Press Editorial

June 14, 2011

By Staff

Lack of challengers means lackluster vote

To our complete surprise, it looks like this year’s Issaquah City Council races will be about as lackluster as they come.

We are not surprised that incumbent Fred Butler has no challenger, given his long history of service to the city, the county and numerous community causes. He was a shoo-in.

Only incumbent Joshua Schaer will have an opponent. Late Friday, TJ Filley filed against him. Only these two candidates will give us any real conversation about the way the city deals with growth and development issues, spends taxpayer dollars and provides basic public services.

Where the heck are the applicants who sought appointment to the open council seat in January? There were nine of them then, all espousing their desire to serve. Stacy Goodman got the appointment, and Paul Winterstein, the only other nominee for the appointment, has filed unopposed for retiring Councilman John Traeger.

City Council members went out of their way to express their pleasure that so many well-qualified candidates had applied for the open seat. And we agree, they were an impressive lot. So where are they now?

Of course, life changes could have occurred since then, but to all remaining seven? We have to assume that either egos have gotten in the way and they can’t face the rejection of a loss, or the work of a campaign is just too hard. Yes, a campaign is tough, forcing candidates to get clear on their public positions while soliciting votes. But it is also a good test for the hard work to follow, should they win election.

The only other explanation is that the citizens — other than Filley — are quite content with the way the city is being run.

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