Eileen Barber will seek re-election to City Council

May 21, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — Noon, May 21, 2009

Councilwoman Eileen Barber announced today she is seeking re-election to the City Council.

“I ran on a platform of preserving our quality of life while planning for our future,” Barber said in a news release. “In these difficult and uncertain economic times, it is more important than ever that we accomplish both for our citizens and our city.”

Barber became the first incumbent to announce her intentions as the campaign filing period for four council seats draws closer. Seats held by Barber, Council President Maureen McCarry, Councilman David Kappler and Councilman John Rittenhouse are open. Mayor Ava Frisinger is also seeking re-election.

Barber joins three declared council candidates: South Cove resident Joan Probala, Issaquah Highlands resident Mark Mullet and Squak Mountain resident Tola Marts. The filing period for municipal candidates is from June 1-5.

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Barber championed her efforts to make the city more attractive to businesses.

“I am proud of the things we have accomplished over the last four years to strengthen Issaquah’s retail core and business climate,” she said in the release. “As a longtime business owner, I understand the impact our current economic downturn has on our city.”

Before she was elected to the seven-member council, Barber owned the Ben Franklin Store downtown. A longtime member of the Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, she served as president of the organization. She was named Business Person of the Year by the organization in 1998, and Citizen of the Year in 2005.

In her council post, Barber serves as chairwoman of the Council Services & Operations Committee, which reviews key pieces of legislation before the full council votes on the bills. The committee oversees city finances – an important role as the city grapples with a $1.5 million shortfall by cutting spending by $1.6 million.

In her campaign announcement, Barber highlighted her efforts to hire a city economic development manager and pass an ordinance to ban panhandling.

“I will continue to work hard to position our city to move forward as the economy rebounds,” she said in the release. “A strong and vibrant economy affords us the revenues we need to provide essential services and to acquire land for parks and open spaces that maintain Issaquah’s unique charm and quality of life.”

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