Issaquah official will advise county executive-elect
November 10, 2009
By Warren Kagarise
Issaquah Councilman Fred Butler will advise Dow Constantine as the King County executive-elect prepares to take office Nov. 24.Constantine bested opponent Susan Hutchison for the top county job Nov. 3, and announced Butler as part of the 30-person transition team late last week. The lineup includes elected officials, labor leaders and businesspeople.
Butler said he was flattered to be chosen for the group. Butler, who serves alongside Constantine on the Sound Transit board, said he was impressed by the way the executive-elect reached out to various groups during the campaign.
“He thought I was someone who, though a citizen of Issaquah, has the ability to take a regional perspective,” Butler said.
Butler also brings years of experience to the problems King County faces and the challenges the next executive will tackle.
Because the Nov. 3 vote was a special election to replace former Executive Ron Sims, Constantine will take office Nov. 24, after the election results are certified, instead of the traditional Jan. 1. Sims stepped down in May for a post in the Obama administration.
When he takes office, Constantine faces a crippling budget shortfall and possible widespread flooding across the Green River Valley. Butler said the compressed timeline and budget woes would make a smooth transition vital.
Constantine, a former state lawmaker, serves as chairman of the King County Council. He will resign from the council post to succeed interim Executive Kurt Triplett.
Constantine rolled out a bevy of endorsements from Eastside elected officials during the campaign, including nods from Butler and Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger.
Besides Butler, the transition team includes other Eastside leaders: Bellevue Mayor Grant Degginger and state lawmakers Fred Jarrett and Ross Hunter, both unsuccessful county executive candidates. Jarrett, a former Mercer Island mayor, serves as cochairman of the transition team.
“My commitment today is that my new administration will reflect all of King County and will be experienced in the hard work of translating our shared values into real results,” Constantine said in a news release. “I look forward to working closely with my transition team over the next several weeks as I make key staffing and other decisions.”
Butler said he would be open to advising Constantine after the executive took office, but he would weigh the decision against his time commitments to the City Council and regional boards.
“If he called on me for some help, I would consider it,” Butler said.
Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.