Council incumbent withdraws

June 16, 2009

By Warren Kagarise
David Kappler announced June 11 he would not seek re-election to the City Council — less than a week after the longtime councilman filed with King County Elections to run for another term. Kappler withdrew his candidacy with the elections office a day before the withdrawal deadline.
As he announced his intention to withdraw, Kappler said he plans to spend more time with his family and take care of his 93-year-old parents in Seattle.
Kappler said his sucessor and other council members would be forced to make tough decisions as city officials grapple with the recession. Officials cut spending by $1.6 million as a result of a $1.5 million shortfall.
Despite the downturn, Kappler said he wants the next council to plan for future transportation projects and complete and implement the Central Issaquah Plan. The document will outline future development and redevelopment on 915 acres around Interstate 90.
“Dealing with the finances is going to be the nitty gritty, but I’d like to see some vision,” he said.
Kappler, first elected to the seven-member council in 1991, is a staunch advocate for environmental preservation and a longtime member of the Issaquah Alps Trails Club. He said his post-council plans include devoting more time to the trails club. In 2006, he received the Ruth Kees Award for a Sustainable Community — the city’s top honor for people who take steps to protect natural resources.
Kappler, 60, endorsed political newcomer Tola Marts in the race to succeed him. Marts will face another newcomer, Nathan Perea, in the contest for the Position 7 council seat. Kappler said he plans to campaign for Marts.
Kappler invited Marts and several supporters to his house June 8 to discuss his withdrawal decision. Kappler said some of his supporters urged him to run again, but he cited the time commitment of serving as a councilman.
“They would love to see me on the council, but they realize 18 years is an awfully long time,” he said.
Voters will choose at least two new council members. Newcomer Mark Mullet and Councilwoman Eileen Barber face no opposition in the contests for their respective seats. Mayor Ava Frisinger is also running unopposed for a fourth term.
Candidates running unopposed could still face challenges from write-in candidates. The last day to file for election as a write-in candidate is Aug. 17, a day before the primary election.
The other contested council race will see Council President Maureen McCarry face Joan Probala for the Position 5 seat.
Kappler became the second incumbent to sidestep a re-election bid when he withdrew last week. Councilman John Rittenhouse bowed out in early June. Kappler said he plans to talk with Rittenhouse about what they can accomplish together in their remaining months as councilmen.
Kappler said he plans to ask Rittenhouse, “What things should we think about in terms of getting done?”
Rittenhouse also said the time constraints of serving as a councilman led him to re-evaluate a re-election bid. Mullet is running unopposed for the Position 1 seat held by Rittenhouse. Mullet would be the first Issaquah Highlands resident to serve on the council.
Kappler is best known for his environmental record. He ran for re-election two years ago as an opponent of the proposed Southeast Bypass. He later voted with other bypass opponents last year to kill plans the Tiger Mountain roadway.
Kappler faced criticism after the filing period for the 2007 city election when he filed for a council seat sought by John Traeger. At the last minute, Kappler withdrew his candidacy for the Position 6 seat and filed for another seat. The maneuver left Traeger as the sole candidate for the Position 6 seat. Traeger ascended to the council. Kappler went on to beat Bill Werner to retain a council seat.
Kappler considered stepping down ahead of the 2007 election, “but we didn’t have the right people” as candidates, he said.
He said he plans to complete his council term, which ends Dec. 31. He said he would continue to attend council meetings in his new role as a citizen activist.
“I’ll be there for all of the parks, trails and open space issues,” Kappler said.
Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

David Kappler announced June 11 he would not seek re-election to the City Council — less than a week after the longtime councilman filed with King County Elections to run for another term. Kappler withdrew his candidacy with the elections office a day before the withdrawal deadline.

As he announced his intention to withdraw, Kappler said he plans to spend more time with his family and take care of his 93-year-old parents in Seattle.

David Kappler

David Kappler

Kappler said his sucessor and other council members would be forced to make tough decisions as city officials grapple with the recession. Officials cut spending by $1.6 million as a result of a $1.5 million shortfall.

Despite the downturn, Kappler said he wants the next council to plan for future transportation projects and complete and implement the Central Issaquah Plan. The document will outline future development and redevelopment on 915 acres around Interstate 90.

“Dealing with the finances is going to be the nitty gritty, but I’d like to see some vision,” he said.

Kappler, first elected to the seven-member council in 1991, is a staunch advocate for environmental preservation and a longtime member of the Issaquah Alps Trails Club. He said his post-council plans include devoting more time to the trails club. In 2006, he received the Ruth Kees Award for a Sustainable Community — the city’s top honor for people who take steps to protect natural resources.

