Rob Mattson, longtime Ballard District Coordinator for Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods, is retiring early next month. Mattson has been a steady friend of Ballard Historical Society over the years and he will be missed. As Zachariah Bryan wrote in an October 10 Ballard Tribune article,” For every community group, for every Ballardite with a vision of making the neighborhood a better place, Rob has been there offering a guiding hand.” One instance of his guiding hand was the Bring the Ring Back to Ballard project, in which Mattson encouraged BHS to coordinate community resources and to apply for the city’s Small and Simple grant funds. The grant was awarded, and now the bell in Marvin’s Garden that once rang regularly for shingle mill and other workers now features an automated, programmable mechanism for residents of and visitors to our neighborhood. This is just one of Mattson’s many acts of advocacy for the preservation of Ballard’s unique culture.
For the News-Tribune article, Mattson stated, “I have spent most of my public service career as the City’s representative to Ballard and other northwest Seattle neighborhoods. I can truthfully say this has been a rewarding career and that each of you have contributed to making it so.” For a 2011 News-Tribune article, Rob said of the BHS, “They are trying to do their best to create a public education campaign in reminding us all and educating new neighbors [of] history and roots here that need to be respected and honored.” The Ballard Historical Society trustees thank Rob and wish him the best in retirement.