Garden club auction benefits Issaquah

October 26, 2010

The Issaquah Garden Club has a lecture, luncheon and auction in store for its November meeting. Ann Baron, Issaquah garden consultant will present “Fall Propagation and Preparing the Garden for Winter” before the club’s free luncheon and annual auction at 11:15 a.m.

Auction items include a Village Theatre package for six, an overflowing chocolate gift basket and a Leavenworth getaway for four. Proceeds from the auction benefit the garden club, which in turn supports nonprofit organizations in town, including the Issaquah Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank, Issaquah Valley Elementary School youth project and Issaquah History Museums.

The program starts at 10 a.m. Nov. 10 at Tibbetts Creek Manor, 750 17th Ave. N.W. R.S.V.P. to Dianne Tanner by e-mailing butterdmt@comcast.net or go to www.issaquahgardenclub.org to learn more.

Bring ideas to parks planning session Oct. 21

October 12, 2010

Bring ideas for the latest additions to the city parks system to Tibbetts Creek Manor.

A meeting to plan the future of Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 21 at the manor, 750 17th Ave. N.W. Residents can also complete a questionnaire about the parks at the city website.

The city plans to spend up to $1.6 million to complete the plan and build the initial phase of the 15.5-acre parks complex. Issaquah voters approved money to develop the parks in a 2006 bond.

Conservation rules and requirements attached to land donations limit how the creekside parks can be developed.

City Parks & Recreation Department employees kicked off the planning process during a public picnic at the site in late August.

In late May, parks officials picked Seattle landscape architecture firm The Berger Partnership to craft the overarching design, or master site plan, for the parks complex. The firm also designed Cal Anderson Park and Warren G. Magnuson Park in Seattle.

Mayor hires Ohio official as Issaquah city administrator

September 21, 2010

Robert Harrison

The next Issaquah city administrator is a plainspoken Midwesterner and longtime city manager of a Cincinnati suburb.

Robert “Bob” Harrison — the city manager in Wyoming, Ohio, for the past 12 years — has accepted the No. 2 position at Issaquah City Hall and is due to start Oct. 11.

Harrison, 42, emerged as the leading candidate last week during closed-door interviews with community leaders and city department chiefs. Mayor Ava Frisinger announced the appointment Sept. 16.

The mayor offered Harrison the job Sept. 8, the same day as the interviews. Frisinger hailed the hiring as the “perfect match” for the community.

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Mayor hires Ohio official as Issaquah city administrator

September 16, 2010

NEW — 9:55 a.m. Sept. 16, 2010

Robert Harrison

The next Issaquah city administrator is a plainspoken Midwesterner and the longtime city manager of a Cincinnati suburb.

Robert “Bob” Harrison — the city manager in Wyoming, Ohio, for the last 12 years — has accepted the No. 2 position at Issaquah City Hall.

Harrison, 42, emerged as a leading candidate last week during closed-door interviews with community leaders and city department chiefs. Mayor Ava Frisinger announced the appointment Thursday morning, and the appointment heads to the City Council for confirmation Monday.

Harrison is due to start in Issaquah on Oct. 11.

“I am thrilled to appoint Bob as our next administrator,” Frisinger said in a statement. “His dedication to environmental excellence, fiscal stewardship and community involvement — demonstrated by his impressive career in city administration — are a great match for our community.”

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Mayor moves closer to hiring city administrator

September 14, 2010

The field in the search for a city administrator has narrowed, though officials plan to remain tight-lipped about the choice until he accepts the offer.

City staffers, residents and community leaders met and scrutinized the five finalists last week, then offered recommendations to Mayor Ava Frisinger. The administrator serves as the No. 2 official in municipal government.

The finalists included Thurston County Manager Donald Krupp, San Juan County Administrator Pete Rose, Yakima Assistant City Manager David Zabell, Lake Forest Park City Administrator David Cline and Robert Harrison, the city manager in Wyoming, Ohio.

