Council Goals & Priorities

Adopted July 7, 2014

The City Council sets the vision for our City and adopts goals to reflect that vision and guide decision-making at all levels of City government. The goal setting process also builds consensus on policies and projects that impact City residents, businesses and the community as a whole.

These goals will direct our community toward positive change and will serve as the policy direction for City government as well as the policy guide for developing and implementing the City's 2015-2016 biennial budget. Each adopted goal also includes specific action strategies and a work plan outlining priority projects be identified to implement each goal. These latter items and projects are not inclusive of all activities and services provided or undertaken by city departments, though they represent the leading priorities.

The City Manager uses the City Council vision and goals to set priorities, direct work activities, and allocate personnel and financial resources.

The Lakewood City Council held a retreat on Saturday, May 10, 2014 as a continuation of a December 14, 2013 retreat to develop goals and priorities for the next three-year period (2014-2016) and beyond. An additional review occurred as part of City Council’s June 23, 2014 study session with adoption occurring as part of City Council’s July 7, 2014 regular meeting.

The following goals emerged:

  1. Our City is Fiscally Responsible
  2. Our City Provides First-Rate Public Safety Services
  3. Our City Promotes Economic Development
  4. Our City is Dedicated to Maintaining and Improving Public Infrastructure and Facilities
  5. Our City is Committed to Honest, Open, and Transparent Government

In addition, the City Council identified the following as the key objectives to pursue:

  • Infrastructure Improvements
  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Focus on “Low Hanging Fruit” (i.e., promote positive image and attributes of Lakewood, continue to move forward with current infrastructure improvements and develop implementation strategy for unfunded infrastructure improvements, CSRT, economic development opportunities, gateway improvements, etc.)
  • Public Safety Cost/Benefit Analysis


Goal 1: Our City is Fiscally Responsible

Policy Objectives & Action Strategies

  • Support a stronger, more prosperous community by making smart investments that accomplish lasting, tangible returns
  • Adjust to changes in the service requirements of the community, maximizing resources and creating meaningful performance measures for programs and services
  • Focus on total financial picture of the City rather than single-issue areas and promote long-term financial forecasting in support of day-to-day operations
  • Continuously evaluate city revenues and expenditures with a view of maintaining a strong fiscal position while providing quality municipal services
  • Perform organizational structure review for economic efficiencies and effectiveness, including contract services and vendors
  • Do not balance the operating budget with one-time monies and/or reserves; one-time monies should be used for one-time projects, not ongoing or reoccurring programs
  • Use performance measures and benchmark key community characteristics (e.g., Comparing Lakewood)

Work Plan items, Tasks, and Priority Projects

  • Review 2013-2014 Revised Budget
  • Prepare 2015-2016 Biennial Budget, to include performance measures
  • Prepare annual Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)
  • Develop Quarterly Finance Report
  • Review and update internal finance controls (i.e., review of claims and vouchers, cash management, purchasing, fund structure, banking services agreement, grant accounting, records management, fixed assets, credit cards, etc.)
  • Financial Analyses (i.e., fleet & equipment, historical revenue and expenditure trends, revenue and program fees & charges vs. program expenditures, position inventory, debt schedules, interfund transfers, interfund loans, overtime, travel & training, memberships & dues, contracts, use and priorities of seizure funds, lodging tax balances, impacts of Affordable Care Act, fire services contract, fleet & equipment, etc.)
  • Taxes and Fees in Lakewood to include context of other applicable taxes and fees as compared to neighboring communities, as relates to service levels
  • Develop Six Year Financial Forecast 2015 to 2020
  • Develop and implement comprehensive financial policies (i.e., financial reporting, six-year financial report, revenue & expenditure assumptions, fund balance/working capital, reserves, cost recovery for fee supported activities, investments with a focus on safety, liquidity and yield, capital investment, use of debt, creation of internal service funds and replacement reserves in support of risk management, IT, fleet & equipment and facilities, etc.)
  • Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)
  • Funding options for streets and sidewalks to include pay-as-you-go financing options for capital investment opportunities (i.e., Transportation Benefit District, grants, etc.)
  • Funding options for parks to include pay-as-you-go financing options for capital investment opportunities
  • Develop and implement a Six Year Information Technology Plan 2015 to 2020
  • City Finances 101 Presentation (i.e., legal mandates, restricted versus unrestricted revenues, discretionary services, etc.)
  • Continue proactive approach to seek and obtain grants across all city disciplines
  • Develop organizational chart
  • Develop comparison of various economic, social and demographic indicators between Lakewood, surrounding cities and similar sized cities (e.g., benchmarking analysis)
  • Ensure community has adequate resources to ensure health, welfare, and safety of our community (i.e., parks and recreation, public safety, community & economic development, public works, community outreach, capital infrastructure to include streets, sidewalks and parks, etc.)
  • Implement Risk Management Program to include Worker's Compensation and Safety Program


