City Council Hires New Central Staff Director

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City of Seattle

Council President Tim Burgess

City Council Hires New Central Staff Director

SEATTLE – Council President Tim Burgess announced today the hiring of Kirstan Arestad as Director of the Council’s Central Staff team of policy analysts. Arestad brings more than 15 years of public policy, budget and management experience to the Council.

Kirstan Arestad"Kirstan Arestad is a strong leader with extensive experience in government," said Burgess. "She has the right skillset and personality to provide sound policy advice to the Council. She will be an effective leader of a wonderful team of analysts."

Arestad comes from Governor Jay Inslee’s Legislative and Policy Office. She served previously in the State Department of Transportation, in Governor Christine Gregoire’s Office of Financial Management and as non-partisan staff for the State Senate.

"I’m excited to join the talented members of the Council’s Central Staff team who do so much for this great city," said Arestad. "I will do my utmost to bring my past experiences and skills working with the State’s legislature, agencies and governors to benefit the people of Seattle." 

The Central Staff Director manages an 18-member policy unit, which provides policy analysis for all nine councilmembers and their aides, develops legislative initiatives and reviews legislative proposals from the Mayor, City Attorney and Municipal Court. The Director also oversees the finance function for the Legislative Department.

"I also want to thank Rebecca Herzfeld for stepping into the Interim Director role over these last six months," added Burgess. "Her steady leadership has been appreciated in a time of significant transition for Central Staff."

Over the past few months, the Central Staff has welcomed three new members who bring expertise to the unit. Erik Sund joined the team to focus on finance and budget matters having performed a similar role for the King County Council and the State Legislature. Calvin Chow crossed the street from the Seattle Department of Transportation and brings utilities and transportation knowledge. Mark Baird comes most recently from Snohomish County and has extensive experience in the public safety arena as both an analyst and practitioner.

[View in Council Newsroom]