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News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Council Roundup: Parks projects, staff honored

Also, transit funding and proclamations

Terry SmithThe City Council took time Monday to recognize a half dozen Bellevue Parks & Community Services projects and individuals who received awards for outstanding achievements in the field of parks and recreation.

"These awards recognize excellence in individuals and programs that serve our community and reflect the dedication of staff, council and residents," said Mayor Conrad Lee. "We're fortunate to live in a community that supports quality parks and natural areas that help make Bellevue a wonderful place to live, work and play."

Among those recognized by the Washington Recreation & Park Association (WRPA) at its annual conference on April 17 was Terry Smith, long-time assistant director of Parks & Community Services. Smith earned a Citation of Merit - Professional award, recognizing his long commitment to providing outstanding services for youth, people with disabilities and the general community. The award is one of the highest honors for a professional working in the field of parks and recreation in the state.

During his 23-year career with the City of Bellevue, Smith has been instrumental in developing the recreation program and pricing plan, spearheading partnerships with nonprofit organizations in the community and seeking meaningful ways to provide accessible services.

In addition to Smith, other projects, programs and people were recognized by the WRPA

  • Spotlight Award - Best Trail: Ravine Experience at the Bellevue Botanical Garden;
  • Spotlight Award - Special Use Facility: Robinswood Park off-leash area renovation;
  • Spotlight Award - Trail Map/Interpretive Sign: Mercer Slough Nature Park interpretive trail signage;
  • Teen Services Section Outstanding Teen Program Award: Kelsey Creek Farm Teen Volunteer Program; and
  • Park Resource Section Distinguished Service Award: Pat Harris, Grounds Operations Manager.

More information is available with the council agenda material .

Council endorses public vote on transit funding
Also on Monday, the council voted 6-0 to advocate at the state Legislature for a "local option" to fund transit, but only if the funding alternative is decided on by voters. The action followed input from residents and a presentation by city staff, King County Councilmember Jane Hague and a King County Metro official on possible bus route reductions that would impact Bellevue. Possible local options to fund transit could include a county motor vehicle excise tax and/or an annual city vehicle license fee.

According to Metro, 23 bus routes serving Bellevue could be deleted, reduced or revised if state lawmakers allow a temporary, two-year funding source for the agency to expire without authorizing a sustainable source of revenue. City staff said the cuts would come at a time when demand for transit is strong. Between 2003 and 2012, daily transit usage in Bellevue increased 111 percent, from 22,000 to 46,000 daily boardings-departures.

The presentations Monday were part of a wider discussion by the council on an update of the Bellevue Transit Master Plan, which serves as an important reference document to inform transit service providers of Bellevue's priorities. At its meeting on May 20, the council is expected to provide further direction on Bellevue's transit service vision; a final version of the transit plan will be available for council review by the end of 2013.

More about the Bellevue Transit Master Plan is available in the council agenda material.

Proclamations
Several proclamations were read during Monday's council meeting. The topics were: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month; Better Hearing and Speech Month; National Older Americans Month; National Kids to Parks Day; and Arts Education Month. 

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