Rapid Response

September 27, 2011

Issaquah is in the midst of a six-month moratorium to assess and determine how to address medical marijuana operations. How would you solve the issue to balance the city’s and patients’ interests?

Seems to me that the interests of a suffering patient far outweigh those of the city. We must figure out how to make this palliative necessity for some patients easily accessible at an affordable price.

Meredith Prock, Issaquah

Rapid Response

September 6, 2011

Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001?

Sitting by my TV, watching those terrorists attack America. Too bad that some in America do not see the danger today.

Ken Sessler, Issaquah

Almost run over by a man running out of Tully’s unable to contain either his shock or excitement — not sure which.

Mark Bowers, Issaquah

Listening to my alarm clock and hearing impossible news, then seeing the unbelievable on TV.

Bryan Weinstein, Issaquah

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Rapid Response

August 30, 2011

The city is the midst of a $50,000 study to better determine how municipal departments function. What steps would you take to make city government more efficient?

Thought the mayor had a paid individual to manage the different city government departments. If the city has to blow $50,000 for some hokey study, then fire that manager.

Ken Sessler, Issaquah

Frankly, I think Issaquah city staff are amongst the best you will find — listen to them regarding what needs to be fixed, what doesn’t and how they would go about it. It has to be difficult for them with all the expansion and changes under way.

Mark Bowers, Issaquah

First, start with a 10 percent cut to all programs. We all have had to do this in our personal lives and businesses. Why should government be immune? Yes, some may lose their jobs and have to work harder … so have the rest of us. Second — Cap the budgets not to exceed this cut amount for three years.

Matthew Balkman, Issaquah

Rapid Response

August 23, 2011

Are you bothered by reports of bears or cougars in the Issaquah area? Why or why not?

Should it be a surprise they live here? I suspect folks should understand that critters — big, potentially dangerous critters — were here before we were. Keep Skippy inside!

Mark Bowers, Issaquah

I agree with Thoreau: “In Wildness is the preservation of the World. … From the forest and wilderness come the tonics and barks which brace mankind.”

Bob McCoy, Sammamish

I’m bothered only by concern for the bears. It was recently reported, “If relocation fails, a nuisance bear may be destroyed.” A “nuisance” bear should be one that is aggressive toward humans, not one that repeatedly returns to a source of food someone has left for it (garbage, bird feeders, etc.). I prefer to find ways to coexist.

Monica Drakes, Issaquah

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Rapid Response

August 9, 2011

Issaquah is the midst of a six-month moratorium to assess and determine how to address medical marijuana operations. How would you solve the issue to balance the city’s and patients’ interests?

Need to push the federal government on this issue. Not sure the city’s and patients’ interests are in conflict — would prefer to put illegal drug dealers out of business. Council should solicit views of the public — via emails, town meetings, etc. — and make a decision, quickly.
Monica Drakes, Issaquah

Legalize and tax it, period.
Bryan Weinstein, Issaquah

Legalize and tax marijuana for anyone over 21 just like liquor. But no state stores unlike liquor.
Tom Masters, Issaquah

Why is it not treated as any other drug? The doctor writes a prescription, the patient then goes to a drugstore and gets it filled. Patients do not mix/grow/boil their own chemicals to get their required medication.
Ken Sessler, Issaquah

I would give more credence to actual pain patients and the providers who prescribe marijuana than I would to activists or those who will profit from sales. Listen to both sides of the addiction issue.
Mark Bowers, Issaquah

Instead of a hand-wringing moratorium, the best approach is to work toward legalization of marijuana.
Hank Thomas, Issaquah

Rapid Response

February 15, 2011

Has the completed East Sunset Way interchange at Interstate 90 changed traffic flow in downtown Issaquah for better or for worse? Why or why not?

The traffic lights at Front Street and Sunset Way need to be on longer to allow the westbound extra traffic through.

Ken Sessler, Issaquah

It has been a welcome relief.

Mark Bowers, Issaquah

The real change is at Second Avenue and Sunset Way — some drivers can’t figure out the dedicated left and right turn lanes.

Bryan Weinstein, Issaquah

Traffic is better. The wide and extra turn lanes help. A light at Second Avenue would be better.

Barbara Shelton, Issaquah

The city received $100,000 to study another transfer of development rights, with the receiving site in the business district. Should the area along Interstate 90 be redeveloped into a dense neighborhood?

Better, where are those TDRs coming from? Will county TDRs get the priority over local ones?

