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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 5/7/10

May 7, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • WUTC Hearing on Railroad Crossings: The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) will hold a public comment hearing regarding the proposed modifications and upgrades to the railroad crossings at Clover Creek Drive SW, North Thorne Lane SW, and Berkeley Street SW, in Lakewood, and at Barksdale Avenue in DuPont. The hearing begins at 6:30 PM, Monday, June 7, 2010, at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom in the Health Education Center, 9401 Farwest Drive SW, in Lakewood. The hearing will focus on public safety requirements associated with the anticipated increase in train frequency and speed at theses crossings. Comments about safety, such as upgrades to the warning signals and devices, will be most helpful.
  • Building Permit Valuation: New building permit valuation from January through April, totaled $16,803,517. Over the past four months, building activity has remained fairly steady.
  • Shoreline Master Plan Update Kick-Off Meeting: The Shoreline Master Plan Update Kick-Off Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 18th, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Clover Park High School Performing Arts Center, 11023 Gravelly Lake Drive SW, in Lakewood. The Washington State Shoreline Management Act (SMA) requires the City of Lakewood to update its current Shoreline Master Plan Program (SMP). The SMP will be used to set policy and establish regulations for development of shoreline areas. For further information, please visit the city's website at Questions can be directed to Senior Planner Marc Amrine of the Community Development Dept. (253) 512-2261, ext. 7753.
  • Courtroom Testimony 101: On April 20th, the City's Legal Department and City Clerk's Office hosted a Courtroom Testimony 101 class to local loss prevention and security specialists. The class provided an overview for court room testimony, discussed pre-trial motions and court room etiquette and included discussion about legal charging standards. A few local businesses have asked if the Legal Department would be willing to provide on-sight training for employees that may have to provide testimony in court.
  • Police Unity Tour: The Police Unity Tour is a benefit bicycle ride intended to honor fallen officers across the country. Money raised by riders benefits the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Museum. Four LPD Officers - Sgt's Mark Eakes and John Fraser, and Officers Charles Porche and Michelle Hector will be riding for the first time this year in honor of our fallen four officers. It is also the first time any Washington State officers have participated in this event. They leave on May 7th for New Jersey, where they will begin their ride. The ride is over four days, and covers 320 miles to Washington, D.C., where the riders will participate in next week's police memorial there.
  • Pierce County Law Enforcement Memorial Service: Asst Chief Mike Zaro made welcoming remarks at the Pierce County Law Enforcement Memorial service held on May 6th at the Church For All Nations on 112th St E in Parkland. Members of the LPD Honor Guard participated as well, with the mayor and city manager in attendance.
  • Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial: The Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial service is being held in Olympia on May 7th. The Governor will be in attendance, Asst Chief Zaro will say a few words, and Mayor Richardson will be the emcee.
  • Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County's "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" fundraiser: LPD Special Assault Unit members Sgt Thom Stewart, Detectives Brent Eggleston, Darin Sale, Martin Knott, Chris Westby, Kim Holmes and Officer Michelle Hector joined CSRT Leader Lt. Steve Mauer for the Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County's (SACPC) "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" fundraiser. The males all donned women's shoes and walked a mile along Pacific Ave in Tacoma with over 200 other men. They helped raise over $40,000 for SACPC to continue to provide vital services to victims of sexual assault in Pierce County.
  • City Staff visit Bellevue to learn about social media: Communications Director Jeff Brewster and Assistant City Attorney/CSRT Counsel Mike Savage visited the City of Bellevue on April 22nd to obtain information on how Bellevue utilizes various social media outlets. The City of Bellevue is on the cutting edge in its use of Facebook and other social media, and provided Lakewood with guidance on marketing strategies and policies and procedures regarding usage. This information, combined with other research, will allow Lakewood to successfully incorporate social media into our community and government relations.
