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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Council Roundup: Refining economic development strategy

Also, Sarkozy recognized, Newport Way sidewalk options

Councilmembers on Monday continued their focus on economic development, endorsing a mission and vision statement, along with plans to hire a consultant to help develop a strategic plan.

Although several economic development-related initiatives currently are under way -- including a Downtown Livability Initiative and an update to the city's comprehensive plan -- the council has expressed interest in a more formal plan.

Proposed elements of the economic development strategic plan include an analysis of Bellevue's position in the regional economy, a citywide assessment of the economy and how it has changed over time, identification of emerging business sectors and addressing the needs of small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The endorsed economic development mission statement reads: "To recruit new businesses and nurture existing businesses in Bellevue, in order to generate prosperity and enhance the vibrancy of the city." Topics covered in the vision section include: education, neighborhoods, cultural attractions, parks, diversity, infrastructure, sustainability and collaboration. The role of Bellevue and its businesses in the global economy and the changing international profile of the city's workforce are also part of the vision statement.

The next step in the process to produce a strategic plan is for the council to hire a consultant in the next several weeks to help guide the work. The estimated cost is $90,000, and the plan will be ready for the council to adopt in about seven months.

Council agenda item 

Sarkozy recognized for 12 years of service
The council held a reception for former City Manager Steve Sarkozy, who resigned May 15 after 12 years on the job, one of the longest tenures for a city manager in the state.

Following the reception, Mayor Conrad Lee recognized Sarkozy with a commendation that included a long list of accomplishments. Councilmembers and members of the public heaped praise on Sarkozy for his many contributions to the city. 

Sarkozy's work included: helping to acquire a new city hall; overseeing an ambitious plan to transform the Bel-Red area; advocating for the use of performance measurements; collaborating with Sound Transit on the East Link light rail project; guiding Bellevue through two economic downturns; promoting environmental stewardship, volunteerism and customer service upgrades; and helping to push down the property tax rate to the lowest level of any major city in the state.

The commendation read in part, "He has helped drive the city toward excellence and furthered a culture of outstanding customer service and innovation." The full commendation is available in the council agenda item. Video of the meeting can be seen any time at Bellevue TV.  

Newport Way sidewalks discussed
Councilmembers listened to residents of the Eastgate area, which was annexed into Bellevue in June 2012, about their desire for sidewalk upgrades to improve safety, particularly along busy Newport Way.

Transportation staff updated the council about what's been done so far and the list of projects on the to-do list. After the annexation, staff conducted a thorough assessment of the transportation system in the affected area and listed needed improvements in three categories: street maintenance issues, minor capital improvement projects and major projects (more than $1 million).

Work accomplished so far includes replacing or repairing 60 traffic signs, filling nearly 100 potholes, sweeping 23 miles of roadway, mowing roadside vegetation and removing hazardous trees. Construction is underway on improvements to the Newport Way/150th Avenue Southeast intersection, and design of a neighborhood sidewalk connection on Newport Way between 150th Avenue Southeast and the Eastgate Elementary School has begun. Other improvements are underway or planned for the 2013-2014 timeframe, but the major projects will have to wait for funding. For example, two projects -- additional sidewalks and roadway improvements on Newport Way and on 150th Avenue Southeast -- carry an estimated cost of $16 million.

Councilmembers encouraged transportation staff to look for interim solutions that make sense to address the most pressing needs cited by nearby residents.

More information on sidewalk and road projects in the annexation area is available in the council agenda item.

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Contact: Lenka Wright, Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 425-452-4090
E-mail: lwright@bellevuewa.gov

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