“Any one of these folks have the skills, talents and abilities to do the job,” Bellevue headhunter Greg Prothman said.

The city hired Prothman in late spring after longtime City Administrator Leon Kos retired. The recruiter sent letters to between 800 and 900 municipal officials — or, as Prothman said, every city administrator or manager in comparable-sized cities in the 11 Western states. Prothman also advertised the position online.

Prothman and Frisinger culled the stack of 50 applications to the finalists.

The men gathered at Tibbetts Creek Manor on Sept. 7 to meet city residents and officials, and to answer impromptu questions from Prothman. Frisinger released the names of the finalists the previous day, after a summerlong search.

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Issaquah residents, leaders meet city administrator finalists

September 8, 2010

NEW — 10 a.m. Sept. 8, 2010

The candidates for Issaquah city administrator headed into daylong interviews Wednesday after meeting elected leaders, municipal department chiefs and community members Tuesday night.

The finalists include Lake Forest Park City Administrator David Cline, Thurston County Manager Donald Krupp, San Juan County Administrator Pete Rose, Yakima Assistant City Manager David Zabell and Robert Harrison, the city manager in Wyoming, Ohio.

“Any one of these folks have the skills, talents and abilities to do the job,” Bellevue headhunter Greg Prothman said.

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Press Editorial

September 7, 2010

Get acquainted with new city parks

Issaquah has a new park, and it’s a beauty!

Actually, it’s three parks — Cybil-Madeline, Tollë Anderson and Issaquah Creek parks, located behind the Darigold plant on Rainier Boulevard. The three adjacent properties were acquired over the past 20 years, but until the city cut the weeds and tall grasses in recent weeks, residents couldn’t really see what a treasure they own.

First noted are the wide-open spaces, the kind that make you want to twirl in the sun or fly a kite, or spread a blanket and read a good book. But there are also towering evergreens, like the ones surrounding the beautiful white pine. There are fruit trees from a former orchard, and a stand of birches and other select, mature nursery picks. It’s worth visiting now, but will be even more glorious when the trees show their fall colors. Read more

Mayor announces finalists in city administrator search

September 6, 2010

UPDATED — 1:45 p.m. Sept. 6, 2010

The field to be the next Issaquah city administrator includes officials from Lake Forest Park, Yakima, Thurston County, San Juan County and Wyoming, Ohio.

The search to fill the No. 2 position at City Hall entered the final phase Monday, as Mayor Ava Frisinger released the names of the finalists.

The process had been kept confidential to shield the finalists from questions from their current employers about their job searches.

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Picnic kicks off effort to plan parks

August 31, 2010

Like a scene from a spring L.L.Bean catalog, a doe and a pair of fawns peeked from the trees along the creek bank in the fading light.

The deer moseyed from the brush along Issaquah Creek just as the Aug. 26 meeting to plan the future of Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks came to a close. The picnic hosted about 130 residents, city staffers and community leaders to start a monthslong process to plan the 15.5-acre downtown parks.

But as the meeting ended, the remaining attendees forgot ideas for trails, a playground and, maybe, a history museum, and all attention instead focused on the deer.

“They were supposed to be here an hour ago,” landscape architect Guy Michaelsen cracked.

The architect and the team from The Berger Partnership jotted dozens of ideas for activities and facilities onto giant sheets of paper. The early favorite: restrooms.

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Landscape architect hopes outreach shapes city parks

August 17, 2010

The downtown parks strung along Issaquah Creek might not include a soccer field or a baseball diamond, but the former farmsteads could be a hub for lessons about local history and creekside ecology.

Map by Dona Mokin

The city and the landscape architect start the planning process for the parks next week, during a picnic at the 15.5-acre site. Planners hope the suppertime gathering affords residents a chance to explore the parks — Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek — peer inside old farmhouses and observe squirrels darting up trees and ducks bobbing in the creek.

Though preservation rules and limits on creekside construction shape how the park can be developed, landscape architect Guy Michaelsen said he hopes the setting inspires the picnickers to offer creative ideas.

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