Candidates file for City Council, school board, more

June 9, 2009

By Staff

Mayor Frisinger unopposed

Mayor Ava Frisinger will run unopposed for a fourth term and seven City Council candidates will battle for four seats, according to unofficial King County Elections filings.The deadline for candidate filing was 4:30 p.m. June 5. During the five-day filing period, Frisinger, seven council candidates and three Issaquah School Board hopefuls declared their candidacies for the nonpartisan seats. Candidates have until June 11 to withdraw.

Council incumbents Eileen Barber, David Kappler and Maureen McCarry entered the race. Newcomers Mark Mullet, Joan Probala, Tola Marts and Nathan Perea will seek council seats as well.

Candidates running unopposed could still face challenges from write-in candidates. The last day to file for election as a write-in candidate is Aug. 17. The primary election will be held Aug. 18; the general election is Nov. 3.

Barber, a former Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce president, was elected in 2005. She will run unopposed for a second term as the Position 3 councilwoman, according to county filings.

Kappler, a longtime councilman, was first elected in 1991. His opponents for the Position 7 seat are Marts, a Squak Mountain resident, and Nathan Perea, a member of the city Urban Village Development Commission.

McCarry was appointed to the council in 1998 to fill the seat vacated by Frisinger, a former councilwoman.

McCarry served until 2000, but opted not to run then. McCarry ran successfully in 2005. She will face South Cove resident Joan Probala — a former chamber of commerce president — in the contest for the Position 5 seat, according to county filings.

Councilman John Rittenhouse, whose Position 1 seat is also open this year, decided not to run for re-election.

Mullet is seeking the Position 1 seat. He serves on the board of directors for the Issaquah Highlands Community Association.

The race for mayor attracted incumbent Frisinger, who had earlier announced her intentions to seek another term. Frisinger was first elected mayor in 1997 after serving as a city councilwoman.

All city voters will cast ballots for municipal positions. Candidates are not required to live within a particular district to run for a specific council seat.

Three candidates are running for two open Issaquah School Board positions.

Marnie Maraldo, president of the Newcastle Elementary School PTSA, and Wright A. Noel, an attorney at Issaquah law firm Carson & Noel, are running for the Director District 2 position, which serves the south end of the district — or schools in the Liberty High School attendance area. Connie Fletcher, who holds the District 2 position and has served on the board since 1993, opted not to run for re-election.

Director District 4 incumbent Chad Magendanz will run unopposed. Magendanz was appointed to the position in October. He serves the areas in the southeast corner of the district, including the highlands, Preston, Mirrormont and Tiger Mountain.

Although all voters within the Issaquah School District vote for the positions, school board candidates must live within the boundaries of their director districts to be eligible for the post.

Some Issaquah voters will also cast ballots for other government boards. Nonpartisan seats on the Fire Protection District 10 and the Sammamish Plateau Water & Sewer District boards are also open.

Incumbent Commissioner Mike Mitchell filed for re-election to his District 10 post. He will run unopposed. The district includes Klahanie, Preston, Carnation, Tiger Mountain and May Valley.

Incumbent Commissioner Mary Shustov will run unopposed for her Sammamish Plateau Water & Sewer District position.

The other open seat attracted two candidates who have been vying since February for a seat on the board.

Longtime Commissioner Steve Stevlingson held the open seat until he missed several meetings due to illness and was removed from the board by his fellow commissioners.

Robert Abbott and Stan Stone both applied for the vacant position in February. They were finalists during the interview process. But commissioners were unable to select a new board member in a timely manner.

The decision then fell to King County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, who has not chosen who will hold the post until the election.

Countywide, more than 500 candidates filed for 331 county, city and local taxing district positions on the ballot.

By Warren Kagarise and Chantelle Lusebrink,  Reporter J.B. Wogan contributed to this story. Comment on it at

John Rittenhouse bows out

John Rittenhouse opted last week not to seek another City Council term — but the first-term councilman said he plans to return to city politics.

Rittenhouse said the time constraints of serving as a councilman have led him to re-evaluate a re-election bid. He explained his reasons in a June 6 e-mail to The Press.

“There are several things that I’ve been wanting to do in the last year or so that I have had to put off because of time constraints from serving on the council,” Rittenhouse wrote. “I had decided not to run for re-election, so that I can get caught up on those things I need to take care of.”

He indicated he could run for city office in the future, possibly as early as the next municipal election in 2011.

“My wife has encouraged me not to throw out my old campaign signs,” he wrote. “If in the next year or two, I can finish those things I have been deferring, I will look forward to asking the citizens of Issaquah for the privilege of serving them again in the next election cycle.”

Issaquah Highlands resident Mark Mullet is running unopposed for the seat held by Rittenhouse.

Candidates can withdraw from the race until June 11, and candidates running unopposed could still face challenges from write-in contenders. The last day to file for election as a write-in candidate is Aug. 17. The primary election will be held Aug. 18 and the general election is Nov. 3.

In the meantime, Rittenhouse plans to help open a human services campus in Issaquah. Officials envision the campus as a central point from which to aid people in need of food, healthcare and employment.

“I am looking forward to continuing to work on bringing a human services campus to Issaquah, as well as spending time to refine a long-term vision for our community,” Rittenhouse wrote.

Rittenhouse, a Microsoft program manager, served as an alternate member of the city Planning Policy Commission before running for the Position 1 council seat. He ran for election four years ago as an opponent of the proposed Southeast Bypass. He later voted with other bypass opponents last year to kill plans for the Tiger Mountain roadway.

As a councilman, Rittenhouse led the effort to cap campaign contributions for municipal candidates. His colleagues voted last month to place a $500 limit on cash and in-kind donations from a single party. Ironically, he missed the meeting due to illness.

Rittenhouse said he also plans to help city officials implement eco-friendly policies.

“We have correctly put an emphasis on sustainability, but for Issaquah to truly be sustainable and resilient over the next generation, our goals need to holistically change,” he continued. “Making that happen will take some time and I want to begin developing that framework.”

Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment on this story at

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