Goal 2: Our City Provides First-Rate Public Safety Services

Policy Objectives & Action Strategies

  • The City of Lakewood is safe
  • Residents and visitors will experience a sense of safety in all neighborhoods and in all activities in the City of Lakewood
  • The City of Lakewood will be one of the safest cities based on approved metrics; bring benchmark metrics back to City Council for approval and tracking
  • Ensure adequate resources are available to maintain and ensure health, welfare, and safety of community
  • Enhance community safety through expanded public awareness and educational programs

Work Plan items, Tasks, and Priority Projects

  • Public safety cost/benefit analysis
  • Proactive and regular public safety reporting
  • CSRT program (e.g., visual survey to identify code enforcement violations, initiate a “gateway” enforcement program, initiate a Lakeview/100th St enhancement program)
  • Impact of homelessness and mental illness to include options and alternatives (local versus regional options/approach)
  • Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery
  • Emergency Management Training/Incident Command System (ICS) (e.g., Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, Emergency Coordination Center Plan)
  • Emergency Management Program/Plan/Training/Exercises (e.g., neighborhood and business outreach, Community Emergency Response Team [CERT] training, PC Alert)
  • Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) location(s)
  • Public Defender contract options
  • Streamline municipal court operations to include shared efficiencies with primary stakeholders such as police, legal, public defender and jails (e.g., video arraignment, paperless system)
  • Additional municipal court partnerships


Goal 3: Our City Promotes Economic Development

Policy Objectives & Action Strategies

  • Lakewood will support a dynamic and robust local economy with balanced and sustainable growth by implementing an economic development strategy that will create jobs and improve the tax base in the community with a particular focus on the community’s commercial corridors
  • Provide leadership and strategic guidance concerning economic development, including coordination with various stakeholders
  • Create collaborative and effective working partnerships with the business community, and other key organizations to effectively manage the City’s regulatory environment while accomplishing economic development goals
  • Update and implement the Comprehensive Plan, Community Vision and key development regulations and other policies such as housing and capital facilities plan (CFP) in partnership with residents, neighborhoods and businesses
  • Attract new housing development to accommodate military and all segments of population
  • Explore ways the City can effectively stimulate economic development with our economic partners to address community-wide economic development issues (e.g., assistance to existing businesses, business recognition, business retention and expansion strategies, business attraction strategies, community marketing)
  • Promote an attractive Lakewood image to include a positive message about doing business in the City and leverage existing competitive advantages such as location, access, military, lakes, parks, golf courses, civic and community involvement, transit options, and wide variety of retail, restaurant and cultural activities.
  • Promote better access (e.g., I-5, Bridgeport, Gravelly Lake Dr, 100th, 108th) and increase visibility to Towne Center and other commercial centers to take advantage of proximity to I-5 and six freeway exits
  • If feasible, pursue annexation of selected areas within the City’s Urban Growth Area (UGA)

