Before an audience packed with family and friends, Bellevue City Council members bid farewell to Connie Marshall, who resigned Tuesday night, midway through her third term on the Council.
Colleagues and supporters presented her with plaques and flowers in tribute for her service, which included consecutive stints as mayor from 2002 to 2005. In a statement read during the Council's study session on Jan. 14, Marshall said she had "accomplished what I came here to do."
"I've helped to guide Bellevue's vision to position itself as the 'hub' of the Eastside without being the gorilla," Marshall said. "We have transformed ourselves to be the transportation hub, the cultural hub, the economic hub and the medical hub."
Marshall's present term would have expired in two years. The Council is expected to decide soon how to fill her position until the next municipal election in 2009.
City leaders praised Marshall's accomplishments and leadership on the local as well as regional level.
"Connie has been an outstanding leader, someone who kept her eye on the big picture and got things done," City Manager Steve Sarkozy said. "We are going to miss her immensely."
Marshall began her career on the council in 1998, and served two consecutive terms (2002 to 2005) as mayor. She has also served as a Sound Transit board member since 2004.
During her tenure, Bellevue underwent many significant changes, including:
- Transformation of the central business district into a regional employment center for the retail, high-technology and banking industries;
- Construction of a regional transit center downtown;
- Construction of a new City Hall downtown, which has become a focal gathering point for the community and region;
- Major expansion of cultural and arts programs throughout the city;
- Major arterial improvements, including the Northeast 10th Street overpass, now under construction, which will facilitate emergency vehicle and patient movement into the city's hospitals.
In her remarks, Marshall said Bellevue was on the right track, poised to become a "world class and memorable city."
"It's been a privilege and honor to serve on the City Council for the past 10 years," she said. "And I want to thank everyone who helped me get here – there are so many of you. I have loved my experience and will cherish the memories."
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