Big organizational changes are underway at City Hall. According to an internal email shared by an anonymous source, City Manager Kurt Triplett has decided to merge Kirkland's Building Division with the Planning Department under Director Eric Shields. Prior to this change, the Building Division was a part of the Kirkland Fire Department.
While the merger will become official in mid-May, most of the implementation logistics (IT actions, Final Department names, org charts, logos, document changes and so on) will occur over the following months in 2015.
The move follows the recent promotion of Tracey Dunlap to Deputy City Manager from her former role as Finance Director. Tracy is well-liked within City Hall and has a track record of being an excellent public servant with great integrity.
Tracey now shares the title Deputy City Manager with long-time city employee, Marilynne Beard. Tracey and Marilynne will each have distinct roles with different spheres of "influence" (see Spheres of Coordination below).
What do these shifts within the halls of government mean for Kirkland citizens? Greater efficiency and accountability in government.
These are bold and refreshing moves to a governmental organization which, by its nature, is not easy to change.
We applaud these moves by the City Manager. The Building Division is better suited under Planning and promoting Tracey to the position of Co-Deputy City Manager charts a course for a brighter future at City Hall. While it may be rather unorthodox to create two Deputy City Managers, a move questioned by some, we see this as a welcome and necessary step toward greater change still to come.