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The Insider: January 2016
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WSAC Elections

Board Election Results2016 WSAC Board of Directors Announced!
The WSAC Board Elections were held over the course of the last few months. Members were able to vote online or at a voting kiosk at the recent County Leaders Conference.

The Washington State Association of Counties is governed by a Board of Directors led by the Executive Committee. The new slate of Executive Committee Leadership was announced at the General Membership meeting on November 19 in Skamania County.

Congratulations to our newly elected WSAC Board of Directors!

WSAC Executive Committee
The following members were elected the Board for the following positions:

Eastern Region Representatives:
Bob Koch, Franklin
Mike Manus, Pend Oreille
Dale Snyder, Douglas
Carolann Swartz, Grant

Eastern Region Alternates:
Scott Hutsell, Lincoln
Jim Johnson, Walla Walla

Western Region Representatives:
Kenneth Dahlstedt, Skagit
Edna Fund, Lewis
Frank Gordon, Grays Harbor
Ken Klein, Snohomish

Western Region Alternate:
Dennis Weber, Cowlitz

Thank you to all who ran, and all who voted. Looking forward to another great year at WSAC!

Business Partner Highlight

Republic ServicesWSAC Business Partner, Republic Services, is all about the environment and our members’ success.

With the largest waste-by-rail system in the country, Republic Services is committed to helping counties achieve their environmental initiatives.

What do you do after you recycle? Ask Republic Services, and the answer you’ll get is simple: use the waste stream to create power. They’ve created a process that takes the part of the waste stream that can’t be recycled, extracts the methane, and translates it into power.

The largest service of it's kind in the country, and it’s happening here in Washington State. Operated in partnership with Klickitat PUD and participating counties, Republic Services provides this unique service to WSAC members. This partnership with counties has allowed them to take thousands of truck trips of highways – good for roads, while working to reduce the waste stream – great for the environment.

Republic Services is focused on their mission: providing the best service of this kind in the country. Washington State has very high standards when it comes to the environment; republic has exceeded those standards.

Interested in getting your county involved? Contact Joe Casalini at jcasalini@republicservices.com (206) 255-4070, and be a part of one of most successful environmental projects in the state!

LSC Schedule

LSC Ramping Up for 2016 Legislative Session
The 2016 Legislative Session is just weeks away – the official kick off is January 11 – and WSAC’s Legislative Steering Committee (LSC) is ramping up for another great year of legislative advocacy.

The LSC is comprised of one representative from each of WSAC's member counties as well as each of the four County Executives. LSC members have frequent interaction with legislators, agency staff, and representatives of other organizations.

Some important items for LSC members:

2016 Legislative Agenda
2016 LSC Meetings Schedule

Webinar/Conference Call Sign Up:
Fri, Jan 15
Fri, Jan 29
Fri, Feb 12
Fri, Feb 26
Fri, Mar 11

RSVP for Legislative Receptions:
Wed, Jan 20
Wed, Feb 17

Lodging for LSC:
Best Western
TownPlace Suites Marriott
The Ramada
The Governor Hotel
LaQuinta
Red Lion Hotel Olympia


The LSC is a very important component of WSAC's member functions. In addition to setting the policy direction for the association through the Legislative Agenda, LSC members are expected to attend regular meetings during legislative session and to communicate with legislators regarding WSAC's legislative priorities.

CLC Event Survey

CLC 2015County Leaders Conference a Success!
By all accounts, the 2015 County Leaders Conference was a resounding success! Held this year in the beautiful Skamania County’s Skamania Lodge, WSAC members and affiliates met for a week of meetings, networking, and training sessions.

Matt TenneyKeynote Speaker, Matt Tenney, shared with attendees to the power of servant-based leadership, with a focus on how this shift can elicit greater buy in from team members resulting in a highly engaged workforce, and successful mission.

Interested in learning more about his strategies? WSAC still has a few of his books for sale for on $20! Get yours while they last!

County Leaders Conference attendees also had the distinct privilege of hearing from Secretary of State Kim Wyman and Attorney General Bob Ferguson on issues affecting both county and state government. Thank you both for being a part of the conference!

On the business side of things, WSAC members adopted the 2016 annual budget, the new Executive Committee of the Board was ushered in by Immediate Past President & Klickitat County Commissioner, David Sauter, and the Legislative Steering Committee heard reports and updates from affiliate organizations on their focus for 2016.

CLC 2015Thank you to all of our sponsors, exhibitors, presenters, and of course, attendees! We hope that between the myriad of training sessions, exhibitor booths and networking opportunities, the County Leaders Conference was a worthwhile experience for all!

Next year's County Leaders Conference is set for November 17-19 in Spokane County; make sure you it to your calendar!

 

County Bridges

The Bridges of Washington's Counties
Spark BridgeWhen it comes to bridges Joni Mitchel’s lyrics, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone,” couldn’t be truer. Just ask any public official who has had to deal with a bridge that is closed due to weight limits, deterioration, or collapse. Two high profile examples in recent times are King County’s closure of the South Park Bridge, and of course the State of Washington’s bridge collapse on I-5 in Skagit County.
 
Washington state’s 39 counties maintain nearly 40,000 miles of roads with and are home to about 3,300 bridges over 20 feet in length spanning rivers, streams, other roads, ravines, and valleys. This is more than the 3,039 bridges on the state highway system and almost half of the total number of bridges throughout the state, including the state and cities.  Including all local bridges, there are an average of 10 million bridge crossings every day, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Local Programs Office.
 
