Morning Fizz: The First Casualty
Caffeinated News and Gossip featuring departures, arrivals, and taxes.
1. Seattle Department of Transportation director Peter Hahn appears to be the first casualty from the old McGinn administration. Yesterday, Hahn sent a letter to SDOT employees announcing that he will "not be with the city after January 2, 2014."
In the letter (which does not specifically mention mayor-elect Ed Murray), Hahn goes on to cite his accomplishments during four years as SDOT director:
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. I am proud to have served with you the last four years and I have appreciated every moment.
You are wonderful people and dedicated professionals and I wish you all the best. I will be leaving this post at the end of 2013, grateful for my time here and confident that SDOT will continue to be a top performing organization for years to come.
When McGinn was elected, he replaced Grace Crunican with Hahn, who was previously deputy public works director for the city of Renton.
2. Fizz hears that more departure announcements could be coming as early as today. Murray is holding his first transition team meeting this afternoon at Seattle Center's Olympic Room, West Republican St. and Warren St, starting at 1:30.
3. Yesterday, environmentalists, business leaders, government officials, and labor leaders testified for more balance in the transportation package proposed by the senate's Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus; the $12 billion proposal, as a coalition of environmental and transportation advocacy groups pointed out in a letter last week, includes less than two percent for bike, pedestrian, and transit options, including safe routes to school, and strips funding from the state's toxic cleanup fund to pay for stormwater mitigation on road projects.
Here's what Sen. Curtis King, the author of the proposal, had to say in response: "Safe routes to school are not a state priority."
Without a transportation package that allows counties to ask voters for new transit revenue, King County Metro will have to cut service as much as 17 percent starting next year. As we reported yesterday, King County excutive Dow Constantine announced that if the house and senate can't agree on a package, the county will propose a new Transportation Benefit District that would impose a sales tax and a flat vehicle-license fee of up to $100.