Work Plan items, Tasks, and Priority Projects

  • Community Visioning process to solicit input from citizens regarding the policy direction of the city
  • Foster redevelopment and revitalization opportunities for:
    • Central Business District (CBD) to include Towne Center
    • Springbrook Neighborhood
    • Pacific Highway corridor to include WSDOT property and adjoining parcels
    • South Tacoma Way/International District corridor
    • Woodbrook Business Park
    • Tillicum Neighborhood
  • Towne Center Green, private-public partnership to create a park/plaza complex that connects Towne Center with City Hall (evaluate use of lodging tax funds and other city resources)
  • Develop community-marketing materials to promote and attract investment opportunities
  • Marketing “phrase or slogan” to establish community identity/image (e.g., #IamLakewood)
  • Demographic snapshot/profile of Lakewood community and economic development incentives offered by the City
  • Leverage available economic development and financing options (i.e., capital improvement program, EB5, Section 108, lodging tax, urban renewal areas, etc.)
  • Builder and developer forum (e.g., commercial development opportunities and housing development opportunities in Lakewood)
  • Coordinate with Pierce County Library District to evaluate a new Lakewood Library
  • Review city codes and regulations to identify updates and efficiencies as well as updates to encourage and support development and redevelopment and improve quality of life
  • Comprehensive Plan
  • Shoreline Master Plan (SMP)
  • Communal housing regulations
  • Subdivision code amendments
  • LTAC Guidelines
  • Title 9 change; move LID Chapter
  • Nuisance Chapter 8.16 code update
  • Rental licensing inspection Chapter 5.60 update
  • Utility tax refund code Chapter 3.52 code amendments
  • Hearings Examiner code amendments
  • Joint Land Use Study (JLUS)
  • Marijuana Sales, Processing and Production Update
  • Way finding/informational signs/Gateway/City entrance signage
  • Feather Signage
  • Shopping cart ordinance
  • Underground utilities policy for new construction
  • Review and update franchise agreements (e.g., TPU-Water, TPU-Electric, TPU-Click! Network, Comcast, Waste Connections, Lakewood Water District, Pierce County Sewer, Puget Sound Energy, Lakeview Light & Power, Integra)
  • Identify and prioritize CDBG program and infrastructure opportunities (e.g., street lights, sidewalks)
  • Annexation opportunities
    • Arrowhead & Partridge Glen
    • American Lake VA Hospital and Golf Course
    • Camp Murray and American Lake access
  • Continue to streamline development services (permitting) process


Goal 4: Our City is Dedicated to Maintaining and Improving Public Infrastructure and Facilities

Policy Objectives & Action Strategies

  • Implement a capital improvement program that provides a safe, clean, and well-maintained community for the enjoyment of all residents and to provide preventive maintenance to avoid greater replacement costs
  • Identify, review and prioritize capital infrastructure projects
  • Explore, identify and develop long-term funding strategies to maintain the City’s infrastructure assets (i.e., Transportation Benefit District, voter-approved initiative, grants, etc.)
  • Enhance curb appeal with ramp beautification, well maintained properties on major thoroughfares, right of way maintenance, and beautification plan for all entry points to the City
  • Develop and implement a vision for parks and public spaces to improve quality of life and attract residents

Work Plan items, Tasks, and Priority Projects

  • Develop and implement a multi-modal transportation plan including streets, sidewalks, bike paths, signal improvements, and other system improvements resulting in a funding priority list (from CIP/TIP and Non-motorized Transportation Plan)
  • Street and sidewalk improvements (street reconstruction, sidewalk improvements, overlays, chip seal, pavement restoration, crack sealing, pot holes)
  • Street Preventative Maintenance Plan/Pavement Restoration Plan
  • Street Lights
  • Develop and implement six year Capital Improvement Plan (2015-2020)
  • Develop and implement six year Transportation Plan (2014-2019, 2015-2020)
  • Evaluate existing revenue streams to maximize capital investment through pay-as-you-go and debt financing opportunities and reflect those financial options as part of city budgets and longer term financial strategies
  • Explore feasibility of a voter-approved referendum now or in future years
  • Continue to pursue local, state and federal grant opportunities
  • I-5/JBLM Corridor Improvements
  • Park Projects
  • Wards Lake property purchase and evaluation of three residential units (single family and duplex unit)
  • Fort Steilacoom Park
    • Lease update with state and evaluate property transfer from state
    • Amphitheater proposal (Rotary Club of Lakewood financial contribution, state & federal grants, and evaluate use of lodging tax funds)
    • Waughop Lake Trail (Partnership for Parks financial contribution, state & federal grants, and evaluate use of lodging tax funds)
    • Water (fire hydrants) & sewer lines extensions into park
  • Springbrook Park house demolition and other park improvements
  • Restrooms in parks
  • 2015 US Championship Open (parking at Fort Steilacoom Park, community volunteer opportunities)
  • Options for additional waterfront access and fishing areas to include prioritization of street ends (14)
  • ADA access to all parks and areas
  • Gateway Improvements
  • Storm Water & Sewer Services
  • Sewer Availability Analysis to include cost/benefit analysis and environmental impacts
  • Pierce County Sewer Grant in support of sewer extensions in Woodbrook neighborhood
  • Flood Control Zone – Identify local eligible projects in Flood Control Zone
  • City Facilities
  • Public Works O&M Shop
  • Sound Transit Light Rail Station - contract for services
  • Public right-of-way (ROW) maintenance of WSDOT Interchanges and entrances to City
  • Public right-of-way (ROW) beautification
  • Public right-of-way (ROW) striping to include crosswalks
  • Public right-of-way (ROW) sign inventory
  • Energy Efficiency Audits – (e.g., upgrade street lights to LEDs)
  • Replacement reserves in support of city facilities


