On the eve of the #WhyILoveKenmore Summer Party, Leslie Harris was in the new Hangar building helping put up permanent signage.
Getting ready for the party was among the last things she would do as community relations manager and policy analyst for the City of Kenmore. After nearly 11 years with the city, Harris’ last day was Aug. 26.
“Leslie is a fixture in this community and she’s well known,” City Manager Rob Karlinsey said. “She doesn’t like to tout her own horn.”
Karlinsey honored Harris’ time and work during Monday’s City Council meeting.
Harris, who called the move “bittersweet,” is going to work for the City of Bonney Lake as a management analyst.
“It’s tough to go but I’m really excited for this opportunity,” she said. “I love working in local government.”
The move will also bring her closer to her family in the south end of King County.
Harris joined the City of Kenmore in September 2006 as a public information officer and events coordinator. She was responsible for building special events and program development within the community she loves so much.
“It’s like they’re family,” she said.
Over the nearly 11 years, she’s had a couple of title changes. After public information officer and events coordinator she was named a management analyst, where she oversaw programs of special events. She also hired a volunteer events position and oversaw human services funding and animal services contracts. Finally in 2015, she was named community relations manager and policy analyst.
“It’s just been so much fun being able to watch the city grow and myself,” she said.
When speaking about the city and the people who live and work in it, Harris often got a little choked up.
This was her first government job after graduating from Pacific Lutheran University with a communications degree in 2005. While working for the city she also went back to school and obtained her master’s degree in public administration from Seattle University in 2014.
She said her favorite part about working for the City of Kenmore was being able to work closely with the community.
“I just enjoy seeing the passion people have for Kenmore,” she said.
Mayor David Baker said Harris is “unbelievable.”
“It’s been such a pleasure,” he said. “I don’t think the summer concert series would be such a success if it wasn’t for her.”
He said it’s been remarkable to see how she’s grown over the years. He said she has incredible relationships with the press and the community.