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Issaquah, Washington
May 6, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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May 6, 2009

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THE ISSAQUAH PRESS WEDNESDAY MAY 6, 2009 A3 Council discusses transportation, luring businesses at retreat BY WARREN KAGARISE Hunkered in a conference room for a rare weekend session, City Council members committed them- selves to improve transportation, plan for future development and make it easier for new businesses to open in Issaquah. As they ready to tackle the 2010 city budget, the council joined Mayor Ava Frisinger and several city direc- tors to set goals for next year. During a daylong meetingMay 2, council members pared existing goals but added few new objectives as they prepare for tough budget negotiations. Officials said several goals laid out in previous years were now redundant, outdated or established as part of city programs. For instance, council members trimmed a lengthy list of trans- portation goals to a clear statement about improving mobility. "There are the bones you can't cut into and there's the meat that you can:' - Joshua Schaer c#r co But the council was reluctant to add sweeping new goals as city officials grapple with dwindling revenue from key sources: building permits and sales tax. "We are in tough economic times," Councilman Fred Butler said. "But I believe we need to position the city for the recovery that's going to come." Officials project about $7 million in city reserves by the end of the year. Though council members have directed city staffers to avoid tapping into reserves, they did not rule out the possibility of using money from the rainy day fund to pay for projects or cover shortfalls. "There are the bones you can't cut into and there's the meat that you can," Councilman Joshua Schaer said. Officials worked with Bellevue consultant Greg Prothman to draft a list of objectives. Early in his presentation, Prothman praised city officials for saving money: "Congratulations on a very well- managed city." But he suggested officials could "strategically burn reserve dollars .... to accomplish goals and maintain "city services. Wielding a purple marker, Prothman crossed off out- dated goals and jotted suggestions on oversized sheets of paper affixed to three walls of a confer- ence room in the Public Works Operations Building. Led by Prothman, council mem- bers distilled the list into a set of initiatives to promote environmen- tal protection, ensure access to government officials and informa- tion, and protect salmon habitat. They also suggested measures to improve public safety -- such as considering a reverse-911 notifica- tion system -- and transportation. To encourage development dur- ing the recession, council members suggested a streamlined permitting and inspection process for new businesses to be included among the goals. Councilman John Traeger said officials should capitalize on the downturn to promote Issaquah and attract new businesses and high- paying jobs. "Right now, most of the employ- ment in this town does not pay the rent to live in this town," he said. A firm set of goals will go to the City Council for consideration with- in the next several weeks. From there, the goals will aid city depart- ment directors as they draft budget "Right now, most of the employment in this town does not pay the rent to live in this town:' - John Traeger eound/maa proposals. City Administrator Leon Kos said the goals drive the budget and city work programs. Goals for 2009 encompass a 21- page booklet detailing 10 goals, and efforts by city departments to implement them. But council mem- bers spent little time reviewing past accomplishments. Schaer sug- gested skipping updates on exist- ing plans and focusing instead on new goals. "I've been here for the last year," he said. "I've been awake and I know what we've done." Councilman John Rittenhouse said a key test for the goals would be whether they were implement- ed. He recalled his first visit to Issaquah in 1991, when he trav- eled here for a job interview. He said the real test would be whether policymakers from then would be able to see goals outlined 18 years ago as accomplishmDnts today. Rittenhouse also raised concerns about simplifying goals -- several of which were condensed from lists with bullet points to broad direc- tives. He asked whether residents would be able to get a sense of the city's priorities from the goals. "I'll tell you exactly how they know what's important to us: It's what we fund in the budget," Butler replied. Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392- 6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquah- press, com. Swine flu FROM PAGE A1 dents about practices to stop the spread of viruses; as in all high-flu seasons, custodians are being extra vigilant about cleaning and sanitizing facilities thoroughly; administrators are reviewing pan- demic illness procedures; and, in the event of any incidents of con- cern at a school building, we will immediately contact Seattle and King County public health and fol- low health experts' advice about how to best proceed," he wrote. Sara Niegowski, district director of communications, said if a student tested positive for the virus, local and national health officials would be in contact with the district. "We have a close relationship with our parents and have heard that kids are going to the doctor to get swabbed," she said. "It is flu season and a lot of people are being checked out, but there are no cases that we know of or have been reported." If a student tested positive, Niegowski said district officials would take action as recommend- ed by Public Health - Seattle & King County. "We are not flu experts, so we work really closely with health experts at Seattle and King County health," she added. King County and public health SYMPTOMS Fever of more than 100 degrees Coughing Joint aches Severe headache Diarrhea and vomiting are present in some cases. For more information, go to www.kingcounty.gov/hea/th/H1N l. officials recommended common sense measures -- such as hand washing -- to prevent additional flu cases. "We want people to act as the,y, would during a normal flu season, Duchin said. Manning FROM PAGE A1 crossed with houses without Manning's preservation efforts. In honor of his efforts to pre- serve the mountainside, City Council members voted last month to name a slice of Cougar Mountain parkland Harvey Manning Park at Talus. Manning helped to found the trails club in May 1979. Members have commissioned an artist to sculpt a statue of his likeness. Simpson said the bronze statue would be unveiled at the Trails House during a September cere- mony. Kees has been a longtime local advocate for preservation of open space and environmental protec- tion. City officials recognize others in her honor if they have "demon- strated outstanding commitment to protecting and preserving Issaquah's natural resources for a sustainable community." William Longwell Jr., a co- founder of the trails club, was hon- ored posthumously with the award last year. Simpson said he was pleased another longtime club member would receive the honor. "The rig, ht person at the right time: That s the inspirational story behind our beloved Issaquah Alps," Mayor Ava Frisger said in a news release. 'Thanks to Harvey's strong leadership, pas- sion for writing and immense ded- ication to preserving local wilder- ness, breathtaking amounts of for- est still surround Issaquah." THIS SPRING I WANT SOMETHING Letter carriers to collect donations for lssaquah Food Bank Saturday BY JIM FEEHAN Local residents can put a stamp on hunger May 9 as letter carriers across to help replenish food banks in the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive. Residents are asked to leave nonperishable food items pack- aged in cans and boxes beside their mailboxes on May 9. In the days leading up to the event, postal customers will receive a donation bag with their mail. The food will be shipped to local food banks, said U.S. Postal Service spokesman Ernie Swanson. "The need is perhaps greater than ever before with such high unemployment," Swanson said. "This is an opportunity to stock food bank shelves going into the summer months." The Stamp Out Hunger effort is the nation's largest single-day food drive, having collected about 910 million pounds of food since For more information about the food drive, go to www.he/pstam- pouthunger.com. its inception. All of the food collected during the drive, stays in the community, Swanson said. "This is our biggest food drive of the year," said Cherie Meier, executive director of the Issaquah Food Bank. Last year, the drive brought in 28,000 pounds, Meier said. "This drive is really important because that's the food that will hold us over for most of the sum- mer," she said. Low-income families are partic- ularly strapped in the summer, when no free or reduced break- fasts and lunches are available to schoolchildren. Three months ago, the food bank extended its hours to accommodate the increased demand. Last year at this time, the food band served about 800 families monthly. Today that total is closer to 1,200 monthly, Meier said. "We're seeing a lot more fami- lies and a lot of men from the families asking for help," she said. Canned corn, tomato sauce, juices, chili, stew and bread are desperately needed. So are infant formula and diapers. Cash donations from individuals and donations from local gro- cery stores are down, too, Meier said. "Albertsons gave us, 10,000 pounds of food a month,' she said of the grocery store that closed in Issaquah last year. "We really depend on our community and in the past they've always come through," she said. Reach Reporter Jim Feehan at 392-6434, ext. 239, or ffeehan@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquah- press, com.  MM 55  STIHL YARD BOSS *369900 Cultivate, then alternate with easy4o-switch attachments sold se#arately) / A $49.95 SNW-SRP vaiuel Offer good through June 30. 2009 'while euppiies last at par'icipating dealers KM 55 R KOMBISYSTEM F One Powerhead. Multiple Attachments. e s2nnoo 7- V V Powerhead Only .. :-..fil ,: Create a custom lawn care system - j,' : ,-..-  buy the KombiMotor and the , ,; i need / '" attachmems yOU ? ,   ,soid separate,,/) ,ee, " z' \\;,. . 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