Posted by Paula Olson on Mar 29, 2019
            It was pot roast day at the TG&CC and the Lakewood Rotary room was packed.  Her Honor President Gayle opened the meeting on time as usual.  Chris Kimball led us in a thoughtful invocation and the Pledge of Alliance was totally off the charts.  Who knew that Joe Quinn had such an awesome, booming voice? He led us in a rousing rendition of a medley of patriotic favorites, including the National Anthem and the Canadian Anthem.  Good use of protein infusion.   
             Meeting set up included the usual suspects: Duncan Cook, Ward Fletcher and Troy Wilcox; Steve Enquist manned the Paul Harris table where $447 was collected; Leanna Christian sold raffle tickets and did double duty as Sergeant at Arms; and Paula Olson was bulletin writer. The auction table was womaned by Christine Vu, Paula Olson and Kendra Riconosciuto.   
Above: District Governor, Craig Gillis
            We had a couple of visiting Rotarians: District Governor Craig Gillis from Campbell River Day Break; Ardell and Lew Samdal from Parkland-Spanaway; Kelimaria Brigham from Hawks Prairie; and Steve Shumaker from South Hill. Guests included Johanah Quinn; Mo Sarram’s son, Ali, and grandson Nima; Bob Hammar's son Bradley; and Tom and Fae Crabill. There was no Sunshine Report and President Gayle was happy to see healthy members returning to the fold. Eric Warn updated us on his wife’s progress. She is six weeks into treatment and is handling it well. He knows she’s doing well because his “honey do” list keeps getting longer.
           President Gayle reminded everyone about the District Conference on May 9th through the 11th.  There are nine Rotarians going and Pres. Gayle wants us to beat another club who has 11 members going.  Accompanying Gayle is Mom and Dad Selden and Gayle’s niece. Steve Enquist updated us on the Foundation. It currently has $19,364 with $11,676 in the general fund, $6,788 for Polio, and $900 for the endowment. Since January 2019, we’ve donated $21,404 and $1,149,613 to date.  Not too shabby, Lakewood!!  Steve presented two Paul Harris awards: one to Wynn Hoffman, his third, and one to Mo Sarram in his grandson’s honor.
      President Gayle shared that she owes her induction ceremony to Greg Rediske and she went on to lead the induction of our latest Puffin holder, Brian Ivey. Don Daniels introduced Brian and after the official particulars were done, Brian told us more about himself. He is in commercial real estate, and has been married for 27 years to his high school sweetheart. They’ve been together since they were 17 years of age. He has two sons, one in law enforcement, one as an EMT, and a daughter finishing high school and on to UW, majoring in accounting. He likes to hunt, golf, and fly fish. He was admonished to take good care of the puffin. 
      Eric Quinn announced that the Sportsmen's Dinner is two weeks away. Today was the official last day for procurement and sponsorship.  Eric was grateful for the many sponsors who have donated. Volunteer positions are still available and those Puffins better get signed up or they will be sorry. Eric wanted the Puffins to know that if and WHEN they sign up to sell drink and/or raffle tickets, that they would not be doing that for the entire event, but would be doing so in one of two shifts: 5 PM to 7:15 PM or 7:15 PM to 9:30 PM. Fae Crabill of the We Are the Champions Team--accompanied by other awesome Rotarians--talked about the Elton John event.  The Lakewood Towne Center Theater is reserved for us for June 9th for a showing of the Elton John movie, Rockteman, followed by dinner at Steve and Anne Enquist’s home.  There is room for 50 people and approximately 34 people (and that number has already grown) have already bought tickets. Elton’s Oscar party appetizers will be served. Get those last tickets while they are hot, folks. Ardell from Parkland announced their Surrender the Booty Bash auction on May 18th at Station House 726 in Puyallup. They would also graciously welcome volunteers to help out.
      District Governor Gillis congratulated Goddess Gayle on her vibrant, wonderful leadership (wonder how much that cost Gayle?) and attracting new members like Brian. Craig said we were the gold standard for the Foundation and leadership at the district level. He noted that it takes at least eight people to supervise Gayle at the District Conference so we’d better get busy and sign up. Then in keeping with the singing theme of this meeting, Craig sang his rendition of that old favorite “House of the Rising Sun” changed to “House of Evanston,” dedicated to Rotary. Amazing!!  Rolling Stones, watch out!!  He received a standing ovation. Greg Horn piped up that we shouldn’t expect anything similar from him when he’s in office.
