Employee News - January 16, 2019


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Equity and justice highlighted at 2019 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

On Thursday, Jan. 10, King County’s 32nd annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration was held at The Sanctuary Seattle in downtown Seattle. The event focused on a unifying theme, drawing from a popular Dr. King quote, that truthfulness and love can have a profound impact on the world: “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.” 

Executive Constantine shared how the event theme aligns with the work King County is doing to achieve equity and social justice for all residents. 

“Dr. King’s reference to unconditional love underscores that our struggle for racial justice requires both our minds and our hearts,” said Executive Constantine. “In King County, in the county that bears Dr. King’s name, we are more determined than ever to continue this quest.” 

Read more and view photos here. View the entire 2019 MLK Celebration below.


Employee Spotlights


Transportation employee honored at state awards ceremony 

Road Maintenance Manager Jeremy Ferguson was recently honored by the American Public Works Association (APWA) Washington State Chapter for his achievements in the public works profession. The Night of Excellence conference recognizes individuals for personal and team accomplishments. 

First, Jeremy received the June Rosentreter Spence Award, which recognizes efforts to recruit individuals into the public works field, especially those historically underrepresented such as women, minorities, and people with disabilities. His recognition for this award can be viewed in this video. Jeremy was also a co-recipient of the APWA Committee in Action Award for his work on the Diversity Committee. Read more.

Pictured: From left to right APWA WA President Scott Egger, King County’s Jeremy Ferguson, and former APWA WA President Kirk Holmes.


King County Sheriff Deputy highlighted in Vashon newspaper 

Retiring King County Sheriff Deputy Kurt Lysen was celebrated in the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber with a featured profile for his 38 years serving the public of King County. The article highlighted his personal and professional background, his passion for being involved in the community and includes quotes from colleagues, friends, and fellow volunteers. 

“Vashon is a unique community that requires a unique type of policing. Kurt was the perfect and most effective deputy Vashon could ask for,” said Deputy Jeff Hancock. “What I saw that set Kurt apart from all the other deputies working the island was his true love for the island and for the people who call Vashon home. He had a vested interest and commitment to making Vashon safe.” 

Read the full profile here, titled “King County Sheriff’s Deputy Kurt Lysen retires.”


You asked, we answered: What you need to know about the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure 

These are some of the most frequently asked questions from our riders about the viaduct closure and the new SR 99 tunnel. If you have additional questions, leave a comment below and we’ll answer them. 

How much gridlock is anticipated during the State Route 99 closure? How will travel times change? 

From Jan. 11 to the week of Feb. 3 – after the Alaskan Way Viaduct permanently closes and before the SR 99 tunnel opens – buses, trains and light rail will be more crowded than usual, especially during peak travel times from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Read more.


Volunteers outside of Seattle needed for Count Us In 2019  

All Home is seeking volunteers outside of Seattle for Count Us In 2019, the annual Point in Time (PIT) Count of people experiencing homelessness. The count will take place in the early hours of the morning of January 25, 2019 from 2-6 a.m. The core purpose of the annual Point in Time (PIT) Count is to collect data on the needs of people experiencing homelessness in our community. The count also provides an excellent opportunity to increase awareness of homelessness and to spark action. A successful and accurate PIT Count is an essential component to informing the system response to the need in our community and to ultimately making homelessness rare, brief, and one-time. Register here. 

Please note the Seattle Count Us In sites are full. The greatest need for volunteers is
outside of Seattle. We are grateful for your flexibility and willingness to help where help is most needed.


Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Lunch and Learn, Jan. 25 

King County and the City of Seattle have embraced the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program as an effective and credible alternative for local law enforcement to booking people into jail for criminal activity that stems from untreated mental health or substance use disorders. By working with law enforcement to channel these individuals into community-based interventions, LEAD effectively disrupts their cycling repeatedly through our criminal justice system and gives them the tools and opportunity to achieve stability in the community.  

