November 12, 2013
Transportation funding from the state remains a top priority for the City Council.
During its Oct. 21 regular meeting, the council approved its legislative agenda for Lobbyist Doug Levy to spearhead in Olympia. Deputy Administrator Charlie Bush said the approved agenda helps direct the lobbyist during the fast pass of legislation.
“This really guides our efforts when working with Doug, so we can make sure we are on the same page as all of you,” Bush said to the council. “Things break very quickly and we need to take positions fast. There’s typically not enough time for us to talk to all of you individually when we need to take a position.”
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.
October 22, 2013
A pre-application for three five-story buildings at Gilman Square could mark the first test of the Central Issaquah Plan.
Developer Lennar Multifamily Investors wishes to turn the 6.7-acre site, the home of Lombardi’s Restaurant until it shut its doors in July, into a large residential location. They entered talks with the city in September before submitting a pre-application in early October.
October 22, 2013
The Issaquah City Council dove into the mayor’s proposed budget Oct. 14 and brought large questions about the use of ending fund balances.
While the majority of remarks made in the first televised meeting of budget season from the council concerned relatively small matters, members called into question the matter of pulling money out of the ending fund balance in order to correct over-spending or lack of revenue in individual departments.
According to the mayor’s budget, fiscal year 2012 had a beginning fund balance of $8.77 million in the general fund. In 2013, there was a beginning fund balance of $8.15 million. Next year has a budget of $7.97 million in its beginning fund balance and an expected ending fund balance of $7.55 million. This is compared with general fund expenditures that have risen by almost $5 million since 2012.
October 22, 2013
NEW — 2:45 p.m. Oct. 22, 2013
Voters will ultimately decide the fate of Issaquah’s plastic bag ban.
In a unanimous decision, the City Council approved a resolution to hold a special election Feb. 11 to ask voters whether a ban on plastic bags should continue.
“Over 60 percent of the citizens that contacted me were in favor of that ordinance,” Councilman Paul Winterstein said, defending his vote in favor of the original ban. “And I followed that duly and I take that very seriously. But we’re also a city of laws. I’m in favor of putting it in front of a vote, and I can accept whatever outcome that comes.”
October 15, 2013
Mayor Ava Frisinger presented her final budget proposal, which includes $98.3 million in budgeted expenditures, to the City Council Oct. 7.
It includes adding a new human services manager and a police officer, increasing funding for “sustainable” efforts and $55,000 for a feasibility study into a campus to consolidate the locations of city services.
“I’m extremely proud to reflect on the last 16 years,” Frisinger told the council as she presented her budget to them. “Today, we’re planning for what’s next: a commitment to environmental protection, a strong economic base and a strong quality of life for our citizens.”
October 15, 2013
A $10 million bond to fund parks and recreation improvements is before city voters in the November election.
The proposed bond follows an intensive citizen process, which brought together a public commission to lead a public hearing and then offer recommendations to the Parks Board, which in turn led to City Council approval in July.
As it comes to voters when the ballots are mailed Oct. 16, the proposition clearly outlines how the money will be used.
October 8, 2013
After 13 years on the Issaquah City Council, Fred Butler says he is ready to lead.
As an avid member of the public, involved in numerous service organizations and regional groups, Butler launched his campaign for mayor early this year. When Mayor Ava Frisinger said she would not seek a fifth term, it came as no surprise that the longtime council president and Sound Transit Board member would seek the position.
“When I retired, I decided to devote my energies to public service,” Butler said. “I’ve been in a leadership position ever since. With this depth and breadth of experience, well, I think I’m ready.”
He worked for 27 years in the Army Corps of Engineers, giving what he believes is an exemplary level of qualification for the position of mayor.
October 8, 2013
Joe Forkner wants to talk things out.
As he moves stridently forward in what he admits is an “underdog” mayoral campaign, the multitasking commission, committee and City Council member hopes to translate some of his many experiences into responsible administration leadership.
He has worked in three governments and volunteered countless hours in citizen groups and spent seven years on the City Council. Forkner, 60, considers this variety of roles a strength.
“You get a perspective having been on both sides of the table,” Forkner said. “I’ve seen a lot of things in the past 20 years, and I think it’s time to get somebody to balance the future with the cost.”
October 4, 2013
NEW — 1 p.m. Oct. 4, 2013
The petition is in the bag.
After consumer group Save Our Choice fought a long battle to gather enough local support, King County officially approved the petition to end the ban on plastic bags Oct. 4.
“King County Elections has completed verification of the signatures submitted to our office for the City of Issaquah Initiative Petition regarding the Repeal of Plastic Bag Ban and Forced Paper Bag Charge,” Sherril Huff, director of King County Elections Department wrote in her letter notifying Save Our Choice of the findings.
“Of the signatures that were compared against those on file with our office, 2,597 were determined to be registered voters of the city of Issaquah,” she wrote. “Since that number met the requirement of 2,549, it is determined that the petition is sufficient.”