Seattle/ Politics & Govt
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Published on May 24, 2024
Seattle’s Homelessness Czar Hunt Stalls as Candidates Withdraw, Councilmember Seeks Process PauseSource: Seattle City Council

Seattle's search for a homelessness czar hit a new snag as two top job contenders have bailed, leaving the embattled King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) in a bind. In a move that underscores the turmoil within the KCRHA, Seattle City Councilmember Cathy Moore has demanded a halt to the process of filling the agency's top post until it can sort out its internal issues.

Moore, who sits on the KCRHA Governing Committee and CEO Search Committee, voiced her concerns after the withdrawal of two out of the final three CEO candidates, according to the Seattle City Council. Despite candidates being assured of confidentiality, the search has been plagued with information leaks. One candidate explicitly cited this breach as their reason for stepping down, with the other following suit shortly thereafter.

"I appreciate the time and candor of each of the candidates. However, when two out of the three finalists you’re interviewing withdraw their candidacy in close succession, it’s clear there is a larger problem," Moore said, as stated by the Seattle City Council. She added that for KCRHA to succeed, it must first "get our house in order" and ensure that its leadership search is not compromised by structural flaws or a lack of trust among stakeholders.

The remaining candidate stands alone in the race, raising questions about the effectiveness of a search process that seems to be more about eliminating contenders than finding the right fit. Members of the CEO Search Committee, including Moore, were left in the dark until the eleventh hour before the final interviews were to take place – with some reporting they weren't notified at all, of the most recent candidate's withdrawal.