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City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 4/10/09

April 10, 2009
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Bid Opening for the Sewer Project: To allow more time for the potential bidders to address recent addendums to the construction plans for the Woodbrook/ALGs/Tillicum Sanitary Sewer project, the bid opening date on the project has been extended two days to April 16th.
  • OEA Stakeholders Workshop: The City of Lakewood hosted a primary stakeholders workshop on April 9th at Clover Park Technical College. The city manager and mayor presented the opening introduction, and presentations were made by Fort Lewis, McChord AFB, and the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) of the US Department of Defense. A total of 88 participated, representing over 30 agencies and entities throughout Pierce and Thurston counties. Focus will be on transportation, housing, education, and economic development. On April 8th, the City was awarded a $500,000 planning grant by OEA for transportation planning assistance. The grant will fund efforts to refine computer traffic models and determine which transportation alternatives would best address the challenges in the I-5 corridor adjacent to Ft. Lewis and McChord AFB. The 18 month study, closely coordinated with the Washington State Department of Transportation, Ft. Lewis, McChord AFB and other stakeholders, considers which strategies hold the most promise for reducing the congestion on I-5 as a result of the increased base population.
  • Police Station Grand Opening: Citizens are reminded that the City will host a ribbon-cutting at the new Lakewood Police Station (9401 Lakewood Drive SW) on Wednesday, April 15th at noon. Refreshments and an open house, which will run until 4 pm will follow the ribbon-cutting.
  • Strong performance in the 2009 SniperWeek conference: A Lakewood police officer, with his counterpart from Bonney Lake PD, participated on behalf of Metro Cities SWAT in a two-day conference in Florida focused on professional development in this very specialized field. The conference featured sniper debriefs of callouts, tactics and operational matters, and technical updates. The two officers placed 2nd overall in the range competition called Sniper Challenge, competing against 35 teams of police and military sniper units from around the country. All the courses of fire in the competition were based on real-world incidents.
  • Parks Appreciation Day - April 18: For the seventh year in a row, the City will participate in Parks Appreciation Day on April 18th. The City has planned volunteer work projects at four Lakewood parks sites: American Lake Park, Harry Todd Park, Fort Steilacoom Park and the Flett Creek Blueberry Fields. The landscaping planned at American Lake Park during this event is one of the last elements of the boat launch renovation project. Several service clubs and private businesses have lined up volunteers to help plant flowers, shrubs and trees, but many more volunteer hands are needed. Projects at Harry Todd Park will include painting a shelter/restroom facility and weeding flower beds. Projects at Fort Steilacoom Park include a barn clean out, removal of invasive weeds, dog park clean-up, removal of blackberry vines and cemetery restoration. Volunteers at the blueberry fields will spread mulch and trim back overgrown plants. Please join us on Saturday, April 18th from 9:00 a.m. to noon. For more information, call Suzi at (253) 983-7758.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 4/3/09

