February 22, 1999
City of Woodinville Public Works Director Mick Monken.
From his second floor office facing NE 175th Street, the City of Woodinville's new Public Works Director, Mick Monken, is reminded daily of one of the challenges his department faces: traffic congestion.
Traffic and multi-modal (motor, bike, bus, pedestrian) problems, street maintenance, fish habitat, clogged storm drains, and surface water quality are just a few of the topics that Monken finds intriguing.
"I am a hands-on person," said Monken, who spent his first week on the job in meetings, surveying recent projects in his bright orange coat, and riding his bike throughout Woodinville.
"I am looking at how to best be responsive to the needs of the community and provide construction management as the City of Woodinville brings public works back in-house," said Monken.
The city hired CH2M Hill early in 1998 to provide engineering services. The city now plans to take more responsibility for customer service and day-to-day concerns while continuing with CH2M Hill for major design services, technical assistance, and other work. The council authorized increasing the public works department to nine employees, which is anticipated will be complete by the end of the second quarter.
Monken took the job in Woodinville after serving as the Public Works Director for the City of Snohomish. Prior to that, he worked for the cities of Mill Creek and Kirkland. Personable and with a good sense of humor, Monken wanted to be a graphic designer and cartoonist.
"I have always had a technical interest," he said. After an advisor at Shoreline Community College suggested he try engineering, he changed his major to civil engineering and received his degree from the University of Washington.
"Engineering runs in the family. My father is an aerospace engineer," said Monken, who lives in Lynnwood with wife Aeyoung, and son Clint, 14, and daughter Mikki, 12.
"We think we have the work package with a good blend of engineering savvy and professional management with a record of getting things done," said City Manager Pete Rose.
Others in the department include Andrew Laski, senior project engineer; Joe Seet, senior traffic engineer; Deborah Knight, public works assistant; Marsha Fisher, administrative assistant; and Clint Olsen, public works coordinator.
"Woodinville should start to see some improvements in the next year," said Monken.