April 21

Mayor appoints Bernie Matsuno to head up the Department of Neighborhoods



On Wednesday Mayor Mike McGinn announced his appointment for a permanent director of the Department of Neighborhoods, Bernie Matsuno, who has been serving as the interim director since February 1.

Most of Matsuno’s career in the public service sector has been within the Department of Neighborhoods. She previously served as interim director under Mayor Greg Nickels in 2006, before Stella Chao was hired, and was also previously the deputy director of the Department of Neighborhoods in 2007, director of the department’s Community Building Division from 2004 to 2006, and participated in the creation of the Department of Neighborhoods and the Neighborhood Matching Fund in 1988.

“Bernie has great experience in the Department of Neighborhoods from its inception,” Mayor McGinn said in a statement released Wednesday. “Her experience will help all city departments engage and partner with the public in improving our communities.”

Matsuno’s salary is going to be $127,950, according to the Mayor’s office, and her appointment is subject to City Council confirmation.

Citywide budget cuts over the last year hit the Department of Neighborhoods, and the community, hard. Back in January these cuts resulted in the closing of the Magnolia and Queen Anne Neighborhood Service Center on Roy, which in addition to providing resources for community members, served as a meeting space for many neighborhood organizations.


Bernie Matsuno, budget cuts, City Council, Department of Neighborhoods, director, Mayor Mike McGinn, Neighborhood Service Center

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