January 24, 2014
New: Jan. 24, 11:56 a.m.
It’s finally over. After more than two years of negotiations, an agreement is in place to preserve Eastside Fire & Rescue for at least another seven years.
On a 5-2 vote, the Sammamish City Council approved the new agreement Jan. 21, but not before dissenting council members Tom Odell and Kathleen Huckabay admonished the firefighters’ union. Read more
January 18, 2014
New: Jan. 18, 12:14 p.m.
Although approval on a new agreement for Eastside Fire & Rescue seems assured, two members of the Sammamish City Council raised concerns during a Jan. 14 council meeting.
The city has been negotiating with the other members of EFR for several months. The main issue involves a funding formula, which Sammamish officials say caused the city to subsidize fire service for other members. Read more
January 15, 2014
New: Jan. 15, 10:17 a.m.
On Jan. 7, Sammamish began what could be the end game of its drawn-out negotiations with other members of Eastside Fire and Rescue.
While some city council members advocated making a few last-second changes, others were quick to discourage them.
After years of complaints and months of intense discussions and brinksmanship, Sammamish secured a new funding model for the organization. The old model resulted in Sammamish subsidizing fire coverage for other members of EFR, city leaders complained. Read more
January 13, 2014
Updated: Jan. 14, 4:52 p.m.
Firefighters from Eastside Fire & Rescue burned down the Kellman house (the old pink mansion near City Hall and the library) as part of a training exercise Jan. 13. The burn was done so firefighters can get experience fighting a house fire in a somewhat controlled environment.
After the burn, the site will be cleaned up and the location will become home to the Sammamish Community Center, expected to open in 2015.
December 18, 2013
New: Dec. 18, 12:24 p.m.
The Eastside Fire and Rescue Board did everything except sing “Auld Lang Syne” at its Dec. 12 meeting.
The board unanimously voted to accept the proposed funding model changes. That was followed with a unanimous vote to approve a revised EFR governing agreement. They even took a short break during the meeting to celebrate with glasses of sparkling cider and holiday cookies.
After months of vociferous disagreements over funding issues, the group joked and teased one another. Read more
November 21, 2013
New: Nov. 21, 11:56 a.m.
Sammamish will stay with Eastside Fire and Rescue, provided it gets a funding change and at least a few changes to the governance model.
The City Council voted unanimously Nov. 12 to accept a proposed change to the funding model, which looks to save Sammamish more than $411,000 per year.
The council also voted on a series of changes it would like to see made to the agreement that underpins the partnership. Read more
November 8, 2013
New: Nov. 8, 11:47 a.m.
If there’s smoke rising from behind the Sammamish Library, it might just be nothing more than firefighter training.
Firefighters from Eastside Fire & Rescue will be conducting a series of drills for the next two months leading up to a big burn of the Kellman mansion, the large pink house off 228th Avenue near City Hall and the library.
“We’re trying to get as much out of this building as we possibly can,” said Josie Williams, EFR spokeswoman. Read more
November 6, 2013
New: Nov. 6, 11:18 a.m.
With a little bit of showmanship, City Manager Ben Yazici recommended that Sammamish stay in Eastside Fire & Rescue, citing a last-second breakthrough in negotiations.
But first, Yazici teased the crowd of about 70 who had stayed through hours of other city business. Read more
November 5, 2013
New: Nov. 5, 3:10 p.m.
Eastside Fire & Rescue’s firefighter’s union has offered to pay for a mediator to work out problems between Sammamish and Issaquah.
The two cities have been at loggerheads over the funding model for the regional fire agency. For years, Sammamish has been complaining that the current model ends up with Sammamish subsidizing fire services for other partners, in particular Issaquah. Read more
October 30, 2013
During the Oct. 14 City Council meeting, Creekside Elementary School Principal Robin Earl spoke about her dealings with the firefighters from Eastside Fire & Rescue.
The city is considering leaving the fire agency to start its own, community-based fire department.
Earl, a Sammamish resident, explained how the firefighters are a presence in her school and in the area, and how she finds them to be members of the community.
Her comments didn’t sit well with Mayor Tom Odell. Odell said she certainly has her First Amendment rights, but that she was going too far by noting her role as a school principal.
“She was weaving her personal rights in with the school,” Odell said. Read more