  • Springbrook Neighborhood Clean Up: CSRT member Gail Conelly participated in a neighborhood clean up in the Springbrook Neighborhood on Saturday, May 1st, organized by John Ruze, Vice-President of the Pacific Neighborhood Association and owner of Truaire apartments. The neighborhood clean-ups are scheduled for the first Saturday of every month, meeting at 8am in front of the Garden Park Apartments. All residents, managers and owners in the Pacific Neighborhood Association are encouraged to attend and help out.
  • Boy Scout Troop assisted in obtaining Fingerprint Merit Badge: CSRT member Gail Conelly assisted the new members of Boy Scout Troop 51 in obtaining their Fingerprint Merit Badge. There were 14 boys and 6 adults in attendance. Covered was a brief history of fingerprinting; the difference between civil and criminal identification; the difference between automated fingerprint identification systems and biometric fingerprint systems; along with learning about the two basic principles supporting the science of fingerprints and what it takes to positively identify a person using fingerprints. Each of the boys was then able to be fingerprinted, and to explain their fingerprint pattern (loop, whorl, arch).
  • CSRT member initiates abatement action against property on South Tacoma Way: CSRT member Doug Price initiated a dangerous building abatement action against the property located at 8414 South Tacoma Way. This large commercial building was destroyed by fire in January. The owners are no longer in contact with the City and are no longer making progress toward cleaning up the property. The property has become unsecured and is now a dumping ground. Upon issuance of the abatement order, the owners will have 30 days to appeal or secure the property and apply for demolition permits. If they do not comply, the City will proceed to abate the property.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/30/10

April 30, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Boating Safety Reminder: Effective January 1st, all boaters 30 years old or younger are required to have a boaters education card on their person while operating a boat or other motorized water craft with a motor larger than 15 hp.
  • Staff attends 2010 Real Estate and Land Use Seminar: Assistant City Attorney/CSRT Counsel Mike Savage, Associate Planner Beth Jorgenson and Assistant Planner Nadine Mitsch attended the 2010 Real Estate and Land Use Seminar presented by the respected Seattle law firm of Foster Pepper. Topics included updates on land use case law, legislation, regional transportation, water rights, and the impact of the economy on real estate assets and development. This knowledge will help keep the City ahead of the curve on the merging of real estate and development issues.
  • CSRTand Work Crew police shopping carts: Due to the large number of shopping carts being left on public right-of-away and empty lots, CSRT members Dawn McGinnis and Lt. Steve Mauer enlisted the assistance of the Lakewood Municipal Court Work Crew Program supervised by Wes Morrisette. Due to the coordination between CSRT and Lakewood Municipal Court, the work crew is now on the lookout for stray shopping carts and when found they are loaded up and delivered back to where they belong. This effort by the work crew helps to reduce the unsightly blight caused by these carts and also reduces the potential for injury to children who may want to play with the abandoned shopping carts.
  • Parks Appreciation Day a Success: The City's 9th annual Parks Appreciation Day on April 24th was supported by about 340 volunteers, who worked at Fort Steilacoom Park, American Lake Park, Wards Lake Park, and the blueberry fields. Their accomplishments included the spreading of 70 yards of playground chips, 30 yards of trail chips, 20 yards of gravel, and 12 yards of wood mulch in flowerbeds. They installed a 130-ft block wall, two park benches, 45 feet of sidewalk, and 45 grave markers, as well as one water faucet and one barbeque. They removed 40 yards of blackberries, 20 yards of scotch broom, and 10 yards of trash. They also planted 750 annual flowers.
  • CSRT attends first Pacific/Springbrook Neighborhood Association Meeting: CSO Gail Conelly attended the first Pacific/Springbrook Neighborhood Association Board meeting on April 27th, as they discussed their mission statement, by-laws, and goals for the upcoming year. This is a new association, with all new Board members, who are very excited to make a difference in the community in which they live. The Board meetings will be held monthly on the last Tuesday, with the exception being the months that the quarterly Neighborhood Association meeting is held.
