Kent Mayor Ralph names new city attorney, Economic and Community Development director

Promotes Fitzpatrick, Hanson to replace Brubaker, Wolters

  • Friday, January 12, 2018 11:56am
  • News
Pat Fitzpatrick and Kurt Hanson.

Pat Fitzpatrick and Kurt Hanson.

Kent Mayor Dana Ralph has promoted Pat Fitzpatrick to city attorney and Kurt Hanson to director of Economic and Community Development.

Fitzpatrick, the deputy city attorney, will replace Tom Brubaker, who is retiring Feb. 2 after 27 years with the city. Hanson, the deputy director of Economic and Community Development, will replace Ben Wolters, who has been with the city since 2006 and is leaving to pursue other opportunities, according to a city media release. Fitzpatrick takes over on Feb. 3 and Hanson on Feb. 16.

Hanson has been the deputy director since 2015. During his 19 years with the city, Hanson also worked as the Economic Development manager and as principal planner.

Hanson has a degree in urban planning and environmental policy from Western Washington University in Bellingham. Hanson serves on the Kent Downtown Partnership board, Seattle Thunderbird Community Sports Foundation and recently served as the State Public Sector Co-Chair of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

While at the city, Hanson has been involved in numerous high-profile projects, including the Kent Station shopping center master plan, Sounder commuter rail station, accesso ShoWare Center and the downtown Dwell and Platform apartment complexes. He also has worked on the City’s Economic Development Strategic Plan, Marquee on Meeker project and is overseeing the Naden Avenue property marketing and hotel recruitment process. Hanson lives in Maple Valley with his wife and two sons.

“Kurt has a vision for the city that aligns with the vision and mission for the city that the City Council and I share,” Ralph said in a Friday news release. “He also has solid relationships in the industry that will help us attract the kinds of new business and development that will help us realize our city’s full potential.”

Hanson looks forward to more changes in the city.

“I’ve watched Kent grow and evolve since I started here nearly 20 years ago, and I am excited to be a part of the city’s continued transformation,” Hanson said. “We have some big projects in the works, and I look forward to working with the Economic and Community Development team to help bring them to reality.”

Wolters has been instrumental in a number of major initiatives, including the development of the ShoWare Center, leading the creation and reorganization of the Economic and Community Development Department to integrate and streamline planning, permitting and economic development, and facilitating Sound Transit’s adoption of Kent’s preferred alignment and stations for Link Light Rail service on the West Hill.

“On behalf of the city, I want to thank Ben for his years of service,” Ralph said. “He has helped spearhead some great projects and has elevated how others in the region view Kent. We appreciate his dedication and wish him much success in his future endeavors.”

Fitzpatrick received his undergraduate degree in public administration from San Diego State University and his law degree from Seattle University. While in law school, Fitzpatrick interned for a judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, and later for the Prosecution Division of the Kent City Attorney’s Office. After graduating from law school, he was hired to work full time as a prosecutor for Kent, and was eventually promoted to the position of chief prosecutor.

Fitzpatrick then transferred to the Civil Division of the City Attorney’s office where he worked for a number of years as an assistant city attorney. He then left Kent to become the city attorney for Puyallup, but not long after, was drawn back to Kent to become the deputy city attorney. He has served in that position since 2002.

Fitzpatrick served as interim city attorney when Brubaker served as interim chief administrative officer in 2013 and 2014. He has also taught criminal law and evidence classes at Central Washington University, and in 2012, received the Outstanding Service Award from the Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to be the city attorney for Kent and I appreciate the confidence the mayor has shown in me,” Fitzpatrick said. “It is assuring to know that the team of attorneys and support staff who I work with are extremely dedicated to this city and its citizens. This is an excellent office of high performing professionals, and I couldn’t ask for more.”

Ralph praised Fitzpatrick for his work.

“Pat has worked successfully on a number of high profile issues for the city, and he has a great history of working with internal departments,” Ralph said. “He has the respect of the organization and his peers. Everyone in the department will be excited about his promotion.”

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