New Mobility Coordinator in Seattle
Seattle is going to experience some of the worst traffic issues of the time in the coming days. This will not only delay your commuting time but also has the chances to turn into a crisis. So, keeping this thing in the mind, the Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has appointed a new “mobility czar” for maintaining coordination between the various departments.
Retired U.S. Air Force Major General Mike Worden has been appointed by the Mayor for the new post with the official title of Director of Citywide Mobility Operations Coordination. He started working on Wednesday, and his compensation package will be $195000 per annum. His position in the Government will be the same as a member of the Mayor’s cabinet.
As per Durkan many private, as well as public mega construction projects, are scheduled to start in the coming four years including the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. These constructions will create new challenges for the Governments for managing the traffic. And managing these kinds of traffic will be a huge task for any one department.
Worden will be working as a single point coordinator between Seattle’s 29 other departments for quick response and efficient decision making.
The task for Worden will be managing the right of way, conducting incident response and ensuring the continued delivery of emergency services. He also will have to work with partner agencies in operation and planning.
Durkan said that the Major would be coordinating with major departments so that we would not have any mobility issues across the city.
It should be reported here that Durkan has been appointing experts in crucial positions since he sat in the chair. Recently, Durkan selected Sam Zimbabwe of Washington D.C. to become the new director of the Department of Transportation. However, Sam’s appointment is yet to be approved by the City Council.
Durkan said in a press statement that Major’s decades of experience in planning, operations and fast-changing periods of uncertainty would help ensure meeting the challenge for the public, freight mobility and critical services like public safety.
Worden said in response to the offer that he was humbled to get a chance to serve the people of Seattle.
He also said that he was looking forward to working with the Mayor as well as the city and regional officials. He would try his best to address the complex challenges and ensure a coordinated response that advances the mobility with utmost priority to safety.
The mayor’s office said in a statement that Worden has several years of work experience in crisis planning, logistics coordination, and operations leadership. He has served in the Air Force for 30 years and also worked as an executive in defense and commercial industry.
Tet, there are certain things which are unclear. These are, how he will be interacting with the 29 departments’ heads, what will be his reporting hierarchy, what will be his status with respect to other major dignitaries operating other departments.
But, one thing as of now clear is he will be the contact point between the departments. As the Mayor’s office said in a statement that the city has been experiencing major commute issues for the changes happening on the roads, they hoped those things to be minimized with the help of U.S. Air Force Major General Mike Worden.
This is definitely a welcome step owing to the sorry state of road communication in Seattle after the recent happenings. Appointing experts and the persons with experience in the relevant field has never been easy for the elected representatives. We should carefully watch how Major General Mike Worden coordinates among the various departments in Seattle and eases out the traffic problem.
Even after the appointment, Worden’s task will not be as simple as it seems. He will also have certain challenges at hand. They are, coordinating with various bosses, understanding the red tape, going through the strict hierarchies, no absolute freedom to undertake actions and huge accountability as a public official.