Talks began in December regarding finding a new city manager

January 22, 2010

UPDATED — 5 p.m. Jan. 22, 2010

Talks regarding firing City Manager John Starbard and appointing former Community Development Director Rob Wyman as interim city manager began privately in December.

While councilmen-elect John Dulcich, Bill Erxleben and Rich Crispo said they had been in favor of making changes to the city’s management, Erxleben specifically sought out Wyman in December as a candidate for interim city manager.

Erxleben discussed the matter with Dulcich and Crispo, and such talks were legal because the councilmen-elect had not been sworn into office.

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Select baseball team seeks more members

January 22, 2010

NEW — 10:10 a.m. Jan. 22, 2010

The Bellevue Warriors — a select baseball team formerly known as Warriors 12U — still have two openings on their roster, team co-founder and Newcastle resident Michael Stein said.

The team has 12 players on its roster, and Stein’s son, Jake, is a member of the team.

The team’s schedule in January and February includes three training sessions per week, plus one-on-one coaching for any interested players. The Warriors’ coaching staff is also working with other select teams in Western Washington to schedule scrimmages as weather permits, Stein said.

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February ‘Night of Indulgence’ will benefit Arthritis Foundation

January 19, 2010

NEW — 2:48 p.m. Jan. 19, 2009

Salon Masoero owner Gina Masoero and Sandra Wixon, who owns chocolate shop Sweet Decadence, teamed up with resident Mauricia Spring to produce a Night of Indulgence, a benefit for the Arthritis Foundation.

The open house will take place from 4-8 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Newcastle Professional Building, located at 12835 Newcastle Way, and will be themed toward Valentine’s Day gifts.

Night of Indulgence is an event produced six to seven times per year by Masoero and Wixon. The event is typically held at Sweet Decadence, with local vendors as well as chocolate and wine pairings.

However, this special Night of Indulgence will feature more than a dozen vendors and a raffle through which many prizes will be given away, including two-night vacations, a stay at five-star hotel, The Bellevue Athletic Club, a dinner at the Space Needle and lift tickets to Stevens Pass.

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City Council fires city manager, hires former community development director

January 15, 2010

NEW — 6 p.m. Jan. 15, 2010

At a special City Council meeting Tuesday night, the City Council voted 6-1 to terminate City Manager John Starbard’s contract without cause, effective immediately. The only dissenting vote was that of Councilman Sonny Putter.

In terminating Starbard’s contract without cause, the city must pay Starbard his full salary for six months as severance pay. Starbard’s total severance pay will be $66,500, as his annual salary was $133,000.

In another 6-1 vote, with Putter dissenting once more, the council appointed Rob Wyman, former community development director for the city, to take over as interim city manager for the next six months.

Wyman worked for the city from 1998-2006.

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Public Works director, parks commissioner resign

January 15, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 15, 2010

Public Works Director Maiya Andrews submitted her resignation to then-City Manager John Starbard Jan. 11, and her resignation will take effect Feb. 10.

However, the news was not publicly announced until Jan. 13, when interim City Manager Rob Wyman sent an e-mail to city staff members.

Also, Parks Commissioner Curtis Gray submitted his resignation to city officials yesterday morning, and his resignation took effect immediately.

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BREAKING NEWS — City Council fires city manager, cuts more than $1 million from budget

January 13, 2010

NEW — 12:22 a.m. Jan. 13, 2010

At a special City Council meeting Tuesday night, the City Council voted 6-1 to terminate City Manager John Starbard’s contract, effective immediately.

The City Council appointed Rob Wyman, a former community development director for the city, to take over as interim city manager for the next six months.

During the four-hour meeting, the City Council also cut more than $1 million of expenses from its 2010 budget. Of those cuts, more than $800,000 was cut from the 2010 capital budget.

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U.S. Postal Service denies Newcastle ZIP code appeal

January 12, 2010

NEW — 4:04 p.m. Jan. 12, 2010

The post office denied an appeal by Newcastle to create a ZIP code for the city.

Last September, City Manager John Starbard wrote a letter to U.S. Postal Service headquarters in Washington, D.C., and asked the agency to reconsider the Seattle District’s decision to deny the city a ZIP code.

In December, the city received a response from James W. Kiser, manager of delivery operations for the postal service.

“After a thorough review of the case file and the details of both the Seattle District and Western Area office decisions, it is the final determination of this office to support the denial of your request,” Kiser wrote in his letter.

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Council picks Bellevue attorney to succeed Fred Jarrett in state Senate

January 11, 2010

NEW — 2:40 p.m. Jan. 11, 2010

The next lawmaker to represent Newcastle in the state Senate will be Democrat Randy Gordon, a Bellevue attorney.

Gordon succeeds Fred Jarrett, a Democrat who stepped down last month after County Executive Dow Constantine named the then-lawmaker to the No. 2 spot in King County government. King County Council members appointed Gordon to the open seat Monday, the opening day of the 60-day legislative session.

Members approved the appointment in a unanimous vote.

County Council members picked a successor from a list of candidates submitted by local Democratic Party leaders. The new senator won the support of most of the 41st District precinct-committee officers during a Jan. 5 meeting.

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New mayor, new councilmen for city

January 6, 2010

Councilmen Rich Crispo, Bill Erxleben and John Dulcich are sworn in at the Jan. 5 City Council meeting.

Councilmen Rich Crispo, Bill Erxleben and John Dulcich are sworn in at the Jan. 5 City Council meeting.

NEW — 2:21 p.m. Jan. 6, 2010

New City Councilman John Dulcich was unanimously elected at the Jan. 5 City Council meeting as the next mayor of Newcastle.

Councilman Steve Buri was unanimously elected to become deputy mayor for the city.

The elections of the mayor and deputy mayor took place immediately after new councilmen Rich Crispo, Bill Erxleben and Dulcich were sworn into office.

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