Retired City Administrator Leon Kos inducted into Issaquah Hall of Fame

May 18, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 1:55 p.m. May 18, 2010

Community leaders honored the man at helm of the city administration through more than three decades and four mayors with the top city award Tuesday.

The city inducted retired City Administrator Leon Kos into the Issaquah Hall of Fame during the 31st Annual Community Awards Luncheon.

Besides Kos, the city and civic organizations honored more than a dozen people in 15 categories for community and volunteer efforts.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders named longtime community banker Bob Ittes as Citizen of the Year. Chamber CEO Matt Bott praised Ittes as “one of the pillars of our community” before the announcement.

Mayor Ava Frisinger — tasked, along with City Council President John Traeger, to pick the Hall of Fame inductee — said the city received 13 nominations for Kos, the most nominations for a person in the 23-year history of the award.

The retired city administrator stepped down April 30 after 33 years as the No. 2 official at City Hall. Kos led Issaquah through unprecedented growth. But the ardent environmentalist also took steps to preserve forested land and open space.

Beyond City Hall, Kos also played a key role in establishing the Mountains to Sound Greenway, a greenbelt strung along Interstate 90 from the Seattle waterfront to Central Washington.

The lunchtime ceremony at the Holiday Inn attracted a who’s who of Issaquah — City Council members, Issaquah School District administrators, business leaders and community activists.

The chamber and other organizations honored area residents for efforts to preserve the environment, care for the less fortunate, educate children and raise Issaquah’s profile.

Kos — who insisted for coworkers not to hold a farewell party before he retired — missed the awards ceremony, too. Frisinger said he had skipped town for a vacation.

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