Highlights from the weekly report (February 8) from City of Lakewood Manager, Andrew Neiditz to the Mayor and Council Members:
- Police Station Ground Breaking: The Police Station Ground Breaking Ceremony will be held on February 21st at 10:00 a.m. at the site on the east side of Lakewood Drive, south of Steilacoom Blvd.
- Building on the Grassy Knoll: Construction is about to begin on the “grassy knoll” next to City Hall. The developer, MJR Development, will be building a 40,000 SF office building that may include some retail. They have scheduled a ground breaking ceremony for Thursday, February 21st at 2:30 p.m.
- Meeting on the Lakewood Evening Report Center: Superior Court Judge Frank Cuthbertson, Juvenile Court Administrator Shelly Maluo, Leslie Swalley representing County Councilmember Dick Muri, Mayor Doug Richardson, City Manager Andrew Neiditz, Police Chief Larry Saunders, Assistant Chief Bret Farrar, Lt. Heidi Hoffman – LPD Community Outreach Unit supervisor, Assistant School Superintendents Gary Wilson and Robin Sweeney, Carrie Holden from Pierce County Boys and Girls, and Beth Wilson representing Tacoma Pierce County Health Department met February 6th to discuss preliminary concepts for opening an evening report center for Lakewood youth under custody of the juvenile court. The Juvenile Court will require youth under probation or pending trial to report to the center in the evenings where they will receive tutoring, counseling and be able to participate in chaperoned, healthy activities. It is one of three such pilot programs in the County and will be fully funded by the County. City representatives also discussed plans to expand the evening report center into a broader youth assessment center concept with the ability to provide similar services to chronically truant or undisciplined youth not yet under the jurisdiction of the Court.
- Report on Neighborhood Police Staffing: Currently NPO for all 6 districts are in place and working. They are having a dramatic effect on property crime in particular. The 6 CSO have all been identified; 5 are assigned and 1 is pending assignment once we complete hiring for staffing shortfalls at the front desk and in the automated traffic enforcement section. One of the assigned Neighborhood CSOs is on extended medical leave. While these hiring actions are underway, neighborhood CSOs are back-filling traffic enforcement and front desk duties on a rotating basis.
- Lakeview Business Owners Meeting: On Tuesday February 5th, the Lakewood Police Department hosted a meeting for businesses in the Lakeview area who had experienced numerous burglaries and thefts to their business properties. The meeting was organized by the Community Policing team. A total of about 30 business owners and representatives attend the meeting. The following were strategies recommended and agreed upon by those attending:
- Form a local business block watch
- Develop an e-mail list of participating businesses so they can share information
- Conduct walk around inspections of businesses trained Police staff to recommend physical improvements that would help prevent crimes
- Continue to pursue having Sound Transit remove vegetation along the rear of these businesses that provides concealment to suspects
- Pursue purchasing (by the business owners) a specialized surveillance and alert system for use by the Police Department.
- Request our local state representative to come and discuss stricter metal theft/sale laws
- 142 Years and Counting: The Legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers: In commemoration of Black History Month the Lakewood Historical Society is presenting a program entitled “142 Years and Counting: The Continuing Legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers” on Tues, Feb 12th, 2008, 7 PM in the Council Chambers of Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW. We are privileged to have COL (Ret) James Manning and other members of the Greater Puget Sound Chapter of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Association present the program.
- Meet the Police Chief Candidates: There will be a community reception on February 13th to “meet and greet” 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.
- Orchestra at Work: The Northwest Sinfonietta is bringing its innovative new program, “Orchestra at Work” in cooperation with the City of Lakewood at 10 a.m. on Wednesday February 13th at the newly completed Sharon M. McGavick Center at the Clover Park Technical College. Lakewood residents of all ages are welcome to listen this rehearsal and “observe both the artistic and practical considerations that guide the rehearsal process.” Please visit www.nwsinfonietta.com to learn more about the orchestra.
- Adult Coed Soccer: Lakewood Parks & Recreation Department’s Winter 2008 Adult Coed Soccer season kicks off Sunday, February 10th and continues through April 13. With six teams participating, over 100 adults will be getting active each Sunday afternoon at Fort Steilacoom Park. GO LAKEWOOD!
- Sewer Project Update: This week the City received from the Public Works Trust Fund board for execution the loan agreement in the amount of $1,840,000 for our American Lake Gardens/Tillicum sanitary sewer project. The terms of the loan are for 20 year at ¬?% interest rate. $1,140,000 of the loan is associated with providing financial assistance to requesting property owners with regards to their sewer connection costs with the balance associated with financing the city’s sewer project.
- Gambling Public Hearing: On Wednesday, February 6th, the Planning Advisory Board conducted a public hearing to take testimony on gambling in Lakewood. There were approximately 80 people in attendance. Eighteen persons spoke – 16 in support of continuing gambling in Lakewood, and two persons opposed. The PAB is expected to take up the issue again at its meeting on February 20th.
- Lakewood Chamber Annual Chili Cook-Off: The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce held their 9th annual Chili Cook-off on Thursday, February 7th, at Clover Park Technical College, Sharon McGavick Student and Conference Center. The Cook-Off is a fundraiser sponsored by the Education Committee of the Chamber for the Business Students of the Year Scholarship Program. All of the proceeds from the Auction benefit local scholarship recipients.
Lakewood City Council members (Helen McGovern, Doug Richardson, Pad Finnegan, and Don Anderson serve up their “diversity chili” at the annual Lakewood Chamber of Commerce “Chili Cook-off” at the CPTC’s Convention Center on February 7th.