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Wanted: a czar for downtown Winslow

The city seeks a project manager for the Winslow Tomorrow effort.

They don’t want a planner.

They don’t want an architect.

They don’t want an engineer.

...Necessarily.

What the city is really looking for in the Winslow Tomorrow project manager is someone whose skills synthesize those disciplines with leadership and motivational acumen, and more.

As explained by Roger Mustain, city engineer:

“We want someone who’s good at planning processes, working with people and citizens in a volunteer capacity, and putting together complex public works projects in a public environment.”

The city is ready to advertise for a two-year project manager post, to guide a comprehensive planning process for downtown Winslow.

The effort, as presented by the city administration two weeks ago, will see the formation of a new Community Congress some 75 members strong, to look at traffic, pedestrian, parking, business, utility and financing issues.

The goal is to reach consensus on improvements that will “provide a vibrant and interesting downtown that serves as a social, commercial and cultural center for the community,” and keep anchor businesses in place.

The project manager will be charged with managing consultants and the project budget, and executing a public relations campaign to solicit comment.

The City Council this week signed off on the job description, which Mustain said was somewhat non-specific in order to attract as large a talent pool as possible. The post could be a limited-term city position, or be filled through a contract arrangement.

“We’d rather cast the net as broadly as possible, and get the person with the personality and skill set we need to make the project work,” he said.

The Winslow Tomorrow project has grown out of a planning effort initiated by downtown property owners. Their recommendations – including traffic roundabouts, parking garages and other treatments – were presented to the community in December and January.

The Community Congress and its various subgroups will evaluate those and other proposals, to forge a common vision for Winslow Way and possibly nearby streets. Under a timeline tendered by the administration, the planning process will roll out through the rest of this year, with final recommendations due to the council for consideration sometime next spring.

The project manager salary will be $5,550-$6,800 per month, depending on experience. Information on the post, and volunteer and paid opportunities on the Community Congress, is available through the Department of Public Works or the mayor’s office.

Advertisements will be placed in the Review, the Seattle newspapers and various trade journals. Council members also expressed hope that word of mouth would bring good candidates forward.

“I would not be surprised at all if the right person lives on Bainbridge Island,” Councilman Nezam Tooloee said. “That would be ideal.”

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