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At their September 16 meeting, the City Council approved the Recreation and Parks Advisory Commission’s (RPAC) recommendation to name the new Park Plaza at the Civic Campus the “Jerry Smith Town Center Plaza.” The recommendation followed community outreach in August to solicit suggestions about naming the public gathering space located at the corner of 232nd Street SW and 58th Avenue West. A resolution is being prepared to formalize the action for the October 21 City Council meeting.
At its August 13 meeting, the RPAC reviewed the city’s policy and criteria for naming city parks and facilities. At their September 10 meeting, they discussed the 14 names submitted: eight related to former Mayor and 50-year resident Jerry Smith who passed away last year; one for former Mayor Frank Hammer; one request to not name it after a person; and four variations of Town Center/City Center Park Plaza. The RPAC’s recommendation combined the two most popular nominations into one and the City Council approved their recommendation.
It was noted that Jerry Smith was a strong nomination that met numerous criteria for naming a park or facility within a park, particularly “An individual who has contributed outstanding civic service to the City of Mountlake Terrace.” The Town Center reference in the name acknowledges the geographic prominence of the new Civic Campus gathering place.
“The purpose of naming the Plaza after Jerry Smith is to honor and preserve his countless contributions to the city and the people of Mountlake Terrace,” stated City Clerk/Community Relations Director Virginia Olsen. “For those who did not know him, he served the community he loved in a myriad of ways and he generated community pride by establishing Tour de Terrace and the Tree Lighting Ceremony with his wife, Judi.”
Smith posthumously received a Citation of Merit Award by the Washington Recreation and Parks Association for his significant contributions to the field of parks and recreation. Smith served as Mountlake Terrace Youth Athletic Association (MTYAA) President for 25 years, was a soccer coach, and a champion for senior programs as a founder of the Mountlake Terrace Senior Center. The Washington State Senate also recognized former Mayor Smith for his achievements with Senate Resolution 8634 in late March.
The Town Center Park Plaza project is a 14,000 square foot public gathering space envisioned as a venue for civic events, performances, socializing, and possible future farmers market. The plan calls for an open plaza with tables, chairs, terraced benches, public art, water feature, flagpole pavilion, stage, and in ground lighting. The Civic Campus project is anticipated to break ground this fall and be completed in late 2020.