Mayor candidates are already both winners

October 29, 2013

By Greg Farrar

In the editorial above this space, I’m sure you will find our newspaper’s official endorsement for the next mayor of Issaquah. One of the two candidates will take office in January as the first new mayor in 16 years. With your indulgence, here follows my own personal endorsement.

For the odd-numbered months during their term of office I prefer Fred Butler, and for the even-numbered months Joe Forkner.

Greg Farrar Press photographer

Greg Farrar
Press photographer

The fact is, not only are they both among the best and most caring people in town that I know, but they have run without a doubt the most gentlemanly, civil, respectful and considerate campaign in the history of politics ever.

If they shared mayoral duties for the next four years, we would be a happy, healthy, well-run place to live.

Sure, each of them wants the office for themselves, and have explained why they feel they are the best choice for mayor, but they’ve also spent chunks of their time in candidate forums building each other up, and never tearing each other down. Go find another race where that has ever happened!

They’ve worked together for years on the city council and on city commissions, they each know how the other stands on issues of growth, traffic, services and the environment, and one gets the feeling that they will be pleased with the future direction of Issaquah regardless of which of them wins.

When it comes down to it, this has been one very blessed town for decades when it comes to who has been mayor.

When I started at The Press, Rowan Hinds was near the end of his decades of service as council member and mayor. What I remember about that was the huge outpouring of the public and city staff’s affection during his retirement party at the Community Center. That says a lot about anyone.

It was also a privilege to meet the three previous mayors, A.J. Culver, Herb Herrington and Keith Hansen, whose reputations and re-elections for multiple years of service to the city testifiy to the good stewardship Issaquah has enjoyed.

And Ava Frisinger has been amazing, for more than two decades as a council member and at the helm as mayor, serving twice as long as any other mayor in the last 40 years, moving the city through incredible growth while preserving small-town compassion and the environment.

Either Joe Forkner or Fred Butler will do very good justice to the legacy they inherit, and all I can say, with a mixture of relief and regret, is that I don’t live in the city limits and don’t have to choose between them. As a matter of fact, if I did live in town, my vote would be for both Fred and Joe. Yep, I’d just put a mark beside the names of both friends and let my vote in the mayor’s race be invalid.

The rest of you, with a lot more wisdom than I and with a vested interest in how you want Issaquah city government to serve you personally, have a tough choice to make and I believe you will choose well.

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