Seattle deputy mayor is resigning over health problem
Seattle Deputy Mayor Phil Fujii is resigning this week because of a health problem.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seattle Deputy Mayor Phil Fujii is resigning this week after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Fujii had the surgery last week and is out this week on medical leave. His resignation is effective Friday. In a letter to Mayor Mike McGinn, Fujii said it was impractical to take an extended medical leave.
McGinn said he knew during his campaign that he would hire Fujii if he won.
"I trust Phil. I've always trusted Phil," McGinn said Monday.
Fujii, 57, met McGinn when he was working in the city Department of Neighborhoods and McGinn was a neighborhood activist in Greenwood. Fujii was a longtime city employee before leaving in 2002 to work for Vulcan Real Estate, Paul Allen's development company.
Fujii helped with McGinn's transition, then took a job as one of two deputy mayors. Fujii handles internal duties, while the other deputy, Darryl Smith, works on outreach and community involvement.
McGinn said he will appoint a transition team this week to work with city department directors in Fujii's absence. He intends to have two deputy mayors, he said, but said he didn't yet know who would replace Fujii.
McGinn's critics often point to inexperience among the mayor's top staff. Fujii, though, has more than 20 years of experience in city government as a legislative aide and in the Department of Neighborhoods. McGinn said other people on his staff also have government experience.
"I will miss Phil because of his judgment and his passion for the city," McGinn said. "He knew a lot of issues, too, because he's worked on so many issues over the years."
Emily Heffter: 206-464-8246 or email@example.com
Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom describes some of the factors that may have led to the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon on Thursday, May 23.