When Patty Overby isn’t managing construction projects, she’s often singing in an a capella, barbershop chorus. “I think it makes you a better rounded person – for me it’s a big stress reducer and it’s a positive influence. It’s another opportunity to meet new people who are doing different things,” Overby said. A Project Manager in King County’s Department of Transportation, Design and Construction Section, Overby has worked at the County for more than 35 years. Overby has been singing all her life, but six years ago she decided to give the… Read More
Tony Wright has been selected as the new Director of King County’s Facilities Management Division (FMD). FMD is charged with providing clean, safe, secure, environmentally sustainable and cost-effective facilities for King County and the public. FMD is also responsible for designing and managing capital construction projects that are responsive to customer needs. Wright has served as interim director of FMD since October and has demonstrated strong technical knowledge, professionalism and innovative leadership during that time. He joined King County in May 2014 and was responsible for managing high-profile, complex projects involving multiple King… Read More
This is a commendation for the motorman on a Link Light Rail train and the security personnel at Westlake Station. The particular train arrived northbound at Westlake Station at about 11:20 PM on January 30 and left southbound at about 1:40. After leaving the station and heading to my apartment on First Hill, I realized after a couple of blocks that I had left my backpack on the train, which also had the keys to my apartment. I hurried back to the station and contacted security. They outlined the “lost and found”… Read More
1. What was your first role at King County? I was hired as a summer intern in my junior year at the University of Washington, working for the Building and Land Use Department as an Engineer Assistant. I reviewed residential building permit applications, drove throughout the county visiting development sites and met with property owners and consultants. 2. Why did you choose King County as an employer? While a student at the UW, I worked for a professor making $4.50 an hour counting cars on overpasses. The Building and Land Use Department was… Read More
Got conflict in your workplace? The King County Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) recently launched the Conflict Clinic blog to help you work through it. They post weekly tips and tools for shifting destructive conflict into a creative force for stronger relationships and better results. “Instead of avoiding difficult conversations for fear things will just get worse, or lashing out at others, you can read the blog for practical approaches to engage others in conversations that matter,” said Doug Nathan, a mediator with ADR and a writer and editor for the… Read More
Good Morning, This message is overdue by a couple of weeks, and I apologize. But I want to make sure that this bus driver gets kudos. This happened on January 30th, 2015. His name is Kyle, and he was driving bus number 9540z (not sure if there was a z on the end of that number or if I accidentally hit it when putting it in my phone). It was the 522 bus at 7:58am south bound on the Bothell Way and 153rd St in Lake Forest Park stop. This was a… Read More
When Linda Romanovitch joined King County 30 years ago she didn’t consider herself a trailblazer but she unwittingly broke through a barrier that would make it easier for other women to follow in her footsteps. Linda became King County’s first female carpenter on December 4, 1984. Her interest in carpentry grew while helping her grandfather, also a carpenter, complete odd jobs. At 22 she joined an organization in Seattle that helped women and minorities become successful in the trades and she completed a six-week pre-apprenticeship. She went on to complete a full… Read More
King County’s new KCWeb Intranet will officially launch on Thursday, Feb. 26, and we will be celebrating with a traveling roadshow, an online treasure hunt, prizes and giveaways to help you get to know your new one-stop shop for employee news, information and the tools you use every day. Join us from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26, for live demonstrations of the new KCWeb, tips and giveaways in: The Chinook Building lobby King Street Center lobby Administration Building 5th floor lobby. If you can’t make it to one of the… Read More
The new Kent Public Health Center received a national design award in the 2014 International Interior Design Association Healthcare Interior Design Competition. The IIDA presented nine awards, including projects at major institutions in New York City, Cincinnati and Los Angeles. Designed by Buffalo Design, in collaboration with Public Health an the Facilities Management Division (FMD), the Kent project was the only winner in the Northwest. In addition to winning the IIDA award, it’s important to note that this and other projects, managed by Public Health and FMD, achieved goals set forth by the… Read More
King County’s commitment to Equity and Social Justice is taking another step forward with the creation of an Office of Equity and Social Justice. “This has been a progression. It has become one of the priorities for our leadership, especially for our Executive Dow Constantine. It’s essential to what he and our other County leaders are trying to accomplish,” said Matías Valenzuela, the Director of the Office of Equity and Social Justice (ESJ). What started as an initiative by former County Executive Ron Sims has now evolved into a sustained effort that… Read More
Protecting Our Waters is King County’s program to prevent pollution caused by excess stormwater in the sewer system on rainy days. The older parts of King County’s wastewater system use a single set of pipes to carry both sewage and rain running off streets and buildings. Most of the time, this polluted water goes to a wastewater treatment plant. But in heavy rains, the pipes can overflow into rivers, lakes, or Puget Sound. Overflow points called “combined sewer overflows” or CSOs are built into the system. CSOs prevent sewer backups into homes… Read More
1. What was your first role at King County? I came to King County in April of 1999 as the Loss Control Manager in the Office of Risk Management. My position was new and was added as a result of a budget proviso. The council wanted more resources dedicated to preventing liability losses. One of my early attempts at sharing lessons learned with departments was through a publication called the Risk Management Recipe (I love to cook, hence the name!). The publication did not last but the concept of collecting, sharing, and disseminating… Read More
Once a month, on his own time, part-time Metro Transit operator David Waggoner (East Base) takes friends from the Issaquah Senior Center on bus trips that, he feels, profoundly improve their lives. “Just because you belong to a senior center doesn’t mean that the next thing is that you’re in a coffin and next you’re in the ground,” he said recently. “The best thing for seniors is travel.” He has taken friends on bus rides from Issaquah to downtown Seattle, Northgate, the North Bend outlet stores, and Sea-Tac Airport. “It’s amazing to… Read More
