Senate bill takes aim at potential annexation tax credit

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.

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Kellman Mansion EFR Final Burn Exercise / Jan. 13, 2014

January 21, 2014

Eastside Fire & Rescue board members agree to budget, governance changes

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.

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Burst gas pipe sends at least four to emergency room

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.

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Joe Forkner finishes time on City Council

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.

Joe Forkner

Joe Forkner

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Issaquah agrees to support new EFR funding model

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.

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EFR seeks families to adopt

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.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue Rope Drill / Oct. 29, 2013

November 12, 2013

Firefighters offer to hire mediator

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.

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Editorial

October 22, 2013

Lisa Callan for school board seat

Issaquah School District voters are fortunate to have two excellent choices for school board director seat 4. Both Alison Meryweather and Lisa Callan applied for the vacancy last spring when Chad Magendanz resigned to serve in the state Legislature.

The school board members struggled with the appointment, first split evenly between the two women. Eventually, Meryweather got the appointment.

Meryweather does have more lobbying experience and her confidence and knowledge makes her a leader in that arena. But community comes first.

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