Ziegler named director of county Public Works and Utilities Department

Brian Ziegler, a high-level manager for the Washington State Department of Transportation, has been named director of the Pierce County Public Works and Utilities Depart-ment.

The appointment by Executive John W. Ladenburg, effective Sept. 2, will be submitted to the County Council for confirmation.

Ziegler served since January 2001 as WSDOT’s director of maintenance and operations. Selected from among 45 applicants, he fills the vacancy created by the retirement of John Trent at the end of 2002. Karen Goon, the department’s deputy director, has been serving as interim director.

Ladenburg said Ziegler’s work at the Department of Transportation will prove valuable to the county. “Transportation is one of the top priorities in Pierce County. Brian’s experience with projects such as the second Narrows Bridge will be a huge benefit. He’s also smart, involved and knows all the players at the state and national levels,” the county executive said.

The 46-year-old Olympia resident managed WSDOT’s maintenance and operations division and was responsible for 300 employees involved in highway construction, materials, maintenance, traffic, capital facility and employee safety programs. His responsibility included department policy, budgeting and legislative issues relating to his division.

“Pierce County has all the same challenges I face at the Department of Transportation and more,” said Ziegler, mentioning the solid waste, sewer and water programs and facilities such as the ferry Christine Anderson and Pierce County Airport (Thun Field). “I am looking forward to the professional challenge.”

Since joining WSDOT in 1977, he also served as assistant district materials engineer, assistant project engineer, assistant district state aid engineer, project engineer, freight rail program engineer, systems planning branch manager, Olympic Region project development engineer and state design engineer. He graduated from Saint Martins College in 1979 with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering. For the next three years he was a member of the St. Martins engineering faculty.

Ziegler and his wife, Julie, a professional artist, have three children, all attending college. Her business is JulieArt of Olympia.