Update: Ed Murray’s transition team announced more department changes this afternoon. See the bottom of this post for details.
Mayor-elect Ed Murray summoned Seattle Department of Transportation director Peter Hahn to a one-on-one meeting at City Hall earlier this week and asked him for his resignation. Hahn proceeded to inform his staff and SDOT employees in a letter, sent Thursday, that he will “not be with the city after January 2, 2014.”
Murray’s transition spokesman Jeff Reading said the mayor-in-waiting will conduct a “national search” to find a replacement for the man who served four years under Mayor Mike McGinn.
“As I reflect on my time at SDOT, I can say that I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked with you and serve the City of Seattle,” Hahn wrote. “You are wonderful people and dedicated professionals and I wish you all the best.”
Hahn could not be reached for comment, as he left on a vacation after notifying his troops, and will not return until the first week of December, said SDOT spokesman Richard Sheridan.
Reading told Seattle Weekly this morning that Murray later today will announce his intentions to replace several more department heads. “The mayor-elect wants a team around him that is his team,” Reading said.
Murray is meeting this afternoon with his 43-member transition team, beginning at 1:30 in the Olympic Room at the Seattle Center.
Hahn’s forced exit is a clear signal that Murray’s approach to the city’s transportation needs will change somewhat from the bike, bus and rail-centric priorities of McGinn.
“Ed wants to plan for projects in an integrated way – not just a bike project here and a rail project there, but it will include expanding light rail and Metro,” Reading said.
Murray today revealed who he plans to retain as department heads and those who will not be returning to their posts when he takes over as mayor January 1.
The following department heads not coming back are:
Beth Goldberg- City Budget Office
Marco Lowe - Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
David Stewart - Personnel Director
And, as we noted above, Peter Hahn.
Also, 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.
Murray said he’s asked the following department heads to stay on:
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