King County’s Human Resources Division (HRD) has launched a new and improved website to help visitors to the site get quick and easy access to the content they are looking for. The new site will make it easier for King County employees, human resources professionals, residents and job seekers to navigate the site and find what they are looking for, quickly and easily. “We wanted to make sure that all visitors to our website, whether they are current employees or possible future employees, have a good experience with our website and leave… Read More
When a student is in danger of not graduating from high school in south King County, the Stay-in-School program is there to help. The federally-funded and County-operated program identifies students who are at risk of dropping out based on their grades and/or not passing the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) in their Junior year. Each year about 120 youth in King County receive assistance through the program, and its results are impressive: in the 2013/14 academic year, 86 percent of participants completed their high school diplomas and 82 percent went on to… Read More
What was your first role at King County? Upon completing the police academy, I was assigned to the SW precinct as a patrol officer. I was in a marked patrol car dealing with calls for service in the unincorporated area of King county. Loved that assignment. Everything was new and exciting. I worked with wonderful people and had many eye opening experiences. Why did you choose law enforcement as a career? I initially entered college with the thought of becoming a dispatcher. It was during my criminal justice classes, that I changed… Read More
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed not possessing the right to vote was similar to enslavement. “[A right to vote] enables all Americans, most especially those who have been denied other rights, to participate fully in their community, this country and our world,” said Maria Gitin, the Keynote speaker at King County’s 28th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, held on Thursday, January 15, at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. Gitin joined the civil rights movement in 1965 at the age of 19 to work for the Summer Community Organization and Political Education… Read More
Sometimes workplace issues get to us. Whether it’s stress, a performance issue, conflict with a coworker or any other type of workplace problem, the Employee Assistance Program is there for all King County employees to use. “We’re on-site, in-house. We’re here for you to deal with work issues,” said Tony Hansen, one of the County’s EAP councilors along with Pam Wyss. “We know the internal resources that we can guide you to and we can help facilitate.” EAP is an in-house resource available to all King County employees that offers tangible strategies and useful resources to resolve workplace problems.
When two teams work closely together for a long time, relations sometimes become challenging as staff and technologies change. This in turn can affect productivity, quality, efficiency, and customer service. That’s exactly what happened between the Department of Transportation’s Fleet Administration and King County Information Technology’s Radio Communication Services (RCS). Both RCS and Fleet work on County vehicles, including all Sheriff’s Office vehicles. RCS is primarily responsible for installing radios and hooking up lighting, and Fleet is responsible for maintaining the vehicles and installing additional add-ons required by the Sheriff’s Office.
This fall, Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) celebrated the two-year anniversary of its Bright Ideas program which encourages employees to submit their ideas for efficiencies and continuous improvement through an online tool. Since the program started, almost 700 ideas to create a more efficient, productive workplace were submitted – which indicates a solid level of interest and engagement in the program among employees. Approved ideas have created notable improvements in many areas, such as: streamlined processes for customers; money-saving approaches to maintenance; solutions to equipment issues; and better communication with people from the… Read More
Peggy Harris had always volunteered, but 15 years ago her volunteering became more personal. After her grandson was diagnosed at birth with Isolaveric Acidemia, a rare genetic disorder, Harris joined Washington State’s Newborn Screening Advisory Committee, a committee that advocates for certain tests performed at birth to detect treatable genetic diseases. “At that time my grandson’s disorder was not tested for in Washington State, so I became very active in that committee,” Harris said.
Parks, recycling and camping proved to be an intriguing combination for King County employees and residents who made an article about a cargo container that was “upcycled” into a camping accommodation the most-read King County employee news story in 2014. The article “Parks upcycles cargo container for use by campers” received 2,529 views, more than twice as many as the second-most read article, “Former Marine finds new way to serve community,” which was read more than 1,000 times. Coming in third was an article about Dan Johnson, a Systems Engineer with King County’s Department… Read More
Filmmaker Stephanie Wang-Breal wanted to give voice to a group of people who rarely have one — parents who have lost their children to the state welfare system because of alleged neglect or abuse. What resulted is a powerful new documentary – at times tender, at other times raw – that offers an intimate glimpse into the child welfare system. Called “Tough Love,” the 83-minute film profiles two parents in two different parts of the country struggling to put their lives back together and to prove to court and state officials that they should… Read More
King County’s Regional Communication and Emergency Coordination Center (RCECC) is the nerve center for disaster preparedness and emergency response planning in and around our region. “We’re set up to coordinate response and recovery efforts during a local emergency or disaster,” Lynne Miller, the Public Information Officer for King County Office of Emergency Management (KCOEM), said. The RCECC, housed in a building able to withstand major earthquakes, serves as a coordination hub for situational awareness, strategic planning, resource management, and public information.
The Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) “Bright Ideas” program is a system for continuous improvement through employee ideas. Employees can submit and track their ideas through an online tool. This year, the Water Environment Federation (WEF), an international wastewater industry leader, awarded Stanley Caberto, master industrial maintenance mechanic, the “Gadget Guru Award for Resourcefulness” for three inventions he created that help keep vital facilities running smoothly. Also included in the Ingenuity contest as finalists who found “an imaginative, inventive and resourceful solution to a pesky problem”: 1) WTD’s branding team who developed the… Read More