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Federal Way's new assistant city manager knows budgets

Bryant Enge will give up his breathtaking view and spacious office on the 30th floor of a Seattle high-rise Sept. 22 to join the ranks of Federal Way’s management team.

Enge is Federal Way’s new assistant city manager and chief financial officer. He has experience working with a large budget and is excited to have a hand in Federal Way’s future, he said.

“I think I’m a pretty open-minded individual that brings a lot of energy,” Enge said.

He makes a good fit for Federal Way because of his past job experiences in the cities of Portland and Seattle.

“We like the depth of Bryant’s experience,” City Manager Neal Beets said. “He brings a great set of skills and a passion for the work that we can immediately tap into.”

Enge, 49, was raised in Berkeley, Calif., and now lives in Bothell with his three children and wife. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and mathematics from the Oregon State University and a business administration master’s degree in finance from the University of Oregon.

He has served as a facilities manager for Portland, director of finance for the Office of Transportation for the same city and the director of administration and CFO for Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Commission (MERC), a Portland stewardship organization. He will be leaving his position as Seattle’s Department of Transportation director of resource management to come to Federal Way.

He has done this job for the past five years. Recently, he was inspired to change direction and serve in a more significant position. Enge knew he wanted to act as a chief financial officer. But not just any city would do. He began scouting cities with a population of 75,000-plus and looking for opportunities to put his finance, public relations and managerial skills to the test, he said.

“I wanted a challenge,” Enge said.

He found that challenge in Federal Way. Enge said he was attracted to the city because of its management and staff’s desire to serve the citizens while also making Federal Way a destination. He likes the city’s pursuit of economic development and partnerships between the private and public arenas, he said.

“I wanted to work for a city that provided various services and economic wherewithal,” Enge said.

Enge will replace Federal Way’s former assistant city manager and CFO, Iwen Wang, who resigned from her position in May to fill a similar position for the City of Renton. Enge knows following in Wang’s footsteps will not be easy, he said. He will jump into assisting with the city’s $144 million budget as soon as he starts.

A preliminary budget will be presented to the public mid-October. Enge said one month is a tight time frame to learn about the city’s spending habits, but said he has experience in the field and is confident he can contribute to the process.

“I’m trying to digest as much as I can in a short time,” Enge said. “I’ll look to Neal (Beets) and others for how they can best utilize me.”

Beyond his financial skills, Enge will offer the city his expertise in economic development and the management of public facilities.

“We’re also anxious to see him dive right in on our economic development projects and get involved with our facilities and transportation programs,” Beets said.

Working as CFO for Portland’s MERC, which manages the city’s Oregon Convention Center, Portland Center for the Performing Arts and Portland Metropolitan Exposition Center, gave Enge an appreciation for public facilities. He assisted in the development of the Rose Garden arena in Portland as well.

Enge plans to bring that same enthusiasm he displayed in Portland and Seattle to Federal Way.

“I’m really excited,” he said. “I know I have a lot to do.”

Contact Jacinda Howard: jhoward@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

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