Shining stars

Shining stars

Executive
                        The evening when we honor our outstanding employees is one of my favorite nights of the year.  The Employee Incentive and Recognition (EI&R) reception gives us a fun way to hold up and appreciate some amazing examples of public service innovation, creativity and dedication in action. Along with my trusty co-host, Council Chair Doug Richardson, and the “hostess with the mostest”  Maura Maye, we spent Wednesday evening celebrating this year’s recipients of Standing Ovation Awards and thanking our long-time employees with Years of Service recognition. I’ve included the links to the great videos we showed throughout the evening so you can learn more about the fantastic projects. Entrepreneurial Climate We announced the winners in the Entrepreneurial Climate category,…
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Whole lot of saving going on

Whole lot of saving going on

Executive
Amazon Prime Day shoppers weren’t the only ones saving money recently.  Thanks to some hard work, smart timing and favorable markets, we have saved our sewer ratepayers nearly $25 million! Gary Robinson and Wolf Opitz of the Finance department saw that the current low interest rate environment provided an opportunity to refinance an existing long-term debt that paid for the wastewater treatment plant, and a small amount of road project debt. The refinancing got a great response from investors who saw the County’s excellent credit rating and reputation for sound financial management and flocked to buy the County’s bonds. Changes in interest rates help show the value of refinancing the debt, the interest rate on the larger sewer bond dropped from 4.91% down to 2.37%, and the road bond rates…
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Getting in SSHAP

Getting in SSHAP

Executive
        For more than a year, a group of mayors and other elected officials have been meeting to create regional solutions to the challenge of affordable housing.  The group, co-chaired by Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards, Councilmember Connie Ladenburg and myself, is known as SSHAP - or the South Sound Housing Affordability Partners. I’ve been pleased that we’ve had great attendance with a very engaged group of mayors from throughout the County. The SSHAP group has been meeting monthly - that is, until COVID-19 hit, and we had to quickly switch our attention and work to dealing with the pandemic. Although we aren’t out of Phase 2, yet, I’m thankful that SSHAP has recently begun meeting, again. In fact, our latest gathering was this week. Of course, the…
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Looking forward to NEO

Looking forward to NEO

Executive
If you are a fan of the science fiction thriller The Matrix, you might think when I mention NEO I am referring to the protagonist played in the movie by Keanu Reeves. While I enjoyed the film, both the cinematography and plot, NEO on my calendar does not refer to the One who will bring peace to the Matrix. But, it is one event that brightens my week! NEO is the Human Resources abbreviation for New Employee Orientation. I make it a priority to participate in all of our NEOs. Pre-COVID, I would try and arrive at the HR Conference room early and talk with our new employees individually where they were sitting.  But with our Zoom NEO, I have incorporated these individual discussions into my welcome with them.  The…
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