Issaquah re-examines Klahanie annexation

January 22, 2013

Last annexation attempt failed in 2005

The question of how a large-scale annexation on the Sammamish Plateau could affect residents in Issaquah, Klahanie and other unincorporated King County neighborhoods is under the microscope again, almost a decade after a citizen panel tackled the issue.

Issaquah leaders commissioned a $100,000 study and created a citizen task force to examine the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area — 10,800 people in about 3,900 households in the namesake neighborhood and adjacent communities.

The potential annexation area under consideration is in unincorporated King County, and bordered by Issaquah to the south, Sammamish to the north and west, and more unincorporated areas to the east.

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Longtime city human services coordinator retires

January 22, 2013

Longtime city employee Steve Gierke retired last month after serving as human services coordinator and in numerous other roles at City Hall.

Gierke most recently oversaw a broad human services portfolio — the City Council funds dozens of organizations and programs each year — and served as the liaison between the city administration and the Human Services Commission.

In early 2010, council members considered eliminating the human services coordinator position, but retained the position after realizing the extent of Gierke’s contributions.

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Fred Butler launches campaign for Issaquah mayor

January 17, 2013

NEW — 6 p.m. Jan. 17, 2013

Fred Butler, a City Council stalwart for 13 years and a voice in important debates about the future of Issaquah, entered the race for mayor Thursday.

Fred Butler

Fred Butler

The contest could hinge on the vision for the decades ahead, as city leaders seek to position Issaquah for redevelopment and attract more jobs to the community.

Butler, 72, served on the council at major junctures in recent history, as members debated the defunct Southeast Bypass road link, how to preserve forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain, and late last year, a 30-year redevelopment blueprint called the Central Issaquah Plan.

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City Council seeks applicants for open seat

January 8, 2013

From the moment Mark Mullet declared victory in a state Senate race in November, other City Council members started planning for the process to fill Mullet’s seat once the Democrat departs for Olympia.

Now, council members have put out a call for applicants for the open seat. The position is not expected to remain open for long.

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.

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Issaquah fire station, hospital earn honors for energy efficiency

January 1, 2013

Issaquah is a hub for energy efficiency, after a fire station and a hospital in the city earned top honors in the same national competition for engineering and technology.

Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 72 and Swedish/Issaquah garnered first-place ASHRAE Technology Awards — a top recognition for innovative building design.

EFR Station 72 opened in 2011 as the most energy-efficient fire station on the planet. Swedish/Issaquah opened in July 2011, after planners spent years developing a “practical ‘green’” facility to dramatically reduce energy consumption.

ASHRAE — or the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers — plans to bestow the awards on honorees in January at a conference in Dallas. The organization announced the recipients Nov. 9.

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Central Issaquah Plan proposes shift from suburban to urban in business district

December 11, 2012

Issaquah, circa 2040, could sport a skyline.

The central business district is on the cusp of change, as city leaders plan for redevelopment on about 1,000 acres stretched along Interstate 90.

Nowadays, suburban sprawl dominates the landscape — traffic-clogged streets unfurl next to strip malls. Residents live elsewhere and climb into cars to reach the area’s amenities. Underfoot, 75 percent of land in the area is encased under parking lots.

Imagine, instead, buildings up to 125 feet tall, storefronts and residences arranged along tree-lined sidewalks, and perhaps decades in the future, a station on the regional rail network.

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City Council committee backs drug take-back program

December 4, 2012

City Council members signaled support Nov. 26 for a burgeoning effort to create a King County prescription drug take-back program.

Council Safety & Services Committee members unanimously recommended the council approve a resolution supporting the program.

In a separate decision Nov. 19, council members sent the proposed resolution to the committee. The council is expected to consider the resolution again Dec. 17.

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City Council committee supports countywide drug take-back program

November 28, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Nov. 28, 2012

City Council members signaled support Monday for a burgeoning effort to create a King County prescription drug take-back program.

Council Safety & Services Committee members unanimously recommended for the council to approve a resolution supporting the program to committee for further discussion.

In a unanimous decision Nov. 19, council members sent the proposed resolution to committee. The council is expected to consider the resolution again next month.

The council sent the legislation to committee less than a week after Mayor Ava Frisinger, a King County Board of Health member, joined a local forum to discuss the proposed county drug take-back program.

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Issaquah fire station, hospital earn honors for energy efficiency

November 16, 2012

NEW — 3:15 p.m. Nov. 16, 2012

Issaquah is a hub for energy efficiency, after a fire station and a hospital in the city earned top honors in the same national competition for engineering and technology.

Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 72 and Swedish/Issaquah garnered first-place ASHRAE Technology Awards — a top recognition for innovative building design.

EFR Station 72 opened last year as the most energy-efficient fire station on the planet. Swedish/Issaquah opened in July 2011, after planners spent years developing a “practical ‘green'” facility to dramatically reduce energy consumption.

ASHRAE — or the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers — plans to bestow the awards on honorees in January at a conference in Dallas.

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City Council sinks property tax increase, prepares budget

November 13, 2012

City Council members decided Nov. 5 against a property tax increase for next year, and edged the 2013 municipal budget closer to adoption.

In a unanimous decision, council members rejected a proposal to increase the property tax rate by 1 percent next year. The council is expected to finalize the decision on property tax revenue for next year at a Nov. 19 meeting.

In October, Mayor Ava Frisinger proposed to raise the property tax rate by the maximum amount allowed under state law, or 1 percent, next year. Officials said the measure could raise $69,707 for the city next year and then compound over time. The city estimated the cost to the average homeowner at $4.75 per year.

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