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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 2/19/10

February 19, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Lakewood city manager elected ICMA West Coast Regional VP: The International City Management Association (ICMA) office in Washington DC announced this week the election results for its new executive board. Andrew Neiditz was elected to a three-year term as West Coast Regional Vice President. There were 1,706 ballots received; ICMA has about 4,800 full (voting) members and total membership of about 9,000. Neiditz had been nominated by the board of the Washington State association (WCMA), of which he had been president two years ago. ICMA is the professional and educational organization for chief appointed managers and administrators in local governments around the world. Since 1914, ICMA has provided technical and management assistance, training, and educational resources to its members and the local government community.
  • WSDOT meets with city staff regarding Pt Defiance Bypass Project: The WSDOT secretary's chief of staff, the WSDOT regional administrator, and their senior Rail staff met this week with the Lakewood city manager and senior city staff regarding the Amtrak proposal. Discussion centered on next steps for improved public education and outreach, as well as the upcoming role of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) to review the crossings to be impacted by the proposed Amtrak service. UTC has authority over all crossings, and the City's concern about mitigation (to include grade-separation where appropriate) would be addressed by UTC. The City expressed its opposition to the project as it's currently proposed.
  • Pacific Highway/Ponders temporary closure on March 1st: Public Works delivered letters this week to about 55 business and property owners in the Pac Highway/Ponders area regarding the full two-week closure of the railroad overpass just north of Gravelly Lake Drive, starting on March 1st. The only alternative would have been to partially close the bridge for 4-5 weeks, with one open lane and 24-hour flagging (with a few days of full closure). The Fire Department and a number of businesses agreed that a shorter-term full closure was preferable to the lengthier delays. Detour signage and maps will be posted, and access to all businesses will be available from the Bridgeport end of the road.
  • Senior Activity Center celebrated Valentine's Day with a Red Hot party: The room was filled on February 11th with over 60 people dressed in red and pink for the festive occasion. The Lakewood Senior Activity Center celebrated with friends, enjoyed heart-healthy snacks and had the opportunity to listen to an excellent presentation by Bob Riler from Pierce County Aging and Long Term Care. The afternoon was filled with entertainment, good friends and great food.
  • EDB Strategic Planning: The plan for financial support of the Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board (EDB) over the next five years is underway, and the city manager participated in a survey meeting this week to assess the organization's performance for its public sector partners as well as our future requirements for recruitment, business retention, and marketing. Site selectors, investors, corporate real estate executives, and the companies they represent use the EDB for expertise and resources as they review business options in the Pierce County area. The EDB is a private-public partnership, with support from public agencies including the Port of Tacoma, Pierce County, and the cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, Gig Harbor, Fife, and Lakewood.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 2/12/10

February 12, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Emergency Shelter Training Offered: The Lakewood Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department along with support from the Lakewood Police Department offered emergency shelter training on Saturday, January 30th at Lakewood City Hall. Forty-five people interested in learning how they can support their community during a disaster attended. Topics included an overview of the City’s emergency management system, how the sheltering program works and personal preparedness. Participants were able to tour the mobile shelter support trailer and listen to presentations by representatives of the Washington Community Chaplain Corps, Pierce County Animal Response Team and the Lakewood Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). The City’s Emergency Sheltering Program has been developed over the past three years and was called into action during the January 2009 floods. Additional trainings will be offered throughout 2010. Volunteers are encouraged to contact the City at (253) 983-7758, if they’re interested in supporting emergency sheltering efforts.
  • Council Members attend the AWC Elected Officials Essentials Workshop: Council Members Mary Moss, Mike Brandstetter and Jason Whalen attended the Association of Washington Cities Elected Officials Essentials Workshop on February 12th and 13th in Tacoma. The 1 ½ day workshop gives newly elected officials a strong foundation for starting office and also serves a refresher for current officials who want to sharpen their leadership skills.
  • Tillicum Youth & Family Center visit: The city manager joined other interested citizens in a site visit and open house at the new youth “drop-in” center on February 9th, at the site of the former “Wander In” Tavern in Tillicum. The facility has been operational since last September, and hosts about 35 young people on a daily basis. The program assists with school work and other life skills training, and is providing an important link in a neighborhood somewhat isolated from other community programs. The program is sponsored by the Tacoma area Youth for Christ agency.
  • City manager is speaker at Lakewood Rotary: The city manager presented a “state of the city” update to the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Lakewood on February 12th, with about 100 members in attendance.
  • City staff attends New Year New You Safety Fair: CSO Gail Conelly attended a “New Year New You” safety fair at St. Clare Hospital, for hospital employees. There were 16 vendors and approximately 200 attendees. Information on vehicle prowls, motor vehicles thefts, identity theft and child passenger safety was provided.
  • City staff attends Operation Child ID Event: CSO Conelly attended an Operation Child ID event sponsored by the Criminal Justice Club at Pierce College on February 9th. The event was attended by 50 children and their parents. The parents were provided with an ID kit for each child, containing fingerprint cards, DNA samples, video interviews of their children, and bite impressions for each child. This is an annual event that provides a great service to parents in our community.
  • Council participates in Annual Chamber of Commerce Chili Cook-Off: The Lakewood Chamber’s Annual Chili Cook-Off and Auction took place at the Great American Casino on February 4th. There were 12 teams competing to see who could make the best chili. Although “Team Chili Hall” did their best, the St. Clare Hospital team was chosen the winner. Proceeds from the auction that followed the Cook-Off will be used for the “Business Students of the Year” Scholarship fund.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 1/29/10

