Who’s staying, who’s going: Mayor-elect Murray’s 1st list

November 22, 2013 at 3:11 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 12 Comments

(WSB photo from November 2012 Spokane St. Viaduct celebration; SDOT’s Peter Hahn is at right)
As Mayor-elect Ed Murray continues his first transition team meeting, the media has received a first list of which city department heads are staying (for now) and which are going. Among those leaving: The head of SDOT, Peter Hahn. Here’s the full announcement:

Mayor-Elect Murray began meeting individually with the heads of city departments to discuss his plans and priorities for when he takes office in January. These are ongoing meetings that will continue through December.

“I mentioned earlier in the week that there would be some changes in personnel, as can be expected with any transition to a new administration. I wanted (to) share where things stand in that regard at the present time,” Murray said.

The following department heads will be not be returning once the new administration takes office:

Beth Goldberg- City Budget Office
Peter Hahn – Department of Transportation
Marco Lowe – Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
David Stewart – Personnel Director

In addition, Rick Hooper, the current director of the Office of Housing, is announcing his retirement, and Catherine Lester, the interim Director of Human Services, has been asked to stay on for now as the City conducts a search for a permanent director.

“We enter public service with a belief that government can and should be partners with the people we serve, and responsive to the community. I want to thank all of these dedicated public servants for their commitment, professionalism and hard work for the people of Seattle. I wish them all the best in their next endeavors,” Murray said.

Mayor Elect Murray has also met with and asked for the continued service of the following:

Fred Podesta – Director of Finance and Administrative Services
Bernie Matsuno – Director Department of Neighborhoods
Ray Hoffman- Seattle Public Utilities
Gregory Dean – Fire Chief, Seattle Fire Department
Erin Devoto – Director, Department of Information Technology
Steve Johnson – Director of Department of Economic Development
Diane Sugimura – Director of Department of Planning and Development
Randy Engstrom – Director of Arts and Cultural Affairs
Robert Nellams – Director of Seattle Center
Jorge Carrasco – Superintendent of City Light

Mayor Elect Murray’s transition will make additional announcements in the future as these meetings continue.

SDOT director Hahn’s resignation letter is included in this report on Seattle Bike Blog. Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel, you’ll probably note, isn’t mentioned on either list. (Added – as Publicola observes, Parks longtime acting director Christopher Williams isn’t, either.)

ADDED 3:17 PM: Mayor McGinn just sent an announcement with his thoughts on the departures:

It was announced today that SDOT Director Peter Hahn is resigning. “I would like to thank Peter for his service,” said McGinn. “He has done great work rebuilding public trust in SDOT’s commitment to the basics. When it started snowing, Peter set up a cot in his office so he could work around the clock to oversee our plowing, salting and de-icing operations. He reinstated basic maintenance efforts like chip and crack sealing to help repair our streets. And he successfully oversaw major projects like Mercer, Spokane Street and the Seawall Replacement. Peter’s work to help launch our updated Transit Master Plan is already showing great results from advancing planning work on all high priority transit corridors to winning several federal grants to help expand our streetcar network. He has been a leader in the transition of making walking, biking and transit more safe and desirable choices for getting around. Most important of all, the data shows that our streets are safer today than they were four years ago. Peter’s leadership and commitment to our Road Safety Action Plan is helping everyone get where they are going safely.”

It was announced today that City Budget Office Director Beth Goldberg is resigning. “Beth has been an incredible resource in City government and I cannot thank her enough for her service. When I entered office, we were experiencing the longest, deepest recession since the Great Depression. Beth quickly stabilized our city budget in the face of dramatically reduced revenues. She crafted policies to rebuild our Rainy Day Fund to record levels, including proactively restoring depleted reserve funds. Beth worked hard to make the City budget more accessible to the general public and won an award for municipal budget transparency last year. And she was instrumental in securing an innovative, long-term jail contract with King County that provides financial and operational security to both of our governments. I am grateful for her service in my administration and strongly believe that she is leaving City government in better shape than when she arrived.”

It was announced today that Office of Intergovernmental Relations Director Marco Lowe is resigning. “Marco has been a joy to work with over the past four years. He has worked hard to advance Seattle’s interests in the region, state and country. Our City has benefited from his work to win federal transit grants, protect state funding for our social safety net and fighting for Seattle’s values at every possible occasion. I look forward to his future work,” said McGinn.

It was announced today that Personnel Director Dave Stewart is also departing. “Dave has been an incredible public servant and leader in my administration. His sense of humor and work ethic made him a pleasure to work with. He made our Gender Equity Task Force possible by conducting a thorough and transparent review of salary practices in city government. This work has formed a solid foundation for local government to lead the way in closing the gender pay gap in Seattle. I wish him luck in his future endeavors,” said McGinn.

