Murray names Dively and Choe as transition co-chairs

The mayor-elect and state senator talks about starting to build his administration -- and leaving his Senate position. With video excerpts.
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Mayor Ed Murray

The mayor-elect and state senator talks about starting to build his administration -- and leaving his Senate position. With video excerpts.

Seattle’s mayor-elect, state Sen. Ed Murray has begun building his administration. But, even as he announced the co-chairs of his transition team on Thursday afternoon, he also faced lingering obligations in Olympia, where a special legislative session is getting underway.

Speaking to reporters at the Lakewood Seward Park Community Club, Murray said his opponent in the 2013 Seattle mayor’s race, Mayor Mike McGinn, had offered a “gracious concession” over the phone earlier in the day. The mayor-elect then introduced his transition committee co-chairs: Martha Choe, a former City Council member and the current chief administrative officer for the Gates Foundation, and Dwight Dively, director of performance, strategy and budget for King County and an affiliate professor at the University of Washington's Evans School of Public Affairs. 

“They reflect the type of leadership and the focus we want to have as part of our transition team and as part of our administration,” Murray said referring to the appointees.

The mayor-elect has worked with both of his transition co-chairs in the past. Murray spent four years as an aide to Choe, during her two terms as a councilmember. Choe served on the council between 1992 and 1999. During the same time period, Dively was a council staffer.

“Dwight Dively was the first person who really helped me understand budgets,” Murray said. After his time working for the council, Dively became Seattle’s finance director, a job he held between 1994 and 2010, before moving to his current position with King County.

Murray said that both transition co-chairs would keep their day jobs. Asked whether he wanted a position back in Seattle city government Dively was coy, replying, “My interest is in being the co-chair of the mayor-elect's transition team.”

Murray also sought to quash speculation that City Council members are knocking on his door asking for jobs. “There is no City Council member who has approached me about a job,” he said. “And it is not my intention to hire any serving City Council member.”

The transition committee will be stationed across the street from City Hall at the Seattle Municipal Tower and more committee members will be announced next week. The rest of the committee has not been named yet, Murray said.

“It’s our responsibility to ensure that there is a transition from the campaign to governance,” said Choe, “because those are two quite different things.”

Atop Murray’s to-do list during his first days in office will be Seattle Police Department issues. “Obviously the reform of the police department, moving through the Department of Justice requirements and hiring a chief of police is really priority number one,” he said.

For the time being though, Murray's attention will be split between Seattle and Olympia. Gov. Jay Inslee decided Tuesday to call a special session, asking lawmakers to pass a package of tax and transportation legislation that is designed to keep Boeing manufacturing jobs in state. “We’ve had a conference call almost every day this week,” said Murray, who is the leader of the Senate Democrats. 

Murray did not give a hard date for when he would resign from the state legislature, but said that the sooner he gives up his position, “the better it is for both the Senate and for the transition process we’re going through.” Rep. Jamie Pedersen of the 43rd District, Murray said, will likely take his seat.

Robert Mak recorded these excerpts from Murray's announcement. He is preparing a report on the transition for later.


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