SAN FRANCISCO — Mike McGinn took the oath of office as Seattle’s new mayor Monday, and focused his first executive actions on the city’s expected budget shortfall.
He issued executive orders freezing salaries for senior-level appointees and directing department heads to review staffing toward the goal of eliminating 200 senior-level positions.
McGinn won the mayor’s office in November with a narrow victory over Joe Mallahan after both challengers finished ahead of two-term incumbent Greg Nickels in a nonpartisan primary.
McGinn, a former Sierra Club chairman, positioned himself as a political outsider.
His first round of personnel announcements after the election victory included the reappointment of Dwight Dively as the city’s director of finance.
McGinn will be the fourth mayor Dively has served under, though his portfolio will shift in the new administration.
While Dively will retain authority over debt management and financial policy development, he will gain authority over the Department of Executive Administration and the Department of Fleets and Facilities.
“Dwight’s integrity and extensive knowledge of city government is critical to our commitment to do more with less,” McGinn said in a statement.
Responsibility for the city’s budget process, formerly headed by Dively, will shift to newly hired budget director Beth Goldberg.
She most recently served as acting director of the King County budget office, after holding a variety of budget positions there over 14 years.
She was elected to the board of the Seattle Monorail project in 2005, on a platform of trying to halt the proposed elevated train system. After voters approved a ballot measure to kill the project, she served as chair of the monorail district board, overseeing the unwinding of the system.
“Beth is well known for her tenacity and attention to detail,” McGinn said in a statement. “We will rely on her organizational skills and judgment to solve a projected $40 million general fund deficit for 2011.”
Seattle’s general fund is about $905 million of a total budget approaching $4 billion. The Nickels administration and City Council members drew the rainy-day fund down to $10 million from $30 million in adopting the city’s 2010 budget.
“We don’t have the depth of the [budget] problems the state or county does, but that doesn’t minimize the fact that the next $40 million in cuts are on top of very significant cuts by the last council and mayor, and the depletion of the rainy-day fund,” McGinn said in a press appearance after his swearing-in.