October 20, 2009
Our recommendations in local elections
Issaquah voters didn’t fare too well this year, getting candidate choices for only two of its four open City Council positions. But the quality of the four candidates running for positions 5 and 7 are excellent. The candidates have generated a vigorous debate about the issues and all merit your consideration.We have listened to the candidates carefully and offer our endorsements as food for thought as you study your ballot options.
Position 5 – Maureen McCarry. McCarry is seeking her second elected term on the council, and deserves it. She has worked hard, listens well and brings both knowledge and passion to the council. She is willing to stand up for her beliefs while challenging others, but is nearly always willing to seek compromise when needed. Challenger Joan Probala is about the most prepared of any challenger we’ve seen, having served on three city commissions and has worked hard to bring South Cove into the city limits. She’s ready for elected office, but McCarry’s experience should not be traded in.
Position 7 – Tola Marts. In this race, there are two new faces, both shy on city leadership experience. Marts moved into the city three years ago and got involved in a local PTA and school site council. His opponent, Nathan Perea, is a resident of the Issaquah Highlands, where he serves as a neighborhood captain, and is on a chamber of commerce committee. Listen carefully to the two and Perea has the most new ideas, but Marts has studied the city issues and is better prepared to step into outgoing Councilman David Kappler’s shoes. There is no doubt Perea is going to be an exciting new leader for Issaquah, but we’d like to see him broaden his community roles a bit more.
The Issaquah School Board has one challenged seat. Marnie Maraldo and Wright Noel are both vying to represent the south end of the district, represented by Connie Fletcher for the past 16 years.
Both Noel and Maraldo would be exemplary school board members, but Maraldo’s leadership in PTA and on legislative issues regarding education and school funding demonstrates that she has the passion, knowledge, talent and time for the job.
Issaquah attorney Noel’s willingness to be a leader in the school community should be called into use, but Maraldo is better prepped to go.