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City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 2/20/09

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

  • "Flunked" Event Draws Big Audience: The City jointly hosted a public viewing of the film "Flunked" with the Clover Park School District on February 18th. After viewing the 45-minute video, the audience of over 100 broke into six groups and brainstormed ways to improve academic performance. The ideas were captured and will be posted to both the CPSD and City websites within the next week or so. Next steps will be determined after reviewing consolidated comments in full.
  • SRO Review: The Clover Park school superintendent and her senior safety/security staff met with the city manager and police chief on February 20th for a mid-year review of the new structure of the School Resource Officer program. The program was restructured this year so that a larger pool of Lakewood officers participate on a volunteer basis as an extra-duty assignment. The school district is very pleased with better and more consistent coverage at both the high schools and middle schools, and supportive evaluation comments from school administrators. The new structure is leading to more positive contact between police officers and students on a regular basis. The program is working well for both the schools and the police.
  • AWC legislative conference: Councilmember Claudia Thomas, Gov't relations director Jeff Brewster, and the city manager attended the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) conference in Olympia on February 18th to discuss legislative strategies and the State's fiscal crisis. The city manager met with the Governor's point person on the federal stimulus funding to ascertain what categories of funding are in line for additional support and what the process will be for allocation. The largest category of stimulus funding for Washington State, other than Hanford clean-up, in for sewer and water.
  • City manager summarizes State of the City at Lakewood United: The city manager was the speaker this week at Lakewood United, and presented the new 2008 year-end report which will take the place of the Connections newsletter this edition. He covered the City's priorities in economic development and public safety, as well as the uncertainty of the economy and its Impact on the City.
  • Lakewood is involved in AWC executive director search: With the retirement of Stan Finkelstein as executive director of the Association of Washington Cities after 30+ years of service, a national executive recruitment search has been launched for his successor. Lakewood's city manager was appointed this week to serve on the selection panel, along with the AWC president, vice president, and secretary.
  • Bridgeport Way project TIB Grant at risk: The City received notice from the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) that due to the revenue short fall the $734,300 in grant funds for the City's Bridgeport Way Improvement project north of Steilacoom Blvd (to 83rd St) is at risk. TIB staff may be recommending rescinding the grant to the board on March 26th.
  • Lakewood Police participates in Auto Theft Prevention Operation: LPD's Property Crimes Unit, as part of a multi-agency auto theft prevention operation, was involved in the arrests of 10 people on February 19th from Seattle to Graham. These arrests conclude a 3-month investigation involving confidential informants, undercover officers and many stolen vehicles. Other agencies involved in this cooperative effort included, Washington State Patrol, Tacoma PD, Fife PD, Puyallup, PD, Pierce County Sheriff's Office, Pierce Transit and ICE (federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement). Over the last three months, 21 stolen cars and 5 stolen motorcycles have been recovered during this investigation. Many of the cars were stolen when owners left them running in their driveways on cold days.
  • Fort Lewis and Lakewood begin new Law Enforcement Liaison Program: The I Corps Commander on Fort Lewis and the Lakewood Police Department have begun a new Law Enforcement Liaison program. This program will have a senior NCO or junior officer from the Provost Marshal's office stationed at Lakewood PD five days a week. They will be there to provide assistance to our officers with any military personnel who may have some contact with law enforcement. The soldiers will be available to receive any properly-identified military personnel and handle transports and other related issues. The goal of the program is to help reduce soldier infractions, and foster positive community relations.
  • CSO participates in Child Identification Program at Pierce College: CSO Sandra Stauffer participated in the Child Identification Program held at Pierce College on February 10th. She fingerprinted 40 children while students in the criminal justice program completed the kits with a video of each child and a DNA sample.
  • LPIG Charity Fund Obtain Items for Assault Victim: The Lakewood Police Guild Charity Fund obtained a donated, brand new mattress and box spring set for a 6-year old sexual assault victim at the Sage Terrace apartments. Ideal Home Furnishings generously donated the mattress set, valued at close to $200. A large chunk of the child's mattress had been cut out for evidence and she had no replacement as the family has very limited resources. The Charity Fund bought an entire bedding/window valance set for her as well. The Charity Fund will be hosting a party for her 6th birthday, complete with presents, balloons, cake, and visits from some of our police officers.
  • Toxic Algae Bloom in Waughop Lake: The City received notice from Tacoma-Pierce County Health that there currently is a bloom of toxic algae in Waughop Lake. The Health Department states that toxic algae are easily identified by a green coloration to the water, where the water has the appearance of pea soup or green paint. The algae are the small dots in the water. Wind and weather conditions can change frequently, and the Health Department recommends following these precautions:
    • Keep children and pets away from areas that have a heavy concentration of algae
    • Do not swim or wade in areas that have a heavy concentration of algae
    • Do not fish in areas that have a heavy concentration of algae
    Ingesting the algae or prolonged contact with it may result in illness, such as muscle weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or nausea. If ingestion of water containing large amounts of algae is known or suspected, it is extremely important to seek immediate medical attention. The risk to pets is much greater than the risk to people, due to the smaller body sizes of pets and to a pet being more likely to drink water containing a heavy concentration of algae. If a pet does ingest a large amount of algae and is showing signs such as vomiting, lethargy, disorientation, or seizures, it should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 2/13/09