  • Graffiti removed -Greater Lakes Mental Health/Seeley Lake Lodge: A complaint was reported to the CSRT regarding excessive graffiti on the walls behind the Greater Lakes Mental Health/Seeley Lake Lodge, which is directly behind the Senior Center on the same property on Lakewood Dr SW. Pictures were taken and forwarded to the LPD Gang Unit. Team members contacted staff at the office and the facility maintenance person. A local church group had already been scheduled to do the actual painting during the coming weekend. The graffiti had been painted over as of April 27th.
  • Civic Design Award "Jury" includes city manager: The AIA (American Institute of Architects) Washington Council convened a three-member "jury" on April 29th to deliberate over 35 civic projects completed this year in Washington to determine which ones would be awarded the Honor, Merit, or Citation awards. The Lakewood city manager was appointed to the "jury", along with a professor of architecture from both UW and WSU. The projects include a number of city halls, public safety buildings, college facilities, and other public buildings.
  • CSRT staff attends one day seminar: CSRT member Sandi Stauffer attended a one-day seminar, "Managing Angry and Intimidating People" on April 23rd. This class is designed to assist employees in dealing with people who are upset and threatening. Some of the tips included verbal skills, basic self defense and positioning strategies. CSO Stauffer learned these and other methods that will assist her in interactions with the sometimes hostile violators she comes into contact with.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/16/10

April 16, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Lakewood Sub-Chapter of AUSA operational: The Lakewood Sub-Chapter of the Fort Lewis Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Chapter recently formed and is looking for new members. This group was created to support Lakewood's "Community Connector," the 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team and to support local veterans. The sub-chapter is composed of active, reserve, and retired military, local businesses, the City of Lakewood, and friends of the Army. If you'd like to get involved, please consider attending their next general membership meeting on June 9th at 4pm at Lakewood's Burs Restaurant at 6151 Steilacoom Blvd SW. Call Richard Wall at 984-1523 with questions.
  • Gravelly Lake Drive Closure/Detour Update: Due to scheduling issues associated with the relocation of other utilities that lay in the path of the City's sewer construction work on Gravelly Lake Drive, the City's contractor (NW Cascade) has deferred starting that work which was originally scheduled for Monday April 19th to Monday April 26th. Accordingly, Gravelly Lake Drive between Pacific Highway and I-5 will remain open to traffic through next week. Beginning on Monday, April 26th at 8:00 PM Gravelly Lake Drive between I-5 and Pacific Highway will be closed to traffic. The closures will be restricted to night time hours between 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM and will continuing for up to 6 work days, depending on weather. Signs and detours will be posted on I-5, Gravelly Lake Drive, and Pacific Highway. Local businesses have been notified of this change.
  • Robber Caught: On Tuesday in Woodbrook, LPD arrested the man sought by both LPD and Tacoma for robbing stores at knife point in the past two weeks. Detectives got a Crime Stoppers tip which led them to his location.
  • Community Safety & Resources Team (CSRT) presentation on Code Enforcement: CSRT team member Randy Richards gave a presentation at the Crime Free Housing Seminar on April 6th at the Police Department, with over30 apartment owners and managers and mobile home park owners/managers were in attendance. The presentation covered various private property topics such as adequate garbage service, abandoned vehicles, graffiti removal, identification of dilapidated buildings for abatement, business license procedures, sign permits as defined in the municipal sign code, and general issues of property maintenance.
  • CSRT responds to Abandoned House Clean-Up: CSRT team members Randy Richards and Dawn McGinnis responded to a complaint of a large pile of rotting garbage, furniture and debris sitting in the driveway of an abandoned house. The former occupants were believed to have moved out, possibly the result of an eviction. Household trash bags were stacked around the mailbox blocking citizen passage on the sidewalk in the public right-of-way. The complainants stated that animals were tearing apart the trash bags and scattering the remains throughout neighboring properties. Various unidentified people were stopping by the property during all hours of the day and night, trespassing and removing articles from the pile. The property stands adjacent to a main arterial highly visible to citizens passing by. The CSRT team was able to quickly secure the house and remove the trash off of the sidewalk allowing safe passage by pedestrians and cyclists. Through the joint cooperation of the State Corrections Dept and Lakewood work crews, the trash was removed.
