Reporter endorsements for Issaquah City Council seats | Editorial

  • Friday, October 20, 2017 1:18pm
  • Opinion

Issaquah Mayor: Mary Lou Pauly

The Issaquah City Council needs a strong leader focused on improving the city’s traffic challenges and managing growth.

Mary Lou Pauly, the city’s current deputy council president, would bring this approach to the mayoral position.

With a background in civil engineering and experience working for transportation agencies, Pauly has extensive knowledge of transportation issues.

During the past term, Pauly prioritized residents’ mobility over commuter cut-through traffic. She proposed the downtown ban on truck traffic as a solution to getting some of the area’s traffic back on state and county roads.

And despite the transportation bond’s failure last year, Pauly was instrumental in finding funds for the new roundabout by Trader Joe’s and Target to ease traffic congestion.

Regarding growth, Pauly proposed the recent building moratorium so the council could weigh the community’s expectations about housing and other new development.

Councilmember Paul Winterstein, who has a background in the software industry using business intelligence and analytic data, has proven to be an effective council member. He helped save the Issaquah Senior Center and was the prime sponsor of a comprehensive pedestrian and bicyclist action plan.

He has dedicated his time to public service over the years and is passionate about Issaquah. Winterstein is also knowledgeable about the city’s issues and policies.

However, Issaquah needs a leader who will get results. As mayor, Pauly would take the much-needed action to improve traffic and growth, and find creative solutions to managing both issues.

We recommend residents vote for Pauly for mayor.

Issaquah Position 1: Chris Reh

For Issaquah City Council Position 1, we recommend Chris Reh.

With a background working as a management consultant for a local firm, Reh has vast experience working with state and local government agencies. He would bring that knowledge and ability to work with the city’s regional partners to the position. Reh also hopes to position the city as a stronger regional partner with other cities so that Issaquah can take a larger role in issues such as traffic and growth — his top two priorities.

His opponent Bryan Weinstein knows the issues well. He is very critical of the city’s direction on several issues, and said residents’ voices are “lost” in the decision-making process. However, some residents have been critical of Weinstein’s diplomacy during past elections.

Reh will bring exceptional public relations skills to the position, and will have a more tactful approach to engage residents.

Issaquah Position 2: Mariah Bettise

For Issaquah City Council Position 2, we recommend residents vote for incumbent Mariah Bettise.

Bettise is passionate about the city, and wants to finish her work on several issues the council has been tackling over the past year, including the recent moratorium, growth and traffic. Bettise, who has already proven to be an effective council member, dives deep into the issues, takes the time to research all of the issues that come before the council and thoughtfully asks city staff questions about information that is not included in agenda bills.

Richard Swanson possesses leadership skills as he led a large team of professionals as a media program director. He would listen well and would also ask hard questions.

However, Bettise has the ability to immediately work very hard during the next term on important issues that she has already spent much time on.

The board includes general manager William Shaw, editor Carrie Rodriguez, Sammamish resident Larry Crandall and Issaquah residents Fred Nystrom and Dale Williams. The board interviewed all candidates and made endorsements via a democratic vote.

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