City planner Bob Schiermeyer knows Edmond's history

Edmond City Planner Bob Schiermeyer celebrates 40 years with the city. He has no plans to retire and take Edmond's history with him.
by Diana Baldwin Modified: September 7, 2012 at 11:15 pm •  Published: September 8, 2012

Got a question about how Edmond was built? City Planner Bob Schiermeyer has the answer.

He doesn't have to go look it up. He can remember what happened and when during his tenure as Edmond's city planner. This year, he's celebrating 40 years with the city.

Schiermeyer, 64, isn't thinking about retirement. Not now, maybe in another four years he might consider the possibility, he said.

“When I can't remember the history, it's probably time for me to go,” Schiermeyer said, smiling.

Schiermeyer, at age 24, started work for the city on July 10, 1972, after graduating from the University of Oklahoma.

Edmond has grown and so have his experiences and knowledge. He has attended thousands of meetings, and reviewed even more site plans that made some people happy and others angry.

Schiermeyer just got a basic cellphone, not a smartphone, about eight months ago. He doesn't keep it with him all of the time.

“It doesn't fit my style,” he said. “I know I am old school.”

Schiermeyer doesn't have a computer at home and doesn't want one.

He uses his computer at work — when he has to. He is too busy meeting with people and talking to developers on the phone to answer all his email messages, so he has help with that.

Agendas and plans are now being distributed electronically in the planning office. Schiermeyer isn't interested in that because the digital files won't replace the thousands of hard-copies of maps and plans stacked throughout his office or inside his large briefcase he carries from meeting to meeting.

Big jobs and small ones come across Schiermeyer's desk. One of the most detailed projects was rewriting the city's zoning code, a job that took four years.

He has stories to tell about a lot of the projects that came through his office.

There was a time when people didn't want Crest Discount Foods, an 110,000-square-foot superstore, in their neighborhood. They considered Crest to be a regional grocery store that was going to bring a lot of traffic to the area of 15th Street and Santa Fe Avenue.

The project faced a citywide zoning election and a favorable ruling from the Oklahoma Supreme Court before construction could start in fall of 1996.

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by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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