April 3, 2009
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Legislative Update: The State's legislative session is projected to end on April 26th, though that is subject to change. Between now and then, the Senate and House biennial budgets need to be reconciled. At this time, the House budget includes $462,000 for Western State Hospital community policing that would be provided by the City of Lakewood. The Senate budget includes $800,000 for Fort Steilacoom Park barns. The State of Washington owns Fort Steilacoom Park, though the City maintains and operates the park on its behalf.
  • Police and Fire present CERT course: CSO Gail Conelly assisted Lakewood Fire in presenting a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) course to the staff at the Child Study Treatment Center on March 26th. There were about 20 staff in attendance. She will also assist Lakewood Fire in presenting the CERT course to Lakewood residents from March 31st through April 9th, with approximately 26 residents currently registered. The course will enable the students to help other residents in their neighborhoods in the event of a disaster. This is the first scheduled session of CERT classes with more to follow.
  • Sewer Project Contract Bidders Site Tour: Public Works will hold a contractors meeting with the ALGs/Tillicum Sanitary Sewer project potential bidders on April 6th at 10:00 am at the Tillicum Community Center. The purpose of the meeting is for staff to provide a guided tour of the project area and answer any questions the contractors may have about the project. There are 26 general contractors presently on the plan holders list. We have reserved 3 busses for the tour. Bid opening on the project is April 14th.
  • Contractor to change camera signal heads: Redflex, the City's vendor for the photo enforcement program, will have its contractor changing out the signal heads at the South Tacoma Way and SR512 intersection on Monday night, April 6th. They will have rolling lane closures starting at 7pm. The changing out of the signal heads from incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs will improve photo accuracy associated with the red light running photo enforcement operation at that intersection.
  • Sound Transit Opens Bids on Rail to Lakewood Project: Three contractors were pre qualified to bid the M St to Bridgeport Way rail reconstruction project. Sound Transit says the bids received looked good but they are still in the process of evaluating them. Construction on the project will hopefully commence in May.
  • City Employee Honored at "Champions for Youth" Breakfast: Desiree Winkler, Transportation Division Manager in the Public Works Department, was honored as one of the Lakewood community's outstanding mentors of the year on March 25th for her dedicated work with a Woodbrook Middle School student
  • Rain Gardens to be installed in the City: As an element of the City's storm water NPDES (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System) permit, the City holds public educational seminars. Last year, the City held a series of three Natural Yard Care Seminars. Following this year's seminar on the Rain Forest, the City was approached by a non profit group wanting to install rain gardens within the city. A rain garden is a shallow depression in a yard planted with a variety of flowers, shrubs and grasses that "don't mind getting wet." A rain garden acts like a native forest by collecting, absorbing, and filtering storm water runoff, while protecting the local waterways. These types of gardens are one of the most versatile and effective tools in a new approach in managing storm water called low impact development (LID). The installation of the rain gardens would be done by volunteers who would also do the maintenance. Their installation will satisfy some of the public outreach and education requirements associated with the City's NPDES permit. The only commitment the City is to guarantee their upkeep for two years. The city offered two sites for the installation of a rain garden which are City Hall and in the landscaped island at the intersection of Dekoven/Meadow Road SW. It is anticipated the installation of the rain gardens will occur on May 8th and 9th.
  • DV Kiosk at City Hall: 70 temporary protection order petitions were submitted in the first quarter of 2009 from the third floor Domestic Violence (DV) kiosk.
  • Police Station Grand Opening: Citizens are reminded that the City will host a ribbon-cutting at the new Lakewood Police Station (9401 Lakewood Drive SW) on Wednesday, April 15th at noon. Refreshments and an open house, which will run until 4 pm will follow the ribbon-cutting.
  • Chief Farrar to speak at "Coffee with the Mayor": On Friday, April 10th from 7:30-8:30 am, Police Chief Bret Farrar will update the community on the City's gang unit. Refreshments are provided. Coffee with the Mayor is a monthly event conducted at the Saint Clare Hospital Resource Center at 4908 112th Street SW. The City is very appreciative for Saint Clare Hospital's ongoing support for this popular communications program.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 3/20/09

