Local Services’ 19: Top Accomplishments of 2019

What a first year!

Our goals were clear: create a department and begin delivering improved government services to the diverse residents and businesses of unincorporated King County.

We took that and ran with it, retooling how the county listens to residents, works collaboratively with them, and acts in their communities.

Here are 19 accomplishments we racked up in 2019: Continue reading Local Services’ 19: Top Accomplishments of 2019

Brater named ‘County Engineer of the Year’

Road Services Director Rick Brater holds his "County Road Engineer of the Year" plaque.
Road Services Director Rick Brater with his “County Engineer of the Year” plaque.

Road Services Division Director Rick Brater has been named the Washington State County Road Administration Board’s “County Engineer of the Year.”

He received the award at the Board’s Summer Conference in June.

Nominated by King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert, Brater was recognized as a strong manager and leader who is responsible for a regional transportation system of 1,500 miles of roads and 182 bridges, and a staff of 400 people, including six maintenance divisions.

Brater, whom the Metropolitan King County Council appointed Director of Local Services’ Road Services Division in March and who has been with King County more than 17 years, was recognized in several areas: Continue reading Brater named ‘County Engineer of the Year’

Mark Rowe is the new Deputy Director for King County Local Services Permitting Division

 

 

Pictured in his Snoqualmie office is Permitting Division Deputy Director Mark Rowe
Permitting Division Deputy Director Mark Rowe

Recently, King County Local Services Permitting Division welcomed Mark Rowe as its new Deputy Director.

It’s somewhat of a homecoming for Rowe, who had two prior stints with the county. He first spent six years as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist for Public Health-Seattle & King County before joining AT&T Broadband, where he managed the teams that established high-speed data and voice networks in the state. In 2003, he rejoined Public Health as Program Manager for Emergency Preparedness, then as Food Protection and Water Recreation Facilities Section Manager.

Most recently, Rowe served in senior leadership roles with Amazon.com Corporate. First as a global Food Safety Senior Manager for Amazon Fresh, Prime Now and Treasure Truck, then as a Senior Food Safety Manager for Retail and Operations Integration. Continue reading Mark Rowe is the new Deputy Director for King County Local Services Permitting Division

Daw to manage external relations for Department of Local Services

King County Local Services External Relations Manager David Daw
King County Local Services External Relations Manager David Daw

David Daw has joined the Department of Local Services, where he will lead the new department’s efforts to engage and collaborate with King County’s unincorporated communities.

A Seattle native, David attended Evergreen State College in Olympia and studied economic development abroad in both Central America and Africa. After earning a bachelor’s degree focused on public administration and intercultural communication, he returned to Seattle. With a friend, he co-founded The Initiative Newspaper, which ran stories about positive community action and provided resources and information about the local African-American community. Continue reading Daw to manage external relations for Department of Local Services

Human Resources managers join Road Services and Permitting divisions

As it enters its fourth month, King County’s new Department of Local Services is continuing to fill key positions. Two Human Resources managers were recently named to support the new department’s most important asset—its people.

Brittany Hagen Crosser, HR Manager I for the King County Local Services Road Services Division
Brittany Hagen Crosser

As of April 1, Brittany Hagen Crosser is the new HR Manager I for the Road Services Division. Brittany began her King County career in the former Human Resources Division in 2006, and most recently served that same agency (now also a new department) as a Project Program Manager III. For the last two years she has managed new employee orientations, helping new hires get a good start in their King County careers. She has experience in operations management, labor relations, continuous improvement, and business intelligence. Brittany is looking forward to this new chapter in her career.

“I love people and public service,” she said. “I think government should have all the benefits of the private sector in terms of creativity, innovation, and awesome staff. Every department and division in King County is unique, with its own set of HR challenges, and I look forward to learning and addressing these with the leadership of Road Services.” Continue reading Human Resources managers join Road Services and Permitting divisions

Local Services’ first Economic Development Program Manager looks forward to helping businesses succeed in unincorporated King County

Hugo Garcia, King County Local Services' first Economic Development Program Manager, stands next to a map of King County.
Hugo Garcia, King County Local Services’ first Economic Development Program Manager

One of our goals at King County Local Services is to help our unincorporated communities thrive. This week, we took a big step in that direction as Hugo Garcia, our first Economic Development Program Manager, joined our team.

Hugo brings nearly 15 years of economic development experience, serving both rural and urban communities. He’s worked directly with small businesses during prosperous and tough economic times, and understands the dedication required to run a local business. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, he immigrated to Seattle with his family in 1988. His father ran a restaurant here for years, which allowed Hugo to see first-hand the kinds of challenges small businesses face just to keep their doors open. Continue reading Local Services’ first Economic Development Program Manager looks forward to helping businesses succeed in unincorporated King County

Local Services hires Service Partnerships manager

Jesse
Jesse Kent is the new Service Partnerships manager for the Department of Local Services.

One thing that’s different about King County’s new Department of Local Services is the Service Partnership Agreements it’s making with other King County agencies. The agreements will allow Local Services to serve as a “one-stop shop,” helping residents and businesses in unincorporated areas connect with county services while also gathering information about those services.

On March 25, Jesse Kent joined the department as its Service Partnership Agreement Manager. He’ll oversee this part of the new department’s approach, managing working relationships with other King County departments and looking at the data they collect to support continuous improvement. Continue reading Local Services hires Service Partnerships manager

Rick Brater confirmed as Director of Road Services Division

Road Services Division Director Rick Brater
Road Services Division Director Rick Brater. King County photo by Ned Ahrens.

The Metropolitan King County Council yesterday unanimously approved Rick Brater’s appointment to the Director of the Road Services Division, in which he has served on an interim basis since October 2018.

The Road Services Division operates as part of the county’s new Department of Local Services. Brater will continue to lead an agency that maintains 1,500 miles of roadway and 182 bridges in unincorporated King County. Road Services has nearly 400 employees and six maintenance divisions. Continue reading Rick Brater confirmed as Director of Road Services Division

County establishes 24-hour helpline, requests help to reach unincorporated residents isolated by winter storms

Snow covers a King County road near Enumclaw in February 2019.
King County photo by Brandy Rettig

Swaths of unincorporated King County continue to feel the effects of the unprecedented winter storms, which have left several rural communities buried in snow and without power.

The storms have created several challenges, particularly in the east portion of the county, where residents have limited or no road access in or out of their neighborhoods, and where many neighborhoods do not have power. Continue reading County establishes 24-hour helpline, requests help to reach unincorporated residents isolated by winter storms

Taniguchi: The end of an era means new beginnings

A head shot of Department of Transportation Director Harold Taniguchi.

(Note: Below is an email that Director Harold Taniguchi sent to all Department of Transportation employees today)

Dear colleagues,

At the end of this month, the nearly quarter-century history of our King County Department of Transportation will come full circle. Continue reading Taniguchi: The end of an era means new beginnings