SPOKANE, Wash --- New documents show Spokane’s former street director was removed in February for performance reviews.
In February, the City of Spokane said they removed Mark Serbousek as street director but it was just a personnel matter, and they declined to comment at the time. A public records request that resulted in dozen of emails and texts shed more light on the city's decision.
There were numerous complaints from citizens, businesses and even comments from the Spokane Public School District over how the city handled snow plowing during the winter. The city said these complaints were not the main reason for removing Serbousek from the position, but the complaints were part of the decision.
Handwritten notes were also a part of the records request, some of them are said to be from Public Works Director Scott Simmons who was Serbousek’s boss.
“Continued negative feedback regarding streets being an obstructionist,” said one note. There is also a list of “missing elements in streets” like leadership/employee engagement, operational excellence and culture.
City officials said when they looked at the totality of the snow removal process they decided to make a leadership change. Snow removal issues were a large part of the discussion in emails between city officials.
“I am proud of my team and our efforts to maintain safe and efficient transportation, while working diligently to minimize citizen inconvenience especially during challenging snow years,” said Serbousek, in a text about the leadership change.
The emails and texts were just the first installment of records received. More information should be made available by the City of Spokane in the future.