Employee News - July 24, 2019


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True North and values to guide our work 

King County Executive Dow Constantine officially launched the Executive Branch True North and values, Tuesday, July 23, the next step in our Investing in YOU efforts to build a workplace culture of respect, innovation, and performance excellence at King County. 

Executive Constantine said that the True North – Making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive – “is our ‘why,’ what ties our work together, and what drives us do our best each and every day.” The eight Executive Branch values will “guide our actions and decision-making, and help us achieve our True North,” he said.  

  • We are one team 
  • We solve problems 
  • We focus on the customer 
  • We drive for results 
  • We are racially just 
  • We respect all people 
  • We lead the way 
  • We are responsible stewards. 

Watch this short video about the True North and values, and read the Executive’s full message to learn more.  

exec values


Executive visits Dick Thurnau Memorial Park as part of Parks tour 

King County Executive Dow Constantine recently visited Dick Thurnau Memorial Park in White Center as part of his 100 miles in 100 days through King County Parks where he met with employees and checked out a new playground. 

“Parks Specialist Christian Loko took me to the new playground our staff installed with funds generated by the King County Parks Levy,” Executive Constantine said. “We ended at the White Center Bicycle Playground, which provides kids a safe place to learn how to ride bicycle. It is the first playground of its kind in the nation.” 

The parks is also the home of a disc golf course that attracts players from around the country, where the Exec tried his hand at disc golf. “I got it in the basket on my third toss,” he said. 

Employee Spotlights


Fighting for justice: Two public defenders worked for years to get their client acquitted 

Ben Goldsmith and Katharine Edwards advanced a straightforward theory about why Emanuel Fair should be acquitted in the murder of Arpana Jinaga, whose body was found in her Redmond apartment on Nov. 1, 2008. Someone else murdered the young software engineer. 

It took them two trials and 30,000 pages of discovery to make their case. They submitted dozens of pretrial motions, sought the advice of eight expert witnesses, and spent some 8,000 hours of their time. And it cost Emanuel Fair nearly nine years of his life spent sitting inside a cell at the King County jail. He was charged with first-degree murder with sexual motivation. Bail was set at $5 million. 

But the two public defenders at the King County Department of Public Defense (DPD) finally prevailed on June 11, when a jury of 11 men and one woman delivered a verdict of not guilty. Mr. Fair walked out of jail on that sunny Tuesday afternoon, looked up at the sky, hugged his waiting aunt, thanked his lawyers, and drove away. Nina Elmore, a mitigation specialist for DPD, is now in contact with him, offering him help in putting his life back together. Read more.


forbes logo

King County named a “Best-in-State Employer” for 2019 

Last month, King County was named to Forbes magazine’s list of “America’s Best-In-State Employers 2019.” 

King County was ranked number 16 on the list of best employers in Washington after a survey of more than 80,000 people nationwide. 

This recognition shows that we are making progress on our Investing in YOU strategy and our efforts to build a workplace culture of respect, innovation, and performance excellence. 

It also reinforces what we heard in our latest employee engagement survey, in which 79% of employees said they would recommend King County as a great place to work, a two-point increase from our last survey. In addition, 81% of employees said they are proud to work at King County, also up two points. 

The employee survey also identified areas that need greater focus, including opportunities to develop your skills, support from supervisors, workplace stress, and an inspiring vision from leaders. I will continue to work with my Senior Leadership Team and Cabinet to ensure we act on the things that you said are important to you. Read more.

treatment court

Family Treatment Court helping King County families  

King County is protecting the health, safety and welfare of children in the dependency system and helping parents reunite with their children through its Family Treatment Court.   

The Family Treatment Court Program, started in August 2004, is an alternative option to dependency court for parents. Parents voluntarily enter the program and agree to increased court participation, chemical dependency treatment and intense case management in order to reunite with their children.  

"Family treatment court is not designed to be an adversarial type of program. It's not designed to be litigious; it's not based on culpability. It's a strength based, trauma-informed community support and positive intense program," Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Berns said in a recent video about the program. Read more.


Presiding Judge Jim Rogers talks about a new project: Video Court Appearances for Superior Court 

King County Superior Court is exploring a new project: out-of-custody appearances via video. Not for everyone...but it could work for some. Learn more about where we are on this innovative idea. Listen now. 

August Primary Election Day is August 6 

Last week, King County Elections (KCE) mailed out ballots to its 1.3 million voters. If you have not received your ballot, please call 206-296-VOTE (8683). 

There is a long list of important races on the Primary ballot this year – 56 races and 218 candidates to be exact. Drop your ballot in a drop box by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 6; drop it in the mail (NOT interoffice mail!) to be postmarked by August 6; or visit a Vote Center. 

Happy VANniversary! Metro celebrates 40 years of commuter vans 

What started as a small King County Metro fleet of 21 vans and 189 riders in 1979 is now the nation’s largest public fleet of vanpools. Today there are over 1,600 vans that carry 11,000 riders and drivers each day. 

Public commuter van riders, on average, take six single-occupancy vehicles off the road each weekday, which annually reduces 48 million vehicle miles, saves more than 2 million gallons of fuel and prevents 50 million pounds of greenhouse gas from entering our atmosphere—that’s 22 million metric tons. 

Learn more about how Metro Vanpool reduces traffic congestion, cuts commute costs, and builds community. 


City Hall Park treats and tunes 

Looking for some quick eats and free tunes this summer? Click here for a complete schedule and menus of food trucks at City Hall Park, on 4th Ave and Yesler Way, or for more information visit www.seattlefoodtruck.com. For the upcoming schedule of concerts and for more information, click here. 

Training Spotlight 

Basic Data Visualization, Oct 9: Our ability to gather and collect data has steadily increased over the past decade. But data alone is not information and does not easily convey a compelling story. This half-day introductory course will allow participants to understand why data visualization is important, explore ways to tell a story with data, and mock up data visualizations in whiteboard exercises, using tips explored in class. Register and learn more. 

View more training and development opportunities at www.kingcounty.gov/learning. 


Pet of the Week: Wrigley 

Wrigley is one cool cat who exudes cool cat vibes. 

This handsome 12 year old guy is very relaxed and chill.  Wrigley enjoys the company of humans and all the love and affection they give him.  He does well with other cats (and has previously lived with other cats), but would still do best with a slow introduction.  He’s not a big fan of young children due to their high energy (they kind of kill his chill vibe). He may, however, do well with older children. Read more.

Featured Job: Administrative Specialist III 

Salary: $24.64 - $31.23 Hourly 

Location: Multiple locations in King County, WA 

Job Type: Civil Service, Full Time, 40/hrs Wk 

Department: King County Sheriff's Office 

Job Number: 2019-SD09970 

Closing: 7/29/2019 11:59 PM Pacific 

Great opportunity to join the King County Sheriff's Office team in an administrative support role.  This position performs a wide variety of administrative and clerical duties, customer service support and/or oversight office coordination that is specialized and/or technical in nature, performed under limited supervision, according to department/unit assignment. This position is a civil service position, for information regarding King County Civil Service Rules you can access these rules at Civil Service Rules. 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions. 

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