Mayor launches national search, survey for next SDOT director

Mayor launches national search, survey for next SDOT director

Mayor launches national search, survey for next SDOT director

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has launched a national search for a new director of the transportation department, and the public is being asked to weigh in through an online survey.

Former SDOT director Scott Kubly resigned in mid-December, following news he did not advance to the final selection round for city manager in Austin, Texas.

Kubly had been picked by former mayor Ed Murray to lead the transportation department in June 2014, after holding administrative roles in both Chicago and Washington, D.C.'s departments of transportation, in addition to a stint as acting president of Alta Bicycle Share.

He was subsequently fined by the city for an ethics violation in June 2016, because he did not disclose his previous employment with Alta, which became Motivate, and had operated the city’s failed Pronto bike share. Kubly had negotiated Pronto’s start and expansion.

Interim SDOT director Goran Sparrman will remain in his current role through the end of August, according to a news release from the mayor’s office.

An online survey to gauge transportation priorities and qualities people want in the next SDOT director is now live here.

A national search firm will be hired on in June, and a review committee will be convened to evaluate applicants and make final recommendations.

The announcement comes at a time when SDOT is still trying to satisfy promises made for the 2015 Move Seattle construction levy, and its largest transit project — the Center City Connector streetcar line to bridge the First Hill and South Lake Union segments — is on hold due to concerns about an estimated $23 million in cost overruns.

“With a number of significant projects in the pipeline, our next SDOT leader must be ready to deliver on investments and protect taxpayer dollars,” Durkan said in a May 21 news release. “Our residents and businesses expect our officials to make progress and deliver results, and this administration will continue to be accountable to the people we serve.”

The Seattle Times recently examined issues with SDOT project delays. That article can be viewed here.