King County Journal Editorial, October 29, 2005
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
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
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
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
He, too, favors completing the bypass study and supports
the road under I-90 to link north and south Issaquah, both careful, reasoned
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.
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
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.