Stacy Goodman, City Council appointee, launches campaign

April 8, 2011

NEW — 5 p.m. April 8, 2011

Stacy Goodman, a former journalist and attorney appointed to the City Council last month, announced plans Friday to run for the seat in the November election.

“In just a short time, I see so many issues important to Issaquah and the region where I can represent people and make a difference,” she said in a statement.

Goodman, a past reporter and editor for The Issaquah Press, joined the council after a monthslong search to select a successor to former Councilwoman Maureen McCarry.

Because Goodman joined the council a little more than a year into the unfilled term, she is running to serve until December 2013, rather than a regular, four-year term.

The novice candidate settled in the Issaquah area in 1989, and moved to Issaquah Highlands in 2006. Before attending law school and joining Issaquah firm Carson & Noel, Goodman covered Issaquah City Hall as a reporter, and later editor, for nine years.

“I know this community well, and I know it from many viewpoints,” she said in the statement. “I’ve experienced life in Issaquah as a resident, a parent raising children, a volunteer, a journalist and now as a business owner. Of course I’ve seen it change over the past 22 years, but change can present us with some exciting opportunities as we shape the future of Issaquah.”

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City Council adjusts undercrossing budget

March 8, 2011

Interstate 90 Undercrossing

The budget for the Interstate 90 Undercrossing received some adjustments from the City Council late last week to account for cost overruns.

The council had authorized $2.96 million to complete the north-south connector. The council increased the total by $16,000 in a unanimous decision Feb. 22.

The increase uses unallocated project dollars, funds from utility companies and city dollars set aside for a traffic-calming program.

The council awarded the initial construction contract for the undercrossing last March, and then awarded a construction contract for another piece last July.

The project required more excavation than planners had anticipated in order to build a stable base for the roadway.

Planners did not anticipate the additional excavation based on the soil conditions at the site. The rain-soaked summer exacerbated the problem.

In addition, utility companies asked to install lines in a trench created as part of the undercrossing project.

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City Council reschedules Route 200 discussion

March 1, 2011

The plan to extend Route 200 from downtown Issaquah and the business district to the Issaquah Highlands and Talus is due to reach the City Council soon.

The free bus route had been scheduled to extend to the highlands and Talus in September. The city and Metro Transit had planned to start collecting fares on Route 200 in the months ahead.

Port Blakely Communities, the highlands developer and a partner in the effort to expand transit service, requested last month for the extension to be delayed until at least 2013.

Council Transportation Committee members agreed last month to push the implementation date to February 2013.

The council had been scheduled to discuss the proposal March 7. Members plan to consider the measure March 21 instead.

Municipal and Port Blakely staffers continue to work on the proposal.

Metro Transit and Issaquah officials could also establish a route, 928, to offer additional service on Squak Mountain.

In order to fund the additional service, the proposal calls for Metro Transit to charge fares on Route 200 buses. In the meantime — due to the delayed extension — rides along the route remain free.

Joshua Schaer announces City Council re-election bid

February 22, 2011

Incumbent Joshua Schaer announced plans last week to run for a second term, setting off the campaign season for City Council seats.

The candidate highlighted environmental accomplishments in the announcement, including a first-on-the-Eastside food-packaging ordinance and polystyrene container ban.

“Shaping the future of our community is a great honor,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to another four years of creating practical solutions, while continuing to advocate for fiscal responsibility.”

Joshua Schaer

Schaer drafted and shepherded the food-packaging ordinance to fruition throughout 2009. Though the measure initially raised concerns about cost among local restaurateurs, the compliance date in October 2010 passed quietly.

The first-term councilman also leads the Council Transportation Committee and serves as the Issaquah representative to the Eastside Transportation Partnership, a regional group responsible for road and transit issues.

In recent months, as the transportation committee and the seven-member council tackled Newport Way Northwest upgrades, Schaer has been critical of the effort to remake a section of the road near the Bellevue city line and a separate proposal to widen the street near Issaquah Valley Elementary School.

In addition to Schaer’s post, the council seats held by Council President John Traeger and Councilman Fred Butler appear on the November ballot.

Candidates must file to run in Issaquah and other races by June 10. Schaer is the only council candidate so far.

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City upgrades TV equipment

February 22, 2011

City leaders agreed in early February to upgrade equipment for the public access Channel 21.

