October 18, 2011
Schaer has earned another council term
The choice in Issaquah’s only contested City Council race is stark.
Incumbent Joshua Schaer articulates a clear vision for the future. Schaer has fashioned a reputation as a councilman unwilling to yield just for the sake of another unanimous vote. Such independence is valuable for a council member and even better for the citizens he represents.
Schaer also brings a broad understanding of the tiny details of city policy — a critical factor for elected officials as the council delves into the Central Issaquah Plan, a medical marijuana ordinance and other hefty issues in the year ahead.
Schaer deserves credit for pushing the first-on-the-Eastside food-packaging ordinance to ban Styrofoam takeout containers. In his second term, however, he needs to lead the charge to increase compliance with the ordinance.
Challenger TJ Filley initially built a single-issue campaign around the pedestrian bridge across Interstate 90 at state Route 900. Though Filley deserves praise for attracting attention to the late and over-budget project, the continued focus on the now-completed bridge is counterproductive.
Filley needs more local experience, while Schaer has earned a second term.
October 18, 2011
Issaquah School Board candidates Brian Neville and Suzanne Weaver, and Brian Deagle and Patrick Sansing, answered questions about issues facing the Issaquah School District. Answers had to be 25 words or less.
October 13, 2011
NEW — 11:30 p.m. Oct. 13, 2011
Candidates for local and regional offices offered prescriptions for counteracting the ailing economy and educating a 21st-century workforce at a forum Thursday.
Organized by The Issaquah Press and moderated by Publisher Debbie Berto, the forum attracted candidates for City Council, Issaquah School Board and Port of Seattle Commission.
The candidates, gathered at the King County Library System headquarters in Issaquah, answered questions in 40-minute sections organized by race.
October 4, 2011
Officials also shuffle project priorities
After roughly four hours of discussion, the Issaquah School Board voted 4-1 to place a revamped $219 million capital improvement bond package before voters.
But in a decision that came earlier in the course of their regular Sept. 28 meeting, the board voted unanimously to mount the levy in April instead of February as previously planned.
The issue will appear on ballots for an April 17 election. In 2014, voters also may decide a capital improvement levy — not a bond issue — to pay for some items removed from the original proposal for the 2012 bond question.
October 4, 2011
Hear from the candidates for City Council, Issaquah School Board and Port of Seattle at a candidate forum sponsored by The Issaquah Press.
The forum is meant to offer voters a chance to learn about local candidates as the clock ticks down to Election Day. King County Elections is due to mail ballots to voters in late October. The forum starts at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at the King County Library Service Center.
The forum is not a debate. Candidates offer opening statements to the audience and then answer a series of questions from reporters as Publisher Debbie Berto moderates the discussion.
August 31, 2011
NEW — 3 p.m. Aug. 31, 2011
King County Elections certified the results of the Aug. 16 primary election Wednesday morning.
Overall, voters returned 349,566 ballots of the 1,103,522 elections officials mailed in late July. Turnout reached 32 percent — less than officials estimated in the days before the ballot deadline.
The electorate resoundingly approved — 69 percent to 31 percent — renewing the Veterans and Human Services Levy until 2017.
Organizations operating in Issaquah and the surrounding area, such as Friends of Youth and YWCA of Seattle-King-Snohomish, receive support from the levy.
August 23, 2011
State education officials have backed away from a requirement that all Washington high school students pass a biology proficiency exam in order to graduate.
But just because the state isn’t ready to move forward doesn’t mean the Issaquah School District can’t strengthen its science requirements, including possibly implementing a biology or general science proficiency test of its own.
At least that was the argument from a few Issaquah School Board members during their regular meeting Aug. 9. Board member Brian Deagle in particular said he was not willing to just drop, due to state inaction, the requirement that Issaquah school students prove some baseline scientific knowledge prior to graduation.
“This is an opportunity for our district to lead,” board member Chad Magendanz added.
August 16, 2011
NEW — 8:16 p.m. Aug. 16, 2011
King County voters offered strong support Tuesday for renewing the county Veterans and Human Services Levy until 2017.
The measure, Proposition 1, garnered 66 percent of the vote in the initial round of results King County Elections released just after 8 p.m.
The figure is expected to shift in the coming days as the elections office receives and counts more ballots, but the measure appears certain to pass. The initial tally released Tuesday night encompassed 208,833 ballots.
The levy renewal is projected to generate $100 million through 2017. The funding is split 50-50 among programs for veterans and the neediest residents in King County.
The electorate approved the initial Veterans and Human Services Levy — 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value — to fund programs for veterans and social service efforts in 2005. The existing levy is due to expire Dec. 31.
August 9, 2011
Measure funds Issaquah programs for teenagers, parents
King County voters decide the future of a county veterans-and-human-services levy soon, and as Election Day nears, recipients of levy dollars demonstrated how the measure impacts Issaquah and other communities.
The electorate approved the initial veterans-and-human-services levy — 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value — to fund programs for veterans and social service efforts in 2005. The measure, Proposition 1, is up for renewal on the Aug. 16 ballot.
If passed, the levy renewal is projected to generate $100 million through 2017. The funding is split 50-50 among programs for veterans and the neediest residents in King County.
Proposition 1 matches the existing levy and does not include additional taxes. The owner of a home assessed at $340,000 is expected to pay $17 in 2012 if the levy is renewed. (The existing levy is due to expire Dec. 31.)
Proposition 1 receives broad support from human services organizations and advocates for veterans. The measure received unanimous support on the often-contentious council. The county Voters’ Guide does not include any statements against Proposition 1.
July 5, 2011
Superintendent Steve Rasmussen is slated to stay in the district for at least another three years.
The Issaquah School Board renewed his contract from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2014, at the June 22 board meeting.
Rasmussen’s salary and benefits will stay the same next year, meaning he will not get a raise, school board member Brian Deagle said.
The superintendent’s base salary is $212,000, and he has the same benefit package as the rest of the employee groups, including health insurance, dental and vision.