Joan Probala to run for City Council

March 2, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

Joan Probala

Joan Probala

Saying she wants to provide a voice for residents of her South Cove neighborhood, real estate agent Joan Probala announced her candidacy for the City Council last week.

In her campaign announcement, Probala said she wants to focus on economic vitality, infrastructure needs and updates to the subarea plan — the growth strategy for key Issaquah neighborhoods.“I love the city of Issaquah and I want to take it into the future,” she said.

To that end, Probala said she wants to streamline city permitting to make the process simpler for businesses that want to open downtown. She highlighted downtown as an area that should receive more attention from the council.

“I want to see people walking downtown,” she said.

A community activist who pushed for South Cove to be annexed in Issaquah, Probala serves on the city Arts and Planning Policy commissions. Her civic commitments include the Kiwanis Club, of which she is a longtime member. She is also a past president of the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce.

Probala said she would work toward a more unified City Council if elected.

“I would like to see a more cohesive spirit within the council,” she said.

Probala is pursuing the seat held by Council President Maureen McCarry, who served on the council from 1998 to 2000 and was elected to her current term four years ago. McCarry, who said she had received an e-mail from Probala announcing her candidacy, said yesterday that it was too early to make a decision about her own re-election.

“We’re going to have a number of people running,” McCarry said following a meeting of the Council Sustainability Committee, on which she serves. “It’s going to be an interesting democratic process.”

Probala said she had long considered running for the seat, and that her candidacy was not meant as a critique of McCarry’s record.

“I’m not running against her,” Probala said. “I’m running on my ability to do what’s best for the city.”

Voters will cast ballots for mayor and four council members in November. In addition to McCarry, the seats held by Councilwoman Eileen Barber, Councilman John Rittenhouse and Councilman David Kappler will be up for election. Probala is the first candidate to announce her intentions.

“Everyone recognizes that more growth is coming. It’s the council’s job to ensure the city grows the right way. That means preserving Issaquah’s character while moving forward with a real vision for the future,” she said in a campaign news release. “My background in real estate has taught me what people want in a home and in a community. They want a clean, well-planned city with a thriving cultural scene, and they want businesses that meet their needs so they can shop locally.”

Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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