Mary Lou Pauly sets sights on social first term
December 10, 2013
By Peter Clark
New Issaquah City Councilwoman Mary Lou Pauly wants to connect with the community.
After Pauly won an uncontested election last month, Mayor Ava Frisinger swore her into office during the Dec. 2 regular council meeting.
Though she knew she would not have an opponent in the election, Pauly took the opportunity to introduce herself to the citizens of Issaquah.
“I went out doorbelling,” she said, thanking the kindness of strangers for helping her shake off slight nervousness. “After one doorbell and one friendly face, it was wonderful.”
Pauly, a resident of Squak Mountain, said she wanted to get to know other parts of the city, so she targeted different neighborhoods.
“People were so glad to see the face of someone about to represent them,” she said. “Most residents really just wanted to talk for a few minutes, and were surprised to see me.”
She has also spent the last few months cultivating an understanding of a council member’s duties. She has attended council workshops, budget meetings, met with all of the administration’s department heads and sat down with mayor-elect Fred Butler.
“I told him he should put me where he needs me,” she said about specific committee or representative appointments that would come from the mayor’s office. “I want to fit in with the dynamic they already have.”
She does have a large goal for her first term on the City Council.
“I hope to facilitate engagement with the community,” she said. “I have to spend time with community groups and not just get lost in the technicalities. I need to balance that out with meeting citizens.”
Though she said it is too early in her time with the council to focus on specific projects, she does have a passion for Issaquah’s future direction.
“I’m still excited about the Central Issaquah Plan,” she said. “I’m very interested in the vision established and very curious about how it will work. I think the citizens still don’t exactly understand what’s in there.”
She had a particular interest in how the CIP addresses the Olde Town district. She heard concerns from many residents there about how zoning would affect future redevelopment in the area.
“Based on the feedback from citizens, that’s one thing I would like looked at again,” Pauly said.
More than anything else, she said she needs to build a foundation of knowledge and relationships in order to best serve Issaquah.
“That first year is just a really big year,” she said, listing the various ways she hopes to give value to the council. “I have to get to know the other members better and get to know the new mayor better.”
Pauly fills the seat left by Joe Forkner, who unsuccessfully sought a bid for mayor this year.