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

  • Traffic Impacts of Bridgeport Way Project - 59th Ave SW to Steilacoom Blvd SW: The contractor will be doing roadway excavation between Gravelly Lake Drive and Mt Tacoma for the placement of concrete curb and gutter beginning the week of March 22nd and lasting for two weeks. Excavation work for the placement the new traffic signal foundations will occur at the intersections of Steilacoom Blvd, 93rd St and Mt Tacoma Drive. In addition, between Gravelly Lake Drive and Steilacoom Blvd, various telephone and cable providers will be transferring their facilities to the new utility poles. As a result, the roadway excavation and placement of curb and gutter will require 24 hour closure of the curb-side south bound lane on Bridgeport Way between Gravelly Lake Drive and Mt Tacoma Drive. Traffic also may be shifted to utilize the center turn lane during peak hours. Intermittent northbound lane closures will occur along the entire stretch from Mt Tacoma Drive to Steilacoom Boulevard. Please expect delays and use alternate routes when possible, and check City website for info.
  • City manager meets in DC regarding federal stimulus funding: The city manager attended the National League of Cities (NLC) Congressional City Conference this week in Washington DC, with over 100 others from Washington State, and about 2,500 from cities around the nation. He met with Congressmen Adam Smith and Norm Dicks regarding military base relations, and joined in a small group meeting with Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell on other Washington State issues. Workshops on federal "stimulus" programming through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 were presented by a number of federal officials, including President Obama's key cabinet members: Attorney General Eric Holder, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
  • Chief attends CALEA Conference: Police Chief Bret Farrar and Officer Jeff Carroll are attending a CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) conference this week in Raleigh NC in preparation for the LPD on-site accreditation assessment scheduled for August 2009.
  • Brigadier General (Mayor) Doug Richardson retires from Army Reserve: On March 18th, Fort Lewis and I Corps commander, Lieutenant General Charles H. Jacoby Jr. officiated at the retirement ceremony for Brigadier General Douglas G. Richardson from the Army Reserve after 32 years of combined active and reserve service. Lt. Gen. Jacoby presented Brig. Gen. Richardson with a Distinguished Service Medal and Mrs. Charlene Richardson with a bouquet of yellow roses; he then emphasized how much he valued the Fort Lewis-Lakewood partnership and Richardson's highly supportive mayoral leadership. Deputy Mayor Don Anderson and Council Members Helen McGovern and Pad Finnigan joined several city staff members and dozens of friends, fellow Soldiers, and retirees at the ceremony. Mayor Emeritus Bill Harrison and Attorney General Rob McKenna were also in attendance. For members of the Army, the Distinguished Service Medal is the third highest award behind the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross. Lt. Gen. Jacoby departs later this month, with the I Corps headquarters, to serve as the commander of Multi-National Corps Iraq (MNC-I).
  • Washington Public Employer Labor Relations Association Workshop: The March 12th WAPELRA (Washington Public Employer Labor Relations Association) workshop on Cooperative Training was a success in providing valuable training information and resources to Human Resources Professionals in Washington State. HR Director and WAPELRA Board Member Debi Young assisted with the coordination of the event.
  • Oak Grove Village development: Staff has prepared permits for the 254-unit Oak Grove Village multi-family residential development approved for construction on the northeast corner of Lakewood Drive and Steilacoom Boulevard. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was prepared for the project in 2007. The project will preserve the majority of the oak trees on the site, while providing the City with a new well-designed residential complex. The project received funding from HUD, and a portion of the project will be reserved for affordable units. The permits are expected to be issued next week, and construction may begin immediately.
  • City paralegal attends ABA Certified Paralegal Program: Paralegal Cynthia Wright participated in a focus group at Tacoma Community College for their American Bar Association Certified Paralegal Program on March 19th. To maintain the Program's certification, TCC has to receive input from attorneys and paralegals working in the community to help provide feedback regarding the expectations for entry-level paralegal positions in Pierce County law offices.
  • Prosecutor's trial week results: The Legal Department's trial week in review included several DUI cases, and two Guilty Pleas on DUI cases with a BAC reading over .15 and a refusal. This was followed on Wednesday by a Defendant convicted at trial on two criminal counts (Obstructing a Law Enforcement Officer and Resisting Arrest). In this case, Police had initially been called to a local fast food restaurant because a patron was reported to have said he had a bomb in his car. The suspect refused to comply with the officer's directions several times, and he also actively resisted being arrested. Officers were required to use force to arrest before they could investigate the bomb threat. This case was tried by Asst City Attorney Anita Booker-Hay. On Thursday, a Lakewood Municipal Court jury returned a guilty verdict on a DUI case. In this case, Police stopped a defendant as he proceeded through a local intersection at a high rate of speed, missed his turn, and proceeded to weave down South Tacoma Way. When stopped the defendant presented multiple signs of intoxication and he was arrested and processed for DUI, although he claimed that his driving was OK because he had been drinking at the Port Orchard Golf Course and no one pulled him over as he drove through two counties before arriving in Lakewood. The case was tried by Assoc City Attorney Matt Kaser.
  • Superior Court affirms Lakewood convictions: The Superior Court this week affirmed multiple Lakewood municipal court convictions of a repeat drunk driver. In February 2008, this driver was sentenced on multiple counts of Driving While Under the Influence, Driving On a Suspended License, First Degree and Reckless Driving, and received approximately a two and half year sentence. The Superior Court rejected multiple defense arguments and let stand this sentence. Associate City Attorney Matt Kaser handled this appeal.
  • April 15th - Lakewood Police Station Grand Opening: The City is planning a grand opening at the new Lakewood Police Station on Lakewood Drive at noon on April 15th. The opening ceremony will be followed by a public open house. More details will be forthcoming.
  • Reminder: Bill Harrison Volunteer of Year Nominations: Nominations for the most outstanding volunteer in Lakewood are due on March 31st. Please visit the front page ("latest news and events") at for more information.
  • St. Patrick's Day Gathering a Success at Senior Activity Center: On March 17th, the Lakewood Senior Activity Center was the scene for the St. Patrick's Day gathering of the leprechauns, with 65 in attendance. They had a good time hobnobbing with each other at the ceilidh that they could be heard far and wide. There were many new people in attendance and it was a great party. The 'wearing of the Green' was the color of the day, because it's well known that we all have a little Irish in us for a Happy St. Paddy's Day...

