January 3, 2012
2012 Issaquah goals are very achievable
Each year our news staff and editorial board put their heads together to create a list of goals for the Issaquah area. Some are repeats from former years, but are still on our wish list.
Environmentally speaking — Local restaurants need to step up and get compliant with the city’s mandate on use of recyclable containers. Most already have, but not all. The city should go a step further and follow Seattle’s lead in banning plastic grocery and retail bags.
Central Issaquah Plan — The plan that will act as a guideline for redevelopment of Issaquah’s business district should be completed this year. Take it one step further and implement it for new development in the highlands, too.
Park Pointe — Now that the land deal is done, the city and volunteers can transform the 100 acres on Tiger Mountain for everyone to enjoy; Issaquah Environmental Council volunteers started the process last week by planting native species.
Economic development — With the re-engineering of how City Hall functions to encourage a more robust economic development of the business community, the time has come for action. Put measurable goals in place immediately with an eye toward filling vacant storefronts.
Crosswalk safety — The recent accident in the Issaquah Highlands shows that police, schools and volunteers need a public safety campaign to educate motorists and pedestrians about crosswalk do’s and don’ts.
Lake Sammamish State Park — With ongoing budget cuts from the state, a “friends of the park” group is needed to get the state park back on track with planned but unfunded improvements.
Newport Way — A road-widening design for Newport Way Northwest is needed, still.
Issaquah Creek salmon weir — Help from the city, county, state and federal governments is needed to complete the long-overdue weir reconstruction near the hatchery.
Lake Sammamish kokanee — The feds denied Endangered Species Act listing for the dwindling kokanee salmon, but local groups are stepping in to fill the void; they need more help from volunteers and funding sources
Education budgets — School leaders and citizens should set aside their opposition to cutting the school year by four days, provided the total hours of class time remains the same. It offers a good way to save precious education dollars. Issaquah School District administrators will ask voters in April to approve one of the more complex and controversial school bonds in decades. Voters, prepare to get educated about the implications.
Klahanie — Issaquah City Council members seem to be leaning toward relinquishing Klahanie as a potential annexation area. Call for the vote.
City celebrations, traditions — Create a city Celebrations Committee to plan new city traditions and events. It was a former committee that brought us the annual Down Home Fourth of July event. Bring together more volunteers and see what they can do!
Leadership — If congressional boundaries are approved as currently outlined, Dave Reichert’s office in Mercer Island will need a new home. We hope Issaquah is chosen for the new site.
Slow down, shut up — It’s time the Issaquah Police Department got serious about speeders, especially on the Highlands Drive Northeast hill and Front Street South near city limits. And enforcement of the state ban on cellphone use while driving needs to be stepped up.