicum/Woodbrook) and two are in District Six (North Lakewood). These include the last of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program abatements.
  • New roundabout at Murray Rd/150th St: To improve traffic flow at this problematic intersection near JBLM's logistics center gate, the City considered installing either a traffic signal with additional turn lanes or constructing a multi-lane roundabout. In the final analysis, the roundabout option was clearly the more viable option due to a dedication of state property at the southeastern quadrant of the intersection. The roundabout will provide much better traffic flow and will be more reliable and more cost-effective than a new signal. If and when the Cross-Base Highway (SR 704) is constructed, the intersection will be reconfigured. JBLM officials and the Citizens Transportation Advisory Board reviewed the project and it is moving ahead.
  • Police Chief Recognition: On February 28th, Police Chief Bret Farrar was named an "America's Most Wanted All Star" Finalist. Representatives from America's Most Wanted were in Lakewood on March 1st to interview Lakewood police officials and Public Safety Advisory Board Member Kalina Miller, who nominated the chief. One can watch the interviews on America's Most Wanted on March 5th, channel 13, 9 p.m. Voting for finalists runs from April 21st- May 8th.
  • Habitat Update: This week, Habitat for Humanity conducted a fundraiser and luncheon at Tacoma's Hotel Murano attended by Lakewood staff from Community Development, Human Services, Public Works, Police, and Legal departments. During the luncheon, Habitat revealed an interest in building a cottage-housing development consisting of single family homes in the Tillicum neighborhood. Concept drawings were presented. Habitat staff also discussed their intentions to work with partners and further redevelop this part of Lakewood. Jeff Brown, a principal at BCRA, a Lakewood citizen, and a member of the Planning Advisory Board, participated in the program. Special thanks to Kim Dodds, Lakewood's Human Services Coordinator, for her assistance in sponsoring a Lakewood table.
  • Lakewood Bar Safety: CSRT recently hosted a quarterly Lakewood Bar Owners meeting with seven bar owners and two military representatives. The military courtesy patrol program received positive feedback from the owners. A State Liquor Control Board representative also presented information on the new WAC requirements for meal service at liquor establishments. The meeting ended with a short presentation on the "nightlife security" training that is offered by Seattle police officers that can be presented in Lakewood if desired.
  • Military Law Enforcement Outreach: Lt. Steve Mauer attended the quarterly Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board meeting at JBLM (approximately 20 officials from military and law enforcement attended) to discuss regional issues affecting military personnel. The discussion included off-base fights involving military personnel, the over-serving of alcohol at local bars, and the military's courtesy patrol. The issue of "spice," described as "synthetic cannabis," in its effects was also discussed. Spice is not yet illegal in Washington but service-members are strictly prohibited from using it. Stores selling this substance may be placed off-limits to military personnel by the base commander.
  • Graffiti Solutions: The Community Safety Resources Team (CRSRT) recently hosted an interdepartmental meeting with Public Works, Work Crew, Parks and Legal to discuss a recent increase in graffiti. While the policies and procedures are a work in progress, the group agreed to some initial guidelines. These include the City immediately covering graffiti on public property, and quickly notifying the owners of private property responsible for graffiti clean-up. This group will continue to meet regularly to establish uniform graffiti removal and prevention techniques. If any citizen has input or information on those responsible for graffiti, please the CSRT at (253) 589-2489.
  • Senior Activity Center Recognized: The Lakewood Senior Activity Center recently received the "Golden Can Trophy." Life Manor challenged various assisted living facilities, senior centers and other community partners to collect food for the FISH Food Bank. This is first time that the Lakewood Senior Activity Center participated. The Center collected well over 250 pounds of food. The trophy will be proudly displayed at the Center until next year's challenge.
  • 6th Annual Child ID program: CSRT participated in the 6th Annual Child ID program on the Pierce College - Ft. Steilacoom campus on February 14th. The annual event is sponsored by the Pierce College Criminal Justice Club, and provides fingerprinting, dental impressions, DNA swabs and a video of the child to the parents for use in the event of an emergency. This year 78 children were provided with identification kits.
  • Raiders Present "Last Patrol" Print to Council: During the last regular council meeting, Colonel Mike Getchell, the 4-2 Stryker Brigade commander, presented Mayor Richardson with the 42nd copy of a brigade-commissioned print from artist James Dietz, "the Last Patrol" reflecting a scene from the unit's recent deployment to Iraq. A press release with more details and several photos is available at

