Apply to represent council district on King County boards

March 29, 2011

Issaquah and Sammamish residents can apply to represent King County Council District 3 on county advisory boards.

County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, the District 3 representative, urged people to apply for open seats on the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Administrative Board, Mental Health Advisory Board and Women’s Advisory Board.

The alcohol and substance abuse panel recommends policies and programs related to prevention, intervention and rehabilitation. The mental health board focuses on the access and quality of mental health services in the county. The women’s group makes recommendations to the county executive and council to ensure the county meets the needs and rights of women.

Interested people should contact Grace Reamer at 206-296-0331 or grace.reamer@kingcounty.gov.

King County shifts agencies to biennial budgeting

March 21, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. March 21, 2011

Like the state and some municipal governments, the King County Council has taken a step to shift the county to a biennial, or two-year, budgeting process.

Officials said the shift to biennial budgeting extends the planning period county departments to further examine and define budgets.

The longer timeframe also allows the executive and council to improve program evaluation, enhance performance management and encapsulate cost-savings during the budget process.

The council unanimously adopted legislation to set the schedule for county agencies to transition to a biennial budgeting process. The county Department of Development and Environmental Services, the county permitting agency, is scheduled to be joined by the Department of Transportation in delivering a biennial budget for the 2012-13 cycle.

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DownTown Issaquah Association replaces longtime director

March 1, 2011

Downtown Issaquah booster Greg Spranger — nicknamed “Captain Downtown” — is out at the DownTown Issaquah Association after leading the organization for more than a decade.

DownTown Issaquah Association President David Irons said the organization is pursuing a different approach to boosting businesses and programs in the historic downtown. So, the board scrapped the executive director position Spranger held, and created a community relations manager post as a replacement.

Greg Spranger

The board hired Issaquah resident Tanya Alter for the post. Irons announced the appointment Feb. 28, the same day Alter started in the part-time position.

“When looking at her résumé, she had the attributes we were looking for in a candidate,” Irons said.

The organization put out a call for applicants in January; 42 people applied for the position, including Spranger.

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Executive offers bold plan in State of the County address

March 1, 2011

King County Executive Dow Constantine reflected on milestones from 15 months in office and outlined a bold agenda for the months ahead in the State of County address Feb. 28.

The top elected official in the county offered a plan to shore up aging infrastructure and the social safety net amid drastic budget cuts. The address to County Council representatives and community members also emphasized regional partnerships.

Dow Constantine

“The choices we make will have a lasting and profound impact. As our parents and grandparents did, we too owe it to those who come after us to be responsible, thoughtful and smart,” Constantine said. “If we do our jobs right — building on the commitment to partnership and collaboration that have created the many successes of the past year — we can translate our internal reforms to external results.”

The executive delivered the speech at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, in part to highlight efforts to shore up the aging Howard Hanson Dam. The dam, upstream from Kent along the Green River, required local, county and federal agencies to join together to secure funds for long-term repairs.

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Executive Dow Constantine delivers State of the County address Monday

February 25, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. Feb. 25, 2011

King County Executive Dow Constantine is poised to deliver the State of the County address Monday to County Council members, leaders and community members.

The speech — Constantine’s inaugural State of the County address since assuming the top job in November 2009 — offers a chance to highlight accomplishments, highlight the executive’s legislative agenda and the council’s priorities.

Constantine is due to deliver the speech at a special council Committee-of-the-Whole meeting at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, 401 Fourth Avenue N. The speech starts at 10 a.m.

Leaders picked Kent for the location to highlight the population centers beyond Seattle, as well as the diversity of residents served by county government.

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King County seeks citizens for Rural Forest Commission

February 16, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. Feb. 16, 2011

King County seeks applicants for the Rural Forest Commission, the citizen board responsible for advising the county executive and County Council about forestland and forestry issues.

Created in 1997, the commission advises leaders on policies and programs, identifies strategies to conserve forestlands, and promotes forestry in rural areas.

The all-volunteer commission meets a half dozen times per year, and sometimes for subcommittees. The county Department of Natural Resources and Parks needs to fill four open seats.

“One of the benefits of the commission is the opportunity to communicate rural viewpoints directly to county managers and elected officials,” Linda Vane, the county staff liaison to the commission, said in a release.

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Off the Press

December 21, 2010

Forget 2012 election; real action is in 2011

December is a lifetime removed from the rough and tumble of election season.

Warren Kagarise Press Reporter

Right?

Nope.

Though the mid-term election is more than a month in the past — and a recount ended the last local race in early December — attention has already started to turn to 2011.

Issaquah has City Council and school board elections in November and, depending on the number of candidates, a possible August primary election.

Pundits starting peering into the crystal ball in the direction of 2012 before Dino Rossi had drafted a concession speech, but the races on the ballot next year could carry just as much impact for city and Issaquah School District residents.

OK, so City Council and Issaquah School Board contests lack the intrigue of the 2012 races — the battle royale for the Governor’s Mansion, another U.S. Senate race, and the redrawn congressional and legislative map — but local leaders decide all sorts of important issues, too.

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Press Editorial

October 5, 2010

Ballot measures target new, revised taxes

The November general election includes three tax initiatives that would purportedly raise or lower taxes in the future. It’s a convoluted array of ballot issues that says much about the unrest of these economic times.

• Vote no on Initiative 1107. The initiative asks voters to undo the sales tax increase on candy, gum, bottled water and carbonated beverages that legislators passed earlier this year and goes into effect in December. The tax is expected to raise $352 million for the state general fund. That isn’t enough to close the budget gap, but without it, education, social and health services will suffer more. The tax increase is not onerous enough to threaten anyone’s household budget. While legislators need to tweak some aspects of the new law, voters should not reverse it.

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County executive appointed to national ‘green’ group

September 30, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 30, 2010

King County Executive Dow Constantine has been named as a director of the leading local government association set up to address climate change and sustainability.

Constantine joins Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter; Clackamas County, Ore. Commissioner Bob Austin; Santa Barbara, Calif. Supervisor Salud Carbajal; and Cambridge, Mass. City Councilwoman Henrietta Davis on the board of directors of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA.

“I’m honored to serve on this board and to have the opportunity to work with colleagues from across the country on these important issues that affect every community,” Constantine said in a statement. “Identifying sustainable approaches and systems for dealing with climate change and energy needs will require innovative thinking from across the country. ICLEI’s board provides an excellent venue for this work.”

The nonprofit ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA has more than 600 members nationwide and provides the expertise, training, tools and technical support to help local governments advance climate, energy and sustainability goals.

King County executive completes sojourn to 39 cities

September 15, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 15, 2010

King County Executive Dow Constantine completed a tour of the 39 cities and towns in King County on Tuesday — nine months and 21 days after he took office.

Skykomish in northeastern King County marked the last stop on the tour. Constantine stopped in Issaquah in mid-February, and met rural King County residents at a Hobart forum in July.

“There’s simply no substitute for being there when it comes to getting a feel for a community, its people, and its issues,” Constantine said in a news release. “I met every mayor in King County on their own turf and let them set the agenda for our discussion.”

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