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Washington State Ferries Chief To Resign

David Moseley, the head of Washington State Ferries, with Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond.

David Moseley, the head of Washington State Ferries, announced Tuesday that he will step down on April 15 after six years on the job.

His resignation comes as the nation’s largest ferry system continues to encounter choppy seas.

Moseley, at the agency's helm since 2008, said in a farewell statement, that he took over a ferry system in crisis -- old boats and inadequate funding. Since then the state has built three new ferries and three more are under construction or are about to be built.

Nonetheless, problems persist: cancelled sailings because of staffing shortages and just this week news that maintenance crews accidentally drilled a hole in the hull in one of the larger ferries.

Still former transportation secretary Paula Hammond, who hired Moseley, praises his tenure.

“He brought that right balance of appreciating the maritime culture, but recognizing that it’s the communities that the ferry system serves that’s the primary customer.”

Hammond spoke to Moseley this week and says it was his decision to resign. The Washington Department of Transportation plans to launch a national search for Moseley’s replacement.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."