Kappler, 60, endorsed political newcomer Tola Marts in the race to succeed him. Marts will face another newcomer, Nathan Perea, in the contest for the Position 7 council seat. Kappler said he plans to campaign for Marts. Read more

Candidates file for City Council, school board, more

June 9, 2009

Mayor Frisinger unopposed

Mayor Ava Frisinger will run unopposed for a fourth term and seven City Council candidates will battle for four seats, according to unofficial King County Elections filings. Read more

Southeast Bypass decision will appear in Federal Register

May 22, 2009

NEW — 4:23 p.m. May 22, 2009

Federal officials agreed to publish a key Southeast Bypass document in the Federal Register, ending months of debate about where to publish the text and whether the city was responsible for doing so.

But only a slice of the 83-page record of decision will appear in the register. Instead, officials will include a portion of the document and link to read the unedited text on the city’s Web site. The document details the city’s efforts to plan the bypass. The text should be published in the register by early June.

Council members directed city staffers to push the Federal Highway Administration to include the record of decision in the register.

City Public Works Engineering Director Bob Brock said no further action by city officials is required. Publication in the register will be free for the city.

“This is really, at least in my view, the end of the road for what we need to do at a staff level,” Brock said.

Plans to build the bypass took more than a decade of study and $4 million of city money before the City Council nixed the proposed 1.1-mile, four-lane roadway in February 2008. Officials worried about the environmental ramifications of the roadway, and said the bypass would do little to alleviate traffic congestion.

Council OKs transportation plan

May 19, 2009

City Council members recently approved a plan that outlines dozens of transportation projects — from construction of the Interstate 90 Undercrossing to improving sidewalks and streets.

Read more

City Council OKs transportation projects

May 16, 2009

NEW — 3:27 p.m. May 16, 2009

City Council members recently approved a plan that outlines dozens of transportation projects — from construction of the Interstate 90 Undercrossing to improving sidewalks and streets.

On May 4, the council unanimously approved the Transportation Improvement Program, which outlines how transportation money will be spent in the next six years.

Listed in the TIP are projects ranging from an $8.39 million project to improve Newport Way from Maple Street to West Sunset Way to safety improvements, such as the construction of a traffic roundabout at the corner of East Lake Sammamish Parkway and Southeast 43rd Way, north of Lake Sammamish State Park and near Providence Point.

City Transportation Manager Gary Costa presented the TIP to council members. He explained the role of the TIP in securing dollars for transportation projects.

“In order for a project to receive any state, federal or half-cent gas tax funding, the project must be listed in the TIP,” Costa said. “And the TIP is required to be adopted by the City Council.”

Read more

Press Editorial

April 28, 2009

Transportation plan is good communication tool

The city’s six-year Transportation Improvement Plan is a curious document. And given the interest in traffic problems here, you’d think citizens would be lining up to speak their opinion of it at a public hearing May 4. Read more

Critics slam Park Pointe proposal; developer touts preservation

February 24, 2009

tigermt-parkpointe-art-2006

City planners are seeking comments from residents regarding the latest proposal for Park Pointe, a proposed Tiger Mountain housing development announced more than a decade ago and since revised numerous times. Comments will be accepted until Feb. 27, and will be included in a city environmental report about the controversial development.

How Park Pointe will be built — with 344 homes or 251 homes — and even the location of the development remain unanswered questions. The developer, which proposed two options for the 67-acre Tiger Mountain site, is also pursuing a development-rights swap with another homebuilder. If the swap was successful, homes would be built in the Issaquah Highlands instead of the proposed Park Pointe site. Read more

City Council approves exemption to traffic impact fees

January 27, 2009

Change makes it easier to find tenants for large storefronts

City Council members unanimously approved amendments to several of the city’s traffic impact fees Jan. 20, in hopes of making it easier to find tenants to fill vacant storefronts. Read more

Committee approves exemption to transportation impact fee

January 12, 2009

Change would make tenants easier to find for large storefronts

Vacant storefronts in the city could soon see some tenants after the City Council Land Use Committee approved an agenda bill Jan. 8 that would exempt up to 10,000 square feet of commercial development proposals from the city’s transportation impact fees.

Read more

Top 10 news stories of 2008

December 29, 2008

2008 news stories revisited

From an increase in robberies to the demise of the proposed Southeast Bypass, 2008 was action packed in Issaquah. Lightning and snow storms, a stronger Moroccan connection and business closures all made headlines.

In no particular order, here are updates on our pick of the top 10 news stories of the year: Read more

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