Highlights from the weekly report (January 26s) from City of Lakewood Manager, Andrew Neiditz to the Mayor and Council Members:
Lakewood & 100 Best Community for Young People: America’s Promise & The Alliance for Youth announced that Lakewood is a winner, for the second time, of the national competition to identify the 100 Best Communities for Young People. The 100 Best competition honors communities for their commitment to provide healthy, safe and caring environments for young people. Hundreds of communities in all 50 states took part in the competition. Lakewood is one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People, in part, because several schools serving high percentages of low-income students have made double-digit gains in test scores over the past four years. Five small learning communities were created with support from the Gates Foundation to provide a more personalized high school education. The results are dramatic. The district’s graduation rate increased from 56.1% to 66.9% from 2004 to 2005. A complete list of winners can be found at www.americaspromise.org.
Pandemic Flu Planning Conference: HR Director Debi Young, Chief Saunders, and Lt. Mauer attended a King County- sponsored Pandemic Flu Planning Conference in Tukwila as part of the City’s on-going emergency management process.
MLK Award Presentation: Lakewood’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Observance Committee held the 4th annual observance on January 13th, and Chief Saunders was presented the first Lakewood Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award.
City Hosts Regional Legal Taxing Meeting: On January 25th, the City’s Legal Department hosted a meeting of attorneys and professionals involved in state and local taxing issues, including representatives from the Department of Revenue and municipal attorneys from throughout Washington. Distant jurisdictions participated via speaker phone. This group was recently formed to discuss current tax and tax enforcement issues pertaining to local jurisdictions, such as classification of taxes and taxes upon new technologies. As Lakewood is a location central to most of the participants, this group will meet again at City Hall in May of 2007.
LEGAL DEPARTMENT 2006 YEAR END STATISTICS
Ordinances Prepared, 38
Resolutions Prepared, 42
Legal Opinions Prepared, 19
Contracts Reviewed, 246
RALJ Appeals Filed, 15
Forfeiture Hearings Handled, 76
US Currency Seized, $369,643.13
US Currency Forfeited, $187,425.35*
Criminal Cases Filed, 3,112
Infractions Filed, 9,460
Photo Infractions Filed, 11,482
John School Referrals, 34
Domestic Violence Cases, 878
Domestic Violence Referrals, 1,378
Legal Employees, 14
*Add’l $180,000 Pending Decision from Superior Court
Domestic Violence Statistics: The statistics for Domestic Violence cases that were prosecuted in Lakewood Municipal Court for the period of April 1, 2006 through December 31, 2006 are as follows:
+ 48% resulted in convictions.
+ 32% resulted in deferrals/stipulations.
+ 14% dismissed
+ Less than 1% resulted in an acquittal.
+ 6% were bargained for pleas on other cases.
Accordingly, 85% of the cases have resulted in some level of batterer accountability, i.e. treatment, probation, abiding by a NCO (no contact order).
Washington Traffic Safety Commission Speed Pilot Project: Lakewood officers are participating in Phase Two of the East Pierce County Speed Pilot Project which is funded by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. The emphasis began on January 25, 2007 and will continue into February. The goal is to reduce speed- related collisions, more specifically, speed-related fatal collisions. LPD officers will join police agencies from other cities within Pierce County in this massive campaign to slow traffic to safer speed limits. A public relations effort is underway to advise motorists of extra patrols and inform them of the joint effort. Each motorist stopped will receive a pamphlet explaining the reason for the speed program and background on why multiple agencies are participating in the event. Upwards of 70 extra officers per day will be deployed.