October 29, 2013

Joe Forkner is best for Issaquah Mayor

Issaquah voters have only one outlet on the Nov. 5 ballot to express their concerns about impending city issues:

Who will best lead the city, as its next mayor, through a throng of issues — traffic, redevelopment, increased population, water supply, increasing taxes, economic vitality and environmental sustainability — while enhancing Issaquah’s connectivity as a community?

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October 22, 2013

Lisa Callan for school board seat

Issaquah School District voters are fortunate to have two excellent choices for school board director seat 4. Both Alison Meryweather and Lisa Callan applied for the vacancy last spring when Chad Magendanz resigned to serve in the state Legislature.

The school board members struggled with the appointment, first split evenly between the two women. Eventually, Meryweather got the appointment.

Meryweather does have more lobbying experience and her confidence and knowledge makes her a leader in that arena. But community comes first.

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EFR’s future needs quick action

October 17, 2013

If the partners of Eastside Fire & rescue don’t act quickly, they may be too late to salvage the partnership that has served them so well for many years.

For the past few years, Sammamish has been warning its partners in Eastside Fire & Rescue that the current funding model was unsustainable. The formula, based solely on assessed value – while ignoring the number of calls for service – has had Sammamish and Fire Districts 10 and 38 subsidizing fire and emergency services for Issaquah and North Bend.

Sammamish was lobbying for a new funding model based half on property value and half on calls, but other partners were not interested. Sammamish then proposed a 75/25 formula. North Bend was willing to go along, but Issaquah and Fire District 10 were still opposed.

Sammamish held firm, investing time and money studying the costs of dropping out of EFR to start its own city fire department. Sammamish is poised to take a vote on the measure soon and move one step closer to withdrawing from the EFR consortium.

Now the partners may begin to discuss the merits of a 75/25 plan at their own agencies. They should do so and make their decision quickly.

Yes, some will end up paying more, but they’ve been getting a good ride on the back of the Sammamish taxpayers for years. Paying a little more to help make the situation more equitable is the right thing to do.

EFR has been a success. Pooling resources has allowed each community to serve their citizens better than they would be able to by going it alone. The partners should end the squabbling and get back to making EFR a better agency.


October 8, 2013

Klahanie belongs in Sammamish

The King County Boundary Review Board will meet Thursday to set the final geographic outline of the Klahanie annexation land whose fate will be decided in a February election. Voters will then decide to become part of the City of Issaquah — or not.

Sammamish is another option, just not on the ballot —yet.

We understand why some Klahanie residents want to join Issaquah. It’s about lower taxes. It’s about better police protection. It’s about the desire for better roads and parks. And for many, it’s an emotional connection to the city where they work, shop and play now.

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September 24, 2013

State park proposals have merits, limits

Washington State Parks needs to seek specific Requests for Proposals for improvements to Lake Sammamish State Park, the jewel at the mouth of Issaquah Creek.

Earlier this month, State Parks and the city of Issaquah received only three proposals in response to its call for RFPs. The two agencies were trying to get outside-the-box ideas that would add to Lake Sammamish park’s bottom line as well as help the city’s economic development.

The three each have merits.

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September 17, 2013

City’s cybersquatting is wrong on all levels

The city of Issaquah spent tax dollars to trick taxpayers.

Just let that sink in for a minute.

Issaquah and the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District have been involved in a series of disagreements of late. One of the more recent involved Issaquah’s plan to use a water filtration system a few hundred feet from one of the district’s wells. Issaquah says it will be fine; the district fears contaminated water.

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September 10, 2013

Now hiring! Local opportunities abound

Looking for a job? Issaquah has become the land of opportunity!

When the Growth Management Act was adopted by the state more than 20 years ago, one goal was to encourage job growth near homes, with the aim of cutting down on traffic and new roads.

This fall, Issaquah’s growth at Grand Ridge Plaza, as well as new businesses spurred by a rebounding economy, have led to numerous new job positions being created.

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September 3, 2013

There is nothing fishy about volunteering

The rains arrived last week, signaling the way for thousands of spawning salmon to sniff their way from Puget Sound back to Issaquah Creek. It’s a miracle indeed, one worth celebrating!

But celebrations don’t just happen. They take hundreds of volunteers working together to host more than 150,000 people at the annual Salmon Days Festival on Oct. 5 and 6.

Volunteers work at the shuttle bus locations, the information booths and help with the parade lineup. Others greet the more than 350 arts and craft vendors, help set up multiple stages for live entertainment, put up signs and balloons, even clean up trash when the party is over.

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August 27, 2013

Next step: one less garbage bag a month

Issaquah shoppers are already getting the hang of carrying their own bags into grocery and large retail stores. The plastic bag ban has been in effect for nearly six months. Ready for the next step?

King County is getting in on the action of reducing plastic and other materials in the landfill by encouraging residents to use one less plastic garbage bag a month by recycling more of the basics.

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August 20, 2013

Early school levy decision welcome

We appreciate early decision making by the Issaquah School Board in regard to its 2014 school levy and bond package.

The board approved its request that will go to voters in February on June 26, although exact numbers could vary slightly before being confirmed this fall, after state funding is considered.

With the citizen task force research done and needs identified, there was no reason to delay the school board vote. It’s always a good thing to get the facts out there early, as voters will need the seven months lead time to get their head around the numbers.

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