City Council, Issaquah School Board incumbents post big leads
November 8, 2011
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 8:20 p.m. Nov. 8, 2011
Joshua Schaer, the only City Council member to face a challenger in a quiet campaign season, posted a sizable — and almost certainly insurmountable — lead against opponent TJ Filley as election results started to dribble out Tuesday night.
Incumbents scored leads in the initial election results released just after 8 p.m. Schaer, incumbent school board members Brian Deagle and Suzanne Weaver, plus Port of Seattle Commission incumbents Bill Bryant and Gael Tarleton, pulled ahead as the off-year election came to a close.
Deagle pulled ahead of challenger Patrick Sansing and Weaver outpaced opponent Brian Neville.
Though voters decided on the majority of council seats, only Schaer attracted a challenger. Incumbent Councilman Fred Butler, appointed Councilwoman Stacy Goodman and candidate Paul Winterstein cruised into office in the other council races.
Schaer outpolled Filley, 62 percent to 37 percent in the 3,942 ballots included in the initial results.
Weaver led Neville, 64 percent to 36 percent, in the initial 11,762 ballots. Deagle pulled ahead of Sansing, 65 percent to 35 percent, among 11,567 ballots counted.
In the only uncontested school board race, voters elected Bellevue resident Anne Moore to succeed outgoing board member Jan Colbrese.
In the school board contests, candidates focused on maintaining a high-achieving school district despite near-constant cuts from Olympia.
Bryant trounced challenger Dean Willard, a Sammamish resident, in a Port of Seattle Commission race focused on economic and environmental issues. Tarleton defeated Richard Pope to remain on the commission.
In the contested council race, Filley made a $6.7 million pedestrian bridge across Interstate 90 a major issue in the council race, because the city accepted federal funds to complete the connector. Filley conceded the race not long after King County Elections released the results.
“Well, everyone, let’s continue to eat, drink and be merry,” he said to supporters at Billy Bob’s Burgers & BBQ. “It was a long, hard campaign and I appreciate everybody’s help. It looks like I lost by 1,000 votes.”
Schaer, meanwhile, snacked on onion rings at the Issaquah Brewhouse and laid out ideas for a second term on the council.
On the council, the attorney spearheaded a food-packaging ordinance to require restaurateurs and other food sellers to use compostable and recycle takeout containers and utensils.
“We need to get our compliance rate up,” he said. “We’re probably going to have to start issuing warnings. There are certain businesses — and I’m not going to name names — that are refusing to comply, overtly refusing to comply.”
Throughout the campaign, the councilman knocked on about 1,000 doors as supporters — including Schaer’s 2007 opponent, Vincent Ippolito — fanned out across other neighborhoods.
Schaer credited Filley for scrutinizing how city leaders spent public dollars, but said the city needs to accept funds from outside sources in order to complete critical projects.
“I think it’s always good for people to be a watchdog about the use of dollars, wherever they come from,” Schaer said. “That’s something that we try very hard on the council to do. We try very hard to maintain a strong economic vitality in the community, manage our tax base and provide a high level of services.”