$10 million park bond will renovate pool, upgrade parks

October 29, 2013

City voters face a $10 million bond to fund parks and recreation improvements in the November election.

$5 million would go to renovations to Issaquah’s Julius Boehm Pool.

The Park Bond Commission which studied the issue looked at a number of different uses for the bond and ultimately decided that half should be spent on large improvements to the public pool.

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Plastic bag ban goes to citizens for February vote

October 29, 2013

Voters will ultimately decide the fate of Issaquah’s plastic bag ban.

In a unanimous decision, the City Council approved a resolution to hold a special election Feb. 11 to ask voters whether a ban on plastic bags should continue.

“Over 60 percent of the citizens that contacted me were in favor of that ordinance,” Councilman Paul Winterstein said, defending his vote in favor of the original ban. “And I followed that duly and I take that very seriously. But we’re also a city of laws. I’m in favor of putting it in front of a vote, and I can accept whatever outcome that comes.”

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Candidate Q&A

October 22, 2013

A1-3 oct. 23.indd

2013 mayor candidates questions and answers

 

Joe Forkner

Joe Forkner

Fred Butler

Fred Butler

How will you address traffic problems, short term and long term?

Joe Forkner: Upgrading the current Intelligent Transportation System to the next generation real-time system would be short term and better public transportation long term.

Fred Butler: Take an integrated system approach to get maximum efficiency from our transportation and commute trip programs, upgrade ITS and apply Adaptive Transportation Management where appropriate.

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School board candidates give opposing views for district’s future

October 22, 2013

Policy and training divided the two Issaquah School District school board candidates at an Oct. 17 candidate forum.

Appointed board member Allison Meryweather is attempting to win her first election for the position against Lisa Callan, who also applied for the board appointment earlier this year.

By Greg Farrar Alison Meryweather (left) listens as Lisa Callan answers a question during their Issaquah School District board candidate forum Oct. 17 with a full Issaquah City Council chamber and city cable television viewers in attendance.

By Greg Farrar
Alison Meryweather (left) listens as Lisa Callan answers a question during their Issaquah School District board candidate forum Oct. 17 with a full Issaquah City Council chamber and city cable television viewers in attendance.

“I discovered first hand the lack of funding our state provides our schools,” Meryweather said about her time on the board and volunteering in classrooms. “It’s not just about funding. It’s also about how we strategically invest those dollars.”

Callan said she believed her leadership roles in The Boeing Co. and a long history involved in the educational system qualifies her for the board position.

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Friendly setting finds few feuds between mayoral candidates

October 22, 2013

Mayoral candidates City Council President Fred Butler and City Councilman Joe Forkner restated major themes in a largely agreeable forum Oct. 17.

In one-minute answers, both candidates stuck to their agendas, which remain fairly similar.

“When I retired form Seattle City Light as their chief engineer, I decided to devote myself to public service,” Butler said during his opening statements. “I believe in sustainability. All decisions need to take in the three legs of sustainability: people, planet and prosperity.”

By Greg Farrar Fred Butler (left) and Joe Forkner conclude their mayoral candidate forum Oct. 17 with a handshake and some laughter.

By Greg Farrar
Fred Butler (left) and Joe Forkner conclude their mayoral candidate forum Oct. 17 with a handshake and some laughter.

Forkner took the insider’s approach, citing his years of work within city government and as a board volunteer.

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Budget season opens with the mayor’s final budget

October 15, 2013

Mayor Ava Frisinger presented her final budget proposal, which includes $98.3 million in budgeted expenditures, to the City Council Oct. 7.

It includes adding a new human services manager and a police officer, increasing funding for “sustainable” efforts and $55,000 for a feasibility study into a campus to consolidate the locations of city services.

“I’m extremely proud to reflect on the last 16 years,” Frisinger told the council as she presented her budget to them. “Today, we’re planning for what’s next: a commitment to environmental protection, a strong economic base and a strong quality of life for our citizens.”

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Boundary Review Board OKs Klahanie annexation vote

October 15, 2013

In quick order, the King County Boundary Review Board unanimously gave preliminary approval Oct. 10 to Issaquah’s annexation request for the Klahanie area.

Two long meetings were held last month where government representatives from Issaquah and Sammamish were joined by a slew of public opinion on the proposed annexation. The Boundary Review Board took the information given and returned with a decision for Klahanie voters to vote on whether Issaquah should include them in its borders.

“None of these are easy,” board member Robert Cook said as the board held informal discussion before a vote. “And a couple factors gave us some sleepless nights. The overriding fact is that the city of Issaquah is responding to a petition of residents that want to be a part of the city. They did what they were asked to do by the citizenry. They did what they are mandated to do by state law. There really aren’t any losers in this, because the citizens will vote on this and determine their own fate. It’s kind of a win-win.”

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Two candidates will battle for water district seat

October 15, 2013

For the first time in six years, there’s a contested race for a seat on the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District board of directors. One-term incumbent Bob Brady will face political newcomer Brett Muhlestein.

Brady said he wants another term because he feels he has unfinished work to do on the board.

Bob Brady

Bob Brady

Brett Muhlestein

Brett Muhlestein

“We’re kind of in the middle of a lot of things, and I’d like to see it through,” the retired Boeing employee said.

In particular, there’s a new asset management system to put in place, and some troubles with the city of Issaquah.

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I-522 spurs opinions about genetically modified food

October 15, 2013

November’s ballot initiative to label genetically modified food has caused a large split between local action and out-of-state funding.

Initiative 522 will ask voters whether the state should enforce labeling on genetically modified foodstuffs when sold in Washington.

“This measure would require most raw agricultural commodities, processed foods, and seeds and seed stocks, if produced using genetic engineering, as defined, to be labeled as genetically engineered when offered for retail sale,” the Nov. 5 ballot reads.

The question has stirred the state on both sides of the Cascades, and Issaquah residents and leaders have taken to the issue.

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Park bond awaits public decision

October 15, 2013

A $10 million bond to fund parks and recreation improvements is before city voters in the November election.

The proposed bond follows an intensive citizen process, which brought together a public commission to lead a public hearing and then offer recommendations to the Parks Board, which in turn led to City Council approval in July.

As it comes to voters when the ballots are mailed Oct. 16, the proposition clearly outlines how the money will be used.

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