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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Longtime planning chief to retire

Matt TerryMatt Terry, Bellevue's director of Planning & Community Development since 1982, has announced his retirement effective June 4.

During his tenure as PCD director, Bellevue evolved from a sleepy suburban city to one of the West Coast's premiere communities, recognized for its vibrant downtown, excellent residential neighborhoods and beautiful parks.

"Matt's professionalism and dedication to the people who live and work in Bellevue will be missed by all of us who have come to rely on him for his guidance and expertise," Bellevue Mayor Don Davidson said.

"It's no exaggeration to say Matt's contributions to Bellevue are not only many, but will be lasting," Davidson added.

Terry said that after taking some time to travel, he plans to work as a consultant. Dan Stroh, the city's Planning Director, will serve as acting PCD director until a permanent replacement is chosen.

"Bellevue is a fabulous place to work and I am grateful for the many years I have had with the city," Terry said. "I am going to miss the intellectual interaction and the many friends I have made over the years."

City Manager Steve Sarkozy noted that in recent years Terry's skills were instrumental in overseeing the recycling of a vacated downtown building once housing telephone switching equipment into a stunning new City Hall.

Recognized for its architectural distinctiveness and environmental friendliness, City Hall opened in 2006, fulfilling a longtime city goal to consolidate all major departments in a single downtown location, and provide a building available for everyone to use for  meetings and other functions. 

As PCD director, Terry also has played a major role in the development of the downtown area into one of the region's major retail and employment centers, and guided the successful effort to rezone the Bel-Red Corridor to allow transit-oriented development in coming years, Sarkozy said.

"Matt has been instrumental in shaping this community in ways that will benefit everyone for many, many years to come," Sarkozy said. 

Terry, a graduate of University of California, Berkeley, began his career in public service in California. He left a job as assistant to the city manager in San Jose to come to Bellevue in 1980 as assistant planning director. He became Design and Development Director two years later. While the department name later changed to PCD, Terry's role as director has been constant.

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