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Kirkland resident Linda De Boldt takes on role as Redmond's new public works director
Although she has lived on the Eastside for three decades, Kirkland resident Linda De Boldt’s new job as the city of Redmond’s public works director is the first job she has held on this side of Lake Washington.
The 52-year-old Kirkland resident has worked for the city of Seattle since 1983 after she graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in civil engineering. She started at the city of Redmond in December 2013, taking over after former public works director Tim Fuller retired summer 2013.
“I was interested in coming to a city that is growing and as dynamic as Redmond is,” De Boldt said about why she applied for the job.
She also wanted to bring her skills to somewhere closer to where she lives and saw the opportunity to take on a leadership role as the next step in her career.
De Boldt said she chose to go into civil engineering — and as a result, public works — because she wanted to make a difference when it comes to environmental restoration and water resources, adding that the work she does directly affects a community’s quality of life.
In coming to Redmond, De Boldt has a few goals as the new public works director.
She said she would like to receive input from customers on an ongoing basis so they have a strong understanding of what people want. In addition to focusing on customer service, De Boldt said she wants to work to make sure her department is at its most efficient and utilizing money in the best way. And finally, she said she wants to focus on employees and see how they can best be supported to realize their full potential.
“I consider our employees to be the top resource that we have,” she said.
On hiring De Boldt, Redmond Mayor John Marchione said, “Linda brings almost 30 years of experience with an impressive background to the city of Redmond. Her knowledge of protecting the environment, delivering construction projects and creating efficient organizations will greatly benefit Redmond. She reflects our city core values of public service and I believe she will perform admirably in her role.”
Since she started with the city, De Boldt said things have been “really good.” Her experiences so far have been great learning opportunities as she has been getting to know people in town as well as Redmond’s infrastructure.
“I’ve been doing a lot of field trips to learn the infrastructure,” she said.
De Boldt said there have been a lot of similarities between Redmond and Seattle but she has noticed some major differences.
One of the main differences has been the cities’ sizes. Since Redmond is smaller than Seattle, De Boldt said she has noticed it is easier to affect change here.
“That’s exciting for me,” she said, adding that she has been able to bring the knowledge she’s acquired from working at a bigger city to Redmond.
De Boldt said she was also pleasantly surprised to have the opportunity to work with people from other departments within the city.
De Boldt, who is married and has a 22-year-old son and a 16-year-old daughter, was born in Boulder, Colo. but moved to Seattle when she was 6 years old. As a result, she calls herself a “die-hard Northwesterner” and said camping and hiking are two things she enjoys doing outside of work. She also likes to bake.
She also participates in various professional societies to further the profession — particularly for girls and women. She said more women are entering the public works sector, but when she was a student and just starting out, she was often one of the only women in the room.
“It was a very male-dominated profession back in the (1980s),” she said, adding that now things are more evenly divided.