Patsy Bonincontri, a former member of Bellevue's Planning Commission currently serving on Sound Transit's Citizen Oversight Panel, has been chosen to fill a vacant seat on the Bellevue City Council.
The Council Monday chose Bonincontri to fill the unexpired term of former Councilwoman Connie Marshall, who resigned in January after serving 10 years on the Council. Bonincontri will serve out Marshall's term, which expires at the end of 2009.
Following Marshall's resignation, 21 Bellevue residents applied for the vacant seat. The Council then whittled the list down to seven finalists before conducting public interviews with each candidate.
Bonincontri received the four votes necessary to secure the seat only after the six sitting Council members cast several votes Monday night. On numerous occasions, Council members remarked on the difficulty choosing from among the finalists, all of whom they called eminently qualified.
"I think we would be honored to serve with any one of the seven," Bellevue Mayor Grant Degginger said. "All of them are impressive people with tremendous credentials."
Bonincontri, a Bellevue resident for the past 16 years, was born in Hong Kong, and moved to the United States to attend college. She holds a degree in architecture from the University of Southern California, and has practiced the profession for more than 20 years.
While serving on the Planning Commission from 1998 to 2007, she chaired the panel twice and was involved in major issues including the drafting of the city's critical areas ordinance and the Downtown Implementation Plan, which guides public investment and design in the central business district.
Bonincontri also worked on the city's Development Services initiative, a highly successful effort that has dramatically improved customer services to homeowners, contractors and others with inspection, permit and other needs.
As a member of Sound Transit Citizen's Oversight Panel, Bonincontri is charged with evaluating how the agency adheres to schedules, budgets and annual performance audits, as well as how it involves the public in a timely and open manner.
Bonincontri is expected to be sworn into office early next month.
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