Former high-level SDOT manager departs Councilmember Rob Saka’s staff

After less than four months, former high-level SDOT manager Heather Marx is no longer working in District 1 City Councilmember Rob Saka‘s office. This was revealed by an auto-response message local community leaders received earlier this week after CC’ing Marx on email to Saka. We asked him about it at Tuesday night’s public-safety forum in South Park; he would only say, “Not going to comment on personnel matters.” That’s similar to a response we received from a council-staff spokesperson at day’s end, that “Heather Marx is no longer employed with the Seattle City Council. We can’t comment further on personnel matters at this time, though.” Marx, a West Seattle resident, had been serving as policy adviser, a role in which her SDOT background had been considered important, since Saka chairs the council’s Transportation Committee and is also leading the full-council Select Committee vetting the transportation levy. Marx led the West Seattle Bridge repair project 2020-2022 and then worked for SPD for a year and a half before joining Saka’s staff. Her online resume now describes her as self-employed.

13 Replies to "Former high-level SDOT manager departs Councilmember Rob Saka's staff"

  • suckstoberight May 15, 2024 (8:07 am)

    Hey, just a reminder EVERY SINGLE ONE OF SAKA’S OPPONENTS SAID HE WAS NOT QUALIFIED AND SHOULD NOT BE ELECTED! Wow not only does Rob not have any policy chops, but the toxic work environment he’s created in three months is having devastating effects. Zero institutional knowledge left at Council Chambers. Whoops! Should have elected someone who cared about these issues and was knowledgeable about them at a general level.

  • 937 May 15, 2024 (9:02 am)

    No more failing upward…. Let’s hope it’s a trend ’round these parts….

  • D-Ridge May 15, 2024 (10:25 am)

    I hope this doesn’t bode poorly for the future of West Seattle’s transit/bike/pedestrian infrastructure.

  • Jeepney May 15, 2024 (10:29 am)

    Lots of speculation in the comments as usual.  Seems to be a lot of misguided hate directed towards Mr. Saka, I wonder why……..

  • NoSchadenfreude May 15, 2024 (10:45 am)

    I overheard her speak to a constitutent once. It was the most toxic interaction I have ever seen between someone in government and a voter. I am relieved she is no longer in a position to harm. At the same time, I wish good things for her. Many damaged souls exist among us, and we should give them grace.

    • M May 15, 2024 (3:14 pm)

      Interesting. That is absolutely how I would describe my interaction with Saka (he was interrupting and raising his voice above others), but have had only positive interactions with Marx. 

    • Q May 16, 2024 (5:39 am)

      I have heard her approach delicate and complex issues that the public had a hard time hearing about with kindness and humor (as well as with nearly infinite patience).  I suspect that whatever you heard involved you not hearing the whole story of the interaction. 

  • Rob May 15, 2024 (11:45 am)

    Or maybe he pushed for more accountability an demanded his staff to actually really work. Start doing what I ask in a more timely fashion.  Or maybe he wasn’t going  to put up with slack attitudes. I run into this all the time.  

  • Mickymse May 15, 2024 (1:35 pm)

    Oh, aren’t blog commenters fun… We know absolutely nothing about what happened and why she left, but there are already people who really feel the need to share their opinions about why it happened.

    • R-n-B May 18, 2024 (8:56 pm)

      Then why are you here?  Saka damage control?

  • wetone May 15, 2024 (2:45 pm)

    Wonder if she was offered a better position from Mayor or outside firms  ?   as there were a few other higher ups involved with Highrise Bridge project no longer with SDOT ;)

  • Charles Burlingame May 15, 2024 (5:02 pm)

    No more transportation expertise in-house while Saka is shepherding a $1.45 billion transportation levy toward approval while being on the job less than six months. God help us all.

  • M May 16, 2024 (12:19 pm)

    Sorry, different M than the previous comment.
    Sticking to the known facts; we know that Ms. Marx brought a breadth and depth of transportation specific experience to Mr. Saka’s team.  Given his background and current role of shaping transportation for all of us, I hope he quickly finds an alternative team member to provide that expertise.   

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