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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Final election results reveal low turnout

December 3, 2013

King County certified the general election results Nov. 26.

No changes were made to the initial local results.

Mayor-elect Fred Butler slightly widened his lead against Joe Forkner, ultimately gaining 74 percent of the vote. The four City Council races were all unopposed, handing Eileen Barber, Stacy Goodman, Tola Marts and newcomer Mary Lou Pauly four-year terms.

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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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Candidate Q&A

October 22, 2013

A1-3 oct. 23.indd

2013 mayor candidates questions and answers


Joe Forkner

Joe Forkner

Fred Butler

Fred Butler

How will you address traffic problems, short term and long term?

Joe Forkner: Upgrading the current Intelligent Transportation System to the next generation real-time system would be short term and better public transportation long term.

Fred Butler: Take an integrated system approach to get maximum efficiency from our transportation and commute trip programs, upgrade ITS and apply Adaptive Transportation Management where appropriate.

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Friendly setting finds few feuds between mayoral candidates

October 22, 2013

Mayoral candidates City Council President Fred Butler and City Councilman Joe Forkner restated major themes in a largely agreeable forum Oct. 17.

In one-minute answers, both candidates stuck to their agendas, which remain fairly similar.

“When I retired form Seattle City Light as their chief engineer, I decided to devote myself to public service,” Butler said during his opening statements. “I believe in sustainability. All decisions need to take in the three legs of sustainability: people, planet and prosperity.”

By Greg Farrar Fred Butler (left) and Joe Forkner conclude their mayoral candidate forum Oct. 17 with a handshake and some laughter.

By Greg Farrar
Fred Butler (left) and Joe Forkner conclude their mayoral candidate forum Oct. 17 with a handshake and some laughter.

Forkner took the insider’s approach, citing his years of work within city government and as a board volunteer.

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October 22, 2013

Lisa Callan for school board seat

Issaquah School District voters are fortunate to have two excellent choices for school board director seat 4. Both Alison Meryweather and Lisa Callan applied for the vacancy last spring when Chad Magendanz resigned to serve in the state Legislature.

The school board members struggled with the appointment, first split evenly between the two women. Eventually, Meryweather got the appointment.

Meryweather does have more lobbying experience and her confidence and knowledge makes her a leader in that arena. But community comes first.

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Two candidates will battle for water district seat

October 15, 2013

For the first time in six years, there’s a contested race for a seat on the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District board of directors. One-term incumbent Bob Brady will face political newcomer Brett Muhlestein.

Brady said he wants another term because he feels he has unfinished work to do on the board.

Bob Brady

Bob Brady

Brett Muhlestein

Brett Muhlestein

“We’re kind of in the middle of a lot of things, and I’d like to see it through,” the retired Boeing employee said.

In particular, there’s a new asset management system to put in place, and some troubles with the city of Issaquah.

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I-522 spurs opinions about genetically modified food

October 15, 2013

November’s ballot initiative to label genetically modified food has caused a large split between local action and out-of-state funding.

Initiative 522 will ask voters whether the state should enforce labeling on genetically modified foodstuffs when sold in Washington.

“This measure would require most raw agricultural commodities, processed foods, and seeds and seed stocks, if produced using genetic engineering, as defined, to be labeled as genetically engineered when offered for retail sale,” the Nov. 5 ballot reads.

The question has stirred the state on both sides of the Cascades, and Issaquah residents and leaders have taken to the issue.

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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 Please include a name and phone number.

Voters approve park bond, narrow contenders for November election

August 6, 2013

NEW — 8:30 p.m., Aug. 6, 2013

King County voters approved the park bond by a large margin and narrowed the field for the general election this November.
Votes will still be counted until the Aug. 20 certification, but as of the night of Aug. 6, the park bond passed with 68.9 percent of the vote.
For the owner of a $600,000 home, it will bring a tax increase from $79.86 per year to $112.62 per year, a 41 percent change. The levy will raise $60.7 million in 2014 which will be used for open space preservation, trail building and park improvements.

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