City Council Summary: April 4, 2022

Members of the Pierce County Realtors’ Association accept a proclamation from the Lakewood City Council.

The City Council commemorated the 54th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act with a proclamation. Passed in 1968, the law is the foundation for many anti-discrimination protections. The proclamation was received by Sean Martin, CEO of the Pierce County Realtors’ Association.

Executive Director Deborah Grady and Board Chair Julie Door presented an overview of South Sound 911 (SS911). SS911 performs emergency dispatch, collects police reports, and administers concealed pistol licenses, fingerprinting, and records. SS911’s new facility recently opened in 2021. SS911 noted a pattern of increased emergency call volume.

Youth Council representative Hank Jones offered an update on Youth Council activities. The Youth Council has been investigating youth mental health, among other issues. 1 in 5 high school students in the state has considered suicide, according to a 2016 DSHS survey. Schoolwork is a key factor in student anxiety.

Proposed solutions include affordable counseling, social outlets, and stress education. The Youth Council will host a Youth Summit on Saturday, May 21. The event will discuss mental health and financial literacy among students in grades 9-12.

City Council approved a resolution for the City to participate in the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS). Many employees have prior PERS/DRS membership. Unions representing City employees support the move. Lakewood was one of only a few Washington cities not in PERS.

Parks Director Mary Dodsworth reviewed the Adopt-A-Street program. The program allows residents or organizations to claim a street to help clean up litter. Adopted streets receive signs crediting adoptees.

The City plans to add graffiti removal support to the Adopt A Street program. Residents may report vandalism through MyLakewood311. The City removes graffiti on public property and may provide supplies for cleanups on private property.

The City Council will soon consider revisions to the process to name and rename municipal parks and facilities. A resident’s proposal last year to rename Fort Steilacoom Park upset some residents.

The City is engaging residents about tree preservation. The City will host a 1-hour “Tree Talk” on Wednesday, April 6 at 12:00 p.m. on Zoom. Residents may take a brief survey about tree preservation and review a summary of current tree preservation efforts.