Last quarter, Highlands Council entered a new era. The Highlands Council bylaws were amended, the board of trustees was expanded, and committees have been formed to evaluate ways to move this community forward.
In June, Highlands Council finalized a years-long negotiation with our founder, Issaquah Highlands master developer, Port Blakely, to give complete organizational control to the board of trustees. This includes the ability to expand the number of stakeholder representation on the board. In a letter, Port Blakely representative, John Shaw wrote, “Port Blakely observed with great satisfaction the programs and management of the Highlands Council since 2013 and it has a high degree of confidence that Highlands Council will continue to faithfully administer the Covenant for Community and to the assurances contained therein.”
Effective July 1, the Highlands Council Board of Trustees appointed two new trustees to three-year terms.
Chris Beaudoin is the chief operating officer of Swedish Issaquah. It is wonderful to have a representative from Swedish back on the board as Swedish Issaquah is such an important commercial stakeholder of this community.
Zach Hall is a resident and Issaquah City Council member. He fills one of the first expansion seats on the board, representing the younger community demographic, and providing an opportunity for the community building work of Highlands Council to appear more consistently before city leadership.
The board of trustees established four committees. The first is a finance committee that will support staff in managing the ever-changing economic climate due to the pandemic as it impacts Highlands Council’s operations. The Transportation Solutions Committee will support staff in the creation of a community shuttle program. A branding committee will evaluate the community logos and the need for new program images, including the newly formed Issaquah Highlands Community Fund and community shuttle. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee will support staff in not only organizing cultural celebrations, but also help transform discussion around equity and racism into positive action by the community.
Your voice matters, too, and it always has! As Highlands Council determines what the new normal will look like for community group gatherings and special events, how to support moving you around the community while leaving your car at home, and what we can do to weave neighborliness and inclusion of all people into the fabric of our community culture, we will be surveying and hosting focus groups for your feedback.
Your participation is critical. Your support and encouragement of your neighbors to participate is vital. This is our home, our future, and our commitment. We are “Stronger Together.”
Blakely Hall photo by Scott Moffat.