It is with great surprise that we learn that Seattle's new Mayor Ed Murray has decided not to re-appoint James Keblas to the position of Director of the Office of Film and Music.
Over the past nine years, James Keblas has made a tremendous contribution to developing the film industry in the City of Seattle. Under his leadership and in partnership with industry and state organizations, the Office of Film and Music has helped to create a vibrant film culture and industry in the city and region. Thanks to the industry cooperation that James Keblas has guided, the City of Seattle now hosts regular and ongoing film, commercial and television production that supports an industry of skilled artists and technicians. To lose James as a leader in this endeavor would strike a powerful blow to the continued success of these efforts.
Mayor Murray, you ran on a platform of job growth and economic development. The city's own 2001 economic impact study found that the film and video industry in Seattle employed 4,991 locals and contributed $471 million to the local economy--and these numbers have certainly grown since that time. Losing the continuity and experience of James Keblas in this office and as the public face of film production in the City of Seattle would have a substantial and detrimental impact to the growth of the film, television, and commercial production in the City of Seattle.
In the interest of keeping this important industry flourishing in the City of Seattle, we the undersigned urge you to re-appoint James Keblas as the Director of the Office of Film and Music.