New 5th District Sen. Mark Mullet / Jan. 31, 2013

February 12, 2013

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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State Sen. Mark Mullet joins key committee

February 5, 2013

NEW — 4 p.m. Feb. 5, 2013

State Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, is the latest addition to the Joint Legislative Audit & Review Committee — a panel responsible for ensuring state government operates effectively, efficiently and with accountability.

The freshman senator filled a vacant seat on the bipartisan committee, Senate Democrats announced Jan. 30.

“I am honored to accept this position,” Mullet said in a statement. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the committee and the opportunity to apply my real-life experiences in business and finance in order to help ensure our government is working to its best ability.”

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Ex-legislator Glenn Anderson applies for Port of Seattle seat

February 5, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 5, 2013

Former state Rep. Glenn Anderson is among 29 applicants for a vacancy on the Port of Seattle Commission — a group of officials responsible for overseeing the Port of Seattle and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Glenn Anderson

Glenn Anderson

The ex-legislator and Issaquah Republican is invited to address the commission, or submit a statement, Tuesday. The commission is interviewing applicants for a seat left open after former Commissioner Gael Tarleton resigned Jan. 31 to serve in the state House of Representatives.

The commission is allowed 90 days to appoint Tarleton’s successor under state law.

“We are pleased with both the number and quality of the commission applicants,” commission President Tom Albro said in a statement released Monday. “We are looking forward to hearing from each of these candidates tomorrow afternoon.”

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City Council appoints Joe Forkner to open seat

January 29, 2013

NEW — 6:20 p.m. Jan. 29, 2013

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

The council appointed a successor to former Councilman Mark Mullet after about 15 minutes of discussion.

Members nominated Forkner and longtime Development Commission member Mary Lou Pauly for the post. The council chose Forkner in a 4-2 decision.

The seat opened Jan. 8 after Mullet departed to serve in Olympia. The entrepreneur and former banking executive defeated Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft to represent the 5th Legislative District in the state Senate.

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City Council applicants offer varied skills

January 22, 2013

Members to appoint candidate Jan. 29

The applicants for a rare open seat on the City Council include long-established community leaders — and some candidates from the last time the council accepted applications to fill a vacancy.

The seven candidates offer assorted skills in community, government and military service in the process to succeed Mark Mullet on the council.

Initially, Ken Sessler, a retired Boeing engineer and a prolific letter writer to The Issaquah Press, applied for the vacancy, but withdrew not long after the city released the applicant list.

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Legislators’ priorities reflect education, transportation needs

January 15, 2013

Lawmakers confronted a familiar scenario as the Legislature convened Jan. 14 — a budget shortfall, opposing pressures to preserve essential services and rein in government spending, and a court mandate to spend more money on education.

Mark Mullet

Mark Mullet

Chad Magendanz

Chad Magendanz

Observers expect education and transportation to rank as the dominant issues in the 105-day session. The state faces a $900 million budget shortfall for 2013-15 and, in the meantime, faces a court order to increase education funding by 2018.

In addition to the statewide issues on legislators’ docket, a lobbyist hired by city leaders to represent Issaquah is in search of support for local projects, including dollars to upgrade transportation infrastructure and Lake Sammamish State Park.

Issaquah is also focused on securing state dollars for a transportation improvement district in North Issaquah near Costco headquarters and high-traffic retail centers.

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Lawmakers to discuss dollars for schools at forum

January 15, 2013

The public can hear from top education and budget leaders in the Legislature about the funding challenges facing public schools Jan. 22 at a League of Education Voters forum.

Steve Litzow

Steve Litzow

Ross Hunter

Ross Hunter

The organization, a statewide education advocacy group, invited a Democrat, state Rep. Ross Hunter, and a Republican, state Sen. Steve Litzow, to discuss competing visions for education funding in Washington.

Residents can listen to the Eastside lawmakers — Litzow is a Mercer Island resident; Hunter hails from Medina — at the King County Library System Administration Building.

The incoming Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee chairman, Litzow, represents Issaquah and other communities in the 41st Legislative District, a suburban swath between lakes Washington and Sammamish.

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Chad Magendanz starts role as state representative

January 15, 2013

NEW — 10 a.m. Jan. 15, 2013

State Rep. Chad Magendanz, a former Issaquah School Board member, took the oath of office Monday to represent Issaquah and the 5th Legislative District in Olympia.

Chad Magendanz

Chad Magendanz

Magendanz, a freshman Republican and 17-year resident in the district, succeeded longtime former state Rep. Glenn Anderson in the House of Representatives seat.

Magendanz is the assistant ranking member on the House Education Committee, and also serves on the House Higher Education and House Technology & Economic Development committees.

“It is an honor to be trusted to represent the people of the 5th Legislative District,” Magendanz said in a statement. “Having been involved in education reforms for several years, I am looking forward to continuing the education reform and funding discussion in my exciting new role.”

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City Council seeks applicants for open seat

January 8, 2013

From the moment Mark Mullet declared victory in a state Senate race in November, other City Council members started planning for the process to fill Mullet’s seat once the Democrat departs for Olympia.

Now, council members have put out a call for applicants for the open seat. The position is not expected to remain open for long.

The city is accepting applications until Jan. 16. The council plans to interview applicants Jan. 22 and, after interviews, members could recess into a closed-door executive session to discuss candidates’ qualifications.

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