Issaquah voters re-elect Councilman Joshua Schaer

November 15, 2011

Joshua Schaer (right), calls his mother Nancy Schaer, of Redmond, to tell her about his lead in the Issaquah City Council race, as former Councilman David Kappler chats with other election night partygoers at the Issaquah Brewhouse. By Greg Farrar 

Joshua Schaer, the only City Council member to face a challenger in a little-noticed campaign season, trounced opponent TJ Filley as the off-year election came to a close.

Incumbents scored leads in the initial election results released just after 8 p.m. Election Day, Nov. 8, eliminating the prospect of a long pause before a frontrunner emerged. Schaer, alongside incumbents on the Issaquah School Board and Port of Seattle Commission, pulled ahead early.

Though voters decided on the majority of council seats, only Schaer attracted a challenger. Incumbent Councilman Fred Butler, appointed Councilwoman Stacy Goodman and candidate Paul Winterstein cruised into office in the other council races. Terms for the triumphant candidates start in January.

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Port of Seattle incumbents sail ahead

November 15, 2011

Port of Seattle Commission incumbents Bill Bryant and Gael Tarleton sailed to re-election Nov. 8. Bryant trounced challenger Dean Willard, a Sammamish resident, and Tarleton defeated Richard Pope in a lopsided contest to remain on the nonpartisan commission.

The race hinged on the economy and the environment, and the role the Port of Seattle plays in relation to each issue. The commission is the agency responsible for the Port of Seattle and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

City Council, Issaquah School Board incumbents post big leads

November 8, 2011

Joshua Schaer (right), calls his mother Nancy Schaer, of Redmond, to tell her about his lead in the Issaquah City Council race, as former Councilman David Kappler chats with other election night partygoers at the Issaquah Brewhouse. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 8:20 p.m. Nov. 8, 2011

Joshua Schaer, the only City Council member to face a challenger in a quiet campaign season, posted a sizable — and almost certainly insurmountable — lead against opponent TJ Filley as election results started to dribble out Tuesday night.

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Press Editorial

November 1, 2011

Tarleton, Bryant for port commissioners

The concerns in the races for the Port of Seattle Commission are about enemies and rivals — in the name of terrorism and new competition.

Candidate Gael Tarleton, the commission’s expert on security issues, is a shoo-in for another term. Her opponent, Richard Pope, is a perennial candidate for one office or another and not a serious contender.

The other contested port race includes sharp, dedicated candidates — incumbent Bill Bryant and his challenger, Sammamish resident Dean Willard.

Bryant has steered the commission through tough financial management issues and corrected the course. His commitment to bringing port issues to the public and for the public is outstanding.

Willard’s decision to challenge Bryant — a leader respected by Democrats and Republicans, business and environmental interests alike — seems oddly timed. We encourage Willard to remain engaged in the public process. The local political scene needs more candidates with his enthusiasm and ideas.

However, Bryant is the best choice to continue leading the Port of Seattle on the rough seas ahead.

Cruise passengers urged to explore beyond Seattle

October 25, 2011

From the Space Needle to Pike Place Market, Seattle has plenty to offer its guests, but the Washington Tourism Alliance and the Port of Seattle are encouraging cruise ship tourists to explore beyond the predictable city limits. They are hoping tourists will venture into the suburban and rural areas outside of Seattle, including Issaquah.

“It’s really about what can you offer as an attractive package as an add-on to the cruise purchase,” said Dan Trimble, then-economic development manager for the city of Issaquah. “We’re pretty fortunate here to have several things that can be easily compartmentalized to those packages.”

Bill Bryant

From the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and Cougar Mountain Zoo, to outdoor opportunities and shopping districts, Issaquah has plenty to offer its tourists, Trimble said.

This is part of a plan carried out by the newly established Washington Tourism Alliance, which is working along with the Port of Seattle and other tourism agencies to let people know about the tourist opportunities that exist outside of Seattle.

“The cruise ship (industry) brings about $400 million to King County and the region, and that’s because the passengers are staying one to two nights in the area. But most of them are spending that time in downtown Seattle,” Seattle Port Commissioner Bill Bryant said.

He said he hopes the cruise ship tourists extend their stay and explore the surrounding areas, “whether that is wineries in Woodinville or going out to Snoqualmie Falls.”

The state Legislature recently cut funding for the state tourism office.

In its place, various stakeholders including the port, some of the hotel associations and some of the restaurant associations have established the WTA to serve as a vehicle for communities to reach out to tourists, Bryant said.

