Bellevue continues search for planning director

The city of Bellevue is reopening its search for a Planning and Community Development director.

In September, City Manager Steve Sarkozy interviewed Mike Chen, Stephanie DeWolfe, Ray Gastil and Nathan Torgelson.

Following the interview process, however, Sarkozy decided to reopen the search. While the finalists had excellent backgrounds and experiences, the city manager said he is searching for candidates with a blend of planning and economic development backgrounds better suited to Bellevue. He also wanted more management experience suitable for internal staff.

Both Gastil and Torgelson were local candidates with Gastil working as a consultant and Torgelson serving with Seattle's Department of Parks and Recreation.

Chen has worked as the director of development services for Village of Oak Park, Ill., and development services manager in Tampa, Fla.

DeWolfe has been with the city of Pasadena, Calif., since 1990. She has been the deputy planning director for Pasadena since 2004, with a one year hiatus when she stepped in as the acting assistant city manager in 2008.

A second interview process is planned for Jan. 27 and 28. At that time, the public will again have the opportunity to join businesses and other community leaders to meet and talk with the candidates, as well as provide feedback on them. When the date gets closer, an announcement will be issued with details about the public reception.

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