February 25, 2014
Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler vowed to maintain momentum in his first State of the City speech.
Given during the Feb. 18 regular City Council meeting, the speech laid out what Butler hopes to achieve in the first year of his inaugural term.
“A community is made up of many elements,” he said. “We are blessed with an outstanding school district, an active and professional chamber of commerce, students who are involved, first-class medical facilities and a City Council dedication to regional involvement.”
February 4, 2014
Annexing Klahanie would be much less palatable for Issaquah if a bill introduced by state Sen. Andy Hill (R-45) is approved.
Hill, who represents the northern half of Sammamish, introduced a bill Jan. 29, which would mean a drastic reduction to Issaquah’s expected revenue from an annexation.
Councilman Don Gerend said the Sammamish City Council did have a hand in bringing the bill to the Senate, and to Hill, chairman of the Senate’s budget-writing committee.
January 21, 2014
December 31, 2013
The Eastside Fire & Rescue board of directors did everything except sing “Auld Lang Syne” at its Dec. 12 meeting.
The board unanimously voted to accept proposed funding model changes. That was followed with a unanimous vote to approve a revised EFR governing agreement. They even took a short break during the meeting to celebrate with glasses of sparkling cider and holiday cookies.
After months of disagreements over funding issues, members of the group joked and teased one another.
December 17, 2013
A burst gas pipe at the Cedar Hills Landfill south of Issaquah sent nearby residents to the emergency room Dec. 7.
That evening, neighbors began smelling a great deal of gas in their homes and responded by calling Eastside Fire & Rescue and the King County Solid Waste Division. According to an EFR report of the incident, all responding members identified gas in the area.
“Engine 71 proceeded to the address and was met by the homeowner,” Lt. Jason Ward’s EFR report reads. “The homeowner stated the smell of gas in the area was very strong. All three members of Engine 71 could smell landfill gas in the area.”
Supervisors at the scene found that the gas line used to pull landfill-produced methane gas into the Bio Energy Washington plant had ruptured. They immediately shut down the gas to the pipe.
November 26, 2013
Mary Lou Pauly will be sworn in Dec. 2
Joe Forkner served his last regular City Council meeting Nov. 18.
After former Councilman Mark Mullet was elected to the state Senate, the City Council chose Forkner to fill the interim position last January. This month, Forkner ran for mayor against Council President Fred Butler and lost, while Mary Lou Pauly ran unopposed for the seat Forkner filled. King County expects to certify Pauly’s election Nov. 26, ending Forkner’s commitment to the council.
November 19, 2013
After 18 months of chess-like moves among its players, the Eastside Fire & Rescue board may have averted a checkmate by the city of Sammamish. It unanimously approved a new funding model at its Nov. 14 meeting.
The group agreed to shift to an 85-15 split.
That means 85 percent of EFR money would come from taxes on assessed property value and 15 percent from call volume. The change will be effective beginning with the 2015 budget. The change was recommended and presented by an ad hoc committee appointed last month to see if it could move negotiations along.
November 19, 2013
As the holiday season draws near, Eastside Fire & Rescue is once again looking to help area families.
EFR’s adopt-a-family program has grown each year, with the goal of giving families financial help and inviting them to a firehouse for a holiday dinner. Last year, the program helped 26 families.
The Eastside Fire Benevolent Fund seeks to assist residents who are unable to buy gifts for their families during the holidays.
November 12, 2013
November 5, 2013
Eastside Fire & Rescue’s firefighter’s union has offered to pay for a mediator to work out problems between Sammamish and Issaquah.
The two cities have been at loggerheads over the funding model for the regional fire agency. For years, Sammamish has been complaining that the current model ends up with Sammamish subsidizing fire services for other partners, in particular Issaquah.
For the past 18 months, Sammamish has been trying to negotiate a new funding model with the other EFR partners —Issaquah, North Bend and Fire Districts 10 and 38.