March 05, 2012
News You Can Use
In the Loop: What you need to know from Management Forum
Management Forum. Have you heard of it? Superintendents and section managers attend Management Forum a day before each Public Utility Board meeting. They talk about Board meeting agenda items and an additional pre-selected topic.
When the news is of interest and relevant to all employees, you’ll see a run-down of the discussion called “In the Loop” in Newsline. Check out the information and use it as a springboard to have a discussion about it with your manager. He/she wants you to be in the loop!
First up, Senior Financial Manager Barb Ostrander recently led a discussion with Management Forum attendees about this year’s budgeting process. Here are the highlights:
· The 2013/2014 budget planning process is under way. You’ll find the 2013/2014 budget calendar on Unet. The Management Services Office (MSO) helps coordinate and track the budget planning process.
Monday – March 5
▪ Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice; Grilled Pastrami & Swiss
▪ Turkey, Bacon & Cheddar Salad
Tuesday – March 6
Almonds & Sun-Dried Tomatoes
▪ Shrimp Caesar Salad
Salad; Baked Beans; Cookie
▪ Mixed Greek Salad
Friday – March 9
▪ Tuna & Cheddar Salad
If you have questions or would like to place an order, please call (253) 502-8179.
Mark your calendars for all-employee meetings
The Senior Management Team is coming to a location near you. They’ll update you on what’s happening at TPU and take your questions. Join them at one of the following meetings:
· Thursday, March 22
· Friday, March 23
· Monday, March 26
· Monday, April 9
· Wednesday, April 11
Flexible spending deadline for incurring health-related expenses is March 15
Did you participate in the City’s 2011 flexible spending plan? If you have funds available in your flexible spending account, you have until Thursday, March 15, 2012, to incur health-related expenses. Please note that this grace period only applies to health-related expenses. The deadline for incurring dependent care expenses was Dec. 31, 2011.
Submit claims for health-related or dependent care expenses by Monday, April 30, 2012.
Contact a benefits specialist in HR for a copy of the claim form, or download the PDF version. Questions about claiming flexible spending funds? Contact Shannon Irwin at (253) 591-5823 or call the Benefits line at (253) 591-2009.
View your contribution history by registering with Trusteed Plans. Go to https://benefits.trusteedplans.com and use Group #45000 to create a new account. Contact Trusteed Plans' customer service line at (253) 564-5850 if you have questions regarding eligible claims, or view a list of eligible medical expenses here.
No Mossyrock Open House this year; event returns in 2013
Are you a fan of the annual Mossyrock Open House? Please note that due to other upcoming events at Tacoma Power facilities this year, the open house will not be held until 2013. Questions? Contact Wildlife & Recreation Coordinator Pam Hefley at (253) 502-8706.
March "CityScape" looks at the life of a meter reader
The March edition of TV Tacoma’s "CityScape" program looks at the challenges faced by Tacoma Water's and Tacoma Power's meter readers. For example, did you know that the process of visiting every customer takes two months, involves searching out landmarks and having doggie treats on hand?
Producer John Phillips follows meter readers Dennis Moore and Robert Hill as they make their rounds and discuss their group’s role in helping ensure customers receive accurate bills for the services they receive. “CityScape” airs daily on TV Tacoma. Check local listings for times and channel. View it online at tvtacoma.com. Find previous episodes on Click! Cable TV’s Video On Demand service.
Planned Virtual Private Network (VPN) outage on Sunday, March 11, from 8 to 10 a.m.
Do you use VPN to access the City’s network from home? Please note that VPN access will be unavailable from 8 to 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 11, in order for IT to do a software upgrade. This is the first step in a complete VPN client upgrade to the latest version of the Cisco AnyConnect software. This shutdown only affects those who connect to the network using a key fob; mobile users that connect via an air card through Net Motion are not affected. Questions? Contact Ken Wiebe at (253) 502-2226.
. . . employees who donated blood on Feb. 23
You must know of individuals or groups within TPU that do great things. Send your kudos to Newsline and we'll publish your message for all to see.
Volunteers needed at My Sister’s Pantry on Monday, March 19
My Sister’s Pantry opens its doors three times a month to provide a hot meal, groceries and a safe, compassionate setting to those in need. You can be a part of this experience by volunteering at the Pantry (621 Tacoma Ave. S.) on Monday, March 19, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Thirteen volunteers are needed to fill grocery orders, serve the meal and clean up. Interested? Contact Jermae McCoy at (253) 502-8032 or Georgia Marion at (253) 396-3009 to sign up.
Community Connection offers this event to help provide you with more opportunities to earn hours toward TPU’s Community Involvement Goal. You can volunteer at the Pantry at other times throughout the year as well. Visit www.mysisterspantry.org to find out more about this nonprofit.
