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.