Learn more about this innovative program at a LEAD Lunch and Learn held Friday, Jan. 25, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Bertha Knight Landes Room at Seattle City Hall. The event will feature opening remarks from City of Seattle and King County leaders, a panel with community organizations and LEAD participants, and a brief question and answer session. Read more.

2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan Update – Staff Kickoff Lunch and Learn    

All staff are invited to learn about King County’s commitment to confront climate change and understand how to contribute to a major update to the County’s Strategic Climate Action Plan (SCAP) that will start in 2019. The SCAP is King County’s five-year blueprint for County action to confront climate change, integrating climate change considerations into all areas of County operations and our work with communities. Based on high demand, we've added an additional lunch and learn session to outline the SCAP update process and share how staff can engage and contribute ideas. Please RSVP for one of two open sessions: 

  • Tuesday, Jan. 29, from noon to 1 p.m. in King Street Center, 201 S. Jackson St, 8th Floor Conference Center. Register here.   
  • Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Chinook Building, 401 5th Avenue, Room 123. Register here.   

For questions, contact Matt.Kuharic@kingcounty.gov.

Office of Emergency Management featured in Seattle Weekly 

Sophia Lopez, King County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) public education coordinator, was featured in a December 19 Seattle Weekly article about how King County is preparing for a major earthquake such as a magnitude 9.0 Cascadia Subduction Zone quake. 

Seattle Weekly contacted OEM in response to December’s earthquake in Alaska, and a report that questioned the Puget Sound region's preparedness for such a disaster. Read the article here.

Training Spotlight

Skype 101, Jan. 16 and 18: To support a more agile work force, King County has purchased a Microsoft package that includes the Skype software. This software has many uses and allows employees to avoid relying upon email for electronic communications. Skype was not only designed as a quick communication tool but also provides capabilities of remote meetings, video presentations as well as a great training tool. Register and learn more here for the 16 and here for the 18.

You're the Boss: Now What? Feb. 28: Has your job position changed and now you are in charge? Are you adapting to a new supervisory role? In the two-class workshop gain insight in how you can efficiently make the transition to supervisor and how to effectively support and coach your team. Register and learn more. 

King County Bridge Fellowship/Mentoring Learning Event, March 6: The Department of Human Resources' learning and development program supports King County employees to learn, grow, and advance their King County careers. In order for an organization to stay robust, we must invest in our greatest resource - our employees. We invite you to come and learn about two of our premiere programs. Register and learn more.

Kudos to archivist for fast, friendly service!

After assisting a staff member from the Assessor's Office on a rush deed request, assistant archivist Amanda Demeter received the following praise:  

"Woman - You Seriously Rock!!!! Thank you Thank you!"  

Congrats and thank you to Amanda for delivering excellent service.


Pet of the Week: Wilson 

We’d like to introduce you to Wilson, our Pet of the Week! 

This super senior boy loves getting attention from his humans, and especially loves neck rubs! Wilson has an “Easy Going Green” personality, meaning he is adaptable, outgoing, and carefree. Wilson is also independent and likes to do his own thing at times. Read more.

Featured Job: External Relations Manager 

Salary: $114,771.28 - $145,479.36 Annually 

Location: Seattle, WA 

Job Type: Career Service, Full Time, 40 hrs/week 

Department: DLS - Department of Local Services 

Job Number: 2019MCK09218 

Closing: 2/4/2019 11:59 PM Pacific 

King County's new Department of Local Services (DLS) is currently recruiting for an External Relations Manager to work out of the Director office and serve as a key member of the Department's Leadership team. The External Relations Manager will lead this new Department's community engagement, strategic external and internal communications, media relations, public affairs, and community partnerships efforts to achieve the DLS goals and long-term County agenda.

This position will work to advance our mission for collaborative and engaging external relations with and for the unincorporated communities of King County, the King County Executive office, and Council. This position will also work to cultivate the public's trust in and understanding of King County through innovative community relations and communications strategies developed for the residents of unincorporated King County. 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions.

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