The director of Seattle’s Department of Transportation has resigned after having been listed as one of six finalists for the position of city manager in Austin, Texas.
Mayor Jenny Durkan replaced Scott Kubly with Goran Sparrman, the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Deputy Director, who will fill in as Interim Director effective Jan. 5.
Kubly did not get the Austin position, but decided to step away from his position in Seattle. He thanked the city for his time there.
“The Department has delivered a tremendous amount of work over the last three years and made progress keeping Seattle moving. I’m excited to pass the baton to new leadership to keep the department and its mission moving forward,” Kubly said in a statement.
Before his arrival in Seattle, Kubly held administrative roles in both Chicago and Washington, D.C.’s departments of transportation. When he was tabbed to head SDOT in June 2014 by then-Mayor Ed Murray, he had been serving as acting president of Alta Bicycle Share, the company chosen to run the now-shuttered Pronto in the city. His connection to Alta would later draw scrutiny — and a $10,000 fine from the city’s Ethics and Elections Commission — after he failed to obtain a waiver to work on issues regarding Pronto, and didn’t file a disclosure form until September of 2015.
Meanwhile, the biography forwarded by the search firm to the city touted his role as lead architect of the Move Seattle levy, and the 10-year strategic vision for transportation, which, “delivers a comprehensive strategy for connecting and enhancing the city’s many ways to travel.”
Sparrman has previously served as Interim Director and Deputy Director of SDOT, and held the head transportation position in Bellevue.
Durkan released a statement thanking Kubly for his efforts on behalf of the city.
“I want to thank Scott for his service to Seattle and wish him well as he pursues new opportunities. In a time of unprecedented growth, Scott set the stage for a significant increase in multi-modal investments in our city, which will have an impact for decades to come,” she said. ”Goran is well-respected leader and has immense experience as an engineer, manager, and planner in our region - I know he will execute over the months to come on my top transportation priorities. Our region has been trying to catch up to its transportation needs for decades, and the next few years will be critical for creating more safe, efficient and well-connected transportation choices that make it easier and safer for residents to get around on foot, by bike, and via mass transit.”
Durkan will initiate a national search for a permanent candidate to fill the SDOT position.