New mayor, City Council members sworn into office

January 28, 2014

By Peter Clark

Issaquah Municipal Court Judge Scott Stewart swore in Issaquah’s new mayor and four new City Council members Jan. 6.

During the first regular City Council meeting of 2014, Stewart offered congratulations to the line of those he led into office.

Mayor Fred Butler and councilmembers Eileen Barber, Stacy Goodman, Tola Marts and Mary Lou Pauly all took the oath of office.

“Let me say that I am honored in the trust the citizens of Issaquah has placed in me,” Butler said in prepared remarks after taking his oath. “I’m really excited to be mayor and I will do my best to lead with wisdom and compassion.”

After 14 years on the council, he took the time to honor outgoing mayor Ava Frisinger on her 16 years of service as mayor. She spent 10 years on the council before that.

“I would like to acknowledge Ava Frisinger who has set an outstanding example I hope to emulate,” Butler continued. “I’m somewhat sad to be leaving the council. I pledge to continue the good relations we have established between the council and the administration.”

The council voted Councilman Paul Winterstein as the new council president, replacing Butler, and Goodman into the deputy council president position. The council president leads meetings in the mayor’s absence.

Local leaders look ahead to 2014

January 28, 2014

Local leaders looked ahead to the coming year at an Issaquah Chamber of Commerce luncheon Jan. 9.

New Mayor Fred Butler gave the opening speech, sharing what he hoped to provide Issaquah in his new administration and what challenges he expects to meet in 2014.

“After eight and a half days as your mayor, here I am,” he said to the full banquet hall at the Issaquah Holiday Inn.

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Leader by a landslide

November 12, 2013

Voters overwhelmingly choose Fred Butler to replace longtime mayor

By Greg Farrar Fred Butler, holding notes for a speech with two different endings, shares his gratitude to a roomful of supporters at Gibson Hall Nov. 5 for all their help. The first set of election numbers gave him a convincing victory to become the first new Issaquah mayor in 16 years.

By Greg Farrar
Fred Butler, holding notes for a speech with two different endings, shares his gratitude to a roomful of supporters at Gibson Hall Nov. 5 for all their help. The first set of election numbers gave him a convincing victory to become the first new Issaquah mayor in 16 years.

Fred Butler will serve as Issaquah’s first new mayor in 16 years.

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Voters overwhelmingly choose Butler to replace longterm mayor

November 5, 2013

NEW — 10:07 p.m. Nov. 5, 2013

Fred Butler will serve as Issaquah’s first new mayor in 16 years.

After a cordial campaign, where Butler and opponent City Councilman Joe Forkner repeatedly praised one another, the city’s voters have loudly spoken with initial reports showing a 75 percent victory for the 12 year council veteran. King County reports having counted 4,414 ballots out of 19,250 registered voters.

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Attend Issaquah Press, Cable TV Commission candidate forum Oct. 17

October 15, 2013

Mayoral and school board candidates will face the public and each other during a forum sponsored by The Issaquah Press and Issaquah’s Cable TV Commission Oct. 17.

Beginning at 7 p.m., in Council Chambers at 135 E. Sunset Way, mayoral Candidates Fred Butler and Joe Forkner, as well as school board candidates Alison Meryweather and Lisa Callan, will have a three-minute opening statement followed by a round of questions submitted by The Issaquah Press, then a round of public questions, followed by candidates asking a question of their rival.

The candidates will be allowed one-minute answers. Issaquah Press Publisher Debbie Berto will moderate the event.

If unable to attend, email questions to dberto@isspress.com. Please include a name and phone number.

Old hands hope to offer city new leadership: Fred Butler

October 8, 2013

After 13 years on the Issaquah City Council, Fred Butler says he is ready to lead.

As an avid member of the public, involved in numerous service organizations and regional groups, Butler launched his campaign for mayor early this year. When Mayor Ava Frisinger said she would not seek a fifth term, it came as no surprise that the longtime council president and Sound Transit Board member would seek the position.

Fred Butler

Fred Butler

“When I retired, I decided to devote my energies to public service,” Butler said. “I’ve been in a leadership position ever since. With this depth and breadth of experience, well, I think I’m ready.”

He worked for 27 years in the Army Corps of Engineers, giving what he believes is an exemplary level of qualification for the position of mayor.

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RSVP now for candidate forum tonight

September 17, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 17, 2013

Meet mayoral and school board candidates tonight at a candidate forum at Blakely Hall in the Issaquah Highlands.

The Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and the Issaquah Highlands Council have partnered to organize the communitywide forum to provide businesses and residents with an opportunity to hear directly from candidates about the topics of creating a strong economy, education/workforce development and community success.

The forum will feature the candidates from the local races who have declared competitors, including mayoral candidates Fred Butler and Joe Forkner, and school board candidates Lisa Callan and Alison Meryweather.

The event format is organized by the chamber’s Government Affairs Committee and will be moderated by Erin McCallum, of Strategic Campaign Group.

The forum is from 4-6 p.m. at Blakely Hall, 2550 N.E. Park Drive.  The public is invited, but RSVP is mandatory to ensure sufficient seating. Make your reservation here.

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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City Council turns to veteran for vacancy

February 5, 2013

Joe Forkner (left) is welcomed back to the dais for another City Council stint by Eileen Barber on Jan. 29. By Greg Farrar

Joe Forkner (left) is welcomed back to the dais for another City Council stint by Eileen Barber on Jan. 29. By Greg Farrar

Joe Forkner returned to the City Council on Jan. 29 after a divided council appointed the former councilman, onetime city employee and longtime community leader to a vacant seat.

Forkner, a councilman in separate stints during the early and mid-2000s, did not fade from public life after departing from the council in 2007. The engineering technician and draftsman served as a member of numerous municipal boards and commissions in recent years, and spearheaded the initial plan to redevelop the business district along Interstate 90.

The depth of experience led the council to appoint Forkner, 59, to occupy the seat left after former Councilman Mark Mullet resigned to serve in the state Senate.

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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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