Moon Appoints First Four Members of Her Transition Team

10/4/17: Anticipating a rapid transition if elected Mayor of Seattle, Cary Moon is appointing the first four members of her mayoral transition team.

“A stable, skillful and responsive governing structure is the first order of business if I’m elected Mayor of Seattle,” said Cary Moon, who has more than 20 years of experience as a civic leader and urban planner in Seattle. “Even before Mayor Murray resigned, I’ve been meeting with current and former city staff and community leaders to develop a plan for a seamless continuation of city services and an empowered, committed organization.

Diane Sugimura, Ray Hoffman, Esther Handy, and Nicole Vallestero Keenan are well known and respected Seattle leaders who offer deep experience in the governance of our city. They bring vision, clarity, and innovation toward convening a city leadership team that will be effective in addressing Seattle’s biggest challenges.”

Cary Moon’s initial mayoral transition team includes:

Diane Sugimura

Bringing more than 38 years of experience under six Seattle mayors, Diane Sugimura served as the Director of the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Seattle for 14 years. Under her leadership, the department was responsible for the full range of development activities from long-range comprehensive and neighborhood planning to policy and code development, as well as plan review and permit issuance. Her focus included equitable development, encampments and other homelessness issues, sustainable development, and Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative. Before she retired last year, Diane served as Interim Director of the new Office of Planning and Community Development.

“After many years of working with the City on major urban issues, Cary Moon understands the value of working closely with department directors and their staff,” said Diane Sugimura. “She recognizes that the people who help keep the City going are also the people who know what needs to be improved and how to make those changes.”

Ray Hoffman

Ray Hoffman led Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) for seven years, supervising a roughly $1 billion annual budget and more than 1,400 employees. Ray served as an advisor to Seattle Mayor Paul Schell on utilities and environmental issues before becoming SPU’s Director of Corporate Policy & Performance for Seattle Public Utilities, where he oversaw the utility’s external governmental relations, legislative affairs, risk management, utility benchmarking, and Superfund response. Ray was at the center of some of Seattle Public Utilities’ most complex negotiations, including establishing local regulatory control over commercial solid waste collection.

“Cary Moon has high expectations for her department directors,” said Ray Hoffman. “Seattle is a dynamic city, and she knows that directors need to be nimble and on top of their game. They will need to understand Seattle Version 2018, not 2010 or 2000. They need to deliver to the citizens of Seattle, their customers. She won’t micromanage them. She will let them do their jobs and hold them accountable if they do not.”

Esther Handy

Esther Handy worked for King County Executive Ron Sims and helped transition the Executive office to an Interim Executive in 2009. She has nearly a decade of experience as policy and political staff in City of Seattle and King County government. She worked for Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien from 2010-2016 where she partnered with City Departments, the Mayor’s office and community stakeholders to manage all aspects of a legislative agenda including the city’s budget process.

“Cary Moon is committed to including communities in the process of governing, said Esther Handy. “Our role on the transition team is to to establish a clear and transparent management structure with capacity to listen, and receive feedback — and effectively implement solutions.”

Nicole Vallestero Keenan

Nicole Vallestero Keenan is the Executive Director of Fair Work Center (for identification purposes only) and brings over a decade of experience in policy research, management, and coalition and community building. She served on the City’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee to develop Seattle’s minimum wage to $15 per hour. Nicole received the 50th Anniversary Civil Rights Leadership Award from the Seattle Office of Civil Rights and Seattle Women’s Commission, and was named one of “The 15 People Who Should Really Run Seattle” by Seattle Met.

“Authentic and frequent communication, integrity, and transparent decision making are critical components of Cary Moon’s plan for a well-run city that serves its people well,” said Nicole Vallestero Keenan. “Today’s announcement is a first step in transparency: this group will focus on setting the structure for her transition and ensuring Cary Moon’s larger transition team has a breadth of community, government, labor, small business, city planning, and environmental leaders ready to work together and hit the ground running.“

Cary Moon also published an open letter to all Seattle City employees today. “I deeply value and respect the expertise of Seattle’s city employees, and recognize that most good ideas are born in City Departments or out in communities, not in the Mayor’s office.”