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

  • "Flunked" video showing at City Hall: Clover Park School District and the City of Lakewood are jointly presenting the video "Flunked" in the Council Chambers on Wednesday, February 18th at 6:30 pm. This video highlights various success stories of schools in communities that had historically struggled academically. There is no cost to attend this event and small group discussions will follow after the video. All are welcome.
  • Fort Lewis Garrison Commander at "Coffee with Mayor": Colonel Cynthia Murphy gave an overview of Fort Lewis growth and planning on Friday, February 13th to a full room of Lakewood citizens. She discussed the necessity of expanding retail and food services at Fort Lewis and highlighted Fort Lewis's efforts to be the Army's most energy efficient installation.
  • Major inspection at Fir Acres Mobile Home Park: The City of Lakewood took the lead with conducting an inspection of the 92 units at Fir Acres in the Springbrook neighborhood on Tuesday, February 10th. The inspection lasted several hours and a number of deficiencies were noted. City staff that included police, code enforcement, building inspectors, animal control and human services were supported by several other agencies: Pierce County's Health Department and Emergency Management, Washington State Labor and Industry (electrical), and Lakewood Fire Department. A number of deficiencies were noted and two units were "red-tagged" (made off-limits). Centro Latino and Lakewood Area Shelter Association supported the City in finding new homes for the two displaced families.
  • Act Six scholarships: Youth Council members Ylisse & Kevin Bess have both received Act Six scholarships to attend Gonzaga University. Act Six is an urban leadership and scholarship initiative of the Northwest Leadership Foundation in partnership with Whitworth University, Pacific Lutheran University, Northwest University, Gonzaga University, and Trinity University that equips emerging urban leaders to engage the college campus and their communities at home. At a minimum, the scholarships include full tuition. Other expenses for books, room and board may be paid based on need. All scholarship recipients will participate in a seven month training program before they enter college. The Act Six program was initiated in 2002 by the Tacoma-based Northwest Leadership Foundation to develop "urban leaders" among ethnically diverse, low-income students.
  • Economic Development Manager conducts Business Retention/Expansion Meetings: Economic Development Manager Ellie Chambers-Grady conducted three Business Retention/Expansion meetings this week - Harborstone Credit Union, William Riley & Company and John Korsmo Construction Company.
  • Consultant meeting hosted for $500,000 OEA grant: Staff from the City's Economic Development Department hosted a consultant pre-submittal meeting on Wednesday to field questions related to the City's recently advertised Request for Proposals. Thirteen engineering and planning firms with local and international expertise were in attendance. The RFP is due on February 23 and the contract will be awarded in early-March. The 18-month project will study how the growth of McChord AFB and Ft. Lewis have impacted the adjacent I-5 corridor and analyze solutions to alleviate congestion.
  • Lakewood Senior Activity Center hosts Mardi Gras Valentine Party: February 5th, the Lakewood Senior Activity Center hosted a Mardi Gras Valentine Party to celebrate the upcoming holiday in a slightly different, but festive manner. Dressed in Valentine red and pink, we added Mardi Gras masks and beads and had fun guessing the identity of the 55 guests! The tables were decorated with candy hearts, feathers, masks and beads. After we sampled fun and healthy treats, we had time to chat and a chance to collect more Mardi Gras beads by using secret words for extra prizes. Thanks to the party committee, all of us had a great time, especially the lucky one who found the token in the Mardi Gras King cake!

