Also, farmers market, city manager search, energy efficiency, elder abuse
The city's Neighborhood Outreach team on Monday provided the City Council a wide-ranging update on efforts to maintain neighborhood vitality, one of Bellevue's fundamental missions.
A key message is that Bellevue's population continues to become more diverse, and the city must develop new approaches to adapt to emerging needs.
To provide a snapshot of the city, planners reviewed a mountain of survey and demographic data on the age, ethnicity, education, languages, housing, crime, code complaints, and neighborhood concerns in Bellevue.
One of the most dramatic changes illustrated by the data is the racial and ethnic diversity among different age groups in Bellevue. According to the 2010 census, minorities comprised 51 percent of Bellevue's population under the age of 18, versus 17 percent of the population age 65 or older.
Neighborhood Outreach Manager Mike McCormick Huentelman said Bellevue's changing, more diverse population will require new methods of engagement in order to broaden public participation. Some of the ways the city will be reaching out in the next few months include:
- Bellevue's Best Ideas: An online forum that asks visitors to submit their best ideas about Bellevue's future; runs until July 4;
- Diversity Advantage: A series of upcoming community conversations in June exploring various aspects of diversity. news release;
- Neighbor Link: Annual summer gatherings run until Sept. 29;
- Bellevue Essentials: A series of classes and workshops from Sept. 25 to Nov. 13 to help develop the next generation of community leaders. Participants will be recruited for the classes through recommendations and a wide range of outreach; and
- Health care Reform information: Bellevue, with Public Health - Seattle & King County, wants to help answer questions in the coming months when thousands of uninsured residents are expected to become eligible for health care insurance.
New location for farmers market
The council reviewed plans for the Downtown Farmers Market to open this Saturday at a new location. The market will be located on the Northeast Sixth Street/Pedestrian Corridor, from Compass Plaza (just east of 106th Avenue Northeast) to 105th Avenue Northeast. Market hours will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; the Saturday market will run until sometime in November.
In addition to the Saturday market, there is a Thursday market at Bellevue Presbyterian Church, 1717 Bellevue Way NE. The city's Economic Development program provides $15,000 in annual support to the two markets. Separately, Crossroads Bellevue operates a Tuesday market.
New city manager search refined
Councilmembers on Monday narrowed to six the number of executive search firms they will interview before hiring one of them to help search for a new city manager. Former City Manager Steve Sarkozy resigned on May 15 after 12 years at the helm. Brad Miyake, former deputy city manager, is serving as the acting city manager.
Based on information provided by the 10 firms that responded to a request for proposals, the city manager search is expected to take 90 to 120 days and cost in the range of $22,000 to $29,000. The council's goal is to hire a new city manager by the end of October.
City Hall earns high energy efficiency rating
Bellevue has jumped into the top 2 percent nationwide for energy efficient buildings with a recent Energy Star award for city hall.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets the Energy Star criteria for different types of buildings. City Hal's energy efficiency rating is now 98, up from 91 in 2010 due to retrofitting with energy-efficient equipment and systems. It's one of only 14 city halls nationwide and three in Washington state to achieve the Energy Star rating.
Nora Johnson, director of the Civic Services Department, credited two staff members in the facilities services division, Resource Conservation Manager Emma Johnson (no relation) and Operations Manager Earl Meldahl, for their contributions in making City Hall more energy-efficient.
Elder Abuse Awareness Day
Mayor Conrad Lee proclaimed June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. If someone suspects an older or disabled adult is being abused, neglected or exploited, they should immediately call the state protective services hotline at 1-866-363-4276.
Video of Monday's council regular and study sessions is also available on Bellevue TV, along with a video archive of past meetings.
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