Author Hank Thomas examines history, demise of government

November 4, 2014

There seems to be an unwritten rule among friends, whether at the poker table or out on the golf course — don’t talk politics.

By David Hayes Hank Thomas, of Issaquah, disheartened by the ‘vitriol’ of the 2012 elections, hit the Internet to research the Founding Fathers’ original intent for our government. The result was his book, ‘A Broken Sausage Grinder: Is Our Government Fundamentally Flawed?’

By David Hayes
Hank Thomas, of Issaquah, disheartened by the ‘vitriol’ of the 2012 elections, hit the Internet to research the Founding Fathers’ original intent for our government. The result was his book, ‘A Broken Sausage Grinder: Is Our Government Fundamentally Flawed?’

Hank Thomas would like to change that.

The retired Boeing engineer has had plenty of time to take up the new hobby of golf in his retirement. As the longtime Issaquah resident, and one-time member of the Issaquah City Council, strives to get better each time out on the links, he said ever since the 2011-12 presidential election run up, the political vitriol in the nation has gotten worse.

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Vision for highlands will be focus as City Council debates gas station

December 15, 2009

A proposal to allow a gas station in the Issaquah Highlands has become the latest flashpoint in the ongoing debate about how development in the hillside community measures up to the vision offered by the developer and the city.

The dispute centers on a revision to the development agreement between the city and highlands developer Port Blakely Communities to allow a gas station to be constructed in the community. Supporters said highlands residents want a gas station for convenience and safety, when severe weather occurs and residents need fuel. Detractors argued that a gas station would be a poor fit for a community billed as “green” and pedestrian-friendly.

The amendment would overhaul the development pact between the city and Port Blakely to allow gas stations in the decade-old community. The revision includes tight language to limit what developers and operators could do with the property.

Besides gasoline, the operator would be required to offer at least one alternative fuel and three electric-vehicle charging stations. The agreement also requires the building to meet eco-friendly building standards and utilize photovoltaic panels or wind turbines to generate at least some energy for the facility. The features are part of the “energy station” concept advanced by Port Blakely executives.

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Vision for Issaquah Highlands will be focus as council debates gas station

December 15, 2009

UPDATED — 9:15 a.m. Dec. 15, 2009

A proposal to allow a gas station in the Issaquah Highlands has become the latest flashpoint in the ongoing debate about how development in the hillside community measures up to the vision offered by the developer and the city.

The dispute centers on a revision to the development agreement between the city and highlands developer Port Blakely Communities to allow a gas station to be constructed in the community. Supporters said highlands residents want a gas station for convenience and safety, when severe weather occurs and residents need fuel. Detractors argued a gas station would be a poor fit for a community billed as “green” and pedestrian-friendly.

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Council holds property tax rate level amid recession

November 24, 2009

City Council members decided against a 2010 property tax increase last week. With the Nov. 16 decision, officials held the property tax rate at the 2008 level. The council also nixed a 1 percent increase last year on account of the economic downturn. Read more

City Council keeps property tax rate at ’08 level

November 22, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 22, 2009

City Council members have decided against a 2010 property tax increase.

With the decision, officials held the tax rate at the 2008 level. The council also nixed a 1 percent increase last year on account of the economic downturn.

Municipal finance officials estimate the city will take in almost $7 million in property tax revenue next year.

Key sources of revenue for the city — sales tax revenue and building permit fees — waned during the recession and assessed property values dipped as well. The downturn hobbled the city and forced officials to make program and staff cuts.

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Officials weigh ground water concerns and hospital plans

September 29, 2009

City Council members will work to accommodate plans for underground fuel tanks at a hospital in the Issaquah Highlands and residents who questioned whether leaky tanks could contaminate ground water. Read more

Bypass road riles community again

November 19, 2008

Since voting in February to adopt the no-build option for the proposed Southeast Bypass, the City Council’s meetings have been free of polarizing debate on the subject.

But it all came back to the Transportation Committee Nov. 13, when the final project document came up for discussion. Read more

Campaign money follows political power

October 28, 2008

Cheryl Pflug tops donations with $160,000 reported so far

Political campaign dollars are flowing freely this season, with incumbents raking in the lion’s share as usual. Also as usual, a look at the donors reveals a lot about the candidates they support in the Nov. 4 general election.

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Aquifer petition proves slippery for council

October 1, 2008

The City Council Sept. 30 held a special meeting to discuss a petition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, filed by resident and former councilman Hank Thomas, calling for designation of the Lower Issaquah Valley Aquifer as a “sole source” of drinking water for the city. Read more

Mountain dwellers Squak for transit bus service

September 23, 2008

Squak Mountain residents who long for bus service, take heart. The city is exploring options for exactly that.

At a Sept. 11 meeting of the Council Transportation Committee, Transportation Manager Gary Costa outlined some ideas. These include adding to the Route 200 circulator bus; adding to the Metro Route 927 bus, which now runs from Sammamish to downtown Issaquah; starting a dial-a-ride service; starting a ride-share van service; and establishing a “good neighbor” carpooling organization.

Each option has its good and bad points, and none has been analyzed in detail. But at first glance, certain issues were obvious.

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