Joshua Schaer is first City Council member from Talus
January 8, 2013
By Warren Kagarise
Councilman Joshua Schaer moved to Talus late last month and, in the process, became the first City Council member from the Cougar Mountain urban village.
The change offers Schaer a perspective on city issues from the quiet urban village perched above state Route 900.
Construction escalated in the late 1990s and early 2000s in Talus and the Issaquah Highlands, both hillside urban villages, but the neighborhoods existed for more than a decade before a resident achieved citywide elected office.
In 2010, Mark Mullet became the first resident from the highlands to join the council. (Mullet, a state senator elected in November, recently resigned from the post to serve in Olympia.)
Though council members serve at large and represent the entire city, rather than specific neighborhoods or defined geographic areas, Schaer said the move could add perspective to decisions.
“What it might do is make me more attuned to local neighborhood issues that maybe I hadn’t considered before,” Schaer said. “I think it’s true that anytime you live in a particular neighborhood, you see more of what’s going on — roads, traffic, safety.”
The move came after the Schaers bought a home in Talus and moved to the urban village from a residence along Newport Way Northwest.
“I’ve been just as attuned to issues in the highlands or Squak Mountain or any other area of the city, regardless of the fact that I lived on the west end of the city,” Schaer said. “It doesn’t change that. We still look at the city as a whole.”
Before relocating to Talus, Schaer already put a stamp on the community. In 2009, he suggested adding the Talus descriptor to the name for Harvey Manning Park at Talus as a way to remind residents about the park’s location.
Voters elected Schaer to the council by a narrow margin in 2007 and then in a landslide in 2011.