Growth dominates mayor’s annual State of the City talk

February 10, 2015

Issaquah has morphed from a small town into a small city and more changes are on the way, Mayor Fred Butler said in his annual State of the City speech before the City Council on Feb. 2.

“The state of our city is strong,” Butler said at the outset of the talk.

Butler promised his administration was building an Issaquah for everyone, “from the cashier at Costco to the surgeon” at Swedish Medical Center’s Issaquah Campus.

Issaquah will grow, Butler added, “up not out… compact, not sprawling.”

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Salary commission to review Issaquah City Council pay

January 6, 2015

Salaries for Issaquah City Council members haven’t changed in 10 years, according to Council President Paul Winterstein.

In April 2014, the council considered legislation to create a salary commission and ended up turning the issue over to the Council Services and Safety Committee for study.

At one of its last meetings of 2014 in December, the council adopted an ordinance creating a five-member salary commission for the purpose of reviewing council pay.

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Cities jointly fund new director for Lake Sammamish State Park

December 30, 2014

Lake Sammamish State Park, considered by many to have been long neglected financially by the state, will be annexed to the city of Issaquah as of Feb. 1.

The park may or may not be in line for some state funding for a new boat dock. But in any case, the park soon will have an executive director to aid with future rebuilding of the facility, said Chris Kovac, president of the community group the Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park.

The Friends will hire a director to help guide the organization and the park.

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City boundaries to encompass Lake Sammamish State Park

December 23, 2014

With a unanimous vote at its Dec. 15 meeting, the Issaquah City Council formally annexed Lake Sammamish State Park, making it part of the city.

The annexation includes 300 acres of parkland, beaches, the park picnic area and the boat launch, said Trish Heinonen, city long range planning manager.

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Issaquah City Council leaders retained for another year

December 22, 2014

NEW — 5:15 p.m. Dec. 22, 2014

In a unanimous vote, the Issaquah City Council voted to retain Councilman Paul Winterstein as council president.

Also in a unanimous vote, Councilwoman Stacy Goodman was re-elected deputy council president.

In nominating Winterstein as council president, Councilman Tola Marts talked about Winterstein’s work on the recently adopted budget and various other council undertakings.

Winterstein was the only council member nominated for the presidency.

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Water and sewer district considers rate increase

December 3, 2014

Serving most of Sammamish and a sizable portion of northern Issaquah, the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District is considering increases of 5 percent and 4 percent in water and sewer rates, respectively.

The district plans a public hearing on the proposed increases Dec. 8. The district board of commissioners will consider adoption of their 2015 budget following the public hearing.

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Council lowers B&O tax increase, raises property taxes, as expected

November 25, 2014

Business leaders spoke up and the Issaquah City Council listened.

In a 5-2 vote, council members approved a 50 percent hike in the city’s business and occupation taxes. The increase was a major part of the overall $168.6 million 2015 budget adopted by the council at its regular meeting Nov. 17.

Initially, Mayor Fred Butler proposed a 150 percent increase in the B&O taxes over a two-year period. At a public hearing Nov. 3, representatives from the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and some of Issaquah’s biggest businesses, such as Darigold and Costco, said that was just too much.

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Issaquah lowers B & O tax increase, raises property taxes, as expected

November 18, 2014

NEW — 11:26 p.m. Nov. 18, 2014

Business leaders spoke up and the Issaquah City Council listened.

In a 5-2 vote, council members approved a 50 percent hike in the city’s business and occupation taxes. The increase was a major part of the overall $168.6 million 2015 budget adopted by the council at its regular meeting last night.

Initially, Mayor Fred Butler proposed a 150 percent increase in the B&O taxes over a two-year period. At a public hearing Nov. 3, representatives from the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and some of Issaquah’s biggest business, such as Darigold and Costco, said that was just too much.

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Council gets bike, pedestrian plan

October 7, 2014

Local residents want to walk and roll all night — and probably through the day as well.

The Issaquah City Council received the most recent bike and pedestrian plan from the city’s Department of Sustainability during its Committee of the Whole meeting Sept. 22. Named Walk + Roll Issaquah, the plan aims to provide a framework to ensure easier nonvehicle travel in the city through “guiding the development and implementation of future projects and programs.”

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Potential state park annexation is given more time for discussion

August 12, 2014

Zoning questions held off an Issaquah City Council move toward annexing Lake Sammamish State Park.

Presented with an agenda bill to adopt a letter of intent Aug. 4, the council faced a step in taking over jurisdiction of the park from the state. The matter entered council consideration in April after the state parks department presented the idea to city officials in the form of a petition for annexation.

City Long Range Planner Trish Heinonen said the idea came from last year’s securing of $5 million for improvements to the 512-acre state park.

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