Highlights from the weekly report (February 1) from City of Lakewood Manager, Andrew Neiditz to the Mayor and Council Members:
- Meet the Police Chief candidates: There will be a community reception on February 13th to ‚Äúmeet and greet‚Äù the finalist candidates for the position of Lakewood Police Chief, to replace Chief Larry Saunders who will be leaving the City later this month to take an Army assignment in Iraq. The reception will be from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at the Clover Park Technical College Student Service Building, and it is open to the public.
- Military Improvement Zone bill: Mayor Richardson joined City staff and lobbyists, as well as community representatives, to testify at the House Committee on Community & Economic Development & Trade this week on behalf of the Military Improvement Zone legislation. The bill would provide State support for improvements to infrastructure and affordable housing in areas adjacent to military bases such as Tillicum.
- City Legislative Action Conference: Councilmember Thomas, communications director Brewster, and the city manager attended the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) annual conference in connection with the legislative session this week in Olympia. About 360 attendees representing cities across the State were present for discussion with the leadership of the State Senate and House. Governor Gregoire also addressed the conference and expressed her appreciation for the work city officials do. There was emphasis on infrastructure needs across the State, and a new AWC report on the subject was presented. There was also discussion about the proposed legislation to require the taping of executive sessions.
- Abatement update: The City’s Code Enforcement Team issued two abatement notices this week for burned out structures where the owners have failed to secure or repair the properties. In both instances the properties also have numerous property maintenance violations including the presence of junk and inoperable vehicles in the yard spaces.
- Pac Highway Project Community Meeting: The Public Works Department held a public meeting on January 30th at the Pacific Highway Fire Station with the property and business owners who front along Pacific Highway from Gravelly Lake Drive to Bridgeport Way. The purpose of the meeting was to gather input regarding the 3 possible road way configurations (5 lanes centered on the right of way center line, 3 lanes centered on the right of way center line and 3 lanes centered shifted towards the freeway) associated with the Pacific Highway improvement project. Over 200 notices were sent out, and about 20-25 people were in attendance. Staff presented the options along with their respective positives and negatives. Design level for all options was at 15%. The next step will be to evaluate the input received plus solicit additional input through another mailing, and to address any individual concerns a property/business owner may have about the project. The Public Works Department will then prepare a recommendation to City Council for action.
- Domestic Victim Assistance at City Hall Kiosk: In the month of January, the City’s victim advocates, with help from the LPD Special Assault Unit, assisted victims in obtaining 27 Temporary Protection Orders through the kiosk located on the third floor of Lakewood City Hall.
- Chief’s presentation on Offender Reentry program: The King County Law and Justice Council invited Chief Saunders to their monthly meeting on January 31st to provide an overview on the recently passed offender reentry legislation and the organization and operation of the Pierce County Law and Justice Council.
- Guilty Verdict on Domestic Violence Case: The prosecution team received a GUILTY verdict in a domestic violence case last Friday. Prosecutor Sean Parrent faced some unique challenges as the victim and the two other witnesses in the case changed their stories on the day of trial. Victim Advocate Rebecca Hendricks was called to impeach the recanting witnesses, and the City relied on sworn witness statements that were written by the witnesses on the day of the assault to get the conviction.
- DV/Assault 3: Officers responded to a DV in progress. The male subject was intoxicated and struck his wife several times. The suspect’s sister tried to intervene and was also assaulted. Officers arrested him after a brief struggle. While being walked to the car the suspect head-butted an officer. The suspect was taken to the ground and restrained.
- DV/Injury: Patrol responded to a fight/DV. Upon arrival they found the female victim unconscious with the suspect having already fled on foot. Apparently husband and wife got into an argument over husband wanting to take the vehicle since he was intoxicated. The husband pushed his wife to the ground outside of the apartment and began kicking her while she was on the ground. She got up and they continued to argue and he charged her and forced her back to the ground where she hit her head and was knocked out. The husband again began kicking her while she was on the ground and was unconscious. Other family members separated the husband and pulled the wife into the trailer. The victim was unconscious for a minimum of 10 minutes and was immediately transported by fire to TG for her head trauma. Detectives from the LPD Special Assault Unit are continuing the investigation.
- Assault 2/Burglary 2 Arrest: Officers responded to a home invasion/robbery that was dispatched one day last week at 1:10am. After a significant amount of investigation, the suspect was located and arrested. Officers obtained a full confession and recovered significant evidence. It turned out that the suspect entered the apartment to commit an assault, not rob anyone, and so was charged with assault and burglary.
GO Lakewood! program: The citywide campaign for better health and fitness began with a celebration and registration event at Fort Steilacoom Park on Saturday, January 26th. We are combining resources with businesses and organizations throughout the city to help people reach their goal. The celebration and registration event was held under cloudy skies and cool temperatures that were offset by the performances of such groups as the Clover Park Islander Dancers, the Y dance teams, and the Clover Park Step Team. A walk/run event was held around Waughop Lake but the highlight of the day was the pile of snow that was brought in for the event. Equipment was available for anyone who wanted to try one of the fastest growing winter sports; snowshoeing. For more information visit our website at: www.golakewood.cityoflakewood.us. So far, we have had over 100 people register for Go Lakewood, 50 people completed the one mile fun run/walk and approximately 200 people attended the event.