January 5, 2009
Plenty of goals for all of Issaquah in ’09
The year 2008 was one of few accomplishments, based on the list of goals we published last year. Yes, the proposed Southeast Bypass was put to rest, a plan for saving Park Pointe property was proposed, school boundary reviews were completed and the city moved closer to having a human services campus. But there is much left undone, and some of the goals are repeated on this year’s list.
Park Pointe: If the proposed land swap doesn’t work out, don’t give up. Moving the development rights off the wooded slopes of Tiger Mountain is the right thing to do.
Transportation: Resolve issues around the Interstate 90 Undercrossing, so it can proceed when funds become available. Be aggressive about adding neighborhood routes to the Issaquah Route 200 shuttle bus. Sort out concerns regarding the bicycle connector route to Seattle. Hold an expanded bike fair to teach residents about safe routes around town for nonmotorized transportation. Seek solutions to traffic concurrency issues to keep development moving forward without adding to gridlock.
Parks and recreation: The City Council will soon outline a forum for gathering ideas for the Cybil-Madeline creekfront park to make it world class — as it should be. Move plans for a new and remodeled swimming pool forward. Build all-weather fields at Central Park.
High schools: Finish work on analyzing the three high schools with regard to equity in educational opportunities, services and curriculum. Hire a general contractor for Issaquah High School and keep up progress on Skyline High School. Complete expansion plans for Liberty High School.
School funding: Issaquah has one of the best school districts in the state. However, cuts at the state level are likely to leave district officials scrambling for funds or laying off teachers. Voters will need to be more vocal than ever about the need to adjust levy lids, so our district is not disadvantaged when it comes to school funding.
Klahanie annexation: Decide the future of the more than 10,000 residents of Klahanie, and a timeframe. What’ll it be, Issaquah or Sammamish?
New projects: Get a new dam and fish ladder built on Issaquah Creek above the hatchery. Begin construction on the new city’s fire station and the energy efficient model zHome with adjacent YMCA affordable housing project in Issaquah Highlands.
Elections: We’re hoping for some good options for the voters on who will take the reins as King County Executive after this year. Ron Sims has had his turn. And here locally, we will need plenty of candidates willing to take on the challenges of City Council, school board, fire commission, water commission and Four Creeks Area Council. All good leaders are welcome!
Garbage: King County has had long enough to make the easy decision to move toward clean incineration of nonrecyclable garbage. Start looking for funding now.
Shop Issaquah: As the economy continues to be weak, it’s more important than ever to put your money where your house is. Support your local merchants.
Eastside Fire & Rescue: Members of the EFR board and fire department officials have been at odds recently over the idea of expanding the partnership. Stop the bickering, which serves no one’s interest. When push comes to shove, the board is the decision maker.
History Museums: Issaquah is big enough to have a state-of-the-art interactive museum to appreciate our rich history of tribes, loggers, coal miners, dairy farmers and settlers. Let 2009 be the year the city commits to building a new museum facility.
Miscellaneous: Invigorate the sister city partnership with Sunndal, Norway. Get the Issaquah Trolley going, just for fun. Appoint a Celebrations Committee to add more traditions/festivals to round out our residents’ diversity of interests. Relocate the steel sculpture at Front and Newport to a more complimentary site. Establish clear and measurable goals for economic development.
Community pride: This goal we repeat from the past two years. Find new ways to highlight the best of Issaquah’s treasures. Build a welcoming gateway. Add more historic signage around town. Add scenic drive signs. Note the flora and fauna including the city tree, Eddie’s White Wonder. Clean the streets. Hang new street banners. Landscape the interstate off-ramps. Honor more volunteers. Give monthly tours of City Hall.