John Starbard recognized as Public Employee of the Year

May 3, 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.

John Starbard

Starbard fulfilled one executive priority early in his tenure by moving to a fixed rate for each type of permit, instead of billing customers by the hours it took to process a permit — providing customers with predictable costs and, in most cases, reduced fees. A new pre-screening service helps customers ensure their application is complete before submission, which saves processing time.

Starbard enlisted staff to create a new over-the-counter service that now takes two hours instead of the two months it took previously. He also led reductions in the amount of time it takes to issue a permit for custom single-family homes — from 64 days last year down to about 38 days this year, and he says staff members feel they can do even better.

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Former city manager John Starbard recognized as Public Employee of the Year

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.

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Newcastle City Manager John Starbard fired

February 4, 2010

Former community development director named as replacement

John Starbard

Rob Wyman

At a special City Council meeting Jan. 12, the council voted 6-1 to terminate City Manager John Starbard’s contract without cause, effective immediately. The only dissenting vote was Councilman Sonny Putter.

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Talks began in December regarding new city manager

February 4, 2010

Talks regarding firing City Manager John Starbard and appointing former Community Development Director Rob Wyman as interim city manager began privately in December.

While councilmen-elect John Dulcich, Bill Erxleben and Rich Crispo said they had been in favor of making changes to the city’s management, Erxleben specifically sought out Wyman in December as a candidate for interim city manager. Read more

U.S. Postal Service denies Newcastle ZIP code appeal

January 12, 2010

NEW — 4:04 p.m. Jan. 12, 2010

The post office denied an appeal by Newcastle to create a ZIP code for the city.

Last September, City Manager John Starbard wrote a letter to U.S. Postal Service headquarters in Washington, D.C., and asked the agency to reconsider the Seattle District’s decision to deny the city a ZIP code.

In December, the city received a response from James W. Kiser, manager of delivery operations for the postal service.

“After a thorough review of the case file and the details of both the Seattle District and Western Area office decisions, it is the final determination of this office to support the denial of your request,” Kiser wrote in his letter.

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