Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson provided more details Monday on the candidate he has nominated to serve as the city’s next development servies director.
According to the city’s announcement, Susan McLaughlin, who serves as the urban design manager for the City of Seattle’s Department of Transportation, was selected “after a comprehensive recruitment and interview process,” including candidate interviews with the Edmonds City Council.
The council is scheduled to vote on McLaughlin’s appointment during its Oct. 12 business meeting, which follows a series of council committee meetings. The business meeting is set to start at 7:30 p.m. (moved back its previously scheduled start time of 9:30 p.m.)
McLaughlin holds a masters in urban development and design from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, and a bachelor of arts in environmental studies with an urban planning emphasis from UC, Santa Barbara.
She has more than 20 years of experience in land use, transportation and public realm design, and played a key role in developing the Central City Rebuild Plan in Christchurch, New Zealand after the devastating 2010/2011 earthquakes, the city said. Prior to working in New Zealand, McLaughlin spent more than 10 years working in the public and private sector of land use planning in Santa Barbara, California.
An Edmonds resident, McLaughlin has worked for Seattle’s Department of Transportation for the last nine years. In her Seattle job, she lead a team of urban designers “to achieve high quality street designs that exemplify innovation, and help to meet equity and climate goals,” the city announcement said. Her team is also responsible for managing the Seattle Transportation Department’s Complete Streets program, fostering public-private partnerships, leading concept design for street design projects and providing design oversight on select capital projects.
If confirmed by the council, McLaughlin will replace former Development Services Director Shane Hope, who retired at the end of June.
According to the city announcement, McLaughlin’s application was one of 18 initially received for the position. Of those applicants, five met the minimum qualifications for the position. Those five were asked to submit a written response to a supplemental question, and four candidates completed this step of the process. After review of the written responses, three candidates were advanced for interview.
Candidates were interviewed Aug. 5 by a panel consisting of the city’s human resources, parks and recreation and public works directors, along with former Development Services Director Hope. The three candidates were then interviewed by Mayor Nelson, who advanced all three for council interview. Prior to scheduling council interviews, one candidate withdrew their application. The two remaining candidates were interviewed by the council Sept. 20 and the council approved moving forward with two candidates. The mayor solicited feedback from city council prior to making a final appointment decision.
According to the proposed employment agreement, McLaughlin will earn $167,524 annually.
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