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Murray announces barrage of new hires

Mayor-elect Ed Murray fills several key positions and promises to create a new policy office.
Ed Murray during an interview

Ed Murray during an interview Photo: Ashley Walls

Mayor-elect Ed Murray announced a bevy of new hires for his incoming administration on Tuesday, including a pair of deputy mayors, a city budget director and a director of the Office of Civil Rights.

In addition to filling in some of his incoming administration's roster, the mayor-elect said that he is planning to create an Office of Policy and Innovation, within the mayor’s office, to act as an “in-house consultancy.” Robert Feldstein will come from New York, where he served in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration, to run the new office. In total, Murray named 15 new staff members during a morning press conference at the Seattle Municipal Tower.

“I said during the campaign that public service was the number one value that I hold as an elected official,” Murray said. “I wanted to hire people who reflected that value of public service.”

Murray also said during the press conference that he thinks the Highway 99 Tunnel can be finished under budget and on time, expressed support for the city’s new Bicycle Master Plan, and said he favored a change in police department hiring rules that would allow the chief of police to hire assistant and deputy chiefs from outside the department. He declined to give a timeline for the impending police chief search, saying he would have more details about his plans for hiring a new chief once he’s in office.

One of Murray’s two deputy mayors will be Hyeok Kim, who is executive director of Interlm Community Development Association, a nonprofit that focuses on providing affordable housing for Asian and Pacific Islander immigrant communities. The other is Andrea Riniker, a former Bellevue City Manger, who has also held director posts at the Port of Tacoma, Seattle Tacoma International Airport and the State Department of Ecology. Riniker, Murray said, will serve for about six months and will help him find someone to fill the position permanently after her departure.

Each of the deputy mayors will focus on a different set of issues. Kim will concentrate on community engagement and Rinikler will focus on the inner workings of city departments.

Murray swiped his budget director, Ben Noble, from the City Council’s central staff. Noble started at the central staff in 2000 and has served as the director of since 2006, heading up a team of 16 policy analysts.

In the Office of Civil Rights, Patricia Lally will replace Julie Nelson, the current director, who Murray decided to fire.  An adjunct professor at Seattle University Law School, Lally worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Seattle for 11 years.

Staff members at the new Office of Policy and Innovation will include Mike Fong, who currently works as City Council staff analyst and will serve as Deputy Director; former City Council member Tina Podlodowski, who will tackle police reform for the office and Jared Smith, who will oversee waterfront and seawall issues. Smith is currently head of Northwest operations for Parsons Brinckerhoff, one of the primary engineering firms involved in the Alaska Way Viaduct and Elliott Bay Seawall replacement projects.

Among the other staff announcements were: Susan Coskey, director of the Office of Personnel; Andrew Glass Hastings, transportation lead in the Office of Policy and Innovation; Aaliya Gupta, Director of the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs; Steve Lee, organizational effectiveness lead in the Office of Policy and Innovation; Jeff Reading, Communications Director; Goran Sparrman, interim director of Seattle Department of Transportation and Steve Walker, Director of the Office of Housing.

The top earners on the list are Sparrman, whose salary will be $176,000, and Coskey, who will receive $175,000. The deputy mayors, Noble and innovations director Feldstein will each receive salaries of $170,000. The other salaries range from $116,000 to $160,000. 

There is still more hiring on the horizon for the mayor-elect.

“This is only part one, we’ve not completed our process,” Murray said. “We’re going to be deliberative about this process and wait until we find the best people for the positions we have.”

Bill Lucia writes about Seattle City Hall and politics for Crosscut. He can be reached at bill.lucia@crosscut.com and you can follow him on Twitter @bill_lucia.


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Comments:

Posted Wed, Dec 11, 5:03 p.m. Inappropriate

Andrew Glass Hastings, transportation lead in the Office of Policy and Innovation

That guy was Greg Nickels' point man for the 2008 ST2 ballot measure.

Now we know what kind of transit ideals Murray has: countless billions of dollars of regressive tax revenue confiscations, heavy local long term bonding, interminable delays and misleading ballot measures for all the democrat groups to push with zeal. It'll be 2008 all over again: "Mass Transit Now Again!"

When is the budget for East Link going to be revealed? It's been five years since ST2 passed.

Anyone want to try estimating the regressive tax cost of securing the growing pile of long term debt Sound Transit's staff says the board will have to issue over the next decade? Didn't think so . . ..

Any lawyers read Crosscut? Let's discuss whether Sound Transit's appointive board with all its unchecked taxing, spending, project design, condemnation, bonding, etc. powers complies with what the Fourteenth Amendment demands. I know, I know, this is a public forum. It'll be a fun discussion though -- you'll see.

Yup, with Andrew Glass Hastings dreaming up transit megaproject policies for Ed Murray the sky's the limit. There'll be baroque plans of staggeringly grandiose proportions flowing out of City Hall. That boy thinks BIG.

He's spent the last couple of years over at King County, giving policy strategy to the electeds about Metro. We're hearing his talking points coming from the mouths of Constantine and Phillips now: “We will cut bus routes unless there is more regressive taxing! Higher sales taxes and car tab taxes or the bus system will fail!”

Ed Murray loves hearing that out of Dow and Larry; that's why he hired this guy away from the county. He wants that kind of mojo in his administration.

crossrip

Posted Wed, Dec 11, 6:08 p.m. Inappropriate

What I found most amazing is that most of Murray's new hires come from elsewhere and have no direct previous interaction with the City and its departments.

Should be interesting.

Amaliada

Posted Wed, Dec 11, 7:56 p.m. Inappropriate

Fresh blood. Or meat, depending on your outlook. Fresh ideas could be exactly what Seattle needs.

I don't have high hopes for Murray, but he's got the reigns, so let's hope he can make good decisions.

Posted Sat, Dec 14, 9:18 p.m. Inappropriate

What is amazing is that you failed to mention the selection of Jared Smith for Office of Policy and Innovation Staff for overseeing waterfront tunnel and seawall issues. Smith is currently head of Northwest operations for Parsons Brinckerhoff, one of the primary engineering firms involved in the AWV tunnel and Elliott Bay Seawall replacement projects, arguably the most questionable and costly of all the schemes currently in play by the city.

jmrolls

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