Goal 5: Our City is Committed to Honest, Open, and Transparent Government

Policy Objectives & Action Strategies

  • Enhance and promote the community’s image – “#IamLakewood”
  • Develop and implement a coordinated communication and engagement plan that will better allow the City to share information about the good work the City is doing, as well as obtain feedback from those the City serves about community priorities and public services
  • Engage the community in City government to include providing timely and accurate information about City services and openly share information about City actions and decisions
  • Ensure transparency between the City as an organization and the community to encourage and promote citizen and civic engagement
  • Actively participate in local and regional issues that impact the Lakewood community to include coordination and partnerships with military partners and educational institutions
  • Committed to developing and maintaining a professional, highly qualified, well-trained, and service-oriented City workforce that utilizes sound business practices rooted in accountability, ethical behavior, efficiency, technology, effectiveness, and responsiveness in the delivery of city services.
  • Promote the interests and needs of Lakewood in local, state, and national affairs
  • Support human services for the benefit of residents of all ages
  • Continue to promote and partner with various volunteer groups

Work Plan items, Tasks, and Priority Projects


  • Bring in City Council early
  • Calendar and list of Lakewood Community & Special Events
  • City Council assignments - permanent or rotating
  • I-Pads for City Council email, calendar, packets
  • Organizational teamwork
  • Review roles and responsibilities of City Council appointed Boards & Commissions to optimize their effectives to include development of work plans
  • Talking Points for City Councilmembers

Enhance engagement with the public

  • Celebrate successes
  • Community beautification -- recognition of well-maintained properties and banners
  • Foster community and support neighborhood vitality to include support opportunities for citizens to participate and to know each other within their neighborhoods and across the city (e.g., neighborhood associations)
  • Promotion of economic development initiatives
  • Improve public access to City information
  • Outreach to faith-based organizations
  • Promote "Lakes"
  • Promote and market positive community image
  • Promote community identity
  • Volunteer appreciation

Community Outreach

  • Communications Plan
  • City Talk
  • City website (redesign)
  • Coffee with the Mayor
  • Community Connections newsletter to include sharing of partners successes (i.e., CPSD, Pierce College, CPTC, economic development, military, community partners, neighborhood meetings, Lake Steilacoom Improvement Club, etc.)
  • Community education (e.g., municipal finances, transportation needs)
  • Conduct a statistically valid survey to measure quality of life, community perception, and service level in Lakewood
  • JBLM community connector
  • E-government
  • Public hearings
  • Email communications
  • Media, business and community outreach
  • Meetings and presentations
  • News releases
  • Park Appreciation Day/Park Cleanup Day(s)
  • Proactive media relations
  • Public information brochures
  • Quarterly reports (e.g., public safety, finance, economic development, development services)
  • #IamLakewood social media campaign
  • Social Media to include newer applications
  • Weekly InfoBullets
  • Weekly Police Department Report
  • You Tube, public education videos

