City Council appoints Joe Forkner to open seat

January 29, 2013

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6:20 p.m. Jan. 29, 2013

Joe Forkner returned to the City Council on Tuesday after a divided council appointed the former councilman, onetime city employee and longtime community leader to a vacant seat.

The council appointed a successor to former Councilman Mark Mullet after about 15 minutes of discussion.

Members nominated Forkner and longtime Development Commission member Mary Lou Pauly for the post. The council chose Forkner in a 4-2 decision.

The seat opened Jan. 8 after Mullet departed to serve in Olympia. The entrepreneur and former banking executive defeated Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft to represent the 5th Legislative District in the state Senate.

Mayor Ava Frisinger administered the oath of office to Forkner moments after the council vote. The council appointee is expected to serve until the November election; Forkner could run for election to the seat then.

“For me, the question really was about who was the most ready to go at this particular time,” Councilwoman Stacy Goodman said in nominating Forkner.

Forkner, 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, 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.

The council interviewed applicants Forkner, Pauly, Michael Beard, Tim Flood, Bill Ramos, Mark Rigos and Chantal Stevens in 10-minute segments Jan. 22.

Members then headed into a closed-door executive session to discuss the applicants’ qualifications.

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.

Ken Sessler initially applied for the vacant seat, but withdrew Jan. 16, not long after the city released the applicant list.

Beard, Forkner and Pauly also applied to serve during the last council vacancy in 2011. Members instead selected Goodman to fill the vacancy, and she later won election to the seat.

On the council, 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.

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5 Responses to “City Council appoints Joe Forkner to open seat”

  1. Jams on January 29th, 2013 7:49 pm

    Hey, whatever you do, don’t tell us who voted for whom!

  2. Sally on January 29th, 2013 9:33 pm

    I can’t remember much about Forkner but I hope he has at least one cell in his body that supports the environment. Granted he will be the lone ranger on this council if he does. At least someone is seated.

  3. bryan weinstein on January 30th, 2013 8:38 am

    unsurprising, joe has been the council go-to guy for previous vacancies. he’s a known quantity. this move forever demonstrates the true nature of the issaquah city council club. six other citizens had ideas and passion that were again ignored by our leaders. when will we learn?

  4. Smoley on January 30th, 2013 10:02 am

    No big surprise with this decision. Nor is it surprising that the council unanimously elected mayoral candidate Fred “Build it!” Butler to the position of council president.

    And when Butler gets elected mayor next year, the council will find another high-rise friendly person with a high-density urban vision for our small town to fill his seat.

    Get ready Issaquah. Our beautiful small town nestled by the surrounding mountains is about to undergo a irreparable change.

  5. Tim Flood on February 1st, 2013 8:55 am

    Congratulations to Joe Forkner. I was very impressed by the applicants and their respective presentations to fill the vacancy. I personally thought that Mary Lou Pauly and Michael Beard gave the most compelling presentations last week, and either would have been a great addition to the council. Joe will undoubtedly be able to hit the ground running as a former council member, but it would have been nice to add a new point of view to the team.

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