Highlights from the weekly report (August 22) from City of Lakewood Manager, Andrew Neiditz to the Mayor and Council Members:
- Pacific Highway Phase 3 ‚Äì 108th Street to SR 512: Construction is progressing smoothly with the Contractor’s completion of storm drainage installation this week. In addition, 4 of the 9 video detection cameras were set at the South Tacoma Way / SR512 intersection in preparation of the contractor cutting the vehicle detection loops in the pavement. The Contractor is scheduled to install illumination and signal conduit next week and prepare for curb and gutter installation. The project is on schedule and within budget. It is anticipated that final paving will occur in the middle of October and final traffic signal switch out in December.
- Neiditz presides at state city managers conference: Lakewood’s city manager presided over the annual Washington City/County Managers Association (WCMA) annual conference August 20-22 in Winthrop WA. About 120 were in attendance from around the state. The conference theme was “Sustainability” and the keynote speakers included Dan Burden, an expert on community development strategies and the founder of Walkable Communities, Inc.; and Margaret Larson, former news anchor on Dateline NBC and The Today Show, who now leads an international humanitarian community aid effort. Neiditz’s one year term as WCMA president was concluded on August 22nd, and he was succeeded by Ben Yazici, the city manager of Sammamish.
- COPS Event: The COPS community event on Saturday August 16th was supported by participation by LAAPAC, the Pacific Neighbor Association, Lakewood Fire, Lakewood Police Department and Radar Volunteers. About 500 hot dogs were served. Officers took the time to talk with a group of kids about law enforcement and pulled out some of SWAT gear for a presentation. Our Explorers did an outstanding job and were instrumental in this event being a success, and were great representatives of the Lakewood Police Department.
- Code Enforcement/Abatement Update: As of August 22nd, there have been a total of 249 code enforcement records entered for 2008. Of these, 78 have been closed, 52 are active, and 119 are pending. Also, the City successfully defended itself in a small claims hearing related to a drug lab abatement in 2007. The City was represented by its insurance agent and staff from Police and Code Enforcement.
- Tyee Elementary School ‚Äì Pedestrian Safety Improvement: Public Works staff with contractor support are in the process of completing a minor pedestrian safety improvement on Seminole Road approaching the entrance to Tyee Elementary School. The project includes construction of a traffic barrier curb and gravel walkway which will provide a physical separation between the students walking to school and the vehicles at the only school access point. The project is part of the City’s Minor Pedestrian Safety Improvement Program and was selected as a top priority after citizens brought the project to the Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee.
- LPD Explorers Completed Academy Last Week: Two LPD explorers went through the basic academy where they focused on basic patrol procedures. They received classroom training and were graded on mock scenes. We also had one explorer go through advanced academy which focused on investigations; he received training on homicide, fraud, and other types of investigations. All of our explorers graduated.
- Police and Fire Games: Officers Jim Syler, Michelle Hector and Jeff Martin are currently competing in the Police and Fire Games being held in Boise, Idaho. Hector and Syler took 2nd place in the “Toughest Man Alive” event. This competition has several events within it. Some of the events are running, rope climbing, shot-put, weight lifting and an obstacle course. They both received the silver medal and a moment on the awards podium. Michelle Hector competed in the 5K cross country run on Tuesday and took the gold medal. She competed against men and women and apparently smoked everyone. The 5K was no easy course; it consisted of pavement, dirt trails, large hills, and sand. Congratulations to all officers who participated!
- Back to School Event on McNeil Island: NPO Charles Porche and CSOs Sandi Stauffer and Dawn McGinnis participated in the annual back to school event for children of inmates at McNeil Island Penitentiary on August 15th. Approximately 90 children participated in the event which included lunch with their dads, backpacks provided to each child filled with school supplies, and a chance to visit the booths set up by various agencies including LPD.