Former “Mayor of Ballard” Rob Mattson has passed away

Rob Mattson — mentor, coach, advisor, friend, champion. Whether you were part of a group, a member of an organization that was part of the District Council system, or a community member with an idea or issue or puzzle, Rob was there to help. He helped you, and in return, he asked that you mentor others in navigating city hall, the city departments, and building community support for projects.

Photo courtesy of the Ballard News-Tribune, Westside Seattle. Photo by Pulitzer Prize winner Jerry Gay)

Anyone attending a Ballard District Council meeting during his long career, had regular access to his mentoring — both directly and indirectly. An issue would be raised, and Rob would on the spot talk about how and who to approach. The number of times that his advice to a group in one context, applied directly to another project, was notable. Remember the first round of Ballard Rain Garden ponds that failed to drain? Rob was instrumental in getting SPU to the table with the affected community and not only helped the next round of rain gardens be successful, but SPU and King County’s approach to the Ballard CSOs and what will eventually be a much improved south end of 24th Ave NW, can find its genesis in projects Rob helped nearly two decades ago.

Search for Rob Mattson Ballard — and you start to get a list of all the projects and programs in which he had some part, and you begin to see that his reach went beyond Ballard. He was a tireless worker and happily shared his enormous repository of knowledge. He will be missed by many people.

Read the tribute by My Ballard here