Seattle Department of Neighborhoods director Kathy Nyland lasted longer than many city department heads after Jenny Durkan entered the mayor’s office, but on Friday it was finally announced that Nyland will be moved into a senior advisor role with Seattle Parks and Recreation.
Nyland had served as DON director since June 2015, and Durkan’s office reports Andrés Mantilla will now assume the role in the interim.
“Kathy has worked tirelessly to help communities across Seattle have a strong voice in their government, and her leadership has helped to foster more coordinated, citywide outreach on Seattle’s most urgent challenges,” Durkan said in the April 27 news release. “We will build on her important work to bring more equitable engagement to our neighborhoods.
“As we address growing disparities and make our City more affordable, Andrés will be instrumental in elevating the voices of community members throughout Seattle. His commitment to equity and communities of color will elevate the work of our City.”
Nyland issued a Message from the Director three days prior to the mayor’s announcing her ouster, which was positive and focused on the future.
“Someone recently asked me about my job, wanting to know what inspired me,” Nyland wrote. “Without even thinking, I said ‘because I believe.’ I believe in local government, and I believe in community. And I believe that together we can do anything. There are days that are easier than others, but I never falter in my belief. I have learned so much from this job that it’s hard to capture the many lessons.”
The mayor’s Friday news release states Mantilla has “deep roots in communities across the City,” and had previously worked at the Department of Neighborhoods and Office of Economic Development providing community and small business outreach. He was also on former mayor Greg Nickels’ community outreach team.
Nyland’s role at SPR will involve community and neighborhood outreach.