Kirkland’s new interim Public Works director to lead major projects

Pam Bissonnette joined the City of Kirkland on Tuesday as its interim Public Works director.  - Contributed
Pam Bissonnette joined the City of Kirkland on Tuesday as its interim Public Works director.
— image credit: Contributed

Pam Bissonnette joined the City of Kirkland on Tuesday as its interim Public Works director.

Ray Steiger, who has served as director since June 2011, assumes the duties of deputy director.

Bissonnette will lead the Public Works Department’s major projects, including completing construction of the Public Safety Building near Fred Meyer in the Totem Lake Business District, securing transportation funding from the State Legislature for congestion relief and new Northeast 132nd Street ramps to I- 405, implementing the voter-approved street maintenance and pedestrian safety projects and completing the Master Plan and interim trail for the Cross Kirkland Corridor.

“The Public Works Department has seen tremendous growth over the years in the number and complexity of programs in its portfolio and the added management capacity will position them well for future success,” noted Kurt Triplett, city manager. “It is the only city department of that size that does not currently have a Deputy Director position.”

“I reconfigured Public Works leadership to successfully accomplish the many exciting initiatives in Public Works right now that will shape Kirkland for decades to come,” added Triplett. “Pam’s experience and regional perspective coupled with Ray’s 20-plus years of excellence here in Kirkland will create an unbeatable team that will help Public Works exceed its already exceptional performance as they tackle these challenges.”

Other key Public Works projects for the next two years include:

• Hosting a Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Summit and creating an action plan.

• Developing a city-wide Transportation Master Plan.

• Developing a city-wide Surface Water Management Master Plan.

• Implementing the Development Services study to improve permitting in Kirkland.

• Completing the 85th Street Corridor project, including a major new water line.

• Completing the Northeast 120th Street extension and multi-million dollar culvert replacement project, both in the Totem Lake Business District.

• Implementing an Intelligent Transportation System to relieve congestion.

• Initiating Juanita Drive and 100th Avenue Northeast Corridor studies to identify safety and capacity improvements on these key arterials.

Most recently, Bissonnette served as the executive director of NORCOM, a regional public safety communications agency, which serves Kirkland and other north King County cities. Prior to NORCOM, Bissonnette worked for King County as its first director of Natural Resources, which was formed when King County and METRO merged in the early 1990s.

She managed the regional wastewater and solid waste programs as well as storm water, river, flooding, agriculture and forestry programs. She retired in 2007 and was brought back as a consultant to King County Executive Dow Constantine on the county’s intended purchase of the Eastside Rail Corridor.

Bissonnette spent most of her career working for the City of Bellevue as its Drainage Utility director and then as its Utility director where she was responsible for the city’s water, sewer, garbage and storm water utilities as well as the city’s cable franchise programs. She also held the positions of interim fire chief and deputy city manager for Bellevue.

Ray Steiger has worked for the city since 1989 and previously managed the Capital Improvement Program.

The search for a permanent department director is expected to begin sometime in 2014.


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