  • Senior Safety Meeting: CSRT team member Dawn McGinnis provided a Senior Safety Meeting for the tenants of one of Lakewood's senior citizen apartment complexes. This meeting was at the request of several concerned tenants after multiple thefts at the property. The on-site manager worked with CSRT staff to coordinate the event; 35 tenants attended the meeting as well as management. Tips were presented on staying safe, how and when to call 911, and how to store valuables; tenants were provided written materials and contact information for City staff.
  • WRPA annual conference in Tacoma: Mary Dodsworth, Dennis Higashiyama, Amanda Richardson and Scott Williams of Lakewood's department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Services attended the Washington Recreation and Park Association (WRPA) Annual Conference this week at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. Session topics during the conference focused on Cultural Arts and Heritage, Nature and the Environment, Health and Wellness, and Economic Development. Mary Dodsworth, Lakewood's department director and immediate past-president of the state organization, presented awards for the most outstanding park projects completed in Washington State over the past two years. Lakewood's Hill Ward Memorial project in Fort Steilacoom Park was ranked extremely high during the review process.
  • City of Lakewood now on Facebook: The City launched a Facebook page earlier this week, and within the first 24 hours had gained 100 fans. Find us at "City of Lakewood, Washington." There is a page using the name "City of Lakewood, WA" that is not affiliated with the City but is rather a real estate company impersonating the City. They have been asked to modify their name and indicated they would. City staff will use Facebook to provide updates on events, projects, and other matters of general public interest. Interested citizens are welcome to follow us on Facebook.
  • Metro SWAT Officers attend SniperWeek: This past week, three officers from Metro SWAT attended SniperWeek 2010 in Florida. SniperWeek is four-day professional development event in this specialized field, consisting of a conference and a competitive live-fire training event. The conference included discussions on functional fitness, malfunctions, special application/large caliber sniper weapons, rifle maintenance and repair issues, IED and booby-trap recognition and several debriefs by snipers regarding shootings they were involved in. There were 44 teams participating this year, a noticeable increase from 2009; the other teams included local, state and federal law enforcement, police officers from foreign countries and several teams of military sniper instructors. All of the courses of fire are based on actual police sniper shootings, or problems those officers had to overcome in order to save a life. Our Lakewood officer and a Bonney Lake officer ranked 5th place, while the Metro/Tac-30 team ranked 25th, a solid performance for two first-time attendees.
  • "Batter Up": The City will partner with the Lakewood Baseball Club during the spring baseball season as the baseball fields at Fort Steilacoom Park come alive with the sound of "Batter Up!" The local club holds its Jamboree games on Saturday April 17th on all four of the FSP fields.
  • April 24 is Parks Appreciation Day: Citizens are encouraged to join us on Saturday, April 24th at the City of Lakewood's 8th annual Parks Appreciation Day celebration. Projects are planned at Fort Steilacoom Park, American Lake Park, the city's Blue Berry Fields 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, with clearly-labeled hand tools from home, including such things as pruners, gloves, rakes, shovels, 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.
  • Major Construction Projects on I-5 between Lacey and Tacoma: The Washington State DOT has advised travelers to expect major delays on upcoming weekends during evening and morning hours. Most start times begin at 7pm for various lane closures and run through the morning - sometimes until noon. The best source for information before you plan any trips is the following WSDOT website:

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/23/10

April 23, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Police Promotions: Andrew Gildehaus was promoted to Sergeant and Jeff Alwine to Lieutenant on April 16, 2010.
  • April 24 is Parks Appreciation Day: Citizens are encouraged to join us on Saturday, April 24th at the City of Lakewood's 8th annual Parks Appreciation Day celebration. Projects are planned at Fort Steilacoom Park, American Lake Park, the city's Blue Berry Fields and Wards Lake Park, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and noon.
