February 20, 2014
NEW – 6 a.m. Feb. 20, 2014
Recreational marijuana businesses will have to wait until at least July to legally operate in Issaquah.
During its Feb. 18 regular meeting, the City Council voted unanimously to extend the current six-month moratorium on recreational marijuana businesses by four months. Instead of expiring March 3, the prohibition will last until July 7.
“The original agenda bill had the extension for two months and after meeting with city staff, we asked for it be extended to four,” said Councilman Tola Marts, also the chairman of the Land and Shore Committee, which recommended the extension to the full council. “Some municipalities are looking to extend the clock as much as they can. I don’t think that’s the purpose here.”
February 18, 2014
Issaquah’s moratorium on recreational marijuana might last until July.
At its Feb. 11 meeting, the City Council’s Land and Shore Committee discussed the timeline to gauge the city’s needs in terms of tailoring recreational marijuana regulations. The committee members agreed to recommend the council extend the current moratorium, which expires next month, by four months.
The ongoing state legislative session has raised a lot of questions about the future of recreational marijuana businesses, and the council has expressed caution while definitive state regulations remain in flux.
February 11, 2014
NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 11, 2014
The Sound Cities Association named Issaquah City Councilman Tola Marts the Elected Official of the Week.
The decision was announced Feb. 10 in a press release from the organization, which represents 36 cities in King County. It credited Marts’ leadership, vision and commitment to making a difference in people’s lives, locally and around the world.
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.
January 16, 2014
NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 16, 2014
Issaquah Municipal Court Judge Scott Stewart swore in Issaquah’s new mayor and four new City Council members Jan. 6.
During the first regular City Council meeting of 2014, Stewart offered congratulations to the line of those he led into office.
Mayor Fred Butler and councilmembers Eileen Barber, Stacy Goodman, Tola Marts and Mary Lou Pauly all took the oath of office.
November 26, 2013
The 2014 city budget, with more than $97 million in planned expenditures, passed unanimously last week after the City Council removed $300,000 worth of expenses and added $400,000 in revenue.
During its Nov. 18 regular meeting, the council put its final approval on the annual budget after four long work sessions and two public hearings that gathered no criticism. It allows for an additional police officer, funding for relocating the skate park and a new executive human services position. The new additions will cost more than $470,000. In order to add enough revenue to cover the expenses, council approved a 1 percent increase in property taxes.
“The 2014 budget is a balanced budget that continues our commitment to the quality of living to the citizens of Issaquah,” Financial Director Diane Marcotte said. “This goes very much in alignment with our emphasis in sustainability. It maintains our cash reserves at near current levels, and continues to meet our recently adopted financial policies and budget policies.”
November 19, 2013
Requiring retail development might be discussed in the Central Issaquah Plan’s first progress report.
Still in the beginning phases, the redevelopment of Gilman Square into three five-story residential buildings has raised questions on the City Council due to the plan’s lack of retail space.
Though the city asked several times for developer Lennar Multifamily Investors to allow for bottom-floor retail space, Lennar declined, opting to proceed with its vision to build 340 new residences on the site.
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.