Editorial

January 1, 2013

By Staff

2013 goals are imperative for Issaquah

Our news staff and editorial board put their heads together each year to create a list of 2013 goals for the Issaquah area. Some are repeats from former years, but are still waiting to be accomplished.

State park priorities — The city and Washington State Parks should jointly put out a request for proposals for a private company to implement and manage the planned RV and tent site at Lake Sammamish State Park, a sure boost in economic growth for both the park and city. The two agencies should also consider a roundabout at the park entrance to reduce summer traffic jams that impede resident travel.

Beautification — Both the business community and residents are interested in seeing the Interstate 90 off-ramps become a more welcoming sight to our city. Where’s the city leadership?

City park bond — Put a planned bond on the April ballot, along with funding for a city museum. If it’s going to get passed anytime soon, it will need to be ahead of King County’s expected parks and open space bond vote in the fall.

One city, one commission — The Urban Village Development Commission has tackled the mega Issaquah Highlands and Talus projects, but both are nearly complete. Rewrite the commission mission to include all of Issaquah, which is especially needed because the city adopted the Central Issaquah Plan.

Quality education — Issaquah is noted for high-quality schools. State funding may be stabilizing, but it isn’t likely to be enough. Citizens need to help: Give to the schools foundation, join the PTA, volunteer, anything. The children of the city and your property values depend on quality schools.

School homework — This year, the district will engage the community in a discussion about homework. Teachers, parents and students must be included. Level heads will be needed if the district is to adopt clear expectations that enhance education and a family-life balance.

Route 200 bus — The City Council should make expansion of Route 200 a priority. If King County Metro Transit has to charge 25 cents per rider, then do it. Another bus is needed to reach the Issaquah Highlands and Squak Mountain.

Fire service — Eastside Fire & Rescue leaders must find a solution that works for all of its partners or prepare to move on without the city of Sammamish. Issaquah and Fire District 10 taxpayers have much to lose without Sammamish. We hope to see a resolution by mid-year.

City lobbyist — For the first time, a city lobbyist will get to work when the Legislature convenes. High on the list of wants will be a multimillion-dollar grant to kick-start a local improvement district for North Issaquah. We hope for success that also helps secure grants for Lake Sammamish State Park improvements.

Plastic bag ban — Citizens, prepare to carry your own bags or pay a nickel each. The city’s plastic bag ban goes into effect March 1. Whining not allowed; just get with the program.

Klahanie — City Council members seem to be leaning toward relinquishing Klahanie as a potential annexation area. Call for a vote.

Local elections — We’re only months away from candidate filing for mayor, City Council and Issaquah School Board positions. If you are interested in the ultimate volunteer job, it’s time to start planning your campaign. The community is best served when every position has challengers.

New legislators — State Sen. Mark Mullet and state Rep. Chad Magendanz better start with their ears wide open, their hands outstretched and prepared to set aside party agendas in favor of bipartisan cooperation to develop solutions to the state’s education and budgetary issues.

Treasures of Issaquah — It has been two decades since Issaquah residents identified its “treasures,” including a list that ranges from the view of Mount Rainier to the salmon in the creeks. The treasures are key to Issaquah’s values and its Comprehensive Plan. Issaquah has changed and new treasures are to be found. Preserve the old, but add to the list.

Human services campus — The economy has stalled progress as nonprofit organizations focus on service growth without additional overhead. We hope this ambitious proposal will still forge ahead.

Newport Way Northwest — A road-widening design for Newport Way Northwest is still needed.

City celebrations, traditions — Re-create a city Celebrations Committee to plan new traditions and events. It was a former committee that brought us the annual Down Home Fourth of July event. Let’s see what volunteers can do!

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