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/11/2011

March 11, 2011
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • New Online Business Feature Goes Live For Lakewood: On March 14th, the City will launch an online inspection scheduling feature on our website. This tool will allow citizens and contractors to request an inspection for building permits, issued by the City, at any time of day in a matter of minutes. The turnaround time for scheduling inspections will remain the same as requests received from the current phone message line. The number for requesting inspections will still be available and can be dialed at (253) 512-2266; questions should be directed to the Community Development Department at (253) 512-2261. The online feature will be available through this link: /departments/community-development/inspection-request.html .
  • WAPRO launches website: The Washington Association of Public Records Officers (WAPRO), a non-profit association founded to provide education and a forum to public disclosure practitioners on the requirements of the Washington State Public Records Act, is pleased to announce the official launch of its website. Alice Bush, City Clerk currently serves as the President of the WAPRO Organization.
  • JBLM Growth Coordination Plan presented to Tacoma City Council: The city manager and senior planner Dan Penrose presented the recently-completed JBLM plan at a study session of the Tacoma Council on March 8th, and answered questions about transportation and housing. The City of Tacoma has participated in the planning process, along with other cities in the area and Pierce and Thurston counties.
  • Paralegal accepted into Law Clerk Program: Paralegal Rebecca Hendricks was accepted and began study this month in the Washington State Bar Association’s Rule 6 Law Clerk Program. Assistant City Attorney Mike Savage will serve as her tutor. This four-year program provides for an alternative legal education. Successful completion of the program meets the educational requirement to take the Washington State Bar Exam.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 2/25/2011

February 25, 2011
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Refuse rate increase: On March 1st, the City refuse service rates will increase. The rate increases are associated with the annual automatic cost adjustment provisions contained within the City's contract with our refuse service provider. The automatic adjusters relate to 1) the yearly change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for our area and 2) any change in the tipping fee at the land fill. While this year the CPI was relatively tame at 0.294%, the tipping was not as it went up $10.35/ton which represents a 9.16% increase. Because the tipping fee, however, is only a component of the residential customer service charge, the net combined effect of both these increases to our residential customer is 3.862%. In terms of actual monthly dollar increase, it's $1.11 to a residential customer with weekly pick up service of a 65 gallon toter with recycling.
  • Chief Farrar nominated for America's Most Wanted All Star for 2011: Chief Bret Farrar has been nominated for the America's Most Wanted All Star Award for 2011. America's Most Wanted (AMW) All Star Award is a yearly contest that recognizes first responders (i.e. Law enforcement, fire, EMT or rescue personnel). The AMW contest lasts for eight weeks. Visitors to the AMW website can vote for an Official Nominee that they believe exemplifies the All-Star Qualities. Chief Farrar is currently up against 40 nominees. Voting continues until April 10th. If Chief Farrar advances to the final round, he will be up against 7 others nominees (total of 8 finalists) to win the All-Star round. Voting for the All Star Round commences April 21st and ends May 8th. Please vote for Chief Farrar on the AMW website at
  • 2010 Census Data released: The US Census Bureau released the local level data for the 2010 Census on Wednesday. Lakewood's population on April 1st, 2010, according to the Census Bureau was 58,163. This is lower than Lakewood's April 1, 2000 Census of 58,211, but higher than the July 1, 2009 Census Bureau estimate of 57,710.