Live from downtown Vancouver, WA

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Hello from the annual meeting of the Association of Washington Cities. This year’s conference, my first as a board member from Seattle, happens at the Red Lion in Vancouver, WA. This is the big conference for elected officials and administrators from cities and towns all over the Evergreen State. Meetings started Tuesday and last through Friday. Workshops cover a range of issues, some new and some that never grow old — the new world of liquor sales in the state, how to champion a skilled workforce, making best use of social media for citizen communications, how to survive an audit, fighting crime through investments in youth, how to look long-range, efforts to simplify business and occupation tax collection (I’m facilitating that one), and more.

I got here today, driving down after this morning’s Council Government Performance and Finance Committee, while Councilmember Rasmussen arrived yesterday. I’ve already talked utilities with Shoreline, transportation with Burien, and SEPA with Sammamish. And I’ve been here just a couple of hours! And I met the mayor of Centralia in the elevator. She seemed genuinely concerned that I’m not visiting Centralia via the STP this year. She has me ready to sign up for next year.