Bellevue tries out four more planning director candidates
By NAT LEVY
Bellevue Reporter Staff Writer
February 11, 2011 · 1:48 PM
Bellevue is inching closer to finding a permanent candidate for its planning director position.
Dan Stroh has served as the Planning and Community Development director since last May, and the city held an open house Thursday for the public to meet the four finalists for the position.
City officials declined to place a timeline on the hiring decision.
Of the four candidates, one has worked in the Puget Sound area, one was born in Seattle and attended school in Oregon, and another worked in the Portland area and the fourth has experience in the public and private sector.
Flinn Fagg has been with the city of Las Vegas since 2003. He's currently serving as the acting deputy director for the Planning and Development department. He attended the universities of Oregon and Miami to study architecture.
Flinn said Bellevue is in a great place with the upcoming installation of light-rail and the development of the Bel-Red corridor. Creating a positive environment for those two concepts is high on his priority list. But he wants to make sure a dialog between the city and public shapes the projects.
"Outreach seems to be very important here in Bellevue," he said. "Taking issues out to the neighborhoods and educating residents is obviously very important."
Marc LaFerrier brings more than 25 years in virtually every aspect of municipal planning and development.
He served as a planning manager for eight years in Lynnwood in between stints with several cities in Florida. He currently works as the director of planning and zoning for Miami-Dade County.
He was in on the ground floor of planning a light-rail system for the area. But what LaFerrier is most excited about is keeping Bellevue an impeccable place to live.
"Improving and sustaining quality of life that's here," he said in response to a question about important issues in Bellevue. "I think the city has done a wonderful job in planning for the future. The challenge now is to make it even better."
Chris Salomone boasts 30 years of municipal experience in California and Arizona. For the last six years he has worked in Tempe, Ariz., where he was instrumental in bringing light-rail to the Phoenix/Tempe area. Salomone has always had his eye on Bellevue, and when the job came up, he had to jump on it.
"We kind of fell in love with it," he said. "We decided that it's a place with great quality of life, and also the most important, proximity of family."
Salomone's primary interest is making sure Bellevue sticks with its comprehensive plan and doesn't stray from its identity.
Terrance Ware brings nearly 20 years experience working in both the public and private sectors of development while holding down an architecture professor job at the University of Colorado. He said Bellevue is in a great situation given the economy, and some tweaks here and there will set it up for the future.
"For the most part (Bellevue) seems to be in good shape," he said. "You don't see the dilapidated community centers. Here it's not wholesale renewal; it's some specifically focused types of actions."
Nat Levy can be reached at 425-453-4290.Contact Bellevue Reporter Staff Writer Nat Levy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-453-4290.