Klahanie annexation

December 31, 2013

Residents will vote again on unresolved issue

By Greg Farrar Mike Foss (left), a 13-year resident and vice president of the Brookshire Estates Homeowners Association, and association president Dick L’Heureux, a 27-year resident, recall their involvement in Klahanie’s 2005 annexation attempt into Issaquah.

By Greg Farrar
Mike Foss (left), a 13-year resident and vice president of the Brookshire Estates Homeowners Association, and association president Dick L’Heureux, a 27-year resident, recall their involvement in Klahanie’s 2005 annexation attempt into Issaquah.

On Feb. 11, Klahanie-area voters will decide whether to join the city of Issaquah.

A yes vote would expand the population of the city by one-third its current size. This will be the second vote regarding annexation in the past seven years.

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Old year brought new problems

December 31, 2013

Top news stories of the year

Many new things happened in Issaquah this past year and not all of them were greeted warmly.

While most people saw new parks and a new mayor as positive changes for the city, contention rose around new technology, new development standards, new fish ladders, new plastic bag ordinances and a newly legalized drug.

Much of what happened in 2013 spells more growth for Issaquah in the years to come and even more changes ahead. The year 2014 can learn much from the lessons taught by this past year of transformation.

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Mayor Ava Frisinger leads her last council meeting

December 24, 2013

Mayor Ava Frisinger (right) and incoming mayor Fred Butler pose for a photo by a member of the audience Dec. 16, as she received a certificate of appreciation at her last City Council meeting after 28 total years as an elected official. By Peter Clark

Mayor Ava Frisinger (right) and incoming mayor Fred Butler pose for a photo by a member of the audience Dec. 16, as she received a certificate of appreciation at her last City Council meeting after 28 total years as an elected official. By Peter Clark

Mayor Ava Frisinger presided over her final Issaquah City Council meeting Dec. 16.

After 16 years as the head of Issaquah’s administration, the four-term mayor decided not to run in this year’s election. The council and city officials held a reception in her honor before the meeting. Once it began, the first 30 minutes were spent praising her and her accomplishments. Many residents attended the mayor’s send off.

Council President Fred Butler, who won the election to replace Frisinger, introduced a certificate of appreciation to honor her for overseeing Issaquah’s booming transition over the past 16 years.

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Joe Forkner finishes time on City Council

November 26, 2013

Mary Lou Pauly will be sworn in Dec. 2

Joe Forkner served his last regular City Council meeting Nov. 18.

After former Councilman Mark Mullet was elected to the state Senate, the City Council chose Forkner to fill the interim position last January. This month, Forkner ran for mayor against Council President Fred Butler and lost, while Mary Lou Pauly ran unopposed for the seat Forkner filled. King County expects to certify Pauly’s election Nov. 26, ending Forkner’s commitment to the council.

Joe Forkner

Joe Forkner

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City Council cuts $300,000 in projects from mayor’s budget

November 19, 2013

Highlighted pieces of the mayor’s proposed budget faced a City Council chopping block before they reached a final public hearing.

A plan to remodel the Tibbett’s Creek Manor kitchen, funding for a city business marketing plan and a feasibility study for a city campus were all voted down in the Nov. 7 council work session.

After extended conversations, in which the phrase “financial sustainability” was repeatedly used, the council asked the city’s Finance Department to lop $300,000 off the draft budget. Finance Director Diane Marcotte said the council created the figure with the end of 2014 in mind.

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Budget season opens with the mayor’s final budget

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.”

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Issaquah mayor, school board candidates face off in first forum

September 19, 2013

NEW — 11:22 a.m. Sept. 19, 2013

Differences became apparent between candidates in the Sept. 17 candidate forum.

The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce welcome the two mayoral contenders and the two seeking a school board position to Blakely Hall for the kickoff of campaign season.

City Council President Fred Butler and Councilman Joe Forkner met each other for a first public appearance directly related to seeking November votes.

Moderated by Erin McCallum, of the Strategic Campaign Group, the forum allowed candidates 90-second answers to a variety of questions asked by McCallum and the audience.

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Issaquah hoodwinks Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District customers

September 13, 2013

NEW — 10:40 a.m. Sept. 13, 2013

A city of Issaquah employee registered websites in May in an apparent effort to deceive customers of the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District.

Mayor Ava Frisinger said in a letter the move directed by the administration was designed to counter a “misinformation campaign” from the district.

In a Sept. 12 press release, the district pointed to two domain names it found similar to ones it employs in business practices. Both sites, owned by Issaquah, not only resembled the established domains of the district, but also took an Internet user straight to a city webpage entitled “Our water, our city.”

“The Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District recently learned that the city of Issaquah has created at least two misleading Internet domains similar to those used by the district to redirect customers to Issaquah’s websites,” the press release reads. “This came to the district’s attention when a customer called and explained how she kept ending up on the Issaquah city website every time she typed in what she thought was the district’s website URL.”

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Mayor joins Jewish Federation shooting survivor to support universal background checks for firearms

August 27, 2013

NEW — 4:05 p.m. Aug. 27, 2013

A survivor of the 2006 Jewish Federation shootings sat down with Mayor Ava Frisinger to call for universal background checks Aug. 27.

Cheryl Stumbo, one of six shot by Naveed Afzal Haq, has begun actively lobbying lawmakers to support Initiative 594, which calls for “extending the requirement for a background check to apply to all gun sales and transfers in the state.” Toward that aim, she was invited by Frisinger, herself a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and a victim of gun violence, to lead a roundtable discussion at City Hall.

“We’re here today to share stories of gun violence,” Stumbo said. “This is sort of one of those taboo subjects and I think that’s part of the problem. We want our elected leaders to hear us.”

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