Sound Transit CEO Julie Timm is leaving the company – The Seattle Times

Sound Transit CEO Julie Timm is leaving her post on Jan. 12 after just 16 months on the job, officials announced Tuesday afternoon.

Timm, 53, said she would “return to the East Coast to attend to family matters,” citing her father’s needs, according to a statement from the agency and staff from King County Executive Dow Constantine, the chairman of the Agency Board of Sound Transit.

Timm’s contract, which pays her $375,000 this year, was set to expire at the end of 2025.

“Since joining Sound Transit in September 2022, Julie has placed a renewed focus on the rider experience as Sound Transit nears the opening of several new expansions, starting with East Link next spring. “Timm’s focus and leadership in focusing current and future drivers on the agency’s capital and operating programs will benefit the region for years to come,” the statement said.

The agency recently completed the Tacoma Hilltop streetcar expansion. The next major opening is a partial Eastside section at Redmond and Bellevue in spring 2024, followed by the four-station Northgate-Lynnwood line next fall.

Timm’s departure will force Sound Transit’s 18-member board to begin its search for a CEO for the second time in two years, creating a potential source of instability for the nation’s largest transit expansion program and its $148 billion financial plan for could represent the establishment and operation of services from 2017. 46.

The board will elect an interim CEO and form a transition team, the announcement said.

Timm’s annual performance evaluation was underway this month to consider a benefit increase from $3,750 to $18,750 in addition to a base increase of 3.5% for successful performance. Board committee members did not announce a decision on their pay or performance after a closed meeting Thursday.

Timm did not respond to requests for comment this week as news of her possible departure circulated.

Last week, a technical advisory group expressed frustration in a public meeting over the agency’s slowness in cutting red tape and, in particular, in hiring one or more top megaproject managers. So save time and money on voter-approved issues.

The same transportation agency enthusiastically hired Timm last year from a field of 48 candidates based on what advocates described as her excellent communication skills and passion for serving transportation customers.

She spoke for a full hour at the Renton City Council on Monday night about upcoming projects like the Stride bus rapid transit line with stops in Renton along I-405.

“I appreciated their transparency and I appreciated their willingness to engage in conversations where the first thing said isn’t ‘no’ or ‘we can’t do that,’” Renton Councilman Ed Prince said. on Tuesday about Timm’s overall performance.

In a message to employees Tuesday afternoon, Timm said, “Over the past few months, I have struggled to balance the needs of long-distance care and support for my father with the demanding demands of leading Sound Transit as CEO.” She continued: “It would be incredibly challenging to maintain a divided focus” as the agency reaches historic levels of opening and building new routes.

This is a developing story and will be updated.