To the Editor

March 11, 2014


Open letter to the Issaquah City Council:

The vote is over and the residents of Klahanie and surrounding neighborhoods have said no to annexation to Issaquah. My neighbors and I voted no, not because we wanted to stay unincorporated, but because we would like to pursue Sammamish as an option. In order for that to happen, and to have the opportunity to belong to a city, I am asking for your help.

When Mayor Fred Butler and Councilman Joe Forkner were campaigning last fall, both said that they would support removing Klahanie from Issaquah’s Potential Annexation Area if the citizens rejected Issaquah annexation.

Please remember your words last fall, Mr. Butler, and please support our area in finding a home with your neighbor to the north. Time is of the essence! I would further request you not delay this process with considerations of dividing up the Klahanie PAA, which would only lead to difficulties for both cities when it comes to providing services and road improvements.

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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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Mary Lou Pauly sets sights on social first term

December 10, 2013

New Issaquah City Councilwoman Mary Lou Pauly wants to connect with the community.

After Pauly won an uncontested election last month, Mayor Ava Frisinger swore her into office during the Dec. 2 regular council meeting.

Though she knew she would not have an opponent in the election, Pauly took the opportunity to introduce herself to the citizens of Issaquah.

Mary Lou Pauly

Mary Lou Pauly

“I went out doorbelling,” she said, thanking the kindness of strangers for helping her shake off slight nervousness. “After one doorbell and one friendly face, it was wonderful.”

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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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Joe Forkner finishes time on City Council

November 26, 2013

Mary Lou Pauly will be sworn in Dec. 2

Joe Forkner served his last regular City Council meeting Nov. 18.

After former Councilman Mark Mullet was elected to the state Senate, the City Council chose Forkner to fill the interim position last January. This month, Forkner ran for mayor against Council President Fred Butler and lost, while Mary Lou Pauly ran unopposed for the seat Forkner filled. King County expects to certify Pauly’s election Nov. 26, ending Forkner’s commitment to the council.

Joe Forkner

Joe Forkner

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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 Please include a name and phone number.

Old hands hope to offer city new leadership: Joe Forkner

October 8, 2013

Joe Forkner wants to talk things out.

As he moves stridently forward in what he admits is an “underdog” mayoral campaign, the multitasking commission, committee and City Council member hopes to translate some of his many experiences into responsible administration leadership.

He has worked in three governments and volunteered countless hours in citizen groups and spent seven years on the City Council. Forkner, 60, considers this variety of roles a strength.

Joe Forkner

Joe Forkner

“You get a perspective having been on both sides of the table,” Forkner said. “I’ve seen a lot of things in the past 20 years, and I think it’s time to get somebody to balance the future with the cost.”

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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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