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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
September 23, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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September 23, 2009
 

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THE ISSAQUAH PRESS WEDNESDA SEPTEMBER 23, 2009 A5 Expect tighter budget for 2010, mayor says By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press 'eporter Mayor Ava Frisinger plans to present a leaner city budget early next month, as the City Council seeks to tamp down expenses for 2010. Her budget presentation, scheduled for the Oct. 5 council meeting, follows a round of layoffs last week and several months of money-saving measures. "It s pretty obvious that we have made significant reductions in the budget," she said. Drops in sales tax revenue and building permit fees have forced officials to lower projections for the general fund -- the destination for most tax money collected by the city. City Council members approved a $32.3 million general fund budget for 2009. Frisinger said the general fund budget for next year would be about $28 mil- lion to $29 million. Cash from the general fund is used to pay for everything from police protection to upkeep at city parks. City Council members adopted a "The description is, we're at the bottom of the trough and we're kind of crawling at the bottom of the trough toward the other side" - Ava Frisinger Mayor of lssaquah $109.5 million municipal budget last December. Frisinger said fur- ther details about the 2010 budg- et would be available after she presented the spending plan to the council. "We will be looking at a smaller budget for 2010/she said. The mayor will present the 2010 budget less than a month after the city shed 10 employees. Overall, city officials have trimmed the municipal workforce by 10 percent, or 27 positions, through layoffs, severances and vacancies. Frisinger said vacant positions would remain vacant next year, too, except in extraordi- nary circumstances. Officials hope for stronger sales tax numbers as the year con- cludes, and a windfall of building permit dollars as Swedish Medical Center constructs a hos- pital campus in the Issaquah Highlands. During a presentation to the Council Services & Operations Committee, city Finance Director Jim Blake said the city took in more sales tax revenue in June than he had expected. Sales tax data usually takes about two months to be processed, he said. Frisinger said the spending increase could have come as con- sumers regain confidence in the economy, though she noted how the recession lingered. But city spending spiked when officials paid severance packages to seven former city employees who opted for the voluntary pro- gram. "On the expenditures side, unfortunately, it looks like it was- n't good news because it was over $100,000 above the actual fore- cast," Blake said. Employees who accepted the package will receive four months' pay. Longtime employees will receive an additional month of pay for every 10 years they worked for the city, for a maximum of six months' pay. "If we didn't have that sever- ance package in that given month, we would have went under the forecast by approximately that $138,000," Blake added. The finance director said to expect less spending through fall. City officials have also cut costs by delaying the purchase of equip- ment. Frisinger said she was opti- mistic the worst of the recession was over. The recovery, however, could be slow to materialize, she said. "The description is, we're at the bottom of the trough and we're kind of crawling at the bottom of the trough toward the other side," Frisinger said. Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www. issaquahpr ess. com. Calling for Kids fundraiser needs your help The Issaquah Schools Foundation's annual Calling for Kids fundraiser is in full swing and needs your contributions. The fundraiser is a little early. This year, its being held in fall, rather than spring. Flyers from the foundation and e-mails from the Issaquah School District's e-mail list began going out to families with students in the district last week. This year, the goal of foundation officials is to have 100 percent participation from all families. "Private funding of our public schools has become a necessity," PUBUC MEETINGS Sept. 23 Human Services Commission 7-9 p.m. Coho Room, City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way Sept. 24 Cable W Commission 6-9 p.m. Coho Room, City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way Planning Policy Commission 6:30-9 p.m. Council Chambers, City Hall South 135 E. Sunset Way Sept. 25 CMI Service Commission 4-5 p.m. Coho Room, City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way Sept. 28 Pork Board 7-9 p.m. Issaquah Trails House, 110 Bush St. Sept. 29 Swedish Medical Center Information session 5-6:30 p.m. Council Chambers, City Hall South 135 E. Sunset Way Committee-of-the-Whole council Agenda: Swedish Medical Center presentation, flu pandemic planning, 2010 budget 6:30-9 p.m. Council Chambers, City Hall South 135 E. Sunset Way Accurate Electric Your home. Your family. Your electrician. HOW TO HELP Donate at www.issaquahschools- foundation.org. Executive Director Robin Callahan said in a press release. "The state provides money for the basics, but our kids need and deserve more to succeed in today's global, knowl- edge-based society. "Calling for Kids gives families the opportunity to make an imme- diate impact on the resources available to their student," she said. "If every family participates, we can raise over $1.4 million for our schools." To reach that goal, foundation officials need each family to donate $50. "I know pennies are tighter than ever, and I certainly under- stand how important it is for your family to make careful deci- sions about giving," Superintendent Steve Rasmussen wrote in a letter to the communi- ty. "My hope in this message is only to make you aware or the opportunity to participate in Salmon Days is coming... ce riNa 0  oJ, ar ravens II II THE 2009 ISSAQUAH FESTIV Still fresh. Still fun. Still free. F _and so is your copy M the Ohfishal Salmon Days Program! 