  • Amtrak Project Open House on May 17th: Residents and businesses are encouraged to learn more about the proposed Point Defiance Bypass rail project by attending an informational open house sponsored by WSDOT on Monday, May 17th from 4-7 p.m. The event will be held in Lakewood at Clover Park Technical College's Rotunda Building (entrance off of Steilacoom Blvd). Those attending can view maps and other displays concerning the project, talk with WSDOT rail division staff, and provide comments.
  • Communications Director to attend National Security Issues Seminar: Communications Director Jeff Brewster, in his Army Reserve status, will be attending the Reserve Component National Security Issues Seminar in Arlington VA later this month. The seminar is presented by the Army War College and is described as a "short version of the war college experience." It is an intensive one-week seminar for selected Reserve Component officers, who are also community leaders, which focuses on contemporary geopolitical issues, the process involved in national security decision-making, and current strategy for meeting U.S. defense needs.
  • LPD sponsors Rape Aggression Defense class: Lakewood Police Department sponsored Rape Aggression Defense (RAD), a self-defense class specifically designed for women. This class is over 12 hours of instruction over four evenings, and is provided at no cost to participants. The current session concluded on April 22nd, with 15 students participating. Instructors for this class include Correne Buck, Dawn McGinnis, and Lt Steve Mauer of LPD and UW police officer Pat Gilbert.
  • CSRT Staff Conduct Graffiti Clean Up In Springbrook Neighborhood: Due to the large amounts of graffiti being observed in District 2, on April 2nd, CSRT members Gail Conelly and Mike Miller conducted a graffiti clean up emphasis in the Springbrook neighborhood. Graffiti was cleaned up off of numerous fences and utility boxes throughout the neighborhood. The area was once again tagged by an incoming gang who is trying to claim the neighborhood as their turf. CSRT covered the graffiti, and contacted the Neighborhood Association to help out. The Pacific/Springbrook Neighborhood Association members are in the process of gathering donated supplies to keep on top of cleaning up the graffiti on their properties as it occurs. In addition, the members are volunteering to help other residents clean up the graffiti on their property, keeping the neighborhood clean and free from graffiti.
  • Litter Clean Up Day by CSRT Staff and Pacific/Springbrook Neighborhood Association: On Saturday, April 3rd, CSRT members Gail Conelly and Doug Price participated in a litter clean up day with the leadership of the Pacific/Springbrook Neighborhood Association. Several bags of litter were picked up throughout the neighborhood. The event was organized by association vice-president John Ruze. The first Saturday of every month was selected as the day for the neighborhood to get together to clean up litter.
  • LPD attends National Tactical Officers Association Class: SWAT Team supervisor Lt Steve Mauer spent the week in a National Tactical Officers Association SWAT supervision and command decision-making class, designed to help SWAT supervisors prepare for collateral duty.
  • WSDOT cancels northbound I-5 closure from concrete panel project: WSDOT is canceling a previously scheduled full closure of northbound I-5 and is planning weather-dependent lane restrictions in Lacey and Lakewood April 23-25. Nearly three weeks have passed since WSDOT and contractor Penhall Company began rehabilitating 25.5 lane miles of concrete between in Thurston and Pierce counties. So far, crews have replaced 85 of 295 concrete panels and 3,018 of 56,700 dowel bars on the project. Southbound I-5 motorists in Lakewood can expect triple-lane closures from 7 p.m. Saturday, April 24 to 8 a.m. Sunday, April 25 between 48th Street and Gravelly Lake Drive. Drivers can expect delays during construction and should either adjust their travel times or avoid the impacted areas of I-5 during work hours. While WSDOT schedules high-impact construction at night - when traffic volumes are lower - the best times to travel northbound I-5 in Lacey and southbound I-5 in Lakewood this weekend are Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Drivers can stay informed about this project, visit the online construction schedule and watch the progress by visiting
  • Country Club thanks City for construction process: The Tacoma Country & Golf Club monthly newsletter featured the president's message with thanks to the City and PSE and their contractors for completing the utility project on schedule and with the minimal possible impact to their course. The message stated also that because of our "timely and conscientious effort", they were able to start planting trees and restoring the course last month.
