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Seattle City (spot)Light: Janet Hart

Janet Hart began her City career 17 years ago as a land surveyor for Seattle Public Utilities (SPU). She joined City Light nearly five years ago as part of the Generation Operations & Engineering division and manages the technical resources group. “I changed specialties and moved into design and engineering when I joined the utility,” Janet explained. “My team does design drafting, historical research, 3D laser scanning and document management to support our engineers and operations employees with capital improvement and maintenance projects. They transform napkin sketches and design concepts into beautiful construction plans.”

A Colorado native, Janet moved to the northwest to attend Western Washington University. She graduated with a degree in environmental science and a minor in geology. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had this draw to the outdoors, to environmentalism, to electricity and to hydro,” Janet shared.

She now lives in Tacoma with her wife Molly and their two dogs Lobo and Ringo. In this week’s (spot)Light, Janet talks about her career, her hobbies (hint: you can find her on the water) and her family trips to hydroelectric facilities.

Janet making friends at the San Juan Islands

“When I first started with SPU, I was lucky enough to be placed on City Light’s land survey crew. I traveled to Boundary, Skagit and Tolt; in a way, it served as an introduction to the utility. My main job was deformation monitoring of the dams. It involved a lot of measurements and working outside. It was wonderful. Through that work, I came to know the City Light family, so when I got my job at the utility, it was like coming home.”

“Before the City, I managed the operations of a plant nursery. It was so nice to be in touch with something natural. Working there I realized that I wanted to be outside; it’s something I enjoy. So, I went back to school again and got an associate degree in survey technology. That line of work fit me well because it encompassed everything: I was outside, I like math and problem solving and there was a process to it. I also worked with engineers all the time; they needed my data!”

“I grew up visiting hydroelectric facilities. My dad was an electrician and we took our family vacations to dams. I remember being ten years old and thinking ‘Another dam. We’re going to tour another dam.’ Looking back though, it was a great experience. I also remember helping my dad pull wires in the attic. When I look at my career, I can see how these things influenced me.”

“My wife and I restored an old wood boat. It was a 1961 Chris Craft Constellation. It took us 15 years, believe it or not! We now own a fiber glass Tollycraft which turned our sanding and varnish time into more time for fun. We’re always on the water. Our favorite place is Jarrell Cove on Harstine Island. We were married there, actually! We had a campground style wedding; it was an absolute blast. We also like to fish, crab and cruise the San Juan Islands and the South Puget Sound. We’re actually planning a 6,000 mile boat trip called The Great Loop; I’d love to boat the Bahamas once we finish. I also love to golf, especially in Bend and Palm Springs.”