Employee News - September 10, 2020

A service of the King County Department of Human Resources

King County Employee News



exec panels

Executive Constantine convenes regional thought leaders for ‘12 Arguments for Change’, a series of live, virtual panels envisioning an equitable post-pandemic King County 

King County is hosting three live virtual panels with local community leaders, equity experts and small business owners as part of a conversation series called "12 Arguments for Change." Beginning on Thursday, September 10 and continuing on September 15 and 17, King County Executive Dow Constantine will moderate these panel discussions to identify how we create a sustainable, equitable recovery for King County into 2021 and beyond. 

Each panel will have a unique set of speakers with backgrounds ranging from healthcare to community-based nonprofits, small business owners, racial and social justice activists, educators, and more. 

Panel 1 today on September 10 at 5 p.m. will focus on identifying the key gaps for the region to focus on during recovery. Read more in the official press release.  

Update on the 2021-2022 Proposed Budget 

Dwight Dively, Director of the Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget, has recorded a short video update on the 2021-2022 Proposed Budget.  

In the video, he shares an update on the revenue forecast, the COVID-19 response, and the upcoming proposed budget.  

“We have identified some exciting budget proposals that will come out in the County Executive’s budget on September 22 which will fundamentally change our legal system,” Dwight said. “We’re also working with lots of groups around the county and with community organizations on ways that the County can pursue other aspects of the anti-racism agenda, including co-creation of programs with our communities.”  

You can watch the video below. 

budget update



Administration Building to close in early 2021 

King County will close the aging Administration Building to most operations in early 2021, with employees relocating to King Street Center and the Chinook Building when it is safe for them to return to work. 

Executive Constantine will propose decommissioning the Administration Building – which requires significant maintenance and replacement of aging systems – in his 2021-2022 budget address. Existing customer-facing services previously provided at the Administration Building will be co-located at King Street Center. 

The Administration Building closure is part of a comprehensive effort to re-envision how King County can best use its downtown Seattle properties to provide regional services, and will produce significant cost savings by lowering utility and building maintenance costs. It will also allow the County to defer major maintenance on the aging, inefficient building, which opened in 1971. Read more.


Developing new practices for COVID-19 just another day in Payroll Operations 

Many groups around King County have had to adapt rapidly to the challenges posed by the coronavirus, switching gears to accommodate new policies and procedures. But for the Central Payroll Operations Team, a small group of employees who already move at a quick pace, these changes are part of their ever-evolving work routine. 

As we celebrate National Payroll Week, we spoke with Payroll Operations Supervisor Pam Bell to learn more about how the Team is operating during this time. Pam joined King County in 2004 and has been with the Department of Executive Services in her current role since then.  

Central Payroll Operations works hard to ensure paychecks are received in a timely, smooth manner, with no hiccups or inconveniences to employees. The team also handles payroll taxes and provides employees with annual W-2 forms. 

“So payroll seems like it would be really simple: department timekeepers report time and time off, Human Resources reports changes to positions or pay rates  and employees magically get a paycheck or direct deposit,” Pam said. “But the truth of the matter is something is always changing, like state laws, union contracts, or federal laws. Honestly, there’s never a dull moment.” Read more. 

six agencies

Metro and regional transit agencies sign onto APTA health and safety program 

Six Puget Sound area transit agencies have joined agencies across the nation to commit to industry best practices for safe transportation during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Community Transit, Everett Transit, King County Metro, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit and Sound Transit have all committed to a health and safety program developed by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) in response to public concerns about riding transit during the pandemic. Read more.  

When should I expect my ballot? Key dates to making your vote count 

As the countdown clocks continue to tick down the days between now and Nov. 3, we’re getting lots of questions about what to expect when and how to make sure you hit all the important deadlines to make sure your vote counts. Here are some key dates to put in your calendar to make sure that you’re ready to vote.

