Issaquah legislators receive key commitee assignments

December 26, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 26, 2012

Local lawmakers received or retained influential committee assignments — and the ability to shape state policy on education, transportation and other priorities — in the next legislative session.

Recent changes in how the state Senate operates changed prospective roles for local legislators. Though Democrats claim more members in the Senate, Republicans announced a plan in early December to instead put a bipartisan caucus in place to run the chamber.

With help from Sens. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, and Tim Sheldon, D-Potlach, Republicans received a 25-24 majority. Under the proposal, Tom is poised to serve as majority leader and oust Democrats’ chosen majority leader, Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle. (Until redistricting last year, Tom, a former Republican, represented some Issaquah neighborhoods.)

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Issaquah milestones from 2012 reflect challenges, changes

December 25, 2012

Backhoes from Santana Trucking & Excavating dig June 26 at the southeast corner of the intersection of Northeast High Street and Highlands Drive Northeast, as construction starts on the Issaquah Highlands retail center. By Greg Farrar

Challenges — whether economic, political or social — defined the year.

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City OKs buildings up to 125 feet tall in business district

December 25, 2012

Redevelopment plan calls for more than 7,000 residences

City leaders raised the building height limit to 125 feet in the business district and raised the stakes for redevelopment in the decades ahead.

The roadmap to redevelopment — a document called the Central Issaquah Plan — also creates a framework to add more than 7,000 residences on about 1,000 acres stretched along Interstate 90.

In a series of decisions reached Dec. 17 after years spent re-envisioning the business district, a relieved City Council adopted the Central Issaquah Plan, but delayed action on a key piece until at least April.

“It’s the right plan at the right time,” Councilman Fred Butler said. “It will not happen overnight, but when the time is right, we will be ready.”

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Brian Deagle to remain Issaquah School Board president

December 18, 2012

Brian Deagle

Brian Deagle will remain president of the Issaquah School Board after receiving an unanimous vote from fellow board members Dec. 12 to keep the position throughout 2013.

As per district policy, the board is required to elect a new president each year. Superintendent Steve Rasmussen opened the floor for nominations and Deagle was quickly nominated without contest.

This is a the second time this year the board has unanimously voted for Deagle for board president. The first came Aug. 22, when then-board President Chad Magendanz stepped down because of his bid for a seat in the Legislature.

Magendanz has since won the election and is transitioning to his new role as the state representative for the 5th Legislative District. His last school board meeting will be Jan. 9.

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Issaquah Democrat Mark Mullet joins state Senate

December 4, 2012

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen (left) administers the oath of office to state Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, in the Senate chamber Nov. 30. Contributed

Issaquah City Councilman Mark Mullet joined the state Senate on Nov. 30 — 45 days before other freshman lawmakers convene in Olympia for the 2013 legislative session.

In a ceremony on the Senate floor, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen administered the oath to Mullet as the Democrat’s family members watched.

Mullet joined the Senate after a bruising contest against Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft to represent the 5th Legislative District — a mishmash between suburban and rural communities stretched between Issaquah and Snoqualmie Pass.

The last senator to represent the district, Maple Valley Republican Cheryl Pflug, resigned from the seat in June to serve on a state board. Sammamish Republican Dino Rossi — senator from the district in the late 1990s and early 2000s — served in the role between Pflug’s resignation and Mullet’s arrival.

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King County matches turnout record in election

December 4, 2012

King County matched the record for voter turnout in a presidential election, and achieved other milestones in the Nov. 6 contest, officials announced late Nov. 27 after certifying the results.

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Issaquah Democrat Mark Mullet joins state Senate

November 30, 2012

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen (left) administers the oath of office to state Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, in the Senate chamber Friday. Contributed

NEW — 4:05 p.m. Nov. 30, 2012

Issaquah City Councilman Mark Mullet joined the state Senate on Friday afternoon, 45 days before other freshman lawmakers convene in Olympia for the 2013 legislative session.

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King County turnout reached 84 percent in November election

November 28, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Nov. 28, 2012

King County matched the record for voter turnout in a presidential election, and achieved other milestones in the Nov. 6 contest, officials announced late Tuesday after certifying the results.

Countywide, voters returned 993,908 ballots for about 84 percent turnout, a similar figure to the record turnout set during the 2008 presidential election, although the elections office received more ballots in 2012.

The county set records for registered voters — 1,170,638 — and for the number of ballots tallied on election night — about 556,000.

“Voters responded to our messaging this year and returned their ballots early,” Elections Director Sherril Huff said in a statement. “We counted a record high of 556,000 ballots on election night and the number of ballots received too late to process was down 76 percent.”

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In local legislative contests, outside spending reshapes races

November 27, 2012

Issaquah Democrat Mark Mullet raised $315,166 in the race to represent Issaquah in the state Senate and garnered 36,630 votes throughout the 5th Legislative District.

The total raised amounts to about $8.60 per vote for the ubiquitous campaign mailers, yard signs and TV spots, and online advertising in Mullet’s successful race against Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft.

Toft collected $306,599 and received 30,683 votes districtwide — or about $9.99 per vote.

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How much did Issaquah legislative candidates raise?

November 27, 2012

The candidates to represent Issaquah in Olympia raised a combined $1.5 million to fund legislative campaigns.

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