By Andrew Neiditz, Lakewood City Manager
- City earns WellCity Award: The City of Lakewood recently earned a WellCity Award from the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) Employee Benefit Trust, one of 82 cities receiving the award. The award is based on meeting stringent best practice standards in employee health promotion. Award recipients receive a 2% premium discount on medical coverage for employee and spouses in 2012. AWC’s Employee Benefit Trust provides health benefits to over 15,000 city employees in Washington.
- Landlord/Tenant Training Workshop: Over 100 landlords and tenants attended the City’s first Landlord/Tenant Basics Training workshop on April 14th, sponsored by the Housing Justice Project, supported by City staff in the Human Services and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) divisions The training included a panel of attorneys and agency representatives offering information regarding Fair Housing and the Mobile Home Landlord Tenant Act. Additional support and resource information was provided by the City’s Building and Code Departments and the Community Safety Resource Team (CSRT). The training was a pilot program that will be expanded elsewhere in the area.
- Rebecca Drive Block Watch meeting: the Rebecca Drive Block Watch held its quarterly meeting, on April 9th with about 20 neighbors present at the home of co-captains. Alan Hart talked about several issues affecting the neighborhood and the City, and CSO Mike Miller informed the group on the community’s first quarter crime statistics, creative ways to reduce/prevent crime in the area, and made a pitch about this year’s National Night Out on August 2nd.
- CSO’s conduct personal safety presentation: CSOs Gail Conelly and Mike Miller conducted a personal safety presentation for the staff at a local addiction clinic on April 13th. The request for the presentation is due to increasing problems with patients who were attempting to verbally and physically intimidate staff, as well as increasing vehicle prowls on the property.
- Telecare Evaluation & Treatment Facility: The city manager and ass’t city manager toured the Telecare mental health crisis program facility on April 14th on the Western State Hospital campus. The Telecare program is a temporary facility that houses persons in crisis, and is leasing space from the State. They require an extended conditional use permit from the City to continue their operation. The program has complied with all City requirements for over a year.
- 1st Annual Fairy Garden Tea Party: On Saturday, April 9th, the City of Lakewood’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services department hosted its first Fairy Garden Tea Party, with a sold out crowd. Each little girl was taken through a fairy transformation where they received wings, wands, crowns and more. After that they were able to enjoy snacks, celebrate with old and new friends and create a beautiful craft. This event was so successful the City is planning a Mad HatterTea Party in the fall and another Fairy Garden Tea Party next spring.
- Family of 6 relocated: Staff in Human Services with support from Lakewood Area Shelter Association (LASA) successfully relocated a single mother and five children into permanent housing this week. Utilizing grant funds, human services works to relocate qualified families displaced through no fault of their own. This family would have become homeless after they were evacuated from their apartment because of serious building code violations. Relocation assistance ensures low-income, self-sufficient residents do not incur homelessness during times that the City has to shut down complexes due to serious health and safety code violations.
- April 16 is Parks Appreciation Day: Citizens are encouraged to join in on Saturday, April 16th at the City of Lakewood’s 10th Annual Parks Appreciation Day celebration. Projects are planned at Fort Steilacoom Park, Harry Todd Park, Kiwanis Park and Wards Lake Park between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and noon. To register families, service organizations, school or church groups, please call Suzi Riley at 253-983-7758.
- 7th Annual Helmets vs. Shields Baseball Game on April 16: Saturday, April 16th is the 7th annual Helmets vs. Shields Charity Basketball Game between West Pierce Fire and Rescue and the Lakewood Police Department. The game will be held at Pierce College, at 9401 Farwest Drive, at 6:00 p.m. This has been a great fundraiser for our two charities and all of the money raised is put right back into the community. Tickets are $5 at the door and children under 5 are free. There will also be a silent auction, a raffle and t-shirts for sale.