  • Clover Park Rotary donated roses to Lakewood Police: On April 21st, Clover Park Rotary brought in 150 dozen roses which had been donated by the citizens of Lakewood. Every year, the Clover Park Rotary has a rose sale for Administrative Professional's Day and every year they chose an organization or group who they ask the community to donate roses to. This year they chose the Lakewood Police Department.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 4/9/10

April 9, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • 100th Street SW Traffic Delays starting April 17th: Sound Transit's contractor, Railworks/Merlino Construction will install a "sanitary sewer force main casing extension" on 100th Street - east of the railroad tracks over the weekend of April 17th. The road will remain open, but will be reduced to one lane eastbound. The work should be completed by Sunday afternoon. The contractor will be notifying adjacent businesses.
  • Gravelly Lake Drive Closure and Detour starting April 19th: The City's sewer contractor, NW Cascade will be closing Gravelly Lake Drive, just south of Pacific Highway to the railroad crossing overpass (I-5) to install sanitary sewer force main. The closures will be limited to night work between 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM starting Monday night, April 19, and continuing for up to 6 work days, depending on weather. Signs and detours will be posted on I-5, Gravelly Lake Drive, and Pacific Highway. Local businesses have been notified.
  • Draft Wards Lake Park Master Plan: The City is continuing development of a master plan for the 22-acre Wards Lake Park. Public meetings over the last month have shaped the proposed design and have been attended by neighborhood residents, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) members, and City staff. Staff will present a draft master plan design on Thursday, April 22, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers. The public is again encouraged to attend and participate. If you have questions, please call (253) 983-7758.
  • Building Permit Activity: For March, 2010, the building division issued 117 building permits totaling 9.4 million dollars in estimated valuation.
  • Meeting with Korean Building Contractors: The City conducted its fourth workshop with local Korean contractors. Topics included licensing, bonding, insurance requirements, and making application for small works rosters. The workshop was well attended.
  • Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Abatement and Redevelopment Program: City staff recently met with representatives from the Washington State Department of Commerce to review the City's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Abatement and Redevelopment Program. The City identified program impediments and State Commerce staff seemed amenable to reviewing current policies. The State indicated the City was "fully committed" and was meeting required deadlines. In addition, Commerce staff stated the City's abatement program was "far ahead" of other cities with regard to abatement processes and procedures. On a similar note, HUD recently revised its definition of "abandoned" and "foreclosed" properties that will enable the City to more easily apply funds throughout Lakewood.
  • CSRT Initiates Parking Patrols In Tillicum: CSRT initiated special parking violator emphasis patrols in Tillicum due to a high volume of citizen complaints about people parking in "no parking" zones and on sidewalks. Six citations have been issued so far and one unauthorized vehicle was towed.
  • CSRT, Tillicum And Neighborhood Associations Working Together: Through the encouragement of the CSRT, the Tillicum and Lake City Neighborhood Associations are working together to identify and create joint neighborhood projects; this same cooperation will be encouraged in other districts as well.
  • Upcoming Events To Honor Fallen Officers: The Tacoma Rainiers are hosting a special evening of baseball this Saturday, April 10th at 7 p.m. called "S.H.I.E.L.D Night" to honor Lakewood's four fallen police officers. In addition, the Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial Ball will be held on Saturday, April 10th beginning at 3 p.m. Both events promise to be enjoyable and inspirational. Proceeds from the baseball game will be donated to the Lakewood Police Independent Guild's charity and proceeds from the Memorial Ball will be directed to the "Behind the Badge Foundation" which supports families of fallen police officers.