Sen. Fred Jarrett tapped for No. 2 county job

November 17, 2009

The next No. 2 man in King County government will be Fred Jarrett, the Mercer Island Democrat who represents southwest Issaquah in the state Senate. Read more

Voters strengthen open space protection

November 10, 2009

Voters approved extra protections for land along Issaquah Creek, parts of Cougar and Squak mountains, and dozens of other natural areas throughout unincorporated King County. Known as the Open Space Amendment, the measure applies to more than 156,000 acres at 96 sites countywide. Read more

Issaquah official will advise county executive-elect

November 10, 2009

Issaquah Councilman Fred Butler will advise Dow Constantine as the King County executive-elect prepares to take office Nov. 24. Read more

Park Pointe goes to auction Friday

November 3, 2009

The proposed Park Pointe development would be built on 67 acres near Issaquah High School, but the project is in limbo as the land heads to auction Nov. 6. Source: city of Issaquah

The proposed Park Pointe development would be built on 67 acres near Issaquah High School, but the project is in limbo as the land heads to auction Nov. 6. Source: city of Issaquah

City planners detailed last week how the long-planned Park Pointe project could impact Tiger Mountain views, wetlands and wildlife. But the information could be useless because the land where Park Pointe would be built heads to auction Nov. 6.

The project developer, Wellington Park Pointe LLC, failed to make payments on a loan from Regal Financial Bank and in June defaulted on nearly $12 million owed. Developers envisioned hundreds of homes on 67 forested acres on the west slope of Tiger Mountain, behind Issaquah High School.

City planners released the long-awaited environmental impact statement for the project last week. The timing carries a particular irony: The final environmental impact statement for Park Pointe was released Oct. 30 — a week before the land heads to auction.

Meanwhile, city officials hope to smooth the way toward a development-rights transfer to keep the Park Pointe site undeveloped. The transfer of development rights between the Park Pointe developer and Issaquah Highlands developer Port Blakely Communities would leave Park Pointe undeveloped; additional houses would be built in the highlands instead.

Major Development Review Team Manager Keith Niven said city officials still want the development-rights deal to materialize. He said city officials entered discussions with developers to gauge interest in the Park Pointe site and a transfer of the development rights. Read more

Press Editorial

July 14, 2009

Twelve years ago, as King County voters prepared to elect a new executive, a big issue was all about the need for more ball fields. And rural residents were threatening to form their own county in protest of land regulations imposed on property rights. Ron Sims promised a lot of ball fields and a little of everything else. He won the election.
My, how times have changed. The county has encouraged cities to take over many of the parks and ball fields it built but couldn’t afford to maintain. A court ruling rescinded much of the county’s critical areas ordinance, putting rural land use issues in limbo. The economy has tanked, leaving local governments scrambling and King County in a world of financial hurt. Audit reports show the county’s accounting system to be untrustworthy. Heck, the county can barely operate decent animal shelters.
This year, voters will be looking for a county CEO that understands fiscal management — and how to get the county to a balanced budget.
We also need a new executive that has a vision, not just more of the same. He or she will need to know how to bring different viewpoints together to create goals for transportation, natural resources, solid waste, human services and more — and then outline the steps needed to get us there.
As the summer primary election among the eight candidates (six considered serious) heats up, voters should listen carefully. Which one best understands how to create a business environment that will help create more jobs? Who will be best at creating dialogue that leads to solutions and compromise? Will we continue to have an executive who accepts the multiple complex layers of a bus/rail/ferry system or will he/she have the know-how to get us to one transportation agency?
The King County executive election gives us a chance for change. Ballots will be arriving in the mail the first few days of August, narrowing the field to two candidates while most voters are still layering on the sunscreen.
Let this year be the exception. Voters, start paying attention now. Look beyond the sound bites to be sure your favored candidates know what they are talking about, not just “connecting” with you to get a knee jerk vote. Then, be decisive, and tell your neighbors and family of your choice.
The first step to a better county government starts on Election DayCounty executive election is critical

County executive election is critical

Twelve years ago, as King County voters prepared to elect a new executive, a big issue was all about the need for more ball fields. And rural residents were threatening to form their own county in protest of land regulations imposed on property rights. Ron Sims promised a lot of ball fields and a little of everything else. He won the election. Read more

Fred Jarrett to enter race for county executive seat

March 16, 2009

NEW — 7 p.m. March 16, 2008

State Sen. Fred Jarrett, who has been considering running for county executive in November, said he’s entering the race.

Two King County Council members — Larry Phillips and Dow Constantine, both of Seattle — announced earlier this year they were entering the race to replace Ron Sims as county executive.

Jarrett said he’d offer voters an alternative to a Seattle-based politician for the executive post.

Fred Jarrett

Fred Jarrett

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Sims move to D.C. is timely for elections

February 3, 2009

King County Executive Ron Sims, who’s been a fixture in politics since he was first elected to the County Council in 1985, is moving on to a post in the Obama administration as deputy secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Read more

Press Editorial

January 19, 2009

Sherril Huff preferred for elections chief

By now, voters have received the first all-mail ballot used in a King County election, and are wondering who to vote for. The only election on the ballot that applies to Issaquah will decide which of six candidates will become the first-ever elected director of elections for the county. Read more

Forum set for elections chief

January 5, 2009

The election season is upon us once again. A little less than two months after the Nov. 4 general election, King County voters on Feb. 3 will decide for the first time who they want heading up the county’s elections department.

Read more

Top 10 news stories of 2008

December 29, 2008

2008 news stories revisited

From an increase in robberies to the demise of the proposed Southeast Bypass, 2008 was action packed in Issaquah. Lightning and snow storms, a stronger Moroccan connection and business closures all made headlines.

In no particular order, here are updates on our pick of the top 10 news stories of the year: Read more

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