2006: The year in review

The year 2006 got off to a slow start, picked up steam in the summer with several controversial issues and ended with a record flood and a severe windstorm that left the Valley without power for nearly a week.

The year was a big one for the Snoqualmie Tribe. The Tribe moved to new headquarters in downtown Snoqualmie in May, installed Jerry Enick as chief and decided to proceed with plans for a casino solo after its business partner pulled out of the deal.

North Bend made progress on obtaining water rights to eventually end the moratorium on new construction. The city also saw a shake up of city staff. Director of community development Larry Stockton left in June, and administrator George Martinez was fired in July. The city hired Gina Estep in September to replace Stockton, and Duncan Wilson in October to replace Martinez.

Under the leadership of new mayor Matt Larson, Snoqualmie wrangled with several controversial issues: a potential road linking Snoqualmie Ridge to Lake Alice Road and whether to raise taxes to build a community center with a pool led the list. Neither will be built right away; the city decided to seek county support and a study for the road and voters shot down the pool proposal in November.

Discussion about the need for a pool in the Snoqualmie Valley was highlighted after the June drowning of 17-year-old Tess Sollitto of North Bend in the Snoqualmie River at a popular swimming hole. Her death elicited an outpouring of community grief and support.

A school district task force spent much of the year researching the area's growing demand on school resources and recommended in September that the Snoqualmie Valley School District build a new high school, elementary school and perform needed repairs and upgrades throughout the school system. The school board decided to put the $209.2 million levy before voters this upcoming February.

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