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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VFW hosts popular Veterans Day ceremony

November 4, 2014

Due to its growing popularity, the service that the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3436 hosts annually to honor local service members has become a standing-room-only event at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center.

David Waggoner, of the Issaquah VFW, said last year’s service at the new location exceeded 125 attendees.

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To the Editor

July 15, 2014

Heritage Day

Thanks to everyone who made it a success

The Issaquah History Museums was gratified by the wonderful community participation and volunteer support in abundant evidence at our 2014 Heritage Day celebration held in conjunction with the Down Home 4th of July in downtown Issaquah.

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City Council approves recreational marijuana retail regulations

June 10, 2014

Retail marijuana will come to Issaquah.

After months of discussion and a moratorium installed in September, Issaquah will allow recreational marijuana business practices. The City Council voted on the administration’s proposed regulations during the June 2 meeting and agreed 5-2 to the rules that build on the established state restrictions.

“The proposed regulations would allow marijuana retail in all of Issaquah’s commercial areas — everywhere but the downtown zone,” City Associate Planner Jason Rogers said. “For the producers and processors, the intent was to limit them to our intensive commercial zone only.”

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Raises may come for City Council

June 10, 2014

The Issaquah City Council wants to evaluate its members’ pay.

During the June 2 regular meeting, the council discussed forming a salary commission, which would look at the council’s monthly salary and determine whether members should receive more, less or the same. It voted 5-2 to direct the administration to draft an ordinance and to have the Services & Safety Committee review it.

Currently, the council president makes $800 a month, the deputy council president makes $750 a month and other council members make $700 per month. The salaries were established in 2002. A salary commission last reviewed the salaries in 2006 without recommending a change.

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World War II veterans deserve honor, respect

June 10, 2014

A special thanks to those who turned out for the D-Day ceremony at Veterans’ Memorial Field on June 6.

People were thrilled to see three P-51 Mustangs soar over the field twice, coming lower the second time to give people a closer look at the intricately painted planes.

There were more than 50 veterans in attendance, many from World War II. Several of them had tears in their eyes as they watched the planes.

Kathleen R. Merrill Press managing editor

Kathleen R. Merrill
Press managing editor

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City Council chooses site for new skate park

May 27, 2014

Issaquah’s new skate park will land in Tibbetts Valley Park.

An aerial view shows the new location for the skate park at Tibbetts Valley Park. City of Issaquah

An aerial view shows the new location for the skate park at Tibbetts Valley Park.
City of Issaquah

After months of public meetings where the Parks Board and a citizens advisory group looked at eight possible locations for the future site, the City Council unanimously approved a triangular spot in Tibbetts Valley Park, adjacent to the west parking lot, during the May 19 regular meeting.

“The skate park started out as a real grassroots effort in 1995 and 1996,” Councilwoman Eileen Barber said. “They really petitioned the council and came to meeting after meeting, saying how important that a skateboard park would be to them. Unfortunately, over the years, even with increased police efforts, the secluded location of the park presented safety challenges and so the community desired a new skateboard park.”

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Council addresses top public worries

May 20, 2014

The Issaquah City Council has chosen to concentrate on transportation and Olde Town issues in the future.

Senior city administration met with the council during the 122nd-annual goal setting retreat at the Mercer Slough Environmental Center in Bellevue and spent a solid eight hours debating Issaquah’s next steps.

The council members began the day with 17 goals, submitted by council after it asked for citizen input. The day ended with five: Transportation Master Plan, Affordable Housing, Enhance Olde Town Vitality, Central Issaquah Plan Anchor Project and to promote a Safe/Drug-Free Community.

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City Council divided as marijuana moratorium deadline draws near

April 22, 2014

Marijuana was the sole agenda item at the April 14 Issaquah City Council work session as the administration gave an updated presentation to the council.

Through the state’s definition of business rules and an ultimate lack of response from this year’s legislative session, the council has maintained a reflective stance on the future of recreational marijuana.

The council established a six-month moratorium in September and extended it again in February, as it explored how the city should extend the state’s base regulations or consider banning marijuana business practices all together.

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City Council considers offering annexation to parts of Klahanie PAA

March 18, 2014

Issaquah might still offer annexation to parts of the Klahanie area — and that might take another year.

In the March 10 City Council work session and the March 11 Land and Shore Committee meeting, exploring next steps for the Klahanie potential annexation area took center stage. King County Elections certified the Feb. 11 special election results Feb. 25, in which residents in that area voted whether to join the city of Issaquah. Needing 60 percent to pass and for those residents to assume the city’s bonded indebtedness, the vote earned 49.47 percent in favor of joining Issaquah.

Council President Paul Winterstein identified five options available to the council for consideration in light of the certified vote.

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