January 8, 2013
Mark Mullet claimed a historic first in January 2010.
The entrepreneur and former banking executive ran unopposed for a City Council seat in 2009 and won election as the first Issaquah Highlands resident to serve on the council.
The highlands added thousands of residents as construction escalated in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but the neighborhoods existed for more than a decade before a resident achieved citywide elected office.
In the years Mullet served on the council, members hired City Administrator Bob Harrison, oversaw a major staff reorganization at City Hall, approved a long-term redevelopment plan for the business district, inked development agreements with Lakeside Industries and Rowley Properties, and approved a retail plastic bag ban.
January 1, 2013
Strong get-out-the vote operation boosts candidates
Democrats dominated Issaquah in the November election.
City voters chose Democrats for every federal and statewide office on the ballot — sometimes by a broad margin and others by a handful of votes.
Issaquah overwhelmingly supported Democrats in the races for president and vice president, U.S. senator and U.S. representative, and every statewide office. Only incumbent Republican Steve Litzow, a 41st Legislative District state senator representing about half of Issaquah, earned support from a majority of voters inside city limits.
January 1, 2013
City-level results from the November election show Issaquah voters followed statewide trends on some issues, or occasionally chose another direction.
December 31, 2012
NEW — 2 p.m. Dec. 31, 2012
From the moment Mark Mullet declared victory in a state Senate race last month, other City Council members started planning for the process to fill Mullet’s seat on the dais once the Democrat departs for Olympia.
Now, as Mullet prepares to resign Jan. 8 to prepare for the legislative session, council members put out a call for applicants for the soon-to-open seat.
The city is accepting applications until Jan. 16. The council plans to interview applicants Jan. 22 and, after interviews, members could recess into a closed-door executive session to discuss candidates’ qualifications.
Under state law, the council can discuss candidates’ qualifications in a closed-door session, but interviews and the decision must occur in public meetings. The council is scheduled to vote on the appointment Jan. 29.
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.)
December 25, 2012
Challenges — whether economic, political or social — defined the year.
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.”
December 18, 2012
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.
December 4, 2012
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.
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.