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Issaquah City Council, school board candidates gather at forum

October 18, 2011

Candidates for local and regional offices offered prescriptions for counteracting the ailing economy and educating a 21st-century workforce at a forum Oct. 13.

Candidates for positions on the Issaquah School Board laugh at a joke during a candidate forum Oct. 13 at the King County Library Service Center. By Greg Farrar

Organized by The Issaquah Press and moderated by Publisher Debbie Berto, the forum attracted candidates for City Council, Issaquah School Board and Port of Seattle Commission.

The candidates, gathered at the King County Library System headquarters in Issaquah, answered questions in 40-minute sections organized by office.

The forum occurred days before King County Elections mails ballots, and as many voters start to pay attention to the off-year election. Election Day is Nov. 8.

Though the majority of council seats is up for election, only a single seat is contested. In the lone contested race, challenger TJ Filley faces incumbent Councilman Joshua Schaer for the Position 4 seat.

Incumbent Councilman Fred Butler, appointed Councilwoman Stacy Goodman and candidate Paul Winterstein did not attract opponents for the other positions.

In a far-reaching discussion about municipal issues — transportation headaches, economic development, ongoing efforts to regulate a medical marijuana operations and more — Filley and Schaer stuck to usual themes from the campaign.

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Issaquah, Port of Seattle candidates answer questions

October 13, 2011

Councilman Fred Butler (right) answers a question as council candidates (from left) TJ Filley, Joshua Schaer, Stacy Goodman and Paul Winterstein listen during a candidate forum Thursday. By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 11:30 p.m. Oct. 13, 2011

Candidates for local and regional offices offered prescriptions for counteracting the ailing economy and educating a 21st-century workforce at a forum Thursday.

Organized by The Issaquah Press and moderated by Publisher Debbie Berto, the forum attracted candidates for City Council, Issaquah School Board and Port of Seattle Commission.

The candidates, gathered at the King County Library System headquarters in Issaquah, answered questions in 40-minute sections organized by race.

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Meet candidates for local, regional offices at forum

October 4, 2011

Hear from the candidates for City Council, Issaquah School Board and Port of Seattle at a candidate forum sponsored by The Issaquah Press.

The forum is meant to offer voters a chance to learn about local candidates as the clock ticks down to Election Day. King County Elections is due to mail ballots to voters in late October. The forum starts at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at the King County Library Service Center.

The forum is not a debate. Candidates offer opening statements to the audience and then answer a series of questions from reporters as Publisher Debbie Berto moderates the discussion.

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Port of Seattle race could shape region’s economic engine

September 27, 2011

In November, voters in King County, including those in Issaquah, will be asked to choose from among four candidates hoping to serve as commissioners for the Port of Seattle.

The port includes both the seaport in downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac International Airport. According to the port’s annual report for 2010, the port collected $75.6 million in property taxes in 2009. The projection for 2010 was $73.5 million. Those collections come from all King County residents, including those in Issaquah.

“The port is an economic engine for the entire county, not just the city of Seattle,” said Charla Skaggs, corporate media officer for the port.

Both Skaggs and other port officials said thousands of jobs depend directly and indirectly on port operations.

According to what is billed by the port as an independent report released in 2009, the port was directly and indirectly responsible for 190,000 jobs in the Puget Sound region. Port facilities generated more than $17 billion in revenue for businesses who deal with the port or the port tenants who operate the maritime terminals. All in all, those employers and employees pay about $867 million in state and local taxes.

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Few candidates face challengers in local races

June 14, 2011

Issaquah residents face a choice in a single City Council race, and a trio of council members appears likely to cruise to election unchallenged.

Challenger TJ Filley entered the race against incumbent Councilman Joshua Schaer on June 10, as the candidate-filing period closed.

Incumbent Councilman Fred Butler, appointed Councilwoman Stacy Goodman and candidate Paul Winterstein did not attract opponents for the other council seats up for election in November.

In the races for the Issaquah School Board, incumbents Brian Deagle and Suzanne Weaver face challengers in the nonpartisan races.

Deagle, a Sammamish resident, has served on the board since October 2006. Challenger Patrick Sansing, a Sammamish resident, is running against Deagle for the Director District No. 3 seat.

Weaver faces Maple Valley resident Joseph Arnaud and Issaquah resident Brian Neville to retain the Director District No. 5 seat. Weaver, a Sammamish resident, has served on the board since January 2007.

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