Longtime City Administrator Leon Kos will retire April 30

April 22, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 1:01 p.m. April 22, 2010

Longtime City Administrator Leon Kos will retire next week.

Kos has served as city administrator — the No. 2 official in the city administration — for 33 years. Issaquah has grown by more than 22,000 residents since Kos started in 1977. Issaquah now claims about 27,000 residents.

Kos will step down April 30. Deputy City Administrator Joe Meneghini will serve as acting city administrator while the city works with a search firm to recruit a successor to Kos. The process could last four to six months.

City Administrator Leon Kos

“It’s with mixed emotions today that I announce my retirement,” Kos said in a message to city staffers. “While I am thrilled to spend more time with my grandchildren, I know this transition won’t be easy for me. I consider it a great honor to work with so many of Issaquah’s outstanding public servants, who have an incredible dedication to this community.”

Mayor Ava Frisinger praised Kos for his longtime service to the city. Frisinger — elected to a fourth term last fall — has served with Kos for decades, first as a City Council member and later as mayor.

“Leon stands as a model among city administrators, and with warmth and understanding, encourages city employees to do their very best for the people of Issaquah,” she said in a statement. “Leon is extraordinarily talented at complex negotiating, and making the impossible happen.”

Kos serves as member of the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah and as a board member for Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust. He oversaw the acquisition of hundreds of parcels of open space as city administrator.

“Leon is also a stalwart advocate for the environment, and has mentored and supported many in their advocacy,” Frisinger said. “He is a visionary and a believer in leaving the places in which he lives better than when he arrived. He understands true sustainability in its three-fold nature: people, place and prosperity.”

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