Issaquah residents: Ready, set, speak!

April 15, 2014

I hope you have opinions, citizens of Issaquah, because they could really come in handy.

The next few months seem yet again chock full of important decisions that the City Council will make. I have heard and reported repeatedly that they want public input on all matters that will impact the future of Issaquah. So, this is another message to encourage you to take them up on that.

Let’s think about what’s to come over the next several months. And, keep in mind, this is your government and you should you tell it what you think.

Peter Clark Press reporter

Peter Clark
Press reporter

While the City Council extended the marijuana moratorium, it expects the ban to lift in July. As the council continues to look at how a recreational marijuana business should operate in Issaquah, let it know how you feel.

Two public input meetings left the Park Board with a recommendation to build a new skate park in the Tibbetts Valley Park, across from the park & ride. How does that strike you?

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Floodwater details presented in Seventh and Gilman redevelopment

April 8, 2014

After two public meetings, the Seventh and Gilman redevelopment continues through the city’s application stages and might go beyond expectations.

Lennar Multifamily Investors again presented plans to the Rivers and Streams Board on March 18 regarding how its planned residential redevelopment would handle floodwater. The corner of Seventh Avenue Northwest and Northwest Gilman Boulevard, now called Cadence by the potential developers, has a long history of suffering from flooding events and Lennar Multifamily Investors Development Director Tom Bartholomew knows it.

“Issaquah is unique in terms of flooding,” Bartholomew said after the meetings. “It’s an issue and I understand the sensitivity. I understand the visceral reactions to the meetings.”

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Business owners have concerns about Gilman redevelopment

March 4, 2014

Plans to redevelop Seventh Avenue Northwest and Northwest Gilman Boulevard are not making everyone happy.

Darlene Cohen has owned the antique mall Gilman Galleries, which sits on the property, for five years. She spoke proudly of the work she has put into the business in order to make it successful.

“We built it back up to keep the business going,” Cohen said. “It wasn’t easy.”

By Peter Clark Gilman Galleries owner Darlene Cohen strolls through the halls of her antique mall where more than 100 vendors sell wares of all different kinds.

By Peter Clark
Gilman Galleries owner Darlene Cohen strolls through the halls of her antique mall where more than 100 vendors sell wares of all different kinds.

However, developer Lennar Multifamily Investors plans to raze buildings on the property and construct three five-story residential buildings in their place. They have applied for a site development permit, which the city is reviewing.

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Developers want 7th and Gilman fast-tracked

February 4, 2014

Lennar Multifamily Investors wants to move quickly on the first redevelopment in central Issaquah.

The developer with a Seattle office submitted an official site development permit application Dec. 18. It has an interest in working with the city to construct the first large project under the Central Issaquah Plan. However, it also has an optimistic schedule.

“We’re basically just starting our review,” Project Oversight Manager Christopher Wright said. “There doesn’t seem to be any major issues.”

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Joe Forkner enters race for Issaquah mayor

February 5, 2013

Less than a week after rejoining the City Council, longtime community leader and seasoned Councilman Joe Forkner entered the race for mayor Feb. 4.

Joe Forkner

Joe Forkner

The announcement set up a contest between Forkner and a colleague, Council President Fred Butler. The councilmen hope to lead the city once Mayor Ava Frisinger steps down in January 2014 after 16 years in the top job at City Hall.

Forkner, 59, worked for the city in the past and served on the council in recent stints — from 2000 to 2005, and to fill a vacancy from September 2006 to late 2007. The latest appointment, a 10-month stint approved Jan. 29 in a 4-2 decision, caps a busy period after Forkner led the citizen panel responsible for outlining redevelopment in the business district.

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City Council turns to veteran for vacancy

February 5, 2013

Joe Forkner (left) is welcomed back to the dais for another City Council stint by Eileen Barber on Jan. 29. By Greg Farrar

Joe Forkner (left) is welcomed back to the dais for another City Council stint by Eileen Barber on Jan. 29. By Greg Farrar

Joe Forkner returned to the City Council on Jan. 29 after a divided council appointed the former councilman, onetime city employee and longtime community leader to a vacant seat.

Forkner, a councilman in separate stints during the early and mid-2000s, did not fade from public life after departing from the council in 2007. The engineering technician and draftsman served as a member of numerous municipal boards and commissions in recent years, and spearheaded the initial plan to redevelop the business district along Interstate 90.

The depth of experience led the council to appoint Forkner, 59, to occupy the seat left after former Councilman Mark Mullet resigned to serve in the state Senate.

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Joe Forkner launches campaign for Issaquah mayor

February 4, 2013

NEW — 3 p.m. Feb. 4, 2013

Less than a week after rejoining the City Council, longtime community leader and seasoned Councilman Joe Forkner entered the race for mayor Monday.

Joe Forkner

Joe Forkner

The announcement set up a contest between Forkner and a colleague, Council President Fred Butler. The councilmen hope to lead the city once Mayor Ava Frisinger steps down in January 2014 after 16 years in the top job at City Hall.

Forkner, 59, worked for the city in the past and served on the council in recent stints — from 2000 to 2005, and to fill a vacancy from September 2006 to late 2007. The latest appointment, a 10-month stint approved Jan. 29 in a 4-2 decision, caps a busy period after Forkner led the citizen panel responsible for outlining redevelopment in the business district.

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City Council appoints Joe Forkner to open seat

January 29, 2013

NEW — 6:20 p.m. Jan. 29, 2013

Joe Forkner returned to the City Council on Tuesday after a divided council appointed the former councilman, onetime city employee and longtime community leader to a vacant seat.

The council appointed a successor to former Councilman Mark Mullet after about 15 minutes of discussion.

Members nominated Forkner and longtime Development Commission member Mary Lou Pauly for the post. The council chose Forkner in a 4-2 decision.

The seat opened Jan. 8 after Mullet departed to serve in Olympia. The entrepreneur and former banking executive defeated Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft to represent the 5th Legislative District in the state Senate.

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City seeks applicants for advisory boards, commissions

January 29, 2013

City leaders need civic-minded citizens to offer advice on important issues as municipal board and commission members.

The city needs applicants for openings on 12 boards and commissions. The groups advise the City Council on issues related to the arts, cable TV, development, parks and, in more specialized realms, city cemetery operations and sister-city relationships.

Meanwhile, officials need regular and alternate members for the 12 existing commissions. The applicants for board and commission posts do not need to reside in Issaquah.

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City seeks applicants for boards, commissions

January 23, 2013

NEW — 10 a.m. Jan. 23, 2013

City leaders need civic-minded citizens to offer advice on important issues as municipal board and commission members.

The city needs applicants for openings on 12 boards and commissions. The groups advise the City Council on issues related to the arts, cable TV, development, parks and, in more specialized realms, city cemetery operations and sister-city relationships.

Meanwhile, officials need regular and alternate members for the 12 existing commissions. The applicants for board and commission posts do not need to reside in Issaquah.

Applicants undergo interviews before Mayor Ava Frisinger recommends appointees to the council for confirmation. The council usually confirms appointees in April, and terms for appointees start in May.

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