Community Partnerships

  • AARP
  • Alaska Gardens
  • American Lake Veterans Hospital
  • Association of Washington Cities
  • Boy and Girl Scouts of America
  • Bridgeport Place
  • Caring for Kids
  • Catholic Community Services
  • Centerforce
  • Christ Lutheran Church
  • City of Tacoma
  • City of University Place
  • Clover Park School District
  • Clover Park Technical College
  • Coffee with the Mayor
  • Communities in Schools of Lakewood
  • Diabetes Association of Pierce County
  • Emergency Food Network (EFN)
  • Federal Legislators (10th Congressional District)
  • First Baptist Church of Lakewood
  • FISH Food Bank
  • Grave Concerns
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • HeartWarming Care
  • Integrity Hearing
  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM)
  • Keep Lakewood Beautiful
  • Kiwanis Club of Clover Park
  • Korean Women’s Association
  • Lake City Neighborhood
  • Lake Steilacoom Improvement Club
  • Lakewold Gardens (MayFest)
  • Lakewood Baseball Club
  • Lakewood Boys and Girls Club
  • Lakewood Chamber of Commerce
  • Lakewood Community Foundation
  • Lakewood First Lions
  • Lakewood Historical Society
  • Lakewood Industrial Park
  • Lakewood Playhouse
  • Lakewood Soccer Club
  • Lakewood Towne Center
  • Lakewood United
  • Lakewood Water District
  • Lakewood YMCA
  • Little Church on the Prairie
  • Living Access Support Alliance
  • MultiCare Health System
  • Narrows Glen
  • Nisqually Tribe
  • North East Neighborhood
  • Pacific Lutheran University
  • Pacific Neighborhood
  • Partners for Parks
  • Pierce College
  • Pierce County
  • Pierce County Cities & Towns
  • Pierce County Housing Authority
  • Pierce County Library District
  • Pierce County Regional Council (PCRC)
  • Pierce Transit
  • Point Defiance Village
  • Protect Our Pets
  • Puget Sound Energy (PSE)
  • Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC)
  • Rebuilding South Sound Together
  • Regional Access Mobility Partnership (RAMP)
  • Rotary Club of Clover Park
  • Rotary Club of Lakewood
  • Senior Footcare
  • Senior Housing Assistance Group – Lakewood Meadows
  • Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors
  • Sound Transit
  • Soundview Medical
  • South Sound Military Communities Partnership (SSMCP)
  • South Sound Outreach Services
  • South Sound Sports Commission
  • St. Clare Hospital – Franciscan Health System
  • Tacoma Area Coalition of Individuals with Disabilities (TACID)
  • Tacoma Housing Authority
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Association of Realtors
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • The Footwear Place
  • The Weatherly Inn
  • Tillicum/Woodbrook Neighborhood
  • Trinity Baptist Church
  • Town of Steilacoom
  • United Way
  • Visiting Angels
  • Walmart
  • Washington Recreation and Park Association
  • Washington State Association of Senior Centers
  • Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)
  • Washington State Legislators (28th & 29th Districts)
  • Washington State SAIL Task Force
  • West Pierce Fire and Rescue
  • Western State Hospital
  • World Vision
  • YWCA

Community Events

  • Christmas Tree Lighting
  • City Incorporation 20 Year Anniversary (2016)
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Jingle Bell Rock 5K Run
  • National Night Out
  • Nisqually Grant application (healthy start after school programs)
  • Parks Appreciation Day
  • Police Department 10 year Anniversary (2014)
  • Summer FEST & Triathlon

Military Partnerships

  • 2-2 Stryker “Lancer” Brigade
  • Camp Murray
  • Continued collaboration with JBLM
  • South Sound Military and Communities Partnership (SSMCP)
  • Joint land Use Study (JLUS)

Local, Regional& National Participation

  • Association of Washington Cities (AWC)
  • Local and regional business organizations (e.g., Chamber, EDB)
  • Monthly Mayor’s Meeting
  • Pierce County Cities & Towns
  • Pierce County Regional Council (PCRC)
  • Pierce Transit
  • Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC)
  • Regional Access Mobility Partnership (RAMP)
  • Sound Transit
  • State Legislative Agenda:
    • Transportation Funding:  I-5 JBLM Corridor Improvements
    • Public Safety Improvements:  Point Defiance Bypass
    • Capital Funding Request:  Towne Green
    • Maintain Funding for Western State Hospital Community Policing Program
    • Transfer of Fort Steilacoom Park ownership from State to City (future)
  • Federal Legislative Agenda:
    • Transportation Funding:  I-5 JBLM Corridor Improvements
    • Public Safety Improvements:  Point Defiance Bypass
    • Lakewood Amtrak Station
    • EB5 Program
    • CDBG Program
    • JBLM Air Corridor