Christensen to step down as head of Bainbridge planning department

Bainbridge Island is losing its planning director.

Gary Christensen, currently the head of the Planning and Community Development Department, announced Wednesday that he is stepping down later this month to retire.

City officials said his resignation is effective May 24.

“It has been gratifying and a privilege to serve the community of Bainbridge Island,” Christensen said. “I sincerely wish the city all the best going forward after I leave to begin my welcomed retirement life.”

Christensen, who will turn 62 in August, has led the planning department since 2016 and has a long history in city and county planning, community, and development services departments. Prior to his position with Bainbridge Island, he previously worked with Skagit County for 28 years in various roles.

“Gary is a knowledgeable and skilled leader whose perspective and experience will be missed,” said City Manager Morgan Smith.

“I appreciate his service to the citizens of Bainbridge Island and wish him an enjoyable, prosperous and healthy retirement,” she said.

City officials said Bainbridge will begin the process to transition leadership of the department later this month.

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