City Council appoints Stacy Goodman to open seat
March 7, 2011
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 9 p.m. March 7, 2011
City Council members appointed Stacy Goodman to the council Monday night, ending a monthslong process to fill the seat and adding a fresh face to the board.
The council listened to applicants for a vacant seat for 90 minutes last week, but needed 20 minutes — and a couple of rounds of balloting — to appoint a successor to former Councilwoman Maureen McCarry.
“I believe there is a space up at the dais for you to occupy,” Mayor Ava Frisinger said after she administered the oath of office to the latest council addition.
Goodman, a past editor of The Issaquah Press, adds a fresh face — and a long résumé as a civic volunteer and municipal board member — to the seven-member council. The former journalist bested eight other applicants to hold the post until after the November council election. Members appointed her in a 4-2 decision.
“I didn’t always agree with what she wrote about me or the issue that I supported and she did not, but I always respected her for that,” Councilman Fred Butler said. “She treated me fairly and she was objective — and somewhat unyielding when it comes to doing the right thing.”
In the initial nomination, council members picked Goodman and applicant Paul Winterstein as top choices, and the council deadlocked in a 3-3 tie.
The decision hinged on Councilman Joshua Schaer, after he shifted support from Winterstein to Goodman.
“I’m usually not one to back down on a decision I make, but again, this is an impossible decision,” Schaer said before the 4-2 decision to appoint Goodman. “It’s going either require me to make that call, or it’s going to require one of my colleagues.”
Councilman Tola Marts backed Winterstein throughout both balloting rounds.
“I believe the two critical components of leadership are vision and judgment, and I believe that I have been lucky enough over the years to see these in ample quantities in Paul,” Marts said.
The council heard from the applicants during 10-minute presentations March 1. Then, the council recessed into a closed-door executive session for about 30 minutes to discuss applicants’ qualifications.
Under state law, the council can discuss qualifications in a closed-door session, but interviews and the decision must occur in public meetings. Members said the council did not discuss nominating a particular applicant for the seat during the executive session, and remained tight-lipped about possible frontrunners in the days after the applicant presentations.
Goodman is due to serve until after the next council election in November. The victor in the council race serves until Dec. 31, 2013. (The salary for council members is $700 per month.)
The decision to appoint the Goodman is bound to reverberate during the campaign season for council seats — if she decides to run for the seat.
In addition to the just-appointed seat, the council posts held by Council President John Traeger, plus Butler and Schaer, appear on the November ballot. Only Schaer has so far announced a bid for another term.
Goodman still has time to decide. Candidates must file to run in Issaquah and other races by June 10.
McCarry resigned Dec. 20, less than a year into a four-year term. The midterm opening for a council seat is rare. The most recent members to join the council — Marts and Mark Mullet — joined the board in January 2010.
McCarry resigned to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, although the longtime public servant has remained involved in the search. In February, she said applicants Goodman and Nina Milligan sought advice during the application process.
Like other midterm council openings in recent years, the process to appoint McCarry’s successor attracted numerous applicants.
The most recent council vacancy — created after then-Councilwoman Nancy Davidson resigned in 2006 — attracted 12 applicants, but one candidate dropped out before the interviews started. Former Councilman Joe Forkner became the council’s choice for the seat.
The opening in 1997, created after then-councilwoman Frisinger left to serve as mayor, included 10 applicants. The council later appointed McCarry to succeed Frisinger.