January 29, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Staff conducts one night count of homeless in Lakewood: Kim Dodds, our Human Services Coordinator, worked in collaboration with the Lakewood Area Shelter Association to perform the One Night Count of homeless individuals in Lakewood on January 28th. The team went door-to-door throughout Lakewood area motels identifying individuals who have no permanent residence. Over 100 individuals self-reported that they were homeless during this process. Individuals living in motels and on the streets of Lakewood will be combined with others currently living in shelters and in transitional housing to develop a total count of homelessness in Pierce County.
  • HB 2873 regarding house-banked social card game businesses: Councilmember Jason Whelan testified this week at the House Labor and Commerce committee in support of a bill that would authorize cities to limit the card game businesses (mini-casinos) to current number of businesses in the city. The proposed legislation is also supported by the Association of Washington Cities (AWC).
  • AWC Cities Legislative Action Conference: Lakewood participated along with over 300 other representatives from cities around the State in the annual meeting of AWC (Association of Washington Cities) in Olympia on January 27th to interact with State officials and legislators, and to discuss the State budget and the implications for local government. Speakers included the Governor, legislative leaders from both parties, and several key department heads.
  • Public Records 101: The City Manager welcomed over 300 members of the Washington Association of Public Records Officers (WAPRO) at the McGavick Center on January 26 attending a training session on the Public Records Act and electronic records management. Members representing public agencies from cities, counties, State agencies, utility and transit districts, law enforcement, housing authorities and health agencies throughout the State attended this all-day training. City Clerk Alice Bush, WAPRO's President-Elect and Matt Kaser, Associate Attorney participated in presenting this all-day event. Also in attendance were Administrative Assistant Tes Ongoco, Paralegal Rebecca Hendricks and Assistant City Attorney Mike Savage.
  • City attorneys involved in state-wide issues: Assistant City Attorney Matt Kaser, on behalf of the Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys (WSAMA), through the amicus committee, recently co-authored, with Ramsey Ramerman, City of Everett, and Peter Ruffatto, City of Bellingham, a briefing on public disclosure issues to Division II of the Court of Appeals for the State of Washington in Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney's Guild v. Kitsap County v. The Kitsap Sun Newspaper. Last week members of the Legal Department served on planning committees for the upcoming WSAMA Spring Conference. Assistant City Attorney Anita Booker-Hay sits on the Criminal Topics Committee and City Attorney Heidi Wachter and Assistant City Attorney Mike Savage sit on the Civil Topics committee. Heidi Wachter is President of WSAMA.
  • Everett PD and Roadhouse Grill present City with check: On January 25th, the Everett PD and the Roadhouse Grill presented Chief Farrar with a check for $13,400 along with additional checks from individual citizens who attended the Roadhouse Grill fundraiser back in December. Everett PD's mascot, Colby the Crime Prevention Dog, greeted everyone with a high-five as they came out to the lobby and was happy to pose for a group shot. The contribution is intended for the special fund established for the children of our four fallen officers.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 2/5/10