And Rick Hooper, Director of the Office of Housing, announced his retirement, today. “Rick is a great public servant. I appreciated his professionalism, knowledge and commitment to making sure that the Office of Housing worked in partnerships with other City agencies to improve the quality of life for Seattle residents. Rick successfully stewarded the Seattle Housing Levy, including opening 1,000 units of housing for people who are homeless just in the last four years, helped create 4,300 affordable units through the property tax exemption program, and another 500 affordable units through incentive zoning programs,” said McGinn.

12 Comments

  1. good news/bad news
    ~
    I was surprised to learn about Peter Hahn; SDOT has got to be one of toughest jobs in Seattle
    ~
    there are several on the “continued” list that I was hoping would be replaced
    ~
    look forward to better leadership in Office of Housing, and Human Services

    Comment by Diane — 3:24 pm November 22, 2013 #

  2. Wow – I’m already impressed.

    Comment by fererra — 4:23 pm November 22, 2013 #

  3. The Department of Planning and Development really needs a leadership change. It’s been a wild west development show since Diane Sugimura has been in charge.

    Comment by Gatewooder — 5:49 pm November 22, 2013 #

  4. I hope this saves the bridge from the planned “re-channel” into one car lane in each direction.
    .
    Seriously, though, I wonder if this new administration will undo at least some of this commerce-killing fetish.

    Comment by PSPS — 5:55 pm November 22, 2013 #

  5. Does anyone REALLY expect anything different than McSchwinn? These guys are twins. It will be the same old stuff that Seattle has suffered through the past 20 years.

    Comment by JS — 7:16 pm November 22, 2013 #

  6. I hope that Mayor Murray is in a position to empower our police leaders to empower the police to prevent and investigate crimes against persons/property and to remove from public payroll those responsible for allowing crimes to continue. That would be a very welcomed change.

    While I applaud the SPD for a few highly publicized deeds done, I do not believe that it is a correct representation of the SPD or 911 service to our community (crime 911/police response/ investigation = laughable/ why bother? , medical 911 is good). This is based on personal experience alone. I think I recently read something about 27 burglaries in west Seattle in one week? Who cares how nice the cops are when they show up? I care about them getting things done. I am speaking from crime survivor (no arrest for crime against me… ever) perspective.

    I have written it before… police response is similar to Detroit… but we are not in Detroit. Some of us has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for our homes and continue to pay the taxes that come with it. My house is not the $2,000 piece of junk and even if it were, I am a United States citizen deserving of protection.

    I think that it would be impressive to see the police department more publicly and honestly held to national standards. Most good working people want recognition for their work and want to see ways that they can improve.

    Until I see otherwise I will continue to like SPD, but have no faith in them.

    I believe the new mayor has a unique opportunity to turn things around. I voted for Murray because McGinn is a joke, but if he really puts his words into action I will really stand behind him.

    And for all of you ridiculous and I am so very happy with everything commenters ready to bash me. Just stop it. You have not walked in my shoes and you have not seen/felt/ observed what I have. I am very confident that the facts support my opinions. I hope that things change…. Sadly, I doubt they will.
    Sorry for the epic novel… but I got it off my chest :)

    Comment by K — 7:32 pm November 22, 2013 #

  7. Thank you K !

    Comment by kjb — 6:50 am November 23, 2013 #

  8. I’m both surprised and disappointed that Diane Sugimura is being retained as Director of Department of Planning and Development.

    @Gatewooder – agree completely on your comment on wild wild West Seattle development.

    Comment by BornInWestSeattle — 10:03 am November 23, 2013 #

  9. K,

    You hit it right on the screws. And yes, there will be someone to scurry to the web, compare violent crime in Seattle with Detroit, and triumphantly claim, “aha, SEE!” Curious, this sticking our heads in the sand and pretending it isn’t there.

    Comment by G — 9:41 pm November 23, 2013 #

  10. PSPS said, “I hope this saves the bridge from the planned “re-channel” into one car lane in each direction.”

    Would you please give more info about this and where this came from??? Please don’t tell me this is for real?

    Comment by tk — 10:18 pm November 23, 2013 #

  11. PSPS is joking.

    Comment by WSB — 10:19 pm November 23, 2013 #

  12. Sugimura needs to go and I am extremely disappointed that she is on the “stay” list. This indicates to me that Murray will continue the same policies as Nickels and the City Council that have allowed developers to wreak havoc on this city, especially in West Seattle.

    Comment by GJP2013 — 10:09 am November 24, 2013 #

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