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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.


City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 12/11/09

December 11, 2009
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Community support for Lakewood officers: The City of Lakewood honored our fallen officers --Mark Renninger, Greg Richards, Tina Griswold, and Ronald Owens -- at a memorial service on December 8th in the Tacoma Dome. We were joined by thousands of law enforcement and public safety officers from around the nation and Canada. The community throughout the area and the region has outreached to us with tremendous support. The fund established by Lakewood's police guild to assist the children of the four fallen officers' families is well on its way to reaching its $1.5 million goal. Citizens are encouraged to contribute directly on-line at or by mailing a check to the Lakewood Police Independent Guild at the police station or at the address on their website. The strong community support for our police department is instrumental to our ability to carry on and do our public duty.
  • Tillicum/Woodbrook Sewer Project Phase II bidding: Public Works will advertise for bids on December 15th for the construction of the Woodbrook/Tillicum Sanitary Sewer project Phase II with bid opening scheduled for January 5th. This project is the missing link that connects the sanitary sewer system presently being constructed in the Woodbrook/Tillicum area to the County's system on Pac Highway in the Ponders areas. The completion date of this project is anticipated to be June 30, 2010 which coincides with the July/August anticipated completion date of the earlier phase. With the completion of both these projects, the Woodbrook/Tillicum sewer system will be potentially operational. The timing of its actual operation, however, will depend upon the City's ability to secure sufficient connections from the abutting properties to meet the minimum sewerage flow necessary for system functionality.
  • New councilmembers' orientation: The city manager and senior staff met with newly-elected city councilmembers Jason Whelan, Mary Moss, and Mike Brandstetter on December 11th to present basic information about the City organization and operations. Topics covered included general overview, council-manager gov't structure, communications, meeting logistics, legal overview, budget and revenue picture, public safety operations, and development issues. The new members will be sworn in on January 4th, along with recently re-elected Doug Richardson.
  • Orientation for three new CTAC members: The city manager, city attorney, and public works director met with three newly-appointed members of the Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee on December 1st to provide an overview of public works priorities and the committee work plan for 2010.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 11/20/09

November 20, 2009
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Lakewood Municipal Court hosts Pierce County Regional Court Management Meeting: Lakewood Municipal Court director Kathy Westerdahl and senior court specialist Deana Wright hosted a Pierce County Regional Court Management Meeting in Lakewood City Hall on November 17th. Issues discussed included Mutual Uniformed Interpreter Payment Agreements. Currently, interpreters have no state guidelines and can charge what the market will bear. The intent is to reduce costs and control ever-increasing interpreter fees. An Interpreters Forum will be scheduled after the first of the year for Court Management and Interpreters to meet as we roll out this change in fee payment. Attending in addition to court management was our Jury Liaison from the Office of the Administrator of the Courts. Also discussed were budget impacts affecting all courts in the state and innovative methods different courts are using to address them. This is the second regional meeting that Lakewood has hosted.
  • HR Director assists with Public Employer Labor Relations Program: Lakewood human resources director (and WAPELRA boardmember) Debra Young assisted with facilitating the Winter Program for Washington Public Employer Labor Relations Association (WAPELRA) in Issaquah on November 13th. Topics included Working Green, Labor Relations Sharing, and Innovations in Human Resources. HR staff from Western Washington attended.
  • Staff to attend 2010 Census Complete Count Committee Conference: The City's human services coordinator and IS (Info Systems) manager participated at the 2010 Census Complete Count Committee conference in Spokane on November 13th. The focus of the conference was to provide increased opportunities for learning from other communities on how to effectively reach "hard to count" communities/pockets of individuals that traditionally do not complete their census materials. Earlier this year, both employees worked together to form a Complete Count Committee in Lakewood comprised of non-profit providers who helped create a plan for disseminating information about the importance of completing the 2010 Census. This same team applied for and received a grant to create T-shirts in English and Spanish for distribution at events in an effort to bring the Census logo into areas not traditionally reached. Information on the census effort is available on the City of Lakewood website at /community.html.
  • 100 Thanksgiving meals to be provided by Police partnering with Great American Casino: CSO Dawn McGinnis, on behalf of the LPIG Charity as the Procurement Director, is partnering with the Great American Casino to provide 100 Thanksgiving meals to Lakewood families in need. LPD Command Staff supplied four turkeys toward the effort and Great American Casino is providing all the side dishes and doing all the cooking. The NPO/CSO unit identified the families who will receive the meals and they will also be delivering them on November 25th. 100 families in Lakewood will be able to enjoy a wonderful meal that otherwise would not have been possible.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 12/4/09