Connie Marsh, Issaquah

No. Traffic is already a problem that the city has not been able to fix. We don’t need more jams along Gilman Boulevard, Front Street or Southeast 56th Street.

Jim Harris, Issaquah

This TDR is a bad thing. If the business district is going to get a pass on environmental and development rules, then the transfer mitigations (benefits) should be kept within our city limits, not placed somewhere in King County.

C.A. Christensen, Issaquah

Washington voters rejected a series of taxes on the Nov. 2 ballot, leaving the state to close a huge spending gap. What steps should Issaquah’s representatives in Olympia take to preserve local programs amid cuts?

Cuts must be fair, prioritized and based on realistic cost/benefit analyses, not pork-barrel favortism. Speak the honest truth about the importance of Issaquah programs and facilities, but if other areas of the state have a program or facility of higher importance, then it should keep its funding.

Ken Konigsmark, Issaquah

First, call attention, in Olympia and in the media, to the need to clearly define what role our state government should have, which does not include what should be done by city government, county government, federal government, charitable organizations, private businesses or individuals. Second, eliminate programs that do not fit that role. Third, spread our existing tax dollars among the remaining programs. Our budget gap is too large for every community to expect to preserve local programs.

Mel Morgan, Issaquah

We have to think out of the box to accomplish more with less, streamline bureaucracy and improve processes. Prioritize needs. Safety, education and repairing broken infrastructure are immediate needs.

Ray Extract, Issaquah

Bellevue College has expressed interest in the Issaquah Highlands for a possible campus site. How could a college campus change the community in positive and negative ways?

Graduating seniors would have an option close to home that could cut residency cost and allow for commuting.

Don Burnett, Issaquah

To have such easy access to higher education here in Issaquah would be a huge asset.

Gail Givan, Issaquah

Rapid Response

February 8, 2011

The city Parks & Recreation Department has hosted a series of open houses and offered a Web questionnaire to gather input on a planned downtown parks complex. How would you rate the city’s public outreach effort during the planning phase?

Though I was not able to attend, I appreciated that the effort was made to get citizen input — good job parks and rec!

Bryan Weinstein, Issaquah

The Parks Department has been doing an excellent job having meetings to get community input, but the real question will be if they were actually listening or not.

C.A. Christensen, Issaquah

I attended a Confluence Park Meeting and Central Park Plan Open House; both were informative, accessible and inclusive of all interested parties.

Gail Givan, Issaquah

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Rapid Response

February 1, 2011

The ambitious Central Issaquah Plan has recommended tall buildings and dense development in the business district. How do the recommendations jibe with Issaquah’s existing character?

It doesn’t. Five percent to 10 percent pervious should never be allowed and 150-foot buildings were never in the vision that the community recommended.

Connie Marsh, Issaquah

The city recently received $100,000 to study another transfer of development rights, with the receiving site in the business district. Should the area along Interstate 90 be redeveloped into a dense neighborhood?

It does not make sense to make a dense neighborhood area and at the same time talk about opening up an area for a park complex.

Ken Sessler, Issaquah

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Rapid Response

December 28, 2010

The city Parks & Recreation Department has hosted a series of open houses and offered a Web questionnaire to gather input on a planned downtown parks complex. How would you rate the city’s public outreach effort during the planning phase?

Issaquah is unique in how involved its administration and staff is in seeking public input. I suspect Issaquah is far ahead of sister cities with regard to the number of citizens it has on its various boards and commissions.

Mark Bowers, Issaquah

Superb! The parks department and the city as a whole does a very good job at public outreach, not only for this park design, but for all city initiatives.

Ken Konigsmark, Issaquah

Excellent.

Connie Marsh, Issaquah

I haven’t seen any questionnaires. I live outside the city limits, but use the city infrastructure and parks. I would like to have some input.

Jim Harris, Issaquah

Though I was not able to attend, I appreciated that the effort was made to get citizen input — good job parks and rec!

Bryan Weinstein, Issaquah

Rapid Response

December 7, 2010

King County voters overwhelmingly rejected a sales tax to pay for criminal justice services, including police protection. What can the county do to better prioritize and pay for such services in the future?

Taxes should be distributed to critical services first and those services should not be interrupted. Threatening police, fire or education services is simply a strong-arming tactic, aimed at punishing the taxpayer (again), for not passing new taxes or levies. There isn’t a revenue problem; there is a spending problem.

Mark Bowers, Issaquah

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