Mayor Ava Frisinger leads her last council meeting
December 24, 2013
By Peter Clark
Mayor Ava Frisinger presided over her final Issaquah City Council meeting Dec. 16.
After 16 years as the head of Issaquah’s administration, the four-term mayor decided not to run in this year’s election. The council and city officials held a reception in her honor before the meeting. Once it began, the first 30 minutes were spent praising her and her accomplishments. Many residents attended the mayor’s send off.
Council President Fred Butler, who won the election to replace Frisinger, introduced a certificate of appreciation to honor her for overseeing Issaquah’s booming transition over the past 16 years.
“It’s awarded to you in recognition of many years of dedication and service to the citizens of Issaquah from 1998 to 2013,” he said.
He remarked that Issaquah’s population had grown by 214 percent during the time she was in office, and he provided a long list of her administration’s deeds. He also introduced a resolution for the council to “officially express its deep gratitude.”
“In her public and private life, she’s committed to sustainability and balancing our community’s environmental, economic and social needs,” he said, reading a long list of Frisinger’s efforts. “She was instrumental in creation of the Issaquah Highlands and the Talus urban villages, which have set the standard in our region for sustainable development. You can see that she’s accomplished an awful lot in 16 years.”
The council unanimously passed the resolution and it was greeted with rousing applause from the audience.
Salmon Days Director Robin Kelley also rose to thank Frisinger for all she had given the yearly festival.
“You always made yourself available to festivals and the community,” she said, holding back tears. “After 16 years, you’ve earned some ‘R and R.’ We hope you’re like the salmon and you keep coming back.”
Accepting the resolution and thanking Butler, Frisinger addressed the council and the audience with a short, clear message.
“It is a privilege to have served you, and an honor and a very humbling experience to be given such appreciation,” she said. “Typically, it’s not appropriate to tell people you love them in public settings, it may be thought ill of. But, I love all of you, very, very much.”
Butler will take over the position of mayor on the first of the year, with a public ceremony during the Jan. 6 City Council meeting.