Current and former Mountlake Terrace city officials and planning commissioners were among those who gathered earlier this week at City Hall to honor Mountlake Terrace Planning Commission Chair Alice Kier.
Kier, who is in her 25th year on the commission, is retiring from her volunteer position since her term is about to expire.
Originally appointed in 1994, Kier has chaired the planning commission since 2004 and has attended approximately 500 Planning Commission meetings over the years. She is currently wrapping up the commission’s work on the 2019 Town Center Plan Update and will step down once the commission makes its recommendation to the city council.
Additionally, Kier has served on the Economic Vitality and Town Center Task Force (2018), Civic Facilities Advisory Task Force (2008), and Downtown Revitalization Committee (1993). She has led the planning commission through the adoption of the award-winning Town Center Plan in 2007, its recommendation on Aging Civic Facilities in 2008 and the Governor’s Smart Communities Award for Town Center Planning in 2009.
In addition, Kier has participated in planning decisions that resulted in the city receiving three highly coveted Vision 2040 Awards in 2009, 2014 and 2015 from the Puget Sound Regional Council.
Those speaking at the June 17 reception noted that Kier always spoke her but wasn’t hesitant to admit when she had a change of heart. Senior Planner Edith Dutlinger recalled Kier’s reaction to Diamond Knot Brew Pub’s plan to put up a grain silo with their name on it, outside their restaurant. “She minced no words,” Dutlinger said. “But after it was up she said, OK, I take it all back. She always been big enough to say I’ve reconsidered, and there’s another way to look at this.
“She’s always treated people with so much respect when they came to a meeting and gave them every opportunity to express their point of view,” Dutlinger said.
Before retirement, Kier worked at Herres Data Services in the Town Center at East Plaza before it was destroyed by arson fires. “Alice has been steadfast in her commitment to restoring the city’s once bustling downtown after arson fires destroyed it many years ago,” said MLT Community Relations Director Virginia Olsen. “For more than a quarter century, she has demonstrated leadership in making that vision a reality culminating in the updated Town Center Plan and Civic Campus Redevelopment project happening this year. The city is so thankful for the time and devotion she has given to this community.”
In addition to serving on the Planning Commission, Kier is a busy volunteer at St. Pius IX Church,participating in the choir, Lady’s Guild, perpetual adoration and many other activities there.
“The people in Mountlake Terrace are unique and we care about each other whether we know each other or not,” Kier said. “My house was always a safe place for the neighbor kids to come and I feel my job is to share and help others when needed. That’s typical of the people who live here.”