King County election turnout beat estimates

December 6, 2011

King County officials certified the Nov. 8 election late last month, and closed the book on the contests for City Council and Issaquah School Board seats.

The tally also reflected a higher-than-expected turnout in the off-year election.

In local contests, the certified results differed little from the initial figures released on Election Day. Incumbents scored landslide victories against lesser-known challengers.

Turnout in City Council and school board races reached 52 percent. King County Elections predicted 52 percent turnout countywide in the days before the election.

In the contested council race, incumbent Joshua Schaer defeated newcomer TJ Filley by 1,871 votes — 4,448 to 2,577. In addition, 28 people cast write-in votes in the race.

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City Council candidates, unopposed in election, outline goals for future

November 29, 2011

Though most City Council seats appeared on the November ballot, voters faced a choice in a lone race — the contest between incumbent Joshua Schaer and challenger TJ Filley. (Schaer claimed a second term in a landslide.)

The other seats up for election did not attract challengers, so incumbents Fred Butler and Stacy Goodman, plus newcomer Paul Winterstein, coasted through campaign season. The next council is due to settle into office in early January.

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King County Elections certifies November results

November 29, 2011

NEW — 2:30 p.m. Nov. 29, 2011

King County officials certified the Nov. 8 election Tuesday morning, and closed the book on the contests for City Council and Issaquah School Board seats.

The certified results differed little from the initial figures released on Election Day. Local incumbents scored landslide victories against lesser-known challengers.

Turnout in City Council and school board races reached 52 percent. King County Elections predicted 52 percent turnout countywide in the days before the election.

In the contested council race, incumbent Joshua Schaer defeated newcomer TJ Filley by 1,871 votes — 4,448 to 2,577. In addition, 28 people cast write-in votes in the race.

Issaquah voters also chose incumbents Fred Butler and Stacy Goodman, and newcomer Paul Winterstein, in uncontested council races.

Suzanne Weaver, a school board incumbent, outpolled newcomer Brian Neville by 5,914 votes — 14,005 to 8,091. The race also included 73 write-in votes.

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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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Off the Press

November 15, 2011

Election comes to yawn-inducing close

Warren Kagarise Press reporter

Joshua Schaer promised a party to daughter Emily. Only, the grownups gathered in a room at the Issaquah Brewhouse almost certainly did not meet the expectations of a 3-year-old girl.

The election night party Schaer put on at the downtown pub included a star-studded — for Issaquah, at least — guest list (City Council members past and present) and hors d’oeuvres aplenty. Bruschetta, anyone?

But, as far as parties go, the event seemed a little dull, boring even. The host, however, is not to blame.

Election Day in Issaquah, at least in the 2009 and 2011 cycles, morphed into a humdrum affair. Incumbents claim lopsided leads and challengers offer cordial congratulations. Repeat.

The lone burst of results from King County Elections came just after 8 p.m., as guests at the brewhouse channel-surfed to see if Issaquah results appeared in the Seattle TV stations’ tickers. In a campaign season dominated by liquor and tolling, no local results appeared in the moments after the results dropped.

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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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Council allows Issaquah Highlands gas station despite concerns

October 11, 2011

Opponents raise questions about groundwater contamination

City Council members, eager to attract more retail options to the Issaquah Highlands, decided a gas station can open in the neighborhood, but only if groceries accompany the fill-ups.

The council agreed in a 7-0 decision Oct. 3 to change the agreement between the city and highlands developer Port Blakely Communities to allow a gas station in the community. Concerns about possible groundwater contamination led city officials to ban gas stations in the highlands before construction on the neighborhood started in the mid-1990s.

Safeway outlined plans for a gas station to accompany a proposed highlands store, and city officials and gas station proponents said the rule change is a crucial step to attract the grocery chain. The gas station is proposed for a funnel-shaped lot between Ninth Avenue Northeast and Highlands Drive Northeast, next to a future Safeway.

The debate before the council decision exposed a split among highlands residents eager for more amenities in the community, and residents from elsewhere concerned about potential groundwater contamination from gas station leaks.

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Safeway proposes highlands store, council OKs gas station

October 5, 2011

Safeway planners proposed a modern Issaquah Highlands store (above) in a permit application to the city. Contributed

NEW — 4 p.m. Oct. 5, 2011

The plan to open a grocery store in the Issaquah Highlands — a still-unmet target from early goals for the community — reached a milestone Monday, as Safeway submitted a proposal for a store in the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, City Council members adjusted longstanding development rules Monday to allow a gas station in the highlands — a critical factor in Safeway’s proposal to build the store.

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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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