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 1/30/09

January 30, 2009
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Pierce County Review of City’s Sewer Plans: City engineering staff met this week with Pierce County Public Works to further review of the specifications for the Tillicum/ALG sewer extension project. The plans should be final in the very near future with the target date of advertising for bids in March.
  • Homeless Count conducted in Lakewood: Lakewood’s Human Services Coordinator partnered with Lakewood Area Shelter Association, Greater Lakes Mental Health Care and Pierce County to perform a homelessness count in Lakewood on January 29-30. City staff surveyed area motels where 12 males and 16 females identified themselves as being homeless. Of the 28 individuals surveyed, 14% stated that they have been homeless for more than a year. The majority of those related their homeless condition to prior evictions and loss of employment, and they were given resources and referrals to the many programs supported by the City for meeting basic needs in the community.
  • Non-Motorized Transportation Plan: The City’s Non-Motorized Transportation Plan was the subject of a comprehensive review session this week by three citizens’ advisory committees – the Planning Advisory Board (PAB), the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB), and the Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC). The committees will now take the plan back to their own deliberations before making recommendations to the Council.
  • Coordination with Fort Lewis: The city manager and senior staff met with the deputy garrison commander and staff from Fort Lewis this week to review progress on the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) grants to assess impacts of installation growth on Transportation, Housing, and Schools. The coordination meeting included discussion of other issues of mutual concern to the City and Fort Lewis.
  • Coordination with Pierce Transit: The city manager met with Pierce Transit’s CEO on January 21st to review plans for transit base development around 96th Street, security at the new transit station on Pacific Highway, and the potential of bus rapid transit services to be coordinated with new City traffic signalization. It was agreed to schedule a more comprehensive coordination session with senior staff from both entities next month.
  • Tacoma decides on D to M Street alignment: The City of Tacoma Council this week decided on the railway design for the connection south of downtown Tacoma which is required for commuter rail service to Lakewood.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 2/6/09

February 6, 2009
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • "Flunked" video showing at City Hall: Clover Park School District and the City of Lakewood are jointly presenting the video "Flunked" in the Council Chambers on Wednesday, February 18th at 6:30 pm. This video highlights various success stories of schools in communities that had historically struggled academically. There is no cost to attend this event and small group discussions will follow after the video. All are welcome.
  • Tillicum plans 100 year Centennial Celebration: The Tillicum neighborhood is marking its 100 year Centennial Celebration in 2010. A citizen committee has been formed to make it a big party. Anyone interested in helping with research, taking stories of long-term residents, sorting or sharing historical photos and documents, or generally planning the event is welcome to contact the Committee Chair Jim Taylor at or (253) 588-3159. At 76 years young, Jim is the second-oldest Tillicum-born resident and has lived in Tillicum his whole life.
  • VA Office conducts successful audit of Police files: Lakewood PD received word on January 27th that the audit being conducted by the Veteran's Affairs Office on our files for employees who are eligible to receive GI Bill benefits, which Officer Jeff Carroll is responsible for keeping, had no discrepancies. Furthermore, they stated that they were impressed with our files.
  • LPD Officer teaches Crime Scene Class at Fort Lewis: Detective Bryan Johnson taught a class for the 2nd battalion, 3rd infantry regiment at Ft. Lewis. It was a 2 hour course titled, "Crime Scene Response and Management" for an audience of over 70 soldiers, from the Commander down to all NCOs and lasted 2 1/2 hours. The training was requested to help the soldiers to have a better understanding of the procedures used when documenting and collecting evidence that will be used in a civilian legal proceedings.
  • Community Policing Teams to partner with PTSA: Dawn McGinnis, John Unfred and Lieutenant Heidi Hoffman met with the Clover Park School District PTSA Council this week to discuss how the Community Policing teams can partner with the PTSA membership in each district to tackle problems.
  • Officers train Library management staff on youth activity issues: NPO Karen Herritt and CSO Sandi Stauffer conducted training on January 21st for library management staff on issues relating to youth activity such as gangs and when/how/who to call for assistance in various situations.
  • Lakewood Police facilitate Neck Restraint training: LPD defensive tactics training cadre facilitated Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint certification for approximately 20 officers. The training took place through the Pierce County Cooperative Cities Group agreement. This technique is a vital and effective defensive technique that allows officers to protect themselves and others, even when possibly faced with larger, stronger suspects who are resisting arrest.
  • Recent Code Enforcement Actions: These actions are the result of joint operations with the Lakewood Community Development Department (Building & Licensing), the Lakewood Police Department, the Lakewood Fire District, the Washington State Labor & Industries Electrical Division, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, and the Washington State Liquor Control Board.
    1. Issued a Notice and Order revoking the business license for the Vagabond Motel, 10005 South Tacoma Way. This action was sought because of increasing levels of criminal activity occurring at the motel. The revocation has been appealed and will be before the City's Hearing Examiner later this month.
    2. Issued a Notice and Order revoking the business license for the Budget Inn, 9915 South Tacoma Way. The motel had high numbers of serious calls for police service. The owner did not appeal the revocation and as of this date, the motel remains closed.
    3. Closed the Sunset Café, 12826 Pacific Highway SW, for life safety, electrical, mechanical, building and health violations.
    4. Closed the Point Café, 8787 South Tacoma Way, for life safety, electrical, mechanical, building and health violations.
    5. Closed the Ko Ko Café, 8904 South Tacoma Way, for business license, life safety, electrical, mechanical, building and health violations. Business was recently allowed to reopen after all violations had been corrected and the owner agreed to a monthly payment plan for cabaret license fees owed to the City.
  • LPD featured in national newsletter Lakewood's use of technology for its police facilities and equipment was featured in the January 27th publication of
  • City Council wins Annual Chamber of Commerce Chili Cook-Off: Of 14 chili entries from around the greater Lakewood area, the Lakewood City Council reclaimed the top honors for the best chili. Colonel John Norris of our Community Connector Brigade (4-2 Stryker Brigade) poses with members of the council.

