State Rep. Chad Magendanz gets to work in Olympia

January 22, 2013

State Rep. Chad Magendanz, a former Issaquah School Board member, took the oath of office Jan. 14 to represent Issaquah and the 5th Legislative District in Olympia.

Magendanz, a freshman Republican and 17-year resident in the district, succeeded longtime former state Rep. Glenn Anderson in the House of Representatives seat.

Magendanz is the assistant ranking member on the House Education Committee, and also serves on the House Higher Education and House Technology & Economic Development committees.

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Legislators’ priorities reflect education, transportation needs

January 15, 2013

Lawmakers confronted a familiar scenario as the Legislature convened Jan. 14 — a budget shortfall, opposing pressures to preserve essential services and rein in government spending, and a court mandate to spend more money on education.

Mark Mullet

Mark Mullet

Chad Magendanz

Chad Magendanz

Observers expect education and transportation to rank as the dominant issues in the 105-day session. The state faces a $900 million budget shortfall for 2013-15 and, in the meantime, faces a court order to increase education funding by 2018.

In addition to the statewide issues on legislators’ docket, a lobbyist hired by city leaders to represent Issaquah is in search of support for local projects, including dollars to upgrade transportation infrastructure and Lake Sammamish State Park.

Issaquah is also focused on securing state dollars for a transportation improvement district in North Issaquah near Costco headquarters and high-traffic retail centers.

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Lawmakers to discuss dollars for schools at forum

January 15, 2013

The public can hear from top education and budget leaders in the Legislature about the funding challenges facing public schools Jan. 22 at a League of Education Voters forum.

Steve Litzow

Steve Litzow

Ross Hunter

Ross Hunter

The organization, a statewide education advocacy group, invited a Democrat, state Rep. Ross Hunter, and a Republican, state Sen. Steve Litzow, to discuss competing visions for education funding in Washington.

Residents can listen to the Eastside lawmakers — Litzow is a Mercer Island resident; Hunter hails from Medina — at the King County Library System Administration Building.

The incoming Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee chairman, Litzow, represents Issaquah and other communities in the 41st Legislative District, a suburban swath between lakes Washington and Sammamish.

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Chad Magendanz starts role as state representative

January 15, 2013

NEW — 10 a.m. Jan. 15, 2013

State Rep. Chad Magendanz, a former Issaquah School Board member, took the oath of office Monday to represent Issaquah and the 5th Legislative District in Olympia.

Chad Magendanz

Chad Magendanz

Magendanz, a freshman Republican and 17-year resident in the district, succeeded longtime former state Rep. Glenn Anderson in the House of Representatives seat.

Magendanz is the assistant ranking member on the House Education Committee, and also serves on the House Higher Education and House Technology & Economic Development committees.

“It is an honor to be trusted to represent the people of the 5th Legislative District,” Magendanz said in a statement. “Having been involved in education reforms for several years, I am looking forward to continuing the education reform and funding discussion in my exciting new role.”

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City Council seeks applicants for open seat

January 8, 2013

From the moment Mark Mullet declared victory in a state Senate race in November, other City Council members started planning for the process to fill Mullet’s seat once the Democrat departs for Olympia.

Now, council members have put out a call for applicants for the open seat. The position is not expected to remain open for long.

The city is accepting applications until Jan. 16. The council plans to interview applicants Jan. 22 and, after interviews, members could recess into a closed-door executive session to discuss candidates’ qualifications.

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Mark Mullet reflects on City Council term

January 8, 2013

Mark Mullet claimed a historic first in January 2010.

Mark Mullet

The entrepreneur and former banking executive ran unopposed for a City Council seat in 2009 and won election as the first Issaquah Highlands resident to serve on the council.

The highlands added thousands of residents as construction escalated in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but the neighborhoods existed for more than a decade before a resident achieved citywide elected office.

In the years Mullet served on the council, members hired City Administrator Bob Harrison, oversaw a major staff reorganization at City Hall, approved a long-term redevelopment plan for the business district, inked development agreements with Lakeside Industries and Rowley Properties, and approved a retail plastic bag ban.

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Tougher dig law goes into effect with intent to reduce damage

January 3, 2013

NEW — 8 a.m. Jan. 3, 2013

Changes to the state call-before-you-dig law went into effect Tuesday, and the updated rules include stiffer penalties, mandatory damage reporting and clearer procedures — even for deep digging in a garden or yard.

The law affects all excavators, including contractors, homeowners and utilities. State lawmakers passed the law in 2011 at the request of the state Utilities and Transportation Commission. Officials said the switch is intended to improve communication and decrease damage to underground pipelines and utilities.

Under the law, excavators and utilities must report to the Utilities and Transportation Commission any damage to underground facilities within 45 days. Under the previous law, excavators only had to report damage to regulated natural gas and hazardous liquid facilities.

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Democrats dominate Issaquah voters’ choices

January 1, 2013

Strong get-out-the vote operation boosts candidates

Democrats dominated Issaquah in the November election.

City voters chose Democrats for every federal and statewide office on the ballot — sometimes by a broad margin and others by a handful of votes.

Issaquah overwhelmingly supported Democrats in the races for president and vice president, U.S. senator and U.S. representative, and every statewide office. Only incumbent Republican Steve Litzow, a 41st Legislative District state senator representing about half of Issaquah, earned support from a majority of voters inside city limits.

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How did Issaquah vote?

January 1, 2013

City-level results from the November election show Issaquah voters followed statewide trends on some issues, or occasionally chose another direction.

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City Council questions Interstate 90 tolling proposal

January 1, 2013

The prospect of tolling on Interstate 90 received a cool reception from the City Council, as state officials consider the idea as a way to generate dollars for the state Route 520 bridge replacement project.

The state Department of Transportation is at work on a $4.1 billion project to replace the 49-year-old floating bridge across Lake Washington and overhaul the 12.8-mile corridor between Interstate 5 in Seattle and state Route 202 in Redmond. The floating bridge is scheduled to open in traffic by early 2015.

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