     At fine time, Pres Gayle commented that Chris Kimball looked good in his picture wearing the crown at the last meeting when he subbed for her. Ward Fletcher won $13,000 at the Emerald Queen. He finished his last Paul Harris, did a new Paul Harris and contributed to Gayle’s fine budget. Let’s all rub up against Ward next time we plan to go gambling. Don Anderson paid up for his trip around the world: Australia, New Zealand, Washington DC, New York, and San Francisco. He also donated a week at his condo in Sugar Beach for the auction. Bob Peterson paid for his great grandchild’s first birthday and thanked us all for our support ding his latest health issue.  Joe Quinn put $100 toward the Elton John event; Eric Quinn contributed $100 toward the Elton John event and paid $5 for his March birthday.
       Don Anderson introduced Lakewood’s City Manager, John Caulfield.  John came to Lakewood from Boston University, not to be confused by Boston College, and the U. S. Army. He likes hockey. Based on Lakewood’s council form of government, he has authority and responsibility for getting things done in Lakewood.
            John reported on  2018 successes and projects for 2019 and 2020.  In 2015, the city adopted a comprehensive vision spanning to 2026 addressing diversity, history, and local neighborhoods, among other things.  The City Council’s goals included fiscal responsibility, public safety, economic development, dependable infrastructure, and transparency. The number of local business has improved to 4,700 businesses, with 35,000 people employed. Lakewood has received lots of positive press. It’s the second largest city in Pierce County with a $8.8 million budget. The City of Tacoma has about a $500 million budget. Lakewood has strong reserves and finances with a double A bond rating, an excellent grade. John talked some about the tax structure and the need for special districts for money to supplement the federal and state funding.  Property taxes are the 10th lowest in Pierce County.
Above: Presenter, John Caulfield
            Public safety was the primary reason for incorporation and the crime rate is down. This is particularly challenging since Lakewood is situated on the I-5 corridor with areas beyond Lakewood’s control. These include the military bases and Western State Hospital. John suggested we take a ride-a-long with law enforcement to get a sense of the issues they face every day and watch our police deal with those issues with compassion and strength. Statistics show a minimal use of force. Police have lots of community programs to partner with the community, such as Cocoa with a Cop, community clean up, code enforcement, animal control, abatement program, and drone program.  One of the best programs is the behavioral health contact team to assist people with mental illness or addiction, keeping them out of the criminal justice system.
            There is a plan to further develop the downtown area with the Colonial Plaza project and redevelopment to include housing, hotel, and light industrial businesses. The infrastructure has 46 projects going, totaling $56 million, and 16 projects totaling $21 million. Some include a new road in Springbrook, new development at Custer Road and Waller Road, and a loop around Gravelly Lake. The parks department has projects worth $9 million, including work at Fort Steilacoom Park, Harry Todd Park, Springbroook Park and expansion of the summer concert program.
            John talked about the relationship between Lakewood and the federal program for the military installations. He encouraged us to go to Lakewood’s website for more detailed information and check out the new communication dash board.
            John took questions from the floor. In addressing the homelessness issue, John commented that there are two doors: 1) getting people help from the various resources available to them or 2) moving them out of Lakewood. He is now learning that people are migrating down from Seattle on their way to Olympia but unless they want to take advantage of Lakewood’s resources to help them, they need not stop in Lakewood. Members complimented John on the positive business image of Lakewood, and partnership with the military.  There will not be a cross base highway.
            Thank you, John, for an interesting and uplifting report on the State of the City of Lakewood.  Great job and keep up the good work.         
Raffle winner was Walt Richardson, again, and he pulled a white one for $5.00.
Finally, if you read this bulletin, tell Greg Rediske so you can get a makeup. Also, if you shop online, try to do so at Amazon Smile so a portion of your purchase can be allocated to Lakewood Rotary.