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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 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.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 1/8/10

January 8, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • City gets clean state audit: The State Auditor's Office conducted its exit conference on January 7th to conclude its annual audit of the City of Lakewood with no management letters of findings. An unqualified opinion, the highest level of report, will be issued this month, which means the financial statements are presented fairly, in all material respects. The report also concluded that prior audit findings regarding preparation of financial statements were resolved.
  • Lakewood featured in the winter issue of South Sound magazine: The "Loving Lakewood: 10 Things to Fall For" article highlights ten destinations and spotlights local businesses Hess Bakery and Tijuana Taco. A six-page feature on the Falk home on Lake Steilacoom, "Lakewood Repeats," follows (available online at ). The opening reception for the new Design Gallery and Studio at the Colonial Center also gets a mention. Published by Premier Media Group in Tacoma, South Sound has covered home-garden-lifestyles for a broad region since 2007.
  • American Lake Toxic Algae Bloom: There currently is a toxic algae bloom in American Lake. A toxic algae bloom is easily identified by an unusual color or appearance to the water. Usually a bloom makes the lake surface green, giving the appearance of pea soup or green paint, but sometimes the bloom is a different color, such as brown or red. The algae are the small dots in the water. Wind and weather conditions can greatly change the amount and location of algae in the lake. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department recommends that children and pets be kept away from areas that have a heavy concentration of algae, and that citizens do not swim, wade, water-ski, or fish in such areas. The risk to pets is much greater than the risk to people, both due to the smaller body sizes of pets and to a pet being more likely to drink water containing a heavy concentration of algae.
  • Judge Heller's swearing in: Lakewood Municipal Court Judge Ernest Heller was sworn in last month at a special ceremony at the Supreme Court in Olympia. It was the first time the Supreme Court held the event of swearing in Municipal Court Judges, and over 25 Judges were sworn in from around the state. Chief Justice Alexander informed the audience of the importance of Municipal Court Judges due to the high volume of people's lives they impact.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 1/15/10

January 15, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • City Working On Lakewood's 2010 Census Count: The Information Systems and Human Services division of the City of Lakewood are working collaboratively to ensure Lakewood's 2010 Census count is accurate and representative of all citizens in Lakewood. Kimberly Dodds, Human Services Coordinator, met with Lilah Gael of the US Census Bureau on, January 4th to coordinate the City's efforts to promote the 2010 census in Lakewood. Lane DeLarme, Information Systems Manager, spoke briefly at the Tillicum-Woodbrook Neighborhood Association meeting last week to encourage participation in the Census and to answer questions. Both staff met with representatives from the Clover Park School District to identify areas where partnerships exist to effectively get the word out to all families about the importance of filling out and returning their Census forms. An accurate count is critically important to the City in regards to revenue distribution. Any organizations in Lakewood that would like to have a presentation about the census should contact Lane DeLarme at
  • LPD receives Domestic Violence Grant: Lakewood PD received a federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant to fund a position in the Special Assaults Unit (SAU) to work with female victims of domestic violence and stalking in 2010. This will provide a person to work in the DV kiosk at the LPD during the week.
  • Community Mentoring workshop: The city manager attended a community mentoring breakfast in Tacoma on January 14th with representatives of Communities in Schools/Lakewood and Lakewood's Promise. Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen and Superior Court Judge Frank E. Cuthbertson were the featured speakers. A number of City employees are currently mentoring young people in Lakewood.
  • Pac Highway Ponders project groundbreaking: The official groundbreaking for the realignment and improvement of Pacific Highway from Bridgeport to Gravelly Lake Drive will take place on January 20th at 11:30am at 12588 Pac Hwy SW.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 12/18/09

December 18, 2009
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Joint-Base Lewis McChord Growth Coordination Plan: The city manager convened a meeting of key stakeholders on December 10th to form an executive Regional Steering Committee to guide the DoD/OEA-funded (Dept of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment) planning process for growth at and around the military bases. The group includes the Clover Park School Superintendent, the deputy Pierce County Executive, the director of the Thurston Regional Planning Council, the business and trade manager of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, the Lakewood city manager, and the executive policy advisor from the Governor’s office. Fort Lewis was represented by the deputy garrison commander. The goal of the integrated work schedule for the project is the completion of a final plan in late 2010, which will serve as the basis for funding requests for capital improvements.
  • I Corps and Fort Lewis Holiday Reception and Concert: Deputy Mayor Don Anderson and the city manager and their spouses were guests of Acting Commanding General Jeff Mathis at a reception at Bronson Hall on Fort Lewis on December 16th which included community leaders from a number of cities in the area. It was followed by a holiday concert performed by the 56th Army Band and the Navy Northwest Band. The support of the Navy Band was appreciated since about half of the 56th Army Band is currently deployed in Iraq; however, the deployed army musicians participated by video connection and were loudly applauded by the guests.
  • Year-end All Staff employee recognition meeting: The end of the year All Staff meeting on December 16th substituted for the annual employee recognition event. In lieu of awards to individual employees, and the traditional raffle gifts, the management team opted to donate to the fund for the four fallen officers’ families. In place of individual recognition, a slide presentation was shown honoring all departments for the significant accomplishments of 2009.
  • Papa John’s Pizza Donation: Papa John’s Pizza representatives donated a check in the amount of $141,855 raised from their two-day donation of all sales for the families of the four Lakewood Police Officers killed in the line of duty two weeks ago.
  • City Staff participate in Greater Lakes Adopt-a-Family Program: City staff adopted several individuals through the Greater Lakes Mental Health Adopt-a-Family/Individual program. The adopted individuals live either in a group home or on their own and have no family or anyone else to provide them with a Christmas holiday. All of the items on their wish lists were purchased and delivered.