Retiring Joe Scorcio donates $6K for SeaTac Veterans Memorial

By Jack Mayne

Retiring SeaTac City Manager Joe Scorcio and his wife, Kathryn, have made a $6,000 donation for a potential SeaTac Veterans Memorial Project, Scorcio told the Council at his final appearance on Tuesday (March 12).

Scorcio said he and his wife “made a commitment ourselves when I came to work here. If they (SeaTac city government) were going to support me for at least five years, and back me, then I am going to do something of significance for the city” when he completed his time. He actually spent six years with the city.

“I have been very quietly reminding the Council that you don’t do something like this and just build it,” he said regarding the veteran’s project. “You build community with it. You make a public fundraiser out of it. You get donors, you put their names on bricks, blocks or whatever you want to do.

“Don’t just go a build a plaza and a monument because no one will notice it. Build community while you do it,” he said.

Strong links
In a letter to the Council, Scorcio and his wife said they have “strong links among our own families and friends who have served in the” armed services and support the SeaTac Memorial Project because it is “much more than a standard city capital project,” but it is “an opportunity to bring together many SeaTac residents and supporters of veterans from outside our city to gather around a common project.”

The money “must be used directly in the planning, design, development, fundraising and installation of the SeaTac Veterans Memorial” by the year 2022 and, if the memorial is not built, they would “seek a return of the donation or an opportunity to reassign the donation to a different cause of our choosing.”

Scorcio told the Council he has reached the end of his 42 years in pubic service and is ready for retirement. He presented a list of 12 things from his six years as SeaTac city manager. The list included the $30 million interlocal agreement with the Port of Seattle and of gathering a “strong group of department heads and strengthened the leadership team. He also listed raising the “regional and national awareness of SeaTac and worked to heighten our sense of community.”

“It is the teamwork between the administration, the city manager’s office and all of the departments and the Council and the cohesion on both sides of that really makes this happen. It happens because everybody is working together with the common vision and all of it with the support of the community,” Scorcio told the Council. “We’ve had a great team and you, as a city, have great leadership in this group.”

‘Most proud’ list
He presented the list of “12 things I am most proud of” for the people of the city to see.

Scorcio said that in 2015 “for a variety of reasons the city asked me to step in for a short period of time to serve as the acting city manager and I was very willing to do that. My goal at that time was to calm the chaos and to keep the ship running forward and help the City Council to hire a new manager as soon as possible. We did that.

”At the same time, we were faced with a $2.5 million deficit,” he said and suggested the city could “manage our way out of that deficit rather than cutting.

“It apparently worked really well because at the end of that year we had a small surplus in our budget instead of a deficit,” Scorcio told the Council.

He also said that the city has realigned departments to “get the right positions with the very right people … so they can provide the right services.”

City of 170,000
Scorcio repeated what he has told the Council before, the size of the city is vastly different in the middle of the night than in the middle of the work day.

“We are not a city of 29,000 residents,” Scorcio said. “In the crazy part of the day, we are in the area of 170,000,” Scorcio told the Council. “We are a big city and we have to act like it. I think this Council has recognized that,” Scorcio said. “Keep in mind this is a city that has to face bigger issues because of our hotels, because of our 24 hour operations here … we are a city at the smallest is in the neighborhood of about 45,000 people in the quietest hours of the night….”

He said with the Council’s backing and help the city has sold some unneeded property and improved city parks.

SeaTac has developed and heightened the way other cities view the city, Scorcio said, with other cities looking at SeaTac and “say why don’t we do something like that?”

“SeaTac is now considered a leader in many, many areas in our relationship with our neighboring cities and that is just a good place for us to be,” the retiring city manager said.

During public comment period of the Council’s Tuesday (March 12) regular Council meeting resident Roger Kadig (pictured above), who said he has lived in the area for 60 years, said that he and the city “deeply appreciates” the job of retiring former City Manager and City employee Joseph Scorcio.

“I think that we are all the better for his being here and we just deeply appreciate what he has done and, in conjunction with working with the Council you have made a great team and you’ve vastly improved the city from where it was when he first came on and I just want to express my deep gratitude for that,” Kadig said at public comment period.

The Council was introduced to two new Public Works Department employees, Grace Amundsen Barnkow and Lauren Kirk.

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