City planners consider proposal to build subdivision on steep site

July 26, 2011

The city Planning Department could decide soon on a 43-lot subdivision near Providence Point, but the site along Southeast 43rd Way could pose challenges.

Bellevue architect Dennis Riebe proposed the subdivision on 11.97 unoccupied acres along the south side of the street, across from Providence Point and west of the Forest Village neighborhood.

The project proposal includes single-family detached residences and townhouses. The site is zoned for single-family homes on small lots.

The plan also includes proposals for road-frontage improvements and access to Southeast 43rd Way.

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Issaquah funeral home proposal raises traffic congestion concerns

June 20, 2011

NEW — 4:15 p.m. June 20, 2011

Concerns about traffic congestion prompted downtown Issaquah residents and business owners to mobilize last week in a neighborhood effort to thwart a funeral home operator from opening a facility in a church along East Sunset Way.

The municipal Planning Department is considering a proposal from Service Corporation International, a Houston-based funeral products and services provider, to renovate Abide Baptist Church, 425 E. Sunset Way, into a funeral home. (The company also operates Sunset Hills Memorial Park in Bellevue and Greenwood Memorial Park in Renton, plus funeral homes in the same cities.)

The applicant’s parking proposal attracted the most ire from project opponents. Plans call for aisle parking, similar to the lineup near a ferry dock, to accommodate about 20 vehicles for services and visitations at the funeral home. The proposal also calls for using a parking attendant to direct vehicles before and after events.

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John Traeger decides against another City Council term

May 3, 2011

Candidate Paul Winterstein enters race for seat

Paul Winterstein

The race for another City Council seat launched last week, as John Traeger opted not to run for re-election and Human Services Commission Chairman Paul Winterstein announced plans to campaign for the seat.

Traeger, elevated to the council in 2007, decided to step down after a single term. Since early 2010, the Squak Mountain resident has served as council president, the top spot on the board.

“With my term on council such a personally rewarding experience, it was a difficult decision to return to private life,” he said in a statement released April 28.

Traeger, a technology consultant, said he intends to make his career a top priority after his term ends Dec. 31.

“While after my term I will be turning more of my focus to my professional responsibilities, I look forward to continuing to be involved in serving the citizens of our community,” he said.

The council president also endorsed Winterstein in the race for the Position 6 seat.

“Through his work as chair of the city’s Human Services Commission, advocacy for transportation options, and continuous outreach to and volunteering with local aid groups, Paul has been a tireless contributor to our community,” Traeger said. “I am grateful to my supporters and especially my wife Annette for helping me with a successful term.”

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City Council confirms, lauds municipal board appointees

May 3, 2011

Onetime City Council finalist Paul Winterstein is going to continue serving the city on the Human Services Commission, the liaison between social service groups and municipal government.

The council appointed Winterstein and 35 other people as members and alternates to city boards and commissions April 18. Terms on the 11 affected boards start May 1. The city does not pay members.

“I am continually amazed at the number of people — and their qualifications — that stepped forward to fill our boards and commissions,” Councilman Fred Butler said before the unanimous decision to appoint the members. “It seems to me in going through the applications and the qualifications of folks, we’ve got an especially strong group of people filling some critical holes on our boards and commissions again this year.”

The city put out a call for board and commission applicants in January. Then, Mayor Ava Frisinger and board officers narrowed the applicant pool, and recommended appointees to the council for approval.

The city is continuing the interview process for alternates to serve on the Sister Cities and Urban Village Development commissions.

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In council election shakeup, John Traeger is out, Paul Winterstein is in

April 29, 2011

NEW — 7:45 a.m. April 29, 2011

The race for another City Council seat launched Thursday night, as John Traeger opted not to run for re-election and Human Services Commission Chairman Paul Winterstein announced plans to campaign for the seat.

Paul Winterstein

Traeger, elevated to the council in 2007, decided to step down after a single term. Since early 2010, the Squak Mountain resident has served as council president, the top spot on the board.

“With my term on council such a personally rewarding experience, it was a difficult decision to return to private life,” he said in a statement released Thursday night.

The council president also endorsed Winterstein in the race for the Position 6 seat.

“Through his work as chair of the city’s Human Services Commission, advocacy for transportation options, and continuous outreach to and volunteering with local aid groups, Paul has been a tireless contributor to our community,” Traeger said.

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Off the Press

March 15, 2011

Council offers reality TV moment in tiebreaker

The protracted process to turn a resident from Jane or John Q. Public into a City Council member did not, despite high hopes, resemble a reality TV showdown.

Warren Kagarise Press reporter

If behind-the-scenes catfights did indeed occur amid the bonhomie and pitch-perfect presentations, none spilled out. Harrumph.

So, the group on hand March 1 for the pitches to the council — and applicants outnumbered attendees — observed no backbiting or sabotage, no bad-mouthing or name-calling. Instead, the process felt a little like the Miss America Pageant.

Mary Lou Pauly, a Development Commission member since Issaquah claimed less than 9,000 people, earned the congeniality sash for describing the applicant list as “well-spoken, outspoken and opinionated” — some of the most-desired qualities in a public official and, coincidentally, certain reality TV show contestants.

The dressed-to-impress applicants, in chipper proposals to the half-dozen council members, ticked through mileslong résumés and laudable ideas for the city.

Joe Forkner, to scrounge a metaphor from Aesop, turned out to be the tortoise — ceaselessly dependable and steady, if not flashy.

In the conversational category: Nathan Perea, a council candidate in 2009 and, to extend the metaphor to another candidate, the hare in the application process.

Yeah, I realize the hare has a longstanding reputation as a pain in the cottontail, but I apply the description to Perea because the erstwhile — and perhaps future? — candidate offers boundless enthusiasm for Issaquah.

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Stacy Goodman appointed to City Council seat

March 8, 2011

Stacy Goodman takes the oath of office after the City Council selected her to fill a vacant seat March 7. By Greg Farrar

City Council members appointed attorney Stacy Goodman to the council March 7, ending a monthslong process to fill the seat.

“I believe there is a space up at the dais for you to occupy,” Mayor Ava Frisinger said after she administered the oath of office.

Goodman, a past editor of The Issaquah Press, adds a fresh face — and a long résumé as a civic volunteer and municipal board member — to the seven-member council. The former journalist bested eight other applicants to succeed former Councilwoman Maureen McCarry, and to hold the post until after the November council election.

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City Council hears from applicants as contest for open seat nears end

March 2, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. March 2, 2011

City Council applicants, dressed in suits and skirts, on Tuesday night faced the half dozen city leaders responsible for selecting a resident to serve on the council for the next 10 months.

The council listened for about 90 minutes as the nine candidates in the race to succeed former Councilwoman Maureen McCarry outlined goals for Issaquah.

Then, after the presentations, the council met in a closed-door session to discuss candidates’ qualifications. The decision to appoint a resident to the Position 5 seat is expected to occur Monday.

“I think almost everybody who put their hand up to come be a council member is well-spoken, outspoken and opinionated,” longtime Development Commission member and applicant Mary Lou Pauly said. “We’re all going to participate as actively as we can. That means doing our homework, reading the reports, getting prepared and then coming to the meetings with something to offer.”

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City Council interviews applicants Tuesday

February 28, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 28, 2011

The nine applicants for a City Council vacancy face the council Tuesday night, as the process to select a successor to former Councilwoman Maureen McCarry nears a coda.

Candidates face the council in public interviews scheduled for a special council meeting at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 135 E. Sunset Way. 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.

Many candidates bring experience in municipal government or a keen understanding of council business to the interview process.

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.

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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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