City Council, school board to discuss shared issues

May 24, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

City Council and Issaquah School Board members face a substantial docket May 26, as the elected groups meet for dinner and a wide-ranging discussion.

Many issues overlap into both municipal and Issaquah School District spheres and, although no action is to be taken at the meeting, participants expect a productive meeting. City officials plan to update board members about ongoing city projects and vice versa.

“I think that it is clear that the success of the school district and the success of the city are intertwined,” Councilman Tola Marts said. “I’ve said many times, no one moves to Issaquah for the weather. They move to Issaquah for the Issaquah jewels, but they also move because it’s one of the few places in Washington state that’s somewhat affordable that also has outstanding education.”

Marts and Councilman Mark Mullet both have children in the Issaquah school system.

“I think it’s a good meeting, because I don’t think we do enough overlap to make sure that we know what’s going on with each other,” Mullet said.

Participants plan to discuss the school district’s $228.6 million bond proposal. The still-evolving proposal suggests for the district to raze Tiger Mountain Community High School and Clark Elementary School, and move campuses for the schools to a remodeled Issaquah Middle School. Such a proposal could affect downtown Issaquah traffic — a subject of intense focus from city leaders.

In the same vein, officials plan to discuss busy Second Avenue Southeast — a corridor bordered by Issaquah High School and other campuses.

The planned construction of a Bellevue College campus in the Issaquah Highlands is on the docket. Leaders from the city and the district plan to discuss ongoing fiscal challenges to local governments.

City leaders also called for the school board to televise meetings — something the city does for council and many commission meetings.

“We are firmly of the belief that they should put their school board meetings on TV,” Mullet said.

He said televising board meetings could be a step in fostering greater transparency for local governments. The councilman is focused on posting more information to the municipal website.

“I’d like to see what their general policy is on Web transparency and modern technology and what their standards are, and compare those to ours,” Marts said. “Some things we do a little bit better and some things they do better.”

Get involved

Issaquah School Board and Issaquah City Council joint meeting

  • 6 p.m. May 26
  • Issaquah School District Administration Building
  • 565 N.W. Holly St.


Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment at

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