Interim City Engineer

Normandy Park, WA

Kathryn Gardow, PE brought leadership and organizational expertise to an small city’s engineering department in crisis. When she took on the challenge as the City of Normandy Park’s Interim City Engineer, a significant permit backlog of 30 projects included some four year-old enforcement orders still lingering. Kathryn worked closely with the City Manager, the Planning Department, and Public Works Maintenance staff as well as outside consultants.

Dealing with considerable budget pressure and personnel churn over that period, she succeeded in building a functional public works operation while rebuilding trust and accountability for an essential municipal service. Kathryn developed relationships between citizens and city staff. She proved her value to the organization and the citizens of Normandy Park as a willing listener who was genuinely interested in concerns and by providing timely follow-through on new and outstanding commitments.

In that capacity, Kathryn ensured the city met statutory requirements, while reviewing, writing, and issuing development permits for many projects. Her responsibilities included addressing drainage and geotechnical/steep slope issues as specific concerns during project review. Kathryn also worked with multiple parties to permit a WSDOT project that included complex work during night-time hours, navigating the City’s severely restrictive noise ordinance.

Previously, Kathryn has held similar positions at several Seattle metro-area public agencies. At the City of Newcastle, she provided project management and permit review services in lieu of city staff. For King County Department of Development and Environmental Services (now DPER), she was hired to facilitate interactions between a 3000-acre project’s master developer and agency staff. In that role, Kathryn reported directly to the department’s Director.

On behalf of the City of Snoqualmie, Kathryn served as adjunct to staff for permit review on clearing, grading and road projects. She provided project management services for the city’s water and sewer comp plan updates, and coordinated the work of the city’s wetland and drainage consultants.  As a consultant to the City of Orting’s O² initiative, she helped a small city explore economic development opportunities that could leverage its identity as a vibrant farm community.

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