December 4, 2009
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Strong community and regional support for Lakewood: As the City of Lakewood prepares to honor our fallen officers --Mark Renninger, Greg Richards, Tina Griswold, and Ronald Owens -- at the December 8th memorial service, the community has outreached to us with tremendous support. The law enforcement community around the region and nationally has stepped forward to support Lakewood. Police officers as well as city employees from other jurisdictions will assist Lakewood operations during the memorial service.
  • Christmas Tree Lighting: The City's annual Christmas tree lighting took place on December 4th at City Hall, with Mayor Richardson officiating. Alex Heyward, daughter of 4/2 Stryker Brigade Cavalry Squad Commander Heyward and his wife Whitney, successfully pulled the switch lighting the blue lights on the tree. Music was provided by the Lakes High School Choir, the Mann Middle School Choir, and the Lakewood Community Orchestra.
  • Union Ave Sewer Construction Community Meeting: Public Works held a community meeting on December 3rd at the Galloping Gertie's restaurant in Tillicum regarding the sewer construction work on Union Avenue and a portion of Berkeley. All the property owners and/or businesses along Union from Berkeley to Maple and along Berkeley from Union to Washington were notified of the meeting. About 25 people were in attendance. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss with the property/business owners this phase of the construction as it will be disruptive. To minimize its impact on the businesses, the mainline sewer work will be constructed at night (7 PM to 6 AM). In addition, through the contractor's willingness to bring in additional crews, the anticipated three month construction schedule for this work has been compressed down to about six weeks. During the day, the road will be reopened for the businesses. The participants seemed appreciative of the City's effort to minimize the negative impacts.
  • Lake Steilacoom algae advisory lifted: The City has been advised that the Tacoma-Pierce Health Department has lifted its Toxic Algae Advisory for Steilacoom Lake.
  • PSRC grant presentation for Woodbrook intersection: The City made a presentation on December 2nd to the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) in Seattle for potential Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant funding of the Murray Rd and 150th St Intersection Widening & Signalization project in Woodbrook. The City is seeking a $500,000 EDA grant for its $1,000,000 intersection improvement project. The City competed against four other projects, and a King County project was ranked first. Our presentation ranked a close second place and we were encouraged to continue to pursue the EDA funding.
  • University Place City Council presentation on Lakewood municipal court contract: The city attorney and city manager met with the UP City Council on November 30th to answer questions about the proposed contract to provide court services to University Place starting in 2011. The UP City Council spoke in positive terms about the service components of the agreement, and unanimously approved the contract, pending action by the Lakewood City Council.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 11/13/09

November 13, 2009
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Tillicum Centennial "Thursday Night Live at Tillie's": The Tillicum community hosed a special event on November 12th to raise funds for the upcoming Centennial celebration in August 2010. About 200 people bought tickets and attended a dinner with live entertainment by trumpeter Don Podraza and the Lakewood Playhouse Youth Theatre. Representing the City in attendance were economic development manager Ellie Chambers-Grady, communications director Jeff Brewster, CSO Mike Miller, ass't city manager David Bugher, and the city manager.
  • Western Real Estate Business features Lakewood: In its November issue, the Western Real Estate Business journal featured Lakewood's readiness for development and included a photo of Lakewood City Hall on its cover.
  • Waste Connections coordination: The city manager, ass't city manager, and public works director met with the division vice president of Waste Connections and the manager of its local Lakewood Refuse company to plan for the greater involvement by our refuse utility in the City's code enforcement and abatement emphasis.
  • Fort Lewis Road Closure: Fort Lewis will close an 8,000-foot section of North Gate Road SW, also known as Huggins Meyers Road SW, which is outside of the North Fort D Street Gate beginning November 16th. The gate will be closed for 45 days for repair and resurfacing. The road must be closed during the construction period because it is too narrow to keep one lane open and safely do the work while traffic passes in the opposite lane. Signs announcing the road closure will be in place on November 9th.
  • City Planner attends Community Forestry Conference: Associate planner Beth Jorgenson attended the Partners in Community Forestry conference held in Portland early this week and brought back information to help Lakewood citizens understand the importance and benefits of maintaining and retaining our community's trees, and to encourage property owners to plant more trees. The Community Development department would like to strengthen the City's urban forestry efforts and develop programs appropriate to the City that protect and develop the city's unique tree resources.
  • City Receives AWC 2009-2010 Mini-Grant: The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) awarded the City of Lakewood a "mini-grant" for 2009-2010 to support the Wellness Committee to purchase a new bicycle for the City's fitness room. A number of employees participated in the health questionnaire process.
  • City recognized for supporting the Guard and Reserve: The City of Lakewood was presented an "Above and Beyond" award from Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) during this week's City Council meeting. The award was presented by the Washington Air National Guard commander, Brigadier General Gary Magonigle and ESGR State Chairman, James Shepherd for exceptional support of city employees serving in the reserve components. Currently, two city employees are mobilized and deployed. One is a member of the Washington Air Guard in Afghanistan and the other in a member of the Washington Army National Guard serving in the Philippines. The presentation was a part of the City's Veterans Recognition Event. Photos from the event can be seen online at