Editorial

January 1, 2013

2013 goals are imperative for Issaquah

Our news staff and editorial board put their heads together each year to create a list of 2013 goals for the Issaquah area. Some are repeats from former years, but are still waiting to be accomplished.

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Leaders call for 8-cent gas tax hike to fund ailing roads

January 1, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 1, 2013

King County leaders asked state legislators for a gas tax increase and for the ability for counties to collect a vehicle tab fee for road maintenance.

In a letter to lawmakers last month, Eastside elected leaders joined King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn asked legislators to raise the gas tax by 8 cents to fund ailing roads.

The proposal offered from Constantine, McGinn and the Sound Cities Association calls for 65 percent of gas tax revenue to go to the state and 35 percent to go to local transportation projects.

(Issaquah a member city in the Sound Cities Association, a regional advocacy group once called the Suburban Cities Association.)

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City Council seeks to fill vacancy left after Mark Mullet’s resignation

December 31, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. Dec. 31, 2012

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

Mark Mullet

Now, as Mullet prepares to resign Jan. 8 to prepare for the legislative session, council members put out a call for applicants for the soon-to-open seat.

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.

Under state law, the council can discuss candidates’ qualifications in a closed-door session, but interviews and the decision must occur in public meetings. The council is scheduled to vote on the appointment Jan. 29.

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City OKs buildings up to 125 feet tall in business district

December 25, 2012

Redevelopment plan calls for more than 7,000 residences

City leaders raised the building height limit to 125 feet in the business district and raised the stakes for redevelopment in the decades ahead.

The roadmap to redevelopment — a document called the Central Issaquah Plan — also creates a framework to add more than 7,000 residences on about 1,000 acres stretched along Interstate 90.

In a series of decisions reached Dec. 17 after years spent re-envisioning the business district, a relieved City Council adopted the Central Issaquah Plan, but delayed action on a key piece until at least April.

“It’s the right plan at the right time,” Councilman Fred Butler said. “It will not happen overnight, but when the time is right, we will be ready.”

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Unincorporated King County residents avoid $20 roads fee

December 18, 2012

Residents in unincorporated King County — including Klahanie, Mirrormont and Preston in the Issaquah area and more than 200,000 people countywide — no longer face a $20 vehicle-license fee to fund road maintenance.

King County Council members dropped the proposed fee from the 2013 county budget, and approved the spending plan Nov. 13 in a unanimous decision. Instead, officials plan to lobby the state government for additional road dollars — a challenge as the state faces another budget shortfall next year.

In September, King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed a $20 fee to fund road maintenance and storm response in rural and unincorporated areas.

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Brian Deagle to remain Issaquah School Board president

December 18, 2012

Brian Deagle

Brian Deagle will remain president of the Issaquah School Board after receiving an unanimous vote from fellow board members Dec. 12 to keep the position throughout 2013.

As per district policy, the board is required to elect a new president each year. Superintendent Steve Rasmussen opened the floor for nominations and Deagle was quickly nominated without contest.

This is a the second time this year the board has unanimously voted for Deagle for board president. The first came Aug. 22, when then-board President Chad Magendanz stepped down because of his bid for a seat in the Legislature.

Magendanz has since won the election and is transitioning to his new role as the state representative for the 5th Legislative District. His last school board meeting will be Jan. 9.

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King County leaders set legislative agendas

December 18, 2012

Transportation is a high priority as King County prepares to ask state and federal leaders for assistance to upgrade roads and other infrastructure.

King County Council members adopted legislative agendas for the state and federal governments Dec. 10.

The county is asking the state to create financing tools to allow local leaders to create revenue for the aging road system in rural and unincorporated areas.

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Transportation is high priority as leaders list state, federal agendas

December 11, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 11, 2012

Transportation is a high priority as King County prepares to ask state and federal leaders for assistance to upgrade roads and other infrastructure.

King County Council members adopted legislative agendas for the state and federal governments Monday. The lists focus on transportation improvements and efforts to preserve human services.

“The challenges facing Olympia and Washington, D.C., have a direct impact on how King County can serve its residents,” council Chairman Larry Gossett said in a statement. “The adopted agendas are clear directives from both the council and the executive on what the county’s priorities are and how we plan to work with our delegations to achieve those priorities.”

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Issaquah’s King County Council representative is tapped for legislative role

December 9, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 9, 2012

Leaders at the Washington Association of Counties tapped the Issaquah representative on the King County Council, Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, for a top legislative role.

Lambert is serving as the Legislative Steering Committee co-chairwoman alongside Klickitat County Commissioner David Sauter. Lambert served on the committee for several years previously.

The association is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization to represents Washington’s counties before the Legislature, state executive branch and regulatory agencies.

“I enjoy working with the Legislative Steering Committee because council members and commissioners from all across the state get together and share their concerns as well as their successes in dealing with the many problems facing county governments in Washington State,” Lambert said in a statement. “Our state’s 39 counties have many things in common, and we can work together when we go to Olympia. King County, as the 14th-largest in the country, also has some unique issues to deal with, so it is good to have partners across the state willing to work with us.”

Issaquah Democrat Mark Mullet joins state Senate

December 4, 2012

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen (left) administers the oath of office to state Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, in the Senate chamber Nov. 30. Contributed

Issaquah City Councilman Mark Mullet joined the state Senate on Nov. 30 — 45 days before other freshman lawmakers convene in Olympia for the 2013 legislative session.

In a ceremony on the Senate floor, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen administered the oath to Mullet as the Democrat’s family members watched.

Mullet joined the Senate after a bruising contest against Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft to represent the 5th Legislative District — a mishmash between suburban and rural communities stretched between Issaquah and Snoqualmie Pass.

The last senator to represent the district, Maple Valley Republican Cheryl Pflug, resigned from the seat in June to serve on a state board. Sammamish Republican Dino Rossi — senator from the district in the late 1990s and early 2000s — served in the role between Pflug’s resignation and Mullet’s arrival.

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