Mark Mullet reflects on City Council term

January 8, 2013

By Warren Kagarise

Mark Mullet claimed a historic first in January 2010.

Mark Mullet

The entrepreneur and former banking executive ran unopposed for a City Council seat in 2009 and won election as the first Issaquah Highlands resident to serve on the council.

The highlands added thousands of residents as construction escalated in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but the neighborhoods existed for more than a decade before a resident achieved citywide elected office.

In the years Mullet served on the council, members hired City Administrator Bob Harrison, oversaw a major staff reorganization at City Hall, approved a long-term redevelopment plan for the business district, inked development agreements with Lakeside Industries and Rowley Properties, and approved a retail plastic bag ban.

Mullet spearheaded the controversial plastic bag ban. Concerns about the environment led the council to decide 5-2 to eliminate most retail uses for plastic bags and place a 5-cent fee on paper bags starting in March.

But he lists the construction on a highlands retail center — named Grand Ridge Plaza and set to open in phases starting in the months ahead — as a top council accomplishment.

“If plastic bags had failed and the highlands retail center had still gone forward, then I would have considered that a success,” he said in Jan. 4 interview. “Whereas, if plastic bags had passed and the retail center hadn’t gone forward, I would have been depressed.”

Mullet listed estimated sales tax revenue for the city, and the addition of more retail options to the neighborhood as benefits associated with the highlands project.

In November, just shy of a full council term, Mullet defeated Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft to represent the 5th Legislative District in the Senate.

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