Issaquah’s King County Council representative is tapped for legislative role

December 9, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 9, 2012

Leaders at the Washington Association of Counties tapped the Issaquah representative on the King County Council, Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, for a top legislative role.

Lambert is serving as the Legislative Steering Committee co-chairwoman alongside Klickitat County Commissioner David Sauter. Lambert served on the committee for several years previously.

The association is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization to represents Washington’s counties before the Legislature, state executive branch and regulatory agencies.

“I enjoy working with the Legislative Steering Committee because council members and commissioners from all across the state get together and share their concerns as well as their successes in dealing with the many problems facing county governments in Washington State,” Lambert said in a statement. “Our state’s 39 counties have many things in common, and we can work together when we go to Olympia. King County, as the 14th-largest in the country, also has some unique issues to deal with, so it is good to have partners across the state willing to work with us.”

Leaders adopt King County growth blueprint

December 7, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 7, 2012

The growth blueprint approved by King County Council members Monday is meant to strengthen protections for open space and farmland, officials said after the council adopted the latest update to the King County Comprehensive Plan.

The document guides growth in unincorporated communities, including Preston, Four Creeks and other areas just outside Issaquah city limits.

The plan sets policy on such major issues as annexations, transportation and the environment. Under the State Growth Management Act, passed in 1990, state law directs the most-populous and fastest-growing counties to prepare comprehensive land use plans for a 20-year span.

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King County Council seeks input on growth blueprint

November 25, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 25, 2012

King County is poised to adopt changes to a broad blueprint for growth in unincorporated areas, and before leaders act on the plan, residents can offer input.

The document guides growth and development in unincorporated areas, and sets policy on major issues, such as annexations, transportation and the environment.

King County Council members plan to take public testimony on the blueprint, or comprehensive plan, during the council’s meeting at 1:30 p.m. Monday. The council meets in the 10th-floor council chambers at the King County Courthouse, 516 Third Ave., Seattle.

The hearing is the public’s opportunity to comment on the proposal before the council acts on the legislation in December.

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Vehicles return to service for nonprofit organizations

November 20, 2012

Leaders donated used vehicles from the King County Metro Transit vanpool fleet to provide transportation assistance to local governments, community programs, seniors and youths.

King County Council members authorized the donation. The vans served in the Metro Transit vanpool fleet for at least six years and reached the end of their service life.

“Serving the mobility needs of those too young and too old to drive, as well as those with health challenges, is an important service for King County to provide,” Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, Issaquah’s representative, said in a statement.

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King County earmarks dollars for veterans programs

November 20, 2012

King County leaders agreed to spend $3.4 million to help veterans find counseling, employment and housing.

The dollars, approved by the King County Council, come from the Veterans and Human Services Levy approved by voters last year.

The spending includes $2.3 million for veterans’ housing capital and supportive services; more than $300,000 for a veterans’ aerospace training initiative; and more than $80,000 for increased post traumatic stress disorder treatment and military family counseling

“This funding makes it possible to honor and help our returning veterans by creating the stability of permanent housing and employment opportunities for living wage jobs in our burgeoning aerospace community,” County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement.

Mark Mullet elected to represent Issaquah in state Senate

November 13, 2012

Mark Mullet embraces wife Sabath at Zeeks Pizza on election night Nov. 6 moments after initial results give him a lead in the race against Brad Toft for the 5th Legislative District’s state Senate seat. By Greg Farrar

The unexpectedly ugly race to represent Issaquah in the state Senate reached a coda in the days after the Nov. 6 election, but not before more public friction between the candidates.

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Voters choose John Urquhart for King County sheriff

November 13, 2012

John Urquhart

John Urquhart is King County’s next top lawman.

Urquhart defeated the incumbent sheriff, Steve Strachan, 57 percent to 43 percent, after a contentious campaign.

Strachan, a former Kent police chief, and Urquhart, a former sheriff’s office sergeant and spokesman, locked horns about the agency’s future. The contest to lead the King County Sheriff’s Office hinged on a series of audits into how the agency operates.

The sheriff oversees a budget of about $150 million and about 1,000 employees, and leads the largest local police organization in the state after the Seattle Police Department.

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King County proposes financing for ‘green’ projects

November 13, 2012

Businesses, nonprofit organizations and other groups could receive easier access to low-interest financing for “green” projects under a county proposal.

In legislation proposed Oct. 23, King County Executive Dow Constantine said the county should create the state’s first Green Communities Initiative.

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King County Council adopts 2013 budget without roads fee

November 13, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. Nov. 13, 2012

King County Council members dropped a proposed $20 vehicle-license fee to fund road maintenance and, in a unanimous decision Tuesday, approved the 2013 budget without the fee.

In September, King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed a $20 fee to fund road maintenance and storm response in rural and unincorporated areas. The decision to drop the proposed fee affects residents in unincorporated King County communities, including Klahanie, Mirrormont, Preston and other areas outside Issaquah.

Rather than creating a transportation benefit district in unincorporated King County, officials plan to lobby the Legislature for a comprehensive state transportation package to address road maintenance.

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Brad Toft: State Senate race is too close to call, despite Mark Mullet’s lead

November 8, 2012

NEW — 12:10 p.m. Nov. 8, 2012

The contest for the 5th Legislative District state Senate seat is too close to call, Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft said Thursday, despite a 3,307-vote lead for Issaquah Democrat Mark Mullet.

The race attracted attention in recent weeks for the insults the candidates lobbed at one another and, for a time, observers said the match-up could determine state Senate control. However, Republicans did not gain enough seats on Election Day to crack the Democrats’ majority in the chamber.

Mullet held about 54 percent — or 23,216 votes — to Toft’s 46 percent — or 19,909 votes — among more than 43,000 ballots counted in the race so far.

King County Elections is scheduled to release additional results at 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

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