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

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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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City hosts park-planning picnic

August 10, 2010

Bring ideas to free Aug. 26 event

Head outside, grab a hot dog and offer ideas about the latest addition to the city parks system.

The city Parks & Recreation Department will host a picnic Aug. 26 for residents to share ideas about the downtown parks at the confluence of Issaquah Creek and the East Fork: Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks.

The parks department planned the picnic for the 15.5-acre site in order for people to understand the terrain.

“We want people to see the land, walk the land, see the farmhouses and walk the creek to get a sense of it,” city Parks & Recreation Director Anne McGill said.

The city maintains the historic Anderson and Ek farmhouses and farm buildings at the parks site. Read more

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City received 50 applications for next administrator

August 6, 2010

NEW — 12:45 p.m. Aug. 6, 2010

City leaders announced details Friday about the search to hire the next Issaquah city administrator.

Prothman — the Bellevue consultant conducting the search — received 50 applicants from candidates in 11 states. The firm then narrowed the list to the 27 people qualified for the position.

Choosing the next administrator falls to Mayor Ava Frisinger. She plans to cut the list to six or seven finalists.

The finalists will then be invited to a community meeting at 5 p.m. Sept. 7 at Tibbetts Creek Manor, 750 17th Ave. N.W.

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Schools finance officer is PTSA Educator of the Year

June 1, 2010

At their annual luncheon May 20, members of the districtwide Issaquah Parents, Teachers and Students Association awarded Jacob Kuper, the Issaquah School District’s chief executive of finance and operations, their Educator of the Year Award.

Jacob Kuper, the Issaquah School District’s chief executive of finance and operations, received the districtwide Parents, Teachers and Students Association Educator of the Year Award from President Heather Gillette. By Sara Niegowski

“Our Educator of the Year award is important, because it goes to someone who goes above and beyond at the district level to not just be a steward of educating our children, but to someone that educates our community and families about the educational process,” PTSA President Heather Gillette said.

“Jake has been instrumental in that through his financial management, but also by making the community aware of what is going on at the district and state levels financially,” she said.

The luncheon, at Tibbetts Creek Manor, is an end-of-the-year celebration for PTSA members and district officials.

It’s Kuper’s strength in strong fiscal management that has enabled the district to weather unprecedented economic cutbacks from the state and federal governments, Gillette said. Without that leadership, children wouldn’t have the same education they have in Issaquah.

“By managing resources and advocating for funding of public education, I believe we can provide every child with an education that will ensure they have the opportunity to be successful,” said Kuper, a father of two. “I believe education is the bedrock of our society and that is why I am so passionate about it.”

Kuper graduated from Eatonville High School in 1998 and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in business and accounting from Oregon State University in 2002. In 2006, he earned his master’s in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University.

After graduation, he went to work for the state Auditor’s Office, where he conducted audits on government entities, including school districts, which gave him a better understanding of how to responsibly manage them financially. Read more

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Planners weigh applications for subdivisions

March 2, 2010

City planners will consider applications for new subdivisions near Talus and Tibbetts Valley Park. Read more

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Top 10 news stories of 2009

December 29, 2009

flood weather GF 0108a

Sisters Jennifer Davies, Julianne Long and Mindy Heintz (from left) retrieve belongings Jan. 8 from the toppled guesthouse at the home of their parents, Jack and Karen Brooks, beside Issaquah Creek in the 23300 block of Southeast May Valley Road. — By Greg Farrar

Growth slowed and the economy cooled throughout 2009. The watershed moments in Issaquah hinged on expansion and recession. Leaders broke ground for a major new employer, even while other businesses left town for good.

Issaquah began the first decade of a new century as a fast-growing city, a title the city held for years. As 2009 reached a close, however, officials pared the size of government to face the new economic reality.

From January floods to record July heat and brutal December cold, 2009 was jam-packed, but the year was never dull.

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