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 3/27/09

March 27, 2009
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • PSE to do Asphalt Overlay Street Restoration on Bridgeport: PSE's contractor will start the asphalt overlay street restoration work of the north bound curb lane of Bridgeport Way from 111th St to 59th on April 6th. This overlay work is a follow on their gas line project a year and half ago. This street restoration work will be primarily night-time work and should last for 4 weeks. They also will be doing similar street restoration work on Custer from Steilacoom Blvd to Bridgeport Way which is also related to their earlier gas main replacement project on that street.
  • Columbia Bank officials assure City staff: The city manager and Finance staff met with officials of Columbia Bank this week. Columbia Bank conveyed that they are still a stable, viable banking organization. Furthermore, Columbia Bank is already meeting the newly enhanced requirements by the Public Deposit Protection Commission to 100% collateralize public deposits.
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) this week released detailed guidance for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 appropriated $3.2 billion in FY2009 for these grants. Lakewood would be eligible for $541,000. The City is reviewing the feasibility of tapping this funding for the City's Traffic Signalization program.
  • Animal Control Update: Animal Control received two guilty verdicts on an animal cruelty/neglect case in Pierce County Court last week. Sentencing included no animal ownership for two years, $2,000 civil penalties, forfeiture of all remaining animals, and probation for one year. Update on two horses surrendered to Hope for Horses Rescue: Both animals are now at normal weight, finished with all Vet care and have become a big hit at the rescue's farm. The rescue is considering making them permanent residents instead of being adopted out. Lakewood Animal Control is seven years old this month.
  • Washington Auto Theft Prevention Authority Grant to Lakewood: The Lakewood Police Department was recently awarded a supplemental grant from the Washington Auto Theft Prevention Authority in the amount of $129,042. The purpose is for the purchase of equipment and technology to aid in the fight against Auto Theft. The money will be used to purchase items, including two Automated License Plates Readers, Electronic Surveillance Technology (both audio and video), some high powered binoculars and night vision equipment. These funds will also be used to purchase other surveillance equipment in a dedicated surveillance van.
  • North Lakewood Neighborhood Association Forming: Bylaws were voted into place and officers were selected on February 7th for the new North Lakewood Neighborhood Association. This is LPD's 6th District, the neighborhoods on the north side of Steilacoom Blvd. from Western State Hospital to Mountain View, including Oakbrook. The Steering Committee meets the first Saturday of each month for a working breakfast at the Fan Club on 83rd. They plan two Neighborhood Association meetings per year at Oakbrook School. The next meeting will be May 13th at 6:00 pm. District CSO Melissa Wagner and LT Dave Guttu attend the working breakfast meetings and are supporting the new organization.
  • Liquor License Revocation: This week, the City of Lakewood contacted the Washington State Liquor Control Board and requested summary liquor license revocation of the E & J Bar and Grill. The business is located at 10902 Bridgeport Way SW. The bar has an extensive history of building code violations (exceeding occupancy loads and blocked fire exits) and aggravated assaults.
  • NW city managers conference "Sustainability in Challenging Times": The city manager participated this week with over 100 colleagues from Washington and Oregon at the annual Northwest regional conference in Vancouver WA. He is on the Washington City Managers Association (WCCMA) board as the past president.
  • Gang Presentation at next "Coffee with the Mayor": Coffee with the Mayor is held at the Resource Center at St. Clare Hospital, 4908 112th Street SW, at 7:30 a.m. Police Chief Bret Farrar will give a presentation on gang activity in Lakewood.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 3/13/09

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

  • City issued AA- Bond Rating: The City of Lakewood has been issued an AA-bond rating from Standard and Poor's (S&P) for its Limited Tax General Obligation Bonds. This is an increase of two ratings from the City's previous rating and is an indicator of S&P's confidence in the City's ability to cover debt service for new bonds.
  • Sewer Update: On Tuesday, March 17th the Tillicum and Woodbrook/American Lake Gardens Sanitary Sewer Service project will be advertised for bids. Bids will be opened on April 14th. This first phase will include the construction of all sanitary sewer lines, pumping stations, force-mains, storm drainage improvements, water system improvements, and street restoration. A subsequent phase, associated with the installation sanitary sewer forcemains from Thorne Lane to the Ponders area on Pacific Hwy, will follow later this year.
  • Police Explorers Paint Gang Graffiti/Tagging Areas: On Saturday March 7th, the Lakewood Police Explorers painted over areas which have been plagued with gang graffiti and tagging. Ten explorers spent Saturday morning painting over fifteen different locations around the City that had been identified by the NPO/CSO teams as needing clean-up including the train trestle on Pacific Highway and the I-5 overpass on 96th ST. The explorers were even able to respond to an apartment complex that had been victimized the previous evening by painting over gang graffiti. The apartment manager was very grateful with the quick response. The Explorers hope to continue painting over gang graffiti whenever and wherever it is found.
  • City participation in the Convention Bureau: Economic Development Manager Ellie Chambers-Grady now serves as the treasurer and member of the Tacoma Regional Convention Bureau's Executive Committee. The Board is now engaged with updating its strategic plan as it moves forward. Ms. Chambers-Grady will also chair the Bureau's Community Readiness Committee for the next year.
  • Legal Department completes Paralegal Internship: The Legal Department completed another successful Paralegal Internship for Tacoma Community College student Holly Webb on March 12, 2009. Holly put in 150 hours of internship time under the tutelage of City Paralegal Cynthia Wright, covering such topics as criminal law, civil and municipal law, public disclosure, trial preparation, discovery, and case management. Holly is the 5th paralegal intern the City Legal Department has successfully trained in cooperation with local colleges with paralegal degree programs.