Joshua Schaer announces City Council re-election bid

February 22, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

Incumbent Joshua Schaer announced plans last week to run for a second term, setting off the campaign season for City Council seats.

The candidate highlighted environmental accomplishments in the announcement, including a first-on-the-Eastside food-packaging ordinance and polystyrene container ban.

“Shaping the future of our community is a great honor,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to another four years of creating practical solutions, while continuing to advocate for fiscal responsibility.”

Joshua Schaer

Schaer drafted and shepherded the food-packaging ordinance to fruition throughout 2009. Though the measure initially raised concerns about cost among local restaurateurs, the compliance date in October 2010 passed quietly.

The first-term councilman also leads the Council Transportation Committee and serves as the Issaquah representative to the Eastside Transportation Partnership, a regional group responsible for road and transit issues.

In recent months, as the transportation committee and the seven-member council tackled Newport Way Northwest upgrades, Schaer has been critical of the effort to remake a section of the road near the Bellevue city line and a separate proposal to widen the street near Issaquah Valley Elementary School.

In addition to Schaer’s post, the council seats held by Council President John Traeger and Councilman Fred Butler appear on the November ballot.

Candidates must file to run in Issaquah and other races by June 10. Schaer is the only council candidate so far.

Voters must also choose someone to serve in former Councilwoman Maureen McCarry’s seat until Dec. 31, 2013.

The council is set to appoint a resident to the open seat March 7. The appointee to the vacant seat then serves until the November council election. The council received applications from nine residents for the rare midterm vacancy.

Members serve at large and represent the entire city, rather than specific neighborhoods or defined geographic areas.

McCarry created the vacancy late last year after she resigned to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Schaer rolled out a series of endorsements from past and present public officials in his Feb. 17 campaign announcement: Traeger; former council members David Kappler, McCarry and John Rittenhouse; and former Issaquah School Board and city Arts Commission member Barbara de Michele.

Schaer outpaced Issaquah Highlands resident Vincent Ippolito by a mere 274 votes out of 5,274 ballots cast in the November 2007 council election. State Public Disclosure Commission records show the future councilman raised $4,686 in the race, compared to the $3,966 raised by Ippolito.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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