Word on the Street

The latest news in and around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

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Category: Lakewood


Rep. Heck opens district office in Lakewood City Hall

Rep. Denny Heck is opening a district office on the third floor of Lakewood City Hall on Monday.

Heck’s office reached agreement to lease space for a district office at Lacey City Hall and approached Lakewood city officials as they sough to open another office in Pierce County, said Phil Gardner, his chief spokesman.

The hours will mirror those of City Hall, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Gardner said the location for the district office is convenient for residents and, as an added business, Heck’s representatives will be mere feet from city officials.

“We work with

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UPDATE 2: Lakewood interim city manager to get pay boost

UPDATE 2, 4 P.M.: Lakewood City Attorney Heidi Ann Wachter will receive a boost in pay during her stint as interim city manager that begins next week.

Outgoing City Manager Andrew Neiditz and Mayor Don Anderson approved giving Wachter a 9.5 percent raise during the time she runs the day-to-day operations of City Hall, city spokesman Jeff Brewster said in response to an inquiry by The News Tribune.

The decision boosts her monthly base salary to $11,583 from $10,482. It’s anticipated she’ll serve in the job for no more than three months.

Brewster said the raise puts Wachter’s temporary salary

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McGovern to return to Lakewood City Council

Helen McGovern is returning to the Lakewood City Council in what apparently will be a caretaker role of less than a year.

The council voted unanimously Monday night to appoint McGovern, who previously served on the council from 2001 to 2008. She will take the seat vacated by Doug Richardson last month after his election to the Pierce County Council. Twelve candidates had applied for the appointment.

McGovern was the only candidate the council nominated for the appointment during a selection process that lasted less than 15 minutes. There was almost no discussion among council members beyond remarks about the

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JBLM/Saint Martin’s grads celebrate Friday in Lakewood

Members of Saint Martin’s University’s Extended Learning Division will gather Friday, Feb. 1 to celebrate the graduation of 29 members of its Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) December class of 2012.


The graduation ceremony, which begins at 1 p.m., takes place at the Clover Park Technical College McGavick Conference Center located at 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood. The event will include remarks by University President Roy F. Heynderickx.


Members of the graduating class include service members from various JBLM organizations as well as family members, members of the National Guard, reservists, veterans and non-military affiliated students. For over 40

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Lakewood’s search for council member, city manager moves ahead

The Lakewood City Council took steps toward appointing a new council member and hiring a new city manager Monday night.

After hearing about an hour of presentations from 12 residents seeking the appointment, the City Council moved toward hiring a consultant for between $19,000 and $40,000 to lead its search to find a successor for City Manager Andrew Neiditz.

Neiditz is leaving the city Feb. 23 to head South Sound 911, the new countywide emergency dispatch agency.

Mayor Don Anderson and council members Marie Barth and Mary Moss will work with Neiditz to make a recommendation on which of

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Pierce County educators win statewide Golden Apple Awards

A Lakewood school and a Tacoma teacher will be honored at the 2012 Golden Apple Awards ceremony Feb. 1.

The awards, from KCTS9 public television in Seattle, will recognize Southgate Elementary School in Lakewood’s Clover Park School District and teacher Kathleen Casper, who works with highly capable students in Tacoma Public Schools.

Southgate is one of three schools that will be presented with the Pathways to Excellence award, new this year from the Golden Apples. The award notes Southgate’s transformation over the past five years. Examples: the percentage of third-graders meeting state standards in math grew from 42 percent in

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Lakewood selects new mayor, deputy mayor

The Lakewood City Council unanimously selected Councilman Don Anderson as mayor Tuesday night.

The departure of Mayor Doug Richardson last week to the Pierce County Council left a vacancy in the largely ceremonial seat and council members had to name a successor. The mayor is not independently elected but selected from among the seven council members.

“It’s an honor and I look forward to the challenge,” Anderson said Wednesday.

Anderson is the fourth mayor in the city’s nearly 17-year history. In addition to Richardson, Bill Harrison and Claudia Thomas also served in the post.

Under Lakewood’s system of government,

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South Sound 911 board approves contract, annual salary of $175,000 for Neiditz

The South Sound 911 Policy Board today unanimously approved a three-year contract for Andrew Neiditz, who will be paid an annual salary of $175,000 as the new agency’s first executive director.

The board set Neiditz’s salary at the bottom of the position’s salary range of $175,000 to $205,000. Neiditz, 59, currently earns $156,000 annually as city manager of Lakewood.

The contract includes the option for a two-year extension in the future if the board and Neiditz agree, said Pierce County spokesman Hunter George.

Neiditz must give 30 days notice under his contract with Lakewood. George said Neiditz will start

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