City Council sets parks, transportation among 2011 goals

May 4, 2010

City Council members outlined goals for parks, technology, economic development and transportation to be accomplished next year. The council eschewed broad policy goals and recommended specific projects.

Members culled 62 suggestions into a handful of rough goals. Municipal staffers will then hone the list into a final stack of goals for the council to approve next month.

The council gathered in a Public Works Operations Building conference room May 1 for the daylong discussion to set goals for 2011.

Council President John Traeger encouraged members to offer multiple suggestions.

“There are no bad ideas, and no goal is too big or too small,” he said.

The retreat included initial discussion about the upcoming budget. City department chiefs use the goals set by the council to formulate budgets for the upcoming year.

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Former Councilman David Kappler lauded for environmental record

January 5, 2010

Issaquah claimed about 8,000 residents when David Kappler launched a successful City Council campaign in 1991.

David Kappler

David Kappler

Then, before the seismic shifts brought on by widespread growth, residents talked about still-unrealized plans to build urban villages on Cougar Mountain and Grand Ridge. Costco still maintained corporate headquarters in Kirkland.

Kappler, a tireless advocate for trails and open space preservation, won every election since his ’91 victory. The former councilman, who shaped decisions for almost 20 years, led the push to conserve land and cast crucial votes to shape transportation and public safety in Issaquah and across the Eastside.

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Top 10 news stories of 2009

December 29, 2009

flood weather GF 0108a

Sisters Jennifer Davies, Julianne Long and Mindy Heintz (from left) retrieve belongings Jan. 8 from the toppled guesthouse at the home of their parents, Jack and Karen Brooks, beside Issaquah Creek in the 23300 block of Southeast May Valley Road. — By Greg Farrar

Growth slowed and the economy cooled throughout 2009. The watershed moments in Issaquah hinged on expansion and recession. Leaders broke ground for a major new employer, even while other businesses left town for good.

Issaquah began the first decade of a new century as a fast-growing city, a title the city held for years. As 2009 reached a close, however, officials pared the size of government to face the new economic reality.

From January floods to record July heat and brutal December cold, 2009 was jam-packed, but the year was never dull.

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Polystyrene ban will begin next October

November 24, 2009

Issaquah will become the first Eastside city to ban polystyrene food containers, when Styrofoam takeout boxes and plastic foam cups are outlawed next October. Businesses will be required to switch to compostable or recyclable — and pricier — containers and utensils by May 2011.

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Press Editorial

November 24, 2009

Polystyrene ban is a solid first step

Issaquah became a leader in the effort to ban difficult-to-recycle polystyrene last week. The legislation represents a watershed moment as Issaquah seeks to set the regional standard in sustainability issues. Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam, is tough to recycle and can be tough on the environment. Read more

Election elevates younger members to City Council

November 17, 2009

The makeup of the City Council will undergo a demographic shift when the next council meets for the first time in early January: Members will be younger, newer to Issaquah and include more parents of school-aged and young children.

Tola Marts

Tola Marts

The addition of newcomers Tola Marts and Mark Mullet will lower the average age of council members by about a decade, from 50something to early 40s. For the first time in several years, the council will include two members under 40: Mullet, 37, and incumbent Councilman Joshua Schaer, 31. Marts, 40, will succeed longtime Councilman David Kappler, a man two decades his senior.

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City Council votes to ban Styrofoam food packaging next year

November 16, 2009

UPDATED — 1:20 p.m. Nov. 17, 2009

Issaquah joined Seattle, Portland and other eco-conscious cities Monday night when the City Council banned polystyrene takeout containers and other food packaging made from the material. The ban will go into effect in October 2010; restaurants, grocers, public schools and other food sellers will be required to comply by May 2011.

Polystyrene — also known under the trademark Styrofoam — is a popular option at restaurants and grocers because the material is cheaper and hardier than compostable alternatives.

Critics said the polystyrene lingers in landfills long after Styrofoam trays and cups are tossed into the trash. The material is expensive to recycle as well.

City Council members voted 6-1 to approve the ban. Councilman Joshua Schaer proposed the legislation in June. Officials huddled with restaurateurs, industry representatives, business owners and environmentalists to reach the final bill.

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Bring comments to meeting tonight as City Council decides food-packaging ordinance

November 16, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 16, 2009

After months of discussion and input from industry groups, the City Council is set to vote on a proposed polystyrene food-packaging ban tonight. The measure would outlaw polystyrene — also known under the trademark Styrofoam — at restaurants, grocers and other food sellers.

Bring comments about the proposed legislation to the council meeting. The council meets 7:30 p.m. at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

If enacted, the ban would take effect in October 2010. In certain cases — such as the polystyrene trays used to package raw meat — exemptions to the ban will be allowed until May 2011. Products, such as pre-packaged soups, would be exempt from the ban. Moreover, public schools would be exempt from the ban until May 2011.

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Maureen McCarry touts experience as she seeks re-election

October 6, 2009

Maureen McCarry

Maureen McCarry

From efforts to build roads, to adding social services, to making city programs more eco-friendly, Maureen McCarry is immersed in details of city projects large and small. As she runs for a second full City Council term, McCarry threads information about municipal programs into conversations about her campaign.

McCarry said she is convinced Issaquah will improve as the years unfold, but she said leadership — her leadership — would be essential in the next four years as city staffers take on a docket that includes construction of a hospital in the Issaquah Highlands and a new roadway to link north and south Issaquah. Read more

Press Editorial

September 8, 2009

Baby steps called for in Styrofoam ban

By now you’ve probably read about the city’s initial proposal to ban the use of polystyrene — better known as Styrofoam — food containers in Issaquah. This could include everything from takeout food containers to the little tray that holds tonight’s steak. Read more

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