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King County Journal Editorial, October 29, 2005

In Issaquah, Frisinger is choice for mayor

Issaquah is a small city with big-city problems.  Traffic from outside its borders clogs city streets and it grapples with balancing small-town life with major retail development.  Re-electing Mayor Ava Frisinger and council members Bill Conley and Nancy Davidson, and bringing Oscar Kelley and Eileen Barber onto the council, will best help Issaquah reach its goals.

Mayor: Ava Frisinger

Ava Frisinger has a long  and strong   18 - year leadership history in Issaquah, from various commissions to the City Council and now as mayor. She's combined that with growing membership on regional bodies to give Issaquah clout that belies its size.

Because of its booming retail areas, Issaquah attracts shoppers to its stores  and streets. Under Frisinger, Issaquah has been able to garner grants that will bring streamline traffic signals and improve traffic capacity.  She's also leveraged other grants to help provide affordable housing in an area known for its escalating home prices.

She's done all this with a calm and professional manner than has earned her, and the city, accolades from other city officials.

Her opponent, Hank Thomas, has been on the council four years.  He offers a range of criticism, including the Southeast Bypass study.  This is a years-long study, now close to completion. It is wiser to finish the work and know if the road project would help Issaquah's traffic congestion.

The King County Journal endorses Ava Frisinger for mayor of Issaquah.

Council Position 1: Oscar Kelley

Oscar Kelley has a passion for Issaquah from his long involvement in the city's Salmon Days to actually helping capture a bank robber.  His forte is quietly, listening to people's problems and looking for solutions. That's a plus, given past vocal spats over development and traffic.

He, too, favors completing the bypass study and supports the road under I-90 to link north and south Issaquah, both careful, reasoned approaches.

His opponent, John Rittenhouse, would like the city to earmark a percentage of its budget for social services, a move that could tie the city's hands in future years.  He also feels the money for the bypass study could be better spent elsewhere. That may be true, but the city should wait until spring when the final word is due.

 The King County Journal endorses Oscar Kelley for Issaquah City Council, Position 1

Council Position 3: Eileen Barber

Eileen Barber brings a strong background to this open seat on the council.  She's been a member of the city Planning Policy Committee that has focused on traffic and gridlock, served on the arts committee, parks board and been president of the chamber of commerce.  That should give her the knowledge to deal with Issaquah issues right from the start.

Like others, she, too, wants to wait for the final EIS on the bypass before deciding the merits of the project.

Her opponent, Connie Marsh, is a local activist who attends most council meetings as a "watchdog."  Her strong interest in the environment is worthwhile, given the natural beauty in and around Issaquah, but Barber's far more comprehensive background and experience makes her the obvious choice.

Council Position 5: Bill Conley

Bill Conley has twice been elected to the council and during those years has chaired all the council committees.  That experience should pay dividends as Issaquah deals with growth and traffic.

Conley sees the need for Issaquah to work with other jurisdictions' to solve local and regional problems, including bringing light rail out I-90 to the city.  He provides a steadying influence on the council.

His opponent, Maureen McCarry, served on the council for two years from 1998 to 2000.  She would pull the plug on the bypass study before it is completed. That seems a waste of both time and money.

The King County Journal endorses Bill Conley for Issaquah City Council, Position 5

Council Position 7: Nancy Davidson

Nancy Davidson is completing her first term on the council.  She is an engineering manager, good for a city that needs to keep growth and the environment in balance.

She's shown a take-charge attitude in bringing various jurisdictions together to discuss the planned connector between Gilman Boulevard and the stores north of I-90. While leery of the bypass project, she's willing to wait for the final EIS .

Another worthwhile priority is properly maintaining the city's parks, perhaps with a parks levy.

Her opponent; Gail Brothers, is a member of the arts commission and making her first run at public office.  She offers a reasoned approach that supports economic development and various traffic issues.  She would let the bypass study continue, but would vote against the project if the EIS shows it won't benefit the city.

The King County Journal endorses Nancy Davidson for Issaquah City Council, Position 7.


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Rev. 10/29/05