City Managers Weekly Info Bulletin 1/23/09

January 23, 2009
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • 6th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration: The City of Lakewood held its 6th annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Saturday, January 17th at the Sharon McGavick Student Learning Center. Over 300 people attended this year's event which included presentations by dance groups, choirs and speakers celebrating the spirit of Dr. King.
  • Student Art Exhibit at M.L. King Jr. Celebration: The Lakewood Arts Commission in partnership with the Clover Park School District coordinated a display of student artwork at the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration at the McGavick Student Center. The artwork reflected the theme of "Bringing the Dream to Life" and consisted of nearly 100 individual pieces of art from Evergreen and Carter Lake elementary schools, and Lochburn Middle School. The display has been moved to the Council Chamber foyer and is available for viewing through January 27.
  • Bridgeport Way Roadway Improvements - 59th AVE SW to Steilacoom BLVD SW Traffic Impacts: Beginning the week of January 26th the contractor will begin installing underground utilities. The work includes trenching along side the roadway and across the roadway in several locations. Work involving trenching across the roadway near major intersections will be conducted during night time hours (7:00 PM to 5:00 AM). During daytime hours, the contractor will continue with demolition. Qwest and Lakewood Water will begin relocating their respective facilities. During night time operations, the contractor with the assistance of Lakewood Police will be placing affected signals in "flash" mode. Traffic may be limited to one lane during the course of night time work. All lanes will be re-opened at 5:00 AM. During daytime operations traffic may be limited to one-lane in each direction for up to two blocks at a time.
  • City Attorney speaks at Lakewood United: On January 22nd, City Attorney Heidi Ann Wachter spoke at the monthly Lakewood United Meeting. The presentation provided an overview of the duties performed by the Legal Department of the City and the many facets of being a City Attorney.
  • Mayor, City Manager and Staff attend Pierce County Library System's Community Leader Advisory Group: Several City representatives participated in a meeting of the Pierce County Library System's (PCLS) Community Leader Advisory Group on January 22nd. The PCLS is undertaking a master plan called Pierce County Library 2030 to identify needed upgrades, facilities, services and equipment at libraries countywide. The advisory group was called upon for perspectives about future library needs in general, and more specifically local needs. A number of different cities' elected officials and staff, community organizations, and businesses were represented. Over the next couple of weeks, PCLS will be holding open houses to gather ideas from the public as well. The Lakewood sessions are scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 29 at the Lakewood library, 6300 Wildaire Rd. SW; and Tuesday, February 10, at the Tillicum Community Center, 14916 Washington Avenue SW. Both sessions will run from 6:30-8pm. For more information, contact Lorne Erickson at (253) 536-6500 x 138.
  • Lakewood Police Dept hosts Pierce County Regional DUI Task Force: On the night of Saturday the 17th, the Lakewood Police Department hosted the Pierce County Regional DUI Task Force. Twenty-eight police officers and deputies from eight different agencies participated in the seven hour emphasis that removed sixteen drunk drivers from the streets of Lakewood. The task force participants made over 250 traffic stops for a variety of violations that led to many arrests in addition to the DUI drivers; including the arrest of an armed robber who had just beaten a gas station cashier and was running out of the business carrying the cash drawer when he was spotted by a Sumner police officer working the emphasis.
  • Non-Motorized Transportation Plan Special Joint Meeting Scheduled: The City's draft Non-Motorized Transportation Plan (NMTP) will be presented at a special joint meeting of the Planning Advisory Board, Citizens Transportation Advisory Board, and Parks and Recreation Advisory Board on Tuesday, January 27th. The meeting, which begins at 5:30pm in the Council Chambers, will include an informal public comment period. The NMTP is required by law to integrate forms of transportation other than motor vehicles - bicycles and pedestrians - into the City's infrastructure. A formal public hearing will be held at a later date.
