City Council applicants offer varied skills

January 22, 2013

By Warren Kagarise

Members to appoint candidate Jan. 29

The applicants for a rare open seat on the City Council include long-established community leaders — and some candidates from the last time the council accepted applications to fill a vacancy.

The seven candidates offer assorted skills in community, government and military service in the process to succeed Mark Mullet on the council.

Initially, Ken Sessler, a retired Boeing engineer and a prolific letter writer to The Issaquah Press, applied for the vacancy, but withdrew not long after the city released the applicant list.

The council questioned applicants in 10-minute interviews Jan. 22 and is scheduled to vote on the appointment Jan. 29.

Get involved

City Council special meeting

  • Agenda: council vacancy decision
  • 6 p.m. Jan. 29
  • Council Chambers
  • City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way

What to know

The council is poised to appoint a member from a pool of seven applicants.

Qualified applicants must be at least 18 years old, a registered voter and a city resident for at least one year prior to appointment.

Members serve at large and represent the entire city, rather than specific neighborhoods or defined geographic areas.

Members earn $700 per month for the part-time role. The deputy council president receives $750 per month and the council president earns $800 per month.

Under state law, the council can discuss candidates’ qualifications in a closed-door executive session, but interviews and the decision must occur in public meetings.

The appointee is expected to serve until the November election; he or she could run for the seat then.

The appointment process is similar to the steps used to fill vacant council seats in 2011, 2006 and 1998.

Mullet resigned from the council Jan. 8 to serve as a state senator representing Issaquah and the 5th Legislative District. The council put out a call for applications not long before the Democrat departed for Olympia.

In the group of candidates, applicants Michael Beard, Joe Forkner and Mary Lou Pauly also applied to serve during the last council vacancy in 2011. Members instead selected attorney Stacy Goodman to fill the seat once held by Maureen McCarry, and Goodman later won election to the post.

Michael Beard

Michael Beard, a district facilities manager for Target, and a former U.S. Navy flight officer and a Navy reservist, served on the Urban Village Development Commission as the board scrutinized the Central Issaquah Plan and other major projects.

In addition to the commissioner role, Beard is the homeowners association president in Squak Mountain’s Inneswood neighborhood and serves as the U.S. Naval Academy program information officer for numerous Eastside schools, including Issaquah High School.

“Public service has always been one of the bedrocks of my beliefs, and I have sought ways to be a servant of my community, my organizations and my country,” he wrote in the application letter.

Tim Flood

Tim Flood is a newcomer to the political process in Issaquah, but the South Cove resident is a close observer of city government.

“I take pride in being well-informed on any number of political issues, from national polices to local ordinances,” he wrote in the application letter. “I promise to be hard-working, engaged, well-informed and fair-minded. On all issues before the council, I will consider the opinions of constituents, colleagues, and stakeholders, and cast votes for the long-term good of the community.”

Flood works for Microsoft at the company’s campus adjacent to Lake Sammamish State Park and serves on the South Cove Homeowners Association.

Joe Forkner

Former Councilman Joe Forkner knows the details embedded in long-term plans for redevelopment and other essential functions of city government.

Forkner, a former city employee and a longtime engineering technician and drafter, served on numerous municipal boards and commissions throughout the past decade, including the council.

Members turned to the Squak Mountain resident in September 2006 to fill a vacancy after Councilwoman Nancy Davidson resigned. The appointment followed a five-year tenure as a council member.

In September 2009, Mayor Ava Frisinger picked Forkner to lead the Central Issaquah Plan Task Force — a group responsible for setting the foundation for redevelopment on about 1,000 acres.

Mary Lou Pauly

Mary Lou Pauly scrutinized Issaquah’s decadeslong construction and population boom up close as a Development Commission member.

The longtime Squak Mountain resident joined the commission in 1994 and, during the years, shaped how the city developed.

“I believe I will bring a very balanced approach to decision making and look forward to the challenge of the issues facing the city and council this year,” she wrote in the application letter.

In 2004, she served on the task force to examine a potential annexation of Klahanie and surrounding communities. The council appointed Pauly to the latest Klahanie annexation task force Jan. 7.

Bill Ramos

Downtown Issaquah resident Bill Ramos serves on the city Human Services Commission — the board responsible for advising the city administration about planning and funding to alleviate hunger, housing and other needs.

The community planner for the Federal Transit Administration said the council position offers a chance to help improve quality of life for residents.

“I would like the opportunity to continue to increase my efforts to work more in the governance of our city of Issaquah,” he wrote in the application letter. “I enjoy using my skills and passion to be part of the continued effort to make Issaquah as good as we can be.”

Mark Rigos

Mark Rigos serves as public works director at Newcastle City Hall, and the experience at another Eastside city could boost Rigos’ application.

The downtown Issaquah resident emphasized experience as a wetland engineer and a community leader with deep ties to the city and the Issaquah School District.

In Newcastle, Rigos’ Public Works Department is poised to complete several transportation and storm water projects in the months ahead. In Issaquah, he outlined goals to improve recreation and transportation citywide.

“Having hands-on experience at a city level would help me facilitate direction to Issaquah city staff,” he wrote in the application letter.

Chantal Stevens

Chantal Stevens urged residents to embrace “green” living as a cofounder of Sustainable Issaquah, a group formed in 2008 to build community ties and foster environmental stewardship.

Beyond Sustainable Issaquah, she serves on the Planning Policy Commission, a traditional springboard for council members, and in the past served on the Sister Cities Commission.

The longtime Issaquah Highlands resident is a performance management analyst for the King County Auditor’s Office.

“Through my professional experience I have acquitted in-depth knowledge of regional and local planning, social or geopolitical issues, having worked closely with a variety of local or regional governments and organizations,” she wrote in the application letter.

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One Response to “City Council applicants offer varied skills”

  1. bryan weinstein on January 24th, 2013 8:59 am

    seven citizens have aspirations to lead our community. seven.

  2. Smoley on January 24th, 2013 2:40 pm


    The reality is that none of those seven will be doing much leading in our community. The empty seat will be chosen by council itself and they will likely appoint someone who will go with the flow and the current “build, baby, build!” mindset.

    Council will ensure that this person appears to be making important decisions over the next 9 months so that they will have name recognition and endorsements just in time for the November election. Then it’ll be back to business as usual here in our new urban village of “Build-vue”.

    It’s too bad that Sessler dropped out. That would have been fun to watch.

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