Kent Mayor Ralph Announces Two Key Promotions: Economic and Community Development Director and City Attorney
Today Mayor Dana Ralph announced two key promotions at the City of Kent. Effective February 16, Kurt Hanson will be promoted to the Director of Economic and Community Development. Effective February 3, 2018, Pat Fitzpatrick will be promoted to the position of City Attorney, filling the position of Tom Brubaker who is retiring on February 2 after 27 years.
Hanson has served as the Deputy Director of the Economic and Community Development Department since 2015. During his 19 years with the city, Hanson also served as the Economic Development Manager and as Principal Planner.
He has a BA in urban planning and environmental policy from Western Washington University and earned certifications as an Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) and American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). Hanson serves on the Kent Downtown Partnership board, Seattle Thunderbird Community Sports Foundation, and recently served as the WA State Public Sector Co-Chair of the International Council of Shopping Centers. In 2017, he was selected as a judge for the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties Night of the Stars Real Estate Awards. Hanson also participates in the American Planning Association and Urban Land Institute.
While at the city, Hanson has been involved in numerous high profile projects, including the Kent Station Master Plan, Sounder Commuter Rail Station, accesso ShoWare Center, and the new urban residential options at Dwell and the Platform. He was also a key staff member in the development of the City’s Economic Development Strategic Plan, Marquee on Meeker project, and is currently overseeing the Naden Avenue property marketing and hotel recruitment process. Kurt is a longtime South King County resident and lives in Maple Valley with his wife and two sons.
“Kurt has a vision for the city that aligns with the vision and mission for the city that the City Council and I share. He also has solid relationships in the industry that will help us attract the kinds of new business and development that will help us realize our city’s full potential,” said Mayor Dana Ralph.
“I’ve watched Kent grow and evolve since I started here nearly 20 years ago, and I am excited to be a part of the city’s continued transformation,” Hanson said. “We have some big projects in the works, and I look forward to working with the Economic and Community Development team to help bring them to reality.”
Hanson will replace Ben Wolters who has served as the City’s Economic and Community Development Director since 2006. Wolters is leaving the city to pursue other opportunities. During his tenure, Wolters has been instrumental in a number of major initiatives, including the development of accesso ShoWare Center, leading the creation and reorganization of the Economic and Community Development Department to integrate and streamline planning, permitting and economic development, and facilitating Sound Transit’s adoption of Kent’s preferred alignment and stations for Link Light Rail service to Kent.
“On behalf of the city, I want to thank Ben for his years of service. He has helped spearhead some great projects and has elevated how others in the region view Kent. We appreciate his dedication and wish him much success in his future endeavors,” Mayor Ralph added.
Fitzpatrick, who is currently Deputy City Attorney, received his undergraduate degree in Public Administration from San Diego State University and his law degree from the Seattle University School of Law. While in law school, Fitzpatrick interned for a judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, and later for the Prosecution Division of the Kent City Attorney’s Office. After graduating from law school, he was hired to work full time as a prosecutor for Kent, and was eventually promoted to the position of Chief Prosecutor for the City.
Fitzpatrick then transferred to the Civil Division of the Kent City Attorney’s office where he worked for a number of years as an Assistant City Attorney. He then left Kent to become the City Attorney for Puyallup, but not long after, was drawn back to Kent to become the Deputy City Attorney. He has served in that position since 2002.
Over the years, Fitzpatrick served as interim City Attorney when City Attorney Tom Brubaker served as interim Chief Administrative Officer, and served as interim Human Resources Director after Sue Viseth retired. He has also taught criminal law and evidence classes at Central Washington University, and in 2012, received the Outstanding Service Award from the Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to be the City Attorney for Kent and I appreciate the confidence the Mayor has shown in me,” Fitzpatrick said. “It is assuring to know that the team of attorneys and support staff who I work with are extremely dedicated to this city and its citizens. This is an excellent office of high performing professionals, and I couldn’t ask for more.”
“Pat has worked successfully on a number of high profile issues for the city, and he has a great history of working with internal departments,” Mayor Ralph said. “He has the respect of the organization and his peers. Everyone in the department will be excited about his promotion.”
Kent is the sixth largest city in Washington with a population over 127,000. A culturally rich destination, Kent features captivating neighborhoods, award-winning parks, exceptional school districts and nationally accredited police and fire departments. In recent years, Kent has experienced impressive economic growth, and is nationally known as a prime location for manufacturing. For more information, visit KentWA.gov.