  • Emergency Shelters Activated during Flood: The Parks and Recreation Department was called upon to activate an emergency shelter facility during the January 7th flood incident. It was anticipated that Lakewood might be called upon to accept up to 1,500 displaced residents from Puyallup and Fife. Contact was made with four of the City's sheltering partners and a decision made to open an initial shelter at First Baptist Church of Lakewood and to hold the other sites in a stand-by mode with volunteers on-call in case they were needed. Within 1 ½ hours of the initial contact, Parks and Recreation staff and volunteers were at the site with all of the materials necessary to accommodate up to 100 people. Registration packets, cots, blankets, food, water and signage were all in place and we opened the shelter at 6:00 p.m. Parks staff, on-duty police and 20 church volunteers kept the shelter open all night. A total of 95 church member volunteer hours were involved in coordinating this sheltering response. Though the facility was not needed to serve evacuees, the call-out provided great training and allowed all involved to see that the City's sheltering system as developed over the past two years worked exactly as it was designed to do.
  • Lakewood Animal Rescue And Enforcement Rescues Horses: On January 17th, Lakewood Animal Rescue and Enforcement, along with Hope for Horses (an equine rescue organization located in Woodinville), took custody of a Miniature Stallion and Hinney (Horse/Donkey mix), from a Lakewood resident. The resident has had a string of bad luck in the past few years to include a fire that destroyed his home. Due to financial difficulties, he is now not able to properly care for the animals and asked for our help. These two animals had been living in a very small enclosure but will now live a comfortable, new life in greener pastures.
  • City of Lakewood awarded Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) Grant: The City was awarded a $500,000 Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) planning assistance grant on January 15th. The City, in partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation, Ft. Lewis, McChord AFB and other stakeholders, will coordinate the 18 month project. During this timeframe, the study will evaluate which strategies hold the most promise for reducing traffic congestion adjacent to the bases on the I-5 corridor. The City and other stakeholder groups are also in the early stages of forming a Ft. Lewis & McChord AFB Growth Coordination Committee that will evaluate other growth impacts to the region, including education, affordable housing, emergency services, and workforce development.
  • Attorney General's Office Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence: Ann-Marie Evans, Victim Advocate, serves as a member on the Attorney General's Office Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence. At a recent meeting legislation was proposed to establish a new sentencing grid for repeat offenders. The new grid would count misdemeanor convictions when establishing sentencing of felony offenders. As a result, repeat domestic violence offenders would serve more appropriate sentences than they currently do. The bill will be presented this session.
  • Metro SWAT Team Holds Award Ceremony: Out of 23 members, LPD Officer Vince Sivankeo shared two honors with another SWAT member: Top Handgun award and Overall Firearms award. Vince's average point loss for the year was 0.75 points for handgun and 1.75 when combined between handgun and long gun. The standard SWAT qualification course for handgun is a 50 point system, with a mandatory 90% and 0 misses for passing. The standard SWAT qualification course for long gun is a 196 point system, with a mandatory 95% and 0 misses for passing.
  • City staff participates in Greater Lakes Mental Healthcare "Adopt- A- Family" Program For the Christmas holidays: Employees from every department (16 individuals as well as Courts and HR, Finance and General Services) donated their time, energy, money and good will toward making the holidays a little brighter for five families in Lakewood. Not only did they shop for those special gifts requested by each person, they wrapped them with extra care and had them ready for pick up early on the appointed day. Staff and volunteers at Greater Lakes were pleased with the combined efforts of the City and PD staff.
  • No Passport applications January 26th To February 3rd: Due to staffing constraints, the City of Lakewood will be unable to accept passport applications from January 26 to February 3, 2009. Citizens are encouraged to bring applications in before the 26th if they will need a passport soon. Passports are also available at the Pierce County Annex, 2401 S 35th St, Tacoma, or at the Lakewood Post Office at Bridgeport and 100th.
  • Council adopts Resolution for EB-5 Regional Center: The City Council adopted a resolution approving the designation for an EB-5 Regional Center in Lakewood, and authorized the City Manager to take necessary steps to gain federal recognition and approval of this EB-5 Regional Center. Implementation of the EB-5 program is anticipated to grow economic development, redevelopment, and provide economic growth, new tax base, and jobs to Lakewood.