Sept. 18 – King County mails out ballots to our service and overseas voters on this day, beating that 45-day requirement set out in federal law. Sending ballots early to those overseas helps to ensure that they receive their ballot with ample time to vote and get it back to us. If you’re not a service or overseas voter, hold tight. Your ballot is coming in October. Read more.  


Alongside the ongoing transmission of COVID-19, common colds are on the rise in Seattle and King County 

In the fall of 2018, the Seattle Flu Study (SFS) began monitoring respiratory diseases in the Seattle metro area. At the beginning of 2020, SFS partnered with Public Health – Seattle & King County to launch the greater Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN) to track and monitor COVID-19. The combined SFS and SCAN data offer us a window into the effects of COVID-19 mitigation efforts—not only on the spread of COVID-19, but also on the transmission of other respiratory viruses. The findings also remind us of the importance of diligently following public health recommendations. Read more.  

King County is moving to Microsoft Teams from Skype  

Microsoft Teams will soon be the hub for communication and collaboration. Teams provides communication with phone calls, meetings and IMs; collaboration tools for the shared work, and support for virtual large meetings with Teams Live Events.  

What will the move to Teams look like? The move will happen in two phases: The first users will move from Skype to Teams in October. Most employees will move by Dec. 31. 

During the transition, Skype and Teams will coexist.

Tune in for the Executive Award for Community Resilience, September 11 

On Friday, Sept. 11, King County Executive Constantine will present his 10th Executive Award for Community Resilience. The award is given each fall in recognition of outstanding efforts made by organizations to prepare for and respond to emergencies. As King County deals with two pandemics, COVID-19 and racial injustice, organizations across the region are stepping up. This award honors those who have done extraordinary things in the arena of preparedness and response, to make sure their community can weather any storm.  

View the award ceremony live tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 11 at 1 p.m. to watch the winner announced, on King County Executive Dow Constantine’s official Facebook page. 

Making Life Easier offers live and on-demand webinars for King County employees, multiple dates 

King County employees have access to a variety of upcoming scheduled webinars hosted by Making Life Easier. Register early for live interactive sessions as space is limited; otherwise, recordings will be available on-demand 48 hours after the live session.   

  • Supporting your working parents in the chaos of 2020: A webinar for managers, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020 from noon to 1 p.m. Register here. 

For more information about the Making Life Easier program, visit www.kingcounty.gov/MLE. 

Kicking Off Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month en Línea virtual event, September 16 

National Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month takes place Sept. 15-Oct. 15. In celebration of diverse Latinx history, vibrant culture and innumerable achievements, the King County Latinx Affinity Group (KCLx) invites employees to join this virtual kick-off event. 

Come together with the King County familia and learn about the goals of KCLx and our work to advance equity and social justice in the community, enjoy a meet-and-greet with the KCLx Leadership Team, and preview an exciting lineup of upcoming Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month events. 

This event will be on Wednesday, Sept. 16 from noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom, and is open to all King County employees. Click here to register.   

The event will be facilitated by Melissa Arias, and includes as panelists the KCLx Leadership TeamCristina Gonzalez, Lluvia Ellison-Morales, Chris Franco, Shannon Perez-Darby, Margarita Aguado, Rocio Martinez Lopezand Antonio Herrera Garza. For more information, contact KCLx Membership Chair, Melissa Arias at MArias@kingcounty.gov. 


Join Balanced You for a Panel Discussion on Suicide Awareness and Prevention, September 22 

In honor of Suicide Awareness & Prevention Month, King County employees are invited to join Balanced You for a virtual panel discussion featuring speakers from the Native American community, LGBTQ community, Black/African community, and others. The event will provide an opportunity for King County employees to normalize the conversation around mental health, learn how to identify early warning signs of suicidal ideation, and learn more about resources available to support the mental health of employees and their loved ones. We hope you will join us for this important discussion. 

For more information, contact Balanced You at BalancedYou@kingcounty.gov. 

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