Cowlitz BridgeCounty bridges reflect the individuality of each county due to geography and history. For example, Island County has no bridges over 20 feet in length while Grant County has the most bridges over 20-feet in length at 192 bridges. Wahkiakum County is home to a National Register of Historic Places covered bridge within Ahlberg Park, crossing the Grays River...Read More

 

Commissioner Op-Ed

Wild Land Fires
Opinion: Congress Should Do More to Protect the Country from Wildfires
Peter Goldmark, Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands, was recently published in the Washington Post for an Op-Ed piece addressing the need for Congress to better protect the country from wildfires.

The article highlights lack of current support and challenges Congress to better equip states to confront the continued issue of wild land fires. Of note, was a Forest Services Budget expenditure increase of 37 percent directed towards firefighting since 1991, which leaves an insurmountable gap for maintenance and protection efforts. Says Commissioner Goldmark:

"By failing to provide an emergency funding source for federal firefighting efforts, Congress has forced the U.S. Forest Service to pay for its firefighting efforts by cannibalizing programs that promote healthy forests and wildfire prevention. A recent report from the agency reveals that its firefighting workforce has more than doubled since 1998 while the number of its land managers has shrunk by 35 percent.

This self-defeating cycle ensures that the worse wildfires become, the less money the federal government can spend on maintaining healthy, fire-resistant forests. But investments in prevention result in a far smaller cost in human suffering, habitat loss, forest destruction, greenhouse-gas emissions and tax dollars than the billions spent each year fighting megafires."

To read the entire article, click here.

Webinar Wednesday

Property Disclosure Requirements
Have You Posted Yet?

Pursuant to EHB 2122, counties are required to provide the Municipal Research Services Center with information on disclosure requirements imposed on landlords and sellers of real property to a buyer or tenant "pertaining to the subject property or to the surrounding area," as well as the ordinances, resolutions, and policies imposing those requirements. MRSC is then required to post this information on its website.

Affected cities, towns, and counties should provide to MRSC, care of Erica Zwick (MRSC’s Technical Services Librarian), for posting on their webpage:

All relevant ordinances, resolutions, and policies; and

A list of requirements imposed by those ordinances, resolutions, and policies.

Further information concerning the requirements imposed by EHB 2122 can be found in the MRSC blog post, New Property Disclosure Requirements Will Impact Some Cities and Counties.
 
 

Lodging Tax2015 Lodging Tax Expenditure Reporting
Local governments are required to report annually expenditures of lodging tax funds, pursuant to RCW 67.28.1816.

The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) has established a reporting system for 2015 expenditures.

This year's system differs from the 2014 system by utilizing Microsoft SharePoint Online as a reporting platform.

The 2-step process is as follows:
Step 1: Email JLARC to receive instructions to setup an account

Step 2: Once account is established, email JLARC with the subject line “Lodging Tax SharePoint Invitation Request." A JLARC analyst will invite the user to join the SharePoint and distribute instructions for filling out the online reporting form.

2015 lodging tax expenditures must be reported during the period of November 2, 2015 to March 15, 2016.

For more information, please click here.
 

Congratulations to the Newest CPO Recipients!

Island County:
Lynette Goodell

Kittitas County:
Marsha Weyand

Skagit County:
Donnie LaPlante
Paul Randall-Grutter


Skamania County:
Tim Homann
Adam Kick
Deb Van Camp


Whatcom County:
Caleb Erickson

Yakima County:
Cindy Erwin
 

NACo Updates

Congress to Vote on Five-Year Surface Transportation Bill
This week, Congress will be voting on H.R. 22, the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The FAST Act is a fully funded five-year authorization of federal highway, transit, safety and passenger rail programs that addresses several county transportation priorities. Please ask your U.S. Senators and Representatives to vote "yes" on the FAST Act.

The FAST Act represents a bipartisan agreement between the U.S. Senate and House that reconciles the differences between the two chambers' reauthorization proposals, which are outlined here.
 
Why This Matters to Counties
Counties play a critical role in the nation's transportation system. They are responsible for building and maintaining 230,690 bridges and 45 percent of all public roads (compared to the 32 percent of public roads owned by cities and townships, 19 percent by states, and 3 percent by the federal government), and are involved in a third of the nation's transit systems and airports that connect residents, communities and businesses.
 
More Information
Jessica Monahan, Associate Legislative Director, Transportation
202.285.9172 | jmonahan@naco.org
 

Applications Now Being Accepted
National Stepping Up Summit
Sun, April 17, 2016 through
Tues, April 19, 2016
Washington, D.C.

In support of Stepping Up, the National Association of Counties, the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation are hosting a National Summit on Reducing the Prevalence of Individuals with Mental Illnesses in Jails (National Summit).

The application for the National Summit is now open.

To apply, please click here and complete the online form in its entirety.

Applications are due on Dec 18, 2015 by11:59 p.m. EST.

Energy Efficiency Grant

Solar Grant
Energy Efficiency & Solar Grant Guidelines

The 2015-2017 Energy Efficiency and Solar Grant guidelines are here!
 
The Commerce Energy Efficiency and Solar Grant program over the next biennium focuses on funding the best energy efficiency and solar projects possible. Significant updates on the program guidelines and requirements can be found here.   
 
Applications for Round One are due by 5 p.m. on March 3, 2016. The program application will once again use the ZoomGrants web-based form.

Please remember to work with your DES project manager (if you are using DES) about your application before submitting it.
 
If you have any questions, please contact either Pat Gibbon at (360) 725-3023 , or Tom Stilz at (360) 725-4045.
 

Thank You to Our Business Sponsors
Business Partners Logos
Copyright © 2016 Washington State Association of Counties, All rights reserved.


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