City leaders ignore protests, honor retired administrator Leon Kos

June 29, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

Former City Administrator Leon Kos shunned the spotlight during the week before he retired April 30. The longest-serving city administrator in the state repeatedly insisted against a farewell party.

Mayor Ava Frisinger and the City Council ignored the protests.

The city inducted Kos into the Issaquah Hall of Fame last month, but he had departed for a trip to the Midwest after he retired, and missed the ceremony.

City leaders managed to lure Kos back to City Hall on June 21 to recognize his contributions to Issaquah and the region.

“This year’s Hall of Fame recipient’s contributions to our community can’t be summed up quickly, because they took place over the course of 33 years,” Frisinger said at the June 21 council meeting.

Suzanne Suther, a former Issaquah Chamber of Commerce executive director, addressed the group, and asked past Hall of Fame recipients in the audience to stand.

“I would venture a guess that all of those that have been a recipient of the Hall of Fame award would never have received that award had it not been for the support, the enthusiasm, the assistance, the help, the guidance of Leon Kos,” she said. “For that, we are all very grateful.”

Grace Reamer, legislative aide to King County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, also read a lengthy recognition from the Issaquah representative to Kos.

“It’s a lot of whereases, but he deserves it,” Reamer said.

Kos, known for the levity he brought to City Hall during 33 years as city administrator, flashed the same wit as he begrudgingly accepted the honors.

“I’d just simply like to say it’s a real honor and thank you very much,” he said. “And, hopefully, I’ll get a plaque.”

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