February 5, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Police Accreditation On-Site evaluation: Two assessors from CALEA (the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) conducted an "on-site" review of the Lakewood Police Department over three days last week. The assessors were command staff officers from the police departments in Culpeper VA and the Oakland CA Housing Authority, who had experience conducting numerous evaluations of law enforcement agencies around the nation. The assessors met with over 40 members of the department, toured facilities and the community, and conducted "ride-alongs" in addition to a public hearing. The assessors concluded their site visit with a very positive informal statement of LPD's compliance with about 460 standards that are required for accreditation. Formal reports will follow, and CALEA will award successful candidate agencies who have achieved compliance at their Dallas conference in March. If awarded with accreditation, LPD will be the first agency in Pierce County to achieve that status, and one of only a handful in Washington State.
  • Public Works in line for new road improvement grants: The City is eligible for a portion of about $16.7 million in new fully-funded federal grants for the Pierce County area. Lakewood's projects include Traffic Signal Upgrade ITS-Phase I ($1,000,000), Overlay of Bridgeport Way - Cirque to Steilacoom Blvd ($2.4 million), and Overlay of Steilacoom Blvd - S Tacoma Way to Farwest ($4 million). The awards are subject to final prioritization of the Pierce County Regional Council (PCRC) at their general assembly on February 18th.
  • Parks, Recreation, and Community Services staff retreat: The staff of the newly-restructured department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Services conducted a staff retreat at the Hope Center on February 5th. The purpose of the retreat was to further develop staff working relationships, assimilate the human services program into the department, and to establish action plans for the year ahead. The department includes parks maintenance, recreation services, and the senior activity center, in addition to human services.
  • Sound Transit to work on railroad crossing improvements: Sound Transit's contractor will be working on storm drainage systems at the railroad crossings at 100th, 108th, and Bridgeport later this month as part of the Tacoma-Lakewood Sounder commuter rail service project. This will necessitate lane closures during night hours at all three crossings later this month.
  • Boys & Girls Club CEO introduction: The city manager attended a reception in Lakewood on February 4th to welcome Mark Starnes, the newly appointed chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Tacoma/Pierce County. The City has partnered with the agency on the construction of the Hope Center, adjacent to Lakeview elementary school.
  • Public Service theme of talks to groups of students: The City's transportation engineering manager, Desiree Winkler, and lieutenant of criminal investigations, Heidi Hoffman, joined Mayor Richardson, Councilmember Whalen, and the city manager in speaking engagements on February 3rd at St. Frances Cabrini School. Each grade level was subjected to a short speech about the role of city government and the basis for public service in the community.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 1/22/10

January 22, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Joint Base Lewis McChord Growth Coordination "Kick-off Workshop": The City convened a workshop on January 22nd at CPTC with about 120 participants representing numerous governmental, business, social service, utility, and other entities from around the region in both Pierce and Thurston counties. The mayor, city manager, and Fort Lewis deputy garrison commander were speakers. Experts in various subject areas were present to lead panel discussions on economic impact, education, health, housing, plans and policies, public safety, quality of life, social services, transportation, utilities and infrastructure, and public relations. The process is funded by the City's OEA (Office of Economic Adjustment) grant from the Department of Defense, to plan and coordinate the growth of our two military installations. Dan Penrose, senior planner, is our project manager for the OEA grants.
  • Police Chief testifies at Legislative hearings. Chief Bret Farrar met this past week with two House committees (public safety, and ways & means) regarding law enforcement reforms. The proposed bills relate to bail reform, interstate compact regarding felony offender supervision, and survivor benefits associated with line of duty death of police officers. He was joined by family members of Lakewood's fallen officers.
  • HR director elected as officer of IPMA-HR association: Human Resources Director Debra Young has won election to the board of the local International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR). She will be the Board Secretary for 2010.
  • LPD Officer chosen for National Law Enforcement Accreditation Practices Committee: LPD Officer Jeff Carroll has been asked to serve as one of 10 subject matter experts on national law enforcement accreditation practices. The newly formed ad hoc committee will advise the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) on possible restructuring of the accreditation program in order to offer more credentialing options for agencies in response to increasing demands and financial constraints. The first committee meeting will be next month in Fairfax, VA, for which CALEA will pay all expenses incurred.
  • Pac Highway Groundbreaking: The groundbreaking ceremony on January 20th was successful as the Ponders realignment construction project was officially commenced. The project will improve Pacific Highway from Bridgeport to Gravelly Lake, with a new potential streetscape including curbs, gutter, sidewalks, and bike lanes.
  • Puppy donated to Police: Following the tragic loss of our officers, a German Shepherd Breeder in Tacoma was moved to donate a puppy from a recent litter. The puppy will be housed with Officer Paul Osness until he is mature enough to be tested to see if he is a viable candidate to be a working dog for LPD. He is registered to the AKC as Lakewood Police Department's "The Dance". Officer Osness has chosen to name him "ROGeR", which contains the last name initial of our four fallen.
  • Dock improvements completed at Harry Todd Park: Wind, waves, ice, heat and heavy use have taken their toll on the 30 year old dock at Harry Todd Park. The parks and recreation department had to determine how to extend the life of the dock and make it safe for future users. In the past few months several improvements were made. The center section of the "U" shaped dock was not repairable so it was removed (assisted by the police department's boat), which created two "L" shaped docks. Stronger brackets were added to the corners and new caps were put on the piles to protect them. The old gangways were replaced and additional swim ladders will be installed this spring before swimming season begins. The result is better access for park users, better access for emergency beach response as well as better access for lifeguards patrolling the area in the summer months.Sex Offender Policy Board: The city manager met this week as a member of the Sex Offender Policy Board as the board reviewed its legislative agenda proposing revision on laws coordinating registration requirements between Washington and other states.