City Council candidates offer varied skills for post

February 15, 2011

Interviews start March 1 for nine council contenders

Candidates offer assorted skills for the open City Council seat created after Maureen McCarry resigned in late December.

The candidates bring backgrounds in community, military and municipal service to the interview process.

The midterm opening for the Position 5 seat attracted nine candidates.

Candidates face the council in public interviews scheduled for March 1. Then, after the 10-minute interviews, council 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 vote to appoint a member to the council is scheduled for March 7, though the appointee might not join the council until later in the month. The salary for council members is $700 per month.

McCarry created the vacancy late last year after she resigned to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

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City invites Broadstripe customers to hearing

November 2, 2010

Officials plan to update the agreement between the city and cable provider Broadstripe in the months ahead, and city leaders plan to gather input next week from Broadstripe customers.

“We want to hear from the citizens — the people that are being served by Broadstripe — and hear what their concerns are regarding customer service, quality of signal, those types of things,” city TV Coordinator Tim Smith said.

Many customers claim Broadstripe services do not compare to Comcast in response to outages, video-on-demand services and other offerings, Smith added.

Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee members planned a Nov. 9 hearing to listen to Broadstripe customers’ concerns. The cable provider serves mostly multifamily residences in the Issaquah Highlands, Providence Pointe and the Kelkari condominiums near downtown Issaquah.

The committee serves as the liaison between the full City Council and the city Cable TV Commission. The commission advises the council on telecommunications issues.

The negotiations could be complicated because Dallas-based Broadstripe is in the midst of a reorganization after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early 2009.

The proposal is the latest cable agreement to reach city leaders.

The council members OK’d a revised Comcast agreement in September. Comcast is the predominant cable provider in Issaquah.

The pact prompted grumbling from council members, because the agreement allowed the cable provider to raise prices and removed many of the provisions the city had in place to maintain some of the best cable prices in the state.

Get involved

Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee

  • Agenda: Broadstripe public hearing
  • 5:30 p.m. Nov. 9
  • Baxter Room
  • City Hall Northwest
  • 1775 12th Avenue N.W.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

City Council OKs Comcast price hike

September 28, 2010

The updated agreement between the city and Comcast allows the cable provider to raise prices and removes many of the provisions the city had in place to maintain some of the best cable prices in the state for decades.

Comcast announced plans in early September to raise prices for Issaquah customers Oct. 1. The decision prompted grumbling from the City Council, but, in the end, members said the city had little choice but to sign off on the agreement.

The agreement reached the council Sept. 20, after almost three years of negotiations between Comcast and the city Cable TV Commission, the adviser to the council on telecommunications issues.

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Comcast to hike prices in Issaquah

September 7, 2010

Comcast plans to raise cable prices for Issaquah customers and set uniform prices for the entire city.

The cable giant intends to raise the price for most Issaquah customers from $12.08 for the limited cable starter package to $13.22. The digital starter package increases from $37.52 to $39.99.

Customers in South Cove and nearby neighborhoods stand to receive a break in cable prices: The limited cable starter package is due to dip from $14.40 to $13.22. For South Cove customers, the price for the digital starter package decreases from $57.45 to $39.99.

The change is due to go into effect Oct. 1. Comcast is the predominate cable provider for Issaquah residents.

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Comcast price hike does not affect Issaquah

July 13, 2010

Though Comcast intends to raise prices about 5 percent for some Western Washington customers, the coming hike does not affect Issaquah customers.

The city Cable TV Commission and Comcast continue to negotiate a franchise agreement for Issaquah. Under the existing system, separate agreements cover Issaquah.

South Cove and Greenwood Point residents paid higher prices for cable services to a separate company operating under the Comcast brand.

Issaquah annexed the neighborhoods in 2006, and the franchise proposal under consideration unites the city under a single agreement. City officials expect prices to rise under the updated agreement, though the amount remains uncertain.

Cable TV Commission and Comcast officials plan to finalize the agreement in the coming months.

Comcast announced a plan in early July to raise prices for most cable customers Aug. 1.

Cable prices could rise soon

May 25, 2010

The price for Comcast service could rise for some Issaquah cable customers in the months ahead, though the amount will remain undetermined until the city and the cable provider finalize a pact.

Officials should complete the agreement within several months, and end the long process to update the agreement between the city and the predominate cable provider in Issaquah.

Joe Forkner, a city Cable TV Commission member and a former Issaquah councilman, said Comcast had agreed not to immediately raise prices.

“They have agreed that they are not just going to jack up the rates arbitrarily, but they’ll work them up slowly,” he said.

Members of the City Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee discussed the legislation May 11. The committee delayed possible action on the agreement until July.

The full council could approve the agreement at any time, but will likely not act without a recommendation from the committee.

Until the council OKs the latest agreement, Comcast must abide by the terms set in the former pact.

Comcast spokesman Walter Neary said he could not discuss details of the proposed agreement, because the negotiations continue to unfold, but he said he hoped the city and Comcast could a reach a beneficial agreement.

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Comcast customers could be affected by digital TV switch

June 13, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. June 13, 2009

TV stations killed their analog signals yesterday as stations nationwide began to broadcast in a digital format. Though the transition was mostly smooth in the region and nationwide, some local Comcast cable customers may need to pick up a digital adapter box in order to receive their full channel lineup.

Comcast ended the analog signal for Channels 30 through 70. Customers who subscribe to Comcast standard cable or digital cable; or those who have a TV connected to Comcast service without a digital set top box may need a digital adapter box.

Comcast introduced digital service in two phases in Issaquah. The first phase ended yesterday; another phase is planned for July 6-10.

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Author pens leadership guide for white men

December 1, 2008

Corporate trainer, coach and consultant Chuck Shelton, of Sammamish, compiled the biggest obstacles white leaders have faced in his 20 years in his new book, ‘Leadership 101 for White Men.’ Photo by David Hayes.

Corporate trainer, coach and consultant Chuck Shelton, of Sammamish, compiled the biggest obstacles white leaders have faced in his 20 years in his new book, ‘Leadership 101 for White Men.’ Photo by David Hayes.

Chuck Shelton knows he’s got a hard sell ahead of him with his new book. Just the title alone is enough to turn heads — “Leadership 101 for White Men: How to Work Successfully with Black Colleagues and Customers.”

“Most of the time, the first reaction in people is they’re intrigued,” said Shelton, a Sammamish Plateau resident since 1989. “Then, they look at me and ask, ‘What could you possibly know about the subject?’

“African-Americans see the title and generally laugh,” he added. “Then, they quiz me to check my credentials.”

It boils down to what Shelton has learned in the past 20 years as a corporate trainer, coach and consultant. Essentially, he’s a leadership developer who has helped executives from some of the region’s biggest corporations, from Microsoft and Key Bank to Safeco and Comcast.

In his research of the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Shelton found that there are nearly six million white men in leadership jobs in the United States. White men used to be in charge in more than half the jobs. Now, that number is down to 38 percent. Shelton said he has seen estimates that by 2050, there will be no ethnic majority at all in the U.S. Read more

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