Cable TV Commission members requested $60,000 to purchase broadcast hardware and software, as well as a dedicated media server. The commission said the upgrades should improve the production quality and functionality. In addition, the equipment should provide integrated programming and production through a single system.

Commissioners presented the request to Council Transportation Committee members in July and August. The committee signed off on the proposal and recommended for the full City Council to allocate $60,000 from the cable TV fund — the account for upgrades to the cable system — to cover the purchases. The council approved the expenditure in a unanimous decision Feb. 7.

Joshua Schaer announces City Council re-election bid

February 17, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. Feb. 17, 2011

Joshua Schaer

Incumbent Joshua Schaer announced plans Thursday to run for a second term, setting off the campaign season for City Council seats.

The candidate highlighted environmental accomplishments in the announcement, including a first-on-the-Eastside food-packaging ordinance.

“Shaping the future of our community is a great honor,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to another four years of creating practical solutions, while continuing to advocate for fiscal responsibility.”

Schaer drafted and shepherded the food-packaging ordinance to fruition throughout 2009. Though the measure initially raised concerns among local restaurateurs, the compliance date in October 2010 passed quietly.

Schaer also leads the Council Transportation Committee and serves as the Issaquah representative to the Eastside Transportation Partnership, a regional group responsible for road and transit issues.

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Route 200 bus remains free as extension stalls

February 15, 2011

City delays planned service to Issaquah Highlands, Talus

The long-established plan to expand free bus service to the Issaquah Highlands is on hold, after a financial backer pulled out of the public-private partnership behind Route 200 service.

In the meantime, the city and King County Metro Transit delayed a plan to charge for Route 200 bus service until the route expands in the future.

Route 200 had been scheduled to extend to the highlands and Talus in September 2011. The city and Metro Transit had planned to start collecting fares on Route 200 in the months ahead.

Instead, the line could be extended to the highlands and Talus in February 2013. Under the current arrangement, Route 200 buses circulate through downtown Issaquah and the business district.

“The tradeoff is you don’t get the expanded service,” Councilman Joshua Schaer said. “You’re not paying, but on the other hands, you’re not getting the routes that we said we’d give.”

Council Transportation Committee members discussed Route 200 service Feb. 11. The committee sent the measure to the full council for discussion on March 7.

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City Council nixes Park Pointe committee as deal nears finish

January 18, 2011

City Council members decided to eliminate the committee responsible for the Park Pointe preservation deal as the council updated the way members conduct business.

The council nixed the Major Planning & Growth Committee and redistributed the responsibilities of the former group Jan. 3. The group handled agreements related to the proposed transfer of development rights between forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain and the Issaquah Highlands. The proposal is on track to be completed in the months ahead.

“This last year, there was an awful lot of major activity with the TDR and with the Central Issaquah Plan,” Council President John Traeger said. “This year, we’re down to the Central Issaquah Plan and it’s kind of in autopilot mode. It’s working on its own timeline now.” Read more

Newport Way improvement plan includes roundabouts

January 11, 2011

City to redo stretch near Issaquah Valley Elementary

Roundabouts could someday punctuate Newport Way Northwest under a plan the City Council adopted last week to upgrade the bustling corridor in the years ahead.

In a lopsided decision Jan. 3, the council agreed to pursue a plan to add roundabouts at the Northwest Juniper Street, Northwest Holly Street and Northwest Dogwood Street intersections. Planners also recommend extending another southbound lane to the corridor from West Sunset Way to Maple Street Northwest. The plan is designed to address projected congestion on the street in the coming decades. Read more

Construction concludes on redo to bike and pedestrian upgrades

November 23, 2010

The city has opened upgraded bike lanes and a pedestrian trail along Newport Way Northwest — again.

Crews completed the initial upgrade about a year ago and city leaders gathered on a rain-slicked afternoon in October 2009 to open the trail from state Route 900 to Lakemont Boulevard Southeast, the Issaquah city line.

The project ended up before the City Council months later, after drivers attempted to use the upgraded shoulder as another traffic lane.

So, after much debate, the council decided to redo the project. Crews completed the overhaul in early November. The project added bike lanes in both directions, plus a pedestrian path separated by curbs from the north side of the roadway along Newport Way Northwest. Read more

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