Growth and traffic are on the minds of city leaders

January 13, 2015

Growth and development, along with traffic, seemed to be the main topics of the day as the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce held its second annual Preview Luncheon on Jan. 8.

“One thing is clear to me,” Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler told the gathering of about 150 people at the Holiday Inn of Issaquah. “Our community is evolving… Your government is evolving also.”

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2014 remembered for what went away

December 31, 2014

Annexations, retirements, plastic bags, development, a looming school closure, retail marijuana, bank robberies, the Concerts on the Green series, and business and occupation taxes made the list of the top 10 news stories of the year in Issaquah.

Here are those stories, in no particular order:

Klahanie-area annexation issue moves to Sammamish

Issaquah residents voted no, for the second time, on the city of Issaquah annexing the Klahanie area. The King County Growth Management Planning Council then unanimously approved the idea to move the Klahanie area from Issaquah’s Potential Annexation Area to Sammamish’s.

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Council lowers B&O tax increase, raises property taxes, as expected

November 25, 2014

Business leaders spoke up and the Issaquah City Council listened.

In a 5-2 vote, council members approved a 50 percent hike in the city’s business and occupation taxes. The increase was a major part of the overall $168.6 million 2015 budget adopted by the council at its regular meeting Nov. 17.

Initially, Mayor Fred Butler proposed a 150 percent increase in the B&O taxes over a two-year period. At a public hearing Nov. 3, representatives from the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and some of Issaquah’s biggest businesses, such as Darigold and Costco, said that was just too much.

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Issaquah lowers B & O tax increase, raises property taxes, as expected

November 18, 2014

NEW — 11:26 p.m. Nov. 18, 2014

Business leaders spoke up and the Issaquah City Council listened.

In a 5-2 vote, council members approved a 50 percent hike in the city’s business and occupation taxes. The increase was a major part of the overall $168.6 million 2015 budget adopted by the council at its regular meeting last night.

Initially, Mayor Fred Butler proposed a 150 percent increase in the B&O taxes over a two-year period. At a public hearing Nov. 3, representatives from the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and some of Issaquah’s biggest business, such as Darigold and Costco, said that was just too much.

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Darigold, Costco ask council to rethink B&O tax increase

November 11, 2014

A few prominent Issaquah businesses are asking the city to rethink a business and occupation tax increase included in Mayor Fred Butler’s 2015 budget proposal.

Representatives from Costco, Darigold and the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce attended a Nov. 3 Issaquah City Council public hearing, where they offered similar concerns about the effect an increased tax rate would have on the business community.

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Editorial — Council considers B&O tax increase

November 11, 2014

The city had proposed a 150 percent increase in the city’s B&O tax to add $1 million to the budget’s general fund for 2015. The increase was to be phased in over the next two years with the first phase to be implemented April 1.

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To the Editor

October 28, 2014

Election

Tana Senn brings family-oriented view to Olympia

I write to you today to whole-heartedly endorse Tana Senn for State Representative for the 41st District.

She embodies the values that are important to me and my family. As a working mom of two school-aged children, Tana understands the needs and stresses placed on many families in our region, and is able to bring a family-oriented view to Olympia.

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Council adopts Costco agreement

October 21, 2014

Move paves way for headquarters expansion

The nation’s second largest retailer is free to expand its headquarters, and it will continue to happen here in Issaquah.

The Issaquah City Council unanimously approved a 30-year development agreement with Costco Oct. 13, giving the company flexibility to add an additional 1.5 million square feet to its international headquarters housed in Pickering Place.

“It’s really a very, very big deal for Issaquah and for Costco,” Issaquah City Councilman Joshua Schaer said at the Oct. 13 meeting. “It ensures that, for years to come, when people around the country and around the world speak of Costco it will be in connection with the words ‘An Issaquah, Washington-based corporation.’”

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Costco proposed expansion causes growing concerns

September 23, 2014

Who will pay for a Costco expansion? That question has nearby business and property owners concerned.

Business and property owners have concerns about how proposed Costco growth might affect northern Issaquah, and about who pays for parts of the project.

In its Sept. 15 regular meeting, the Issaquah City Council held a public hearing regarding the draft agreement that has made its way through the Development Services Department in the past several months.

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To the Editor

September 2, 2014

Transportation plan

A little Aloha while sitting in traffic

How is it that Peter Clark, of The Issaquah Press, has read my mind these last several months as I’ve traveled the roads downtown getting to and from my home in the nearby Sycamore neighborhood? His recent article “Traffic plan can’t come soon enough” nailed it.

I understand that the City Council’s master plan is intent upon growing residential and business opportunities while lessening our dependence on cars. As in the Issaquah Highlands, townsfolk will be able to walk, rather than drive, to most places. However, as Clark indicates, that idyllic scenario won’t happen anytime soon. Meanwhile, those of us living in the midst of construction that is sure to tie up traffic for years to come will have to grin and bear it.

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