Fond farewell

January 14, 2014

Ava Frisinger reflects on her 16 years as mayor

These days, Ava Frisinger, when not volunteering her time on various councils and boards, is spending a lot of catch-up time with her grandchildren. She won’t say which role is harder, being Issaquah’s longest-serving mayor or that of grandmother.

By Greg Farrar New Mayor Fred Butler (left) presents Ava Frisinger with a gift from city employees as her husband Bill Frisinger looks on.

By Greg Farrar
New Mayor Fred Butler (left) presents Ava Frisinger with a gift from city employees as her husband Bill Frisinger looks on.

“But being a grandmother is a very satisfying job, rewarding as well,” Frisinger said. “It’s neat to watch kids grow, encourage them to do what it is that they want to do.”

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New mayor fills first days with keeping promises

January 7, 2014

New Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler has some big shoes to fill and he has already stepped into them.

Though Butler’s official swearing-in did not happen until the City Council’s Jan. 6 meeting, he began his new job Jan. 1. After winning the Nov. 5 election with 75 percent of the vote, he has had two months to prepare for the job.

“It has been a great transition,” Butler said. “The transition actually started during the election.”

He said in the midst of the mayoral campaign, now former-mayor Ava Frisinger and City Administrator Bob Harrison sat down with Butler and his opponent Joe Forkner to discuss emerging issues facing Issaquah and what a transition would require.

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Joe Forkner enters race for Issaquah mayor

February 5, 2013

Less than a week after rejoining the City Council, longtime community leader and seasoned Councilman Joe Forkner entered the race for mayor Feb. 4.

Joe Forkner

Joe Forkner

The announcement set up a contest between Forkner and a colleague, Council President Fred Butler. The councilmen hope to lead the city once Mayor Ava Frisinger steps down in January 2014 after 16 years in the top job at City Hall.

Forkner, 59, worked for the city in the past and served on the council in recent stints — from 2000 to 2005, and to fill a vacancy from September 2006 to late 2007. The latest appointment, a 10-month stint approved Jan. 29 in a 4-2 decision, caps a busy period after Forkner led the citizen panel responsible for outlining redevelopment in the business district.

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Mayor Ava Frisinger reflects on accomplishments

February 5, 2013

Mayor Ava Frisinger, a steady leader amid more than a decade of transformation, plans to retire after guiding Issaquah through a transition from small town to a boomtown in 16 years at City Hall.

Ava Frisinger

Ava Frisinger

The announcement did not come as a surprise to other elected leaders or residents active in municipal government. Frisinger said in early 2009 she did not intend to run for a fifth term as mayor in 2013.

But the decision to include the announcement in a farewell State of the City address Feb. 4 enabled Frisinger to cast the annual speech as valedictory on accomplishments from the last decade and a half.

The mayor glanced back to 1998 — before officials opened a modern City Hall along East Sunset Way and as initial residents settled into the Issaquah Highlands, a then-novel urban village carved into the hillside above Interstate 90.

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Issaquah workshop to offer energy advice

February 5, 2013

Residents can learn tips to reduce home energy use — and save 50 percent or more on energy bills — at a workshop focused on energy efficiency.

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Mayor Ava Frisinger reflects on accomplishments

February 5, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 5, 2013

Mayor Ava Frisinger, a steady leader amid more than decade of transformation, plans to retire after guiding Issaquah through a transition from small town to a boomtown in 16 years at City Hall.

Ava Frisinger

Ava Frisinger

The announcement did not come as a surprise to other elected leaders or residents active in municipal government. Frisinger said in early 2009 she did not intend to run for a fifth term as mayor in 2013.

But the decision to include the announcement in a farewell State of the City address Monday enabled Frisinger to cast the annual speech as valedictory on accomplishments from the last decade and a half.

The mayor glanced back to 1998 — before officials opened a modern City Hall along East Sunset Way and as initial residents settled into the Issaquah Highlands, a then-novel urban village carved into the hillside above Interstate 90.

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Joe Forkner launches campaign for Issaquah mayor

February 4, 2013

NEW — 3 p.m. Feb. 4, 2013

Less than a week after rejoining the City Council, longtime community leader and seasoned Councilman Joe Forkner entered the race for mayor Monday.

Joe Forkner

Joe Forkner

The announcement set up a contest between Forkner and a colleague, Council President Fred Butler. The councilmen hope to lead the city once Mayor Ava Frisinger steps down in January 2014 after 16 years in the top job at City Hall.

Forkner, 59, worked for the city in the past and served on the council in recent stints — from 2000 to 2005, and to fill a vacancy from September 2006 to late 2007. The latest appointment, a 10-month stint approved Jan. 29 in a 4-2 decision, caps a busy period after Forkner led the citizen panel responsible for outlining redevelopment in the business district.

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City Council appoints Joe Forkner to open seat

January 29, 2013

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.

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City Council shifts top leadership positions

January 29, 2013

The leadership atop the City Council shifted in early January, as the group chose a longtime councilman to lead the council again.

In unanimous decisions Jan. 7, council members chose Fred Butler for the top spot on the board, council president, and Paul Winterstein to serve in the No. 2 position, deputy council president.

The council did not nominate other contenders for either position.

Issaquah voters elected Butler to the council in 1999. Since 2009, he has served as deputy council president after earlier serving as council president.

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City seeks applicants for advisory boards, commissions

January 29, 2013

City leaders need civic-minded citizens to offer advice on important issues as municipal board and commission members.

The city needs applicants for openings on 12 boards and commissions. The groups advise the City Council on issues related to the arts, cable TV, development, parks and, in more specialized realms, city cemetery operations and sister-city relationships.

Meanwhile, officials need regular and alternate members for the 12 existing commissions. The applicants for board and commission posts do not need to reside in Issaquah.

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