Edmond planning director with tons of institutional knowledge retires
EDMOND — Developers and attorneys who have grown up under the watchful eye of Edmond City Planning Director Bob Schiermeyer were among those who recently turned out to congratulate him on his retirement after 44 years on the job.
His colleagues agree with the thousands who have passed through the planning department's doors over the decades that Schiermeyer, 69, will be hard to replace because of his institutional knowledge about the history of the development of Edmond.
People first turned to Schiermeyer whenever they had a question about Edmond.
Schiermeyer didn't have to look it up. He knew the answer and was willing to take the time to talk about it.
"I have been an attorney for 22 years and no one has given me more help and guidance as Bob Schiermeyer," said Todd McKinnis. "I grew up with him."
Developer Caleb McCaleb said, "You could just walk into his office and Bob would give you a 40-year history of any piece of land you were looking at developing or purchasing."
City attorney Steve Murdock, who has worked with Schiermeyer for 30 years, said, his answer many times was "Ask Bob."
"I'm going to have to find something else to say," Murdock said.
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Schiermeyer will oversee his last planning commission meeting on Jan. 3, ending an era that is leaving many asking "What are we going to do when Bob not here?"
Schiermeyer, at the age 24, started work as a planner on July 10, 1972, for a city of 17,000 people. He had just graduated from the University of Oklahoma.
He became the planning director in 1989. Edmond has grown to a population of over 90,000 during this man's career.
Edmond has definitely grown and so have his experiences and knowledge. He has attended thousands of meetings and reviewed even more site plans.
"As long as I done this, you don't know if people are going to protest or the room will be full of people," Schiermeyer said. "Edmond people always have something to say.
"We have tried to solve their problems."
City Planner Jan Ramsey-Fees called Schiermeyer not only a mentor, but a friend after working with him for 32 years.
"He made me the planner I am today," Fees said. "His professionalism is top notch. He was a delight to work with.
"He will be severely missed. He is a remarkable and professional person.
"He has such a passion for his work."
Schiermeyer, who turns 70 on Dec. 29, doesn't have any definite plans for his retirement.
"The first day — that will be nice," Schiermeyer said. "Nothing will be scheduled."
Schiermeyer has a cellphone, but he said he plans to leave it in the drawer. He doesn't plan on getting a computer for his home either.
Police Chief Bob Ricks, who also has announced he is going to retire Feb. 3, would occasionally turn to Schiermeyer when they needed to know the history of area of Edmond that once was nice and turned to a crime area.
"He is a repository of information that will go with him," Ricks said. "There is a lot of institutional knowledge. He was always a great guy to work with."
New planning director chosen
On Friday, city officials announced Randy Entz the new planning director.
Entz is a native Oklahoman currently residing in Oklahoma City, and previously an Edmond resident.
He has more than 16 years of planning experience in Oklahoma. Most recently, he served as a program planner and senior planner for the city of Oklahoma City.
Previously, Entz worked as a planner for the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments, and also spent time as the assistant city planner for the city of Stillwater.
“I am thrilled to be joining the city of Edmond as the director of planning and zoning,” said Entz. “Edmond is a great community with vast opportunities. I look forward to working with the community to help the city continue to move forward.”
He will start Dec. 29 with an annual salary of $102,563.