With an understandable bit of regret about the bright, sunny weather they were missing, City Council members and department heads buckled down and got to work last weekend during the city’s annual goal setting retreat.
The heads of various city departments updated the council and others attending the meeting about what goals had been met from the previous year’s session.
“This is a really great day for the goals of the city,” Council President Maureen McCarry said at the start of the event.
The council began with a review of last year’s goals, which centered around sustainability, transportation improvements and improving faith in local government.
The group then moved on to a round table discussion regarding goals for the upcoming year, many of which were a continuation of last year’s aims.
“Many of these goals are just now coming to fruition,” McCarry said.
The goals discussed in Saturday’s meeting will not be finalized until various council committees have looked at them and approved the wording. They will then be sent to the City Council for approval sometime in May.
Topics likely to be included are:
• Further work on the “Complete Streets” program, including an expanded and enhanced Intelligence Transportation System, which went online for most of the city this year.
• Working with officials from neighboring cities such as Snoqualmie and North Bend, to get them involved in the transit system and get them their own Park and Ride. This will become especially important when tolling begins, city officials noted.
• Adding capacity and mobility to city streets.
• Increasing the city’s sustainability efforts. This includes the formation of the Council Sustainability Committee, which met for the first time this week.
• Work on zero energy projects.
• Calculation of the city’s carbon footprint, so that city leaders can determine where to make changes.
• Increase the relationship with Issaquah’s Sister City, Chefchaouen.
• Finalize the Central Area Plan.
• Take a close look at finances. Although Issaquah is currently doing very well with its reserve funds, the market is slowing down and permits may not bring in as much revenue as in previous years.
• Issaquah’s cable TV programming and radio. The new public radio system for use in emergencies is currently undergoing test runs.
“We’ve done really well working on our goals,” McCarry said. “But there is more we need to do. We’re moving forward in a positive manner for all our 2008 goals. We just need to see more of it in 2009.”