2009 new features and events parking and shuttle information parade line-up entertainment schedule booth Iocator map local non-profAs new features and events Watch for it with next week's paper THE ISSAQUAH PP00Sil We can help. 100% written guarantee Licensed, fully-screened technicians Two hour scheduling window Straightforward pricing Fully-stocked trucks save you time and hassle 425-888-6102 www.accurate-electric.com 00l00l:2 t ...................... ACCURE*946CA m:Et,P BBB Calling for Kids and, to give you confidence that ISF s efforts do make a difference in the educa- tion of our children." In addition to mailed flyers and e-mails, high school stu- dents will call families during the annual phoneathon Oct. 20 and 21. Families that donate prior to Oct. 5 won't receive a call from students and will have their name listed in a thank you advertise- ment in The Press. Back issues of your hometown newspaper - now online! ISSAQU. % Police FROM PAGE A1 Never give personal informa- tion, especially your name, age or address to strangers. Don't use iPods or other music players while walking or waiting outside. If students do have an encounter with a stranger, district officials recommend using part of the Step Defense Program: Step back away from the stranger. Keep a "bubble of safety" of at least 15 feet between you and the stranger. Once you are more than 15 feet away, the chances of him or her re-engaging you are small. Draw attention to yourself by yelling as loud as you can. Yelling "stranger" rather than help lets News coverage: Information is two-way street FROM PAGE A4 mainstream press admitted it was happening. But corruption that systemic took someone on the inside tip- ping off someone in the media willingto lend an ear. If we had something of that magnitude happening in Issaquah, I d like to think someone would tip us off. We take seriously our roll as community watchdog. To parallel GET SMART Most advanced and most comfortable Peffomed by B0srd Certified Urologist h'iday evening and Saturday morning visits VasectomyCenter No.Needle No.Scalpel No.Pain Now with three locations! Have Q's about the new Swedish Medical Center? We've got the A's. Maybe you've heard something about a new hospital coming to the Issaquah Highlands and wondered, what's going on? We'll be happy to tell you when you join us for either of the two public meetings coming up about the Issaquah-Sammamish area's first comprehensive medical center. Rendering courtesy of ColtgnsWoerman We'll fill you m on construction that's already under way at the medical office building and outpatient center slated to open in 2011 and the 175-bed hospital opening the following year. It's truly going to be a great addition to the Eastside. And you would truly be a great addition to our meetings. Q&A ON SWEDISH'S NEW EASTSIDE MEDICAL CENTER Tuesday, Sept 29, 5:00-6:30 prn Issaquah City Hall South 135 E Sunset Way Issaquah David Hayes: 392-6434, ext. 237, dhayes@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com. SWEDISH Issaquah For more information, visit swedLskissaquak.org or call 206-3862676Z everyone within earshot know that this is not a game. Get slippery. Pull your arms into your chest (without crossing them}. By keeping your arms close to your torso, you are harder to grab by the arms. Run to safety -- any place where there are other people. First choice is to run to adults. The second choice is to run to children. Never run and hide. You need witnesses. The rules to running: Look where you are running (not behind you). You are not allowed to get tired until you are safe. Bite. If a stranger grabs you, fight back. You do not need to become a victim. The best weapon for everyone is biting. The human bite has between 100 and 200 pounds of pressure. Rules to biting: Step toward the attacker; bite whatever is closest; bite as hard as you can; and don't stop biting until he or she lets you go. Then, run to safety. the ACORN situation, say some- one in the Issaquah Schools Foundation embezzled $1 mil- lion. But rather than someone re- port it, the crime was covered up and the person later went on to run the Washington Education Association. Such is the case with Dale Rathke, ACORN founder Wade Rathke's brother. Look them up. They both look like characters out of central casting for evil henchmen. Keeping informed is a two-way street. We can only dig up so much here at The Press. It takes vigilant readers and concerned community members to let us know what we re missing. After 109 years in the community, I think we've earned that trust that we're doing what is right with the story, ideological slant free. Monday, Oct 19, 5:30-7:00 pm Sammamish City Hall 801 228thAve S E,Sammamish