April 6, 2012
NEW — 12:25 p.m. April 6, 2012
King County Executive Dow Constantine praised former Newcastle city manager and director of the Department of Development and Environmental Services, John Starbard, for being named Public Employee of the Year by the Municipal League of King County.
“It wasn’t that long ago that our permitting department was the most maligned of our agencies, with good people struggling with old ways of doing business,” Constantine said in a statement. “I gave John a mandate to reform the agency, and since then he has instituted reforms that have increased efficiency, reduced fees and shortened the time to process permits.”
The award was presented April 5 at the 53rd Annual Civic Awards Celebration Dinner at Herban Feast in the SODO area of Seattle. Newcastle City Council members fired Starbard in January 2010. The council attributed the decision to tense relationships between Starbard, elected officials and city residents.