Community Connection 2012 calendar of events online
You asked, we answered. Check out the 2012 Community Connection calendar of events on the Community Connection Unet page. Peruse the opportunities and save the dates for your favorite events! Questions? Contact Erika Tucci at (253) 502-8225.
Donating leave: Melt someone’s heart
Human Resources approves the following employees for donated leave:
· James Bowen, Tacoma Police Department
· Anne Crowley, Legal
· Richard Friel, T&D Electrical Inspection
· TaDarryl Hardy, Customer Services
· Kathleen Johnson, T&D
· Kirk Newell, Click!
· Robert Pierce, Public Works – Signal Shop
· Mushtaque Qazi, Public Works – Engineering
· Eduardo Roque, Public Works – Facilities
· Gary Shinn, Public Works – Fleet
· Mary Shirley, Information Technology – Franchise Services
For Your Benefit
Another great season of snow means another Utilities People Ski Bus! Enjoy a restful bus ride to and from Crystal Mountain, a sack lunch and a fun day of skiing or snowboarding. The bus rolls out from TPU at 7:30 a.m. and leaves Crystal Mountain at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 9 (attendees must use vacation, PTO or a flex day). Cost: $25 for Utilities People members; $30 for non-members. Reduced lift tickets are available for $55 (normally $73). Register by Tuesday, March 6. Contact Linda Brent at (253) 502-8257 to sign up.
March Lunch and Learn: Learn about filling your plate the healthy “weigh”
Registered Dietician Gretchen Hoffman of St. Francis Hospital talks about permanent nutritional changes you can make to enhance your quality of life and improve your overall health at March’s Lunch and Learn sessions. Catch them from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14, in the TPU Auditorium or on Wednesday, March 28, in the TMB Council Chambers. Questions? Contact Joe Nienalt at (253) 779-7067.
CAT Mews: Fight the price at the pump by ridesharing; vanpoolers needed
In the time it takes you to read this sentence, the price of gas at your favorite station probably just went up a penny. Or two. What can you do? Try ridesharing. Riding the bus, carpooling, biking, walking and vanpooling are excellent ways to have your commute make “cents”. Check the vanpool list on the Commute Option Board in the Cafeteria to see if a vanpool route operates near you. Vanpool riders are needed on routes coming from Steilacoom/Lakewood (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), Shelton (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and Bellevue (7 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Questions about ridesharing? Contact Randy Stearnes, employee transportation coordinator, at (253) 502-8224.
Make a Difference
We post non-Community Connection or TPU-sponsored volunteer opportunities within our service area here to provide you more opportunities where you can make a difference.
Agency: American Cancer Society
Opportunity: Cancer Resource Center Volunteer
Description: A Cancer Resource Center is a designated space in a cancer treatment facility where trained American Cancer Society (ACS) volunteers provide resources and information. The ACS needs volunteers who can:
· Accommodate the needs of walk-in cancer patients and families
· Maintain high-level knowledge of the ACS and related programs, services and community resources
· Maintain good physical and emotional well–being, possess personal qualities of empathy, respect, understanding, good judgment, integrity, loyalty, a sense of humor and the ability to relate effectively to others
· Be friendly, outgoing, courteous and caring
· Maintain confidentiality and get along with diverse personalities
· Make a six-month minimum commitment to the program
· Communicate clearly in person, via telephone and in writing
Contact: Jessie Sanders, program manager, (253) 207-5155
Do you know of a volunteer opportunity with a 501(c)(3) organization within our service area that you would like to share? Please send it to Newsline for publication.
What's Happening & When
Free hot tub: Working older model six+ person Hollispa hot tub. Drained and ready to haul away. Please call Susan at (253) 848-2152.
‘99 CR125 Honda motorcycle with 2001 engine and carburetor. Engine has been bored out and the exhaust has been jetted. Completely rebuilt from ground up! Email Denyse at firstname.lastname@example.org for all the upgrades and pictures or call Brian at (425) 446-9318.
Furniture for sale: Photos available for these items. Contact Michelle at email@example.com, (253) 539-7200.
· China cabinet/storage: beautiful oak shrunk from Germany, five pieces assembled measure 13.5 feet long by 7.5 feet high by 16 inches wide, $2,100;
· Beautifully hand-crafted Amish tables from Greenbaum: coffee table is 35.5 inches long and wide by 17 inches high, and the end table is 30 inches long and wide by 24 inches high, $200;
· TV/DVD cabinet in great condition: 42 inches long by 24 inches high by 19 inches wide, $65;
· Oak pedestal dining room table and four leather-seat chairs: 46 inches wide by 30 inches high; table is 46 inches round, with its two inserts is 70 inches long (and oval), $900;
· Antique hand-made side table: 12 inches long by 28.5 inches high by 15 inches wide, $100.
Submit your ad to Newsline
Photo of Whistler Blackcomb in Canada, courtesy of Engineering Technician III Linda Brent.
Do you have a photo/artwork that could be used as a header image? Email it to Newsline.