Noel Treat is new deputy city manager

Noel Treat - Contributed Photo
Noel Treat
— image credit: Contributed Photo

The calm, low-key Noel Treat has quietly slipped into his new position as deputy city manager of Mercer Island on May 29. However, he already feels pleased.

“[Mercer Island] has a lot going for it,” Treat said. “I’m happy to be part of the city team. You don’t generally find a team this strong across the board.”

Previously, Treat was deputy superintendent for Seattle Public Schools and proved his mettle helping manage a 2010 financial scandal. Now he is taking on a new set of responsibilities in helping to oversee the city government, such as managing capital improvement projects, Human Resources and external relations, as well as taking over in the interim for the director of the development services group, Tim Stewart, who has retired. While it may seem like a huge contrast between school district work and city government, he does not see it that way.

“The subject matter is different [in city government from a school district], but the basic sort of skill sets and strategic thinking and planning and budgeting, it’s all basically the same, in my view,” Treat said.

He has also served as the chief of staff for King County Executive and as a policy and government relations officer for King County, to name a couple highlights of his career.

Treat’s experience with schools will prove to be vital with the ongoing conflict of crowding in the Mercer Island School District. SPS is also facing facilities issues, he said, yet there is one key difference.

“There’s not a lot of places here where you can find a city block or two to build a new school,” Treat said. “That’s an extra challenge that Mercer Island faces that Seattle doesn’t.”

Treat, who thinks very highly of MISD, does intend to bring the city and school district together to help answer questions and solve difficulties.

“We want to be a really good partner to the school district,” Treat said. “It’s to everyone’s benefit for us to be working together.”

Another issue he will be tackling soon is that of the South end fire station. The old structure is not seismically sound, Treat said, and “it needs to be to serve the community best.” The City Council met on June 16 and agreed to move forward with the renovation as a November ballot measure along with money needed for self-contained breathing apparatuses and new fire trucks.

The 42-year-old Treat has lived in Washington since 1995, after growing up in New Mexico and attending school in Colorado and Arizona. He lives in the Mount Baker neighborhood in Seattle and has brought his children to soccer clinics on the Island, where he goes on bike rides. Having been familiar with the community in these ways, he is delighted to serve.

“Having this opportunity with Mercer Island is perfect for what I want to do,” Treat said. “I feel very lucky to be here.”

Contact Noel Treat via email at


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