Mayor Fred Butler

Mayor-Butler-w-Eagle---no-credit-neededLast year, Jimmy Fallon stumbled trying to pronounce “Issaquah” during The Tonight Show. “Izz-a-kwua?” he said before correcting himself and moving on. But Mayor Fred Butler wasn’t done with the bit. Shortly afterward, he posted his own video, purposefully getting tongue-tied over Jimmy’s name. KING 5 called it a “roast.” While Butler is 76, he’s no square. He took the ice bucket challenge, and smashed a guitar to commemorate the opening of Issaquah’s School of Rock (there are videos of both events on YouTube). For 26 years, he served in the military, at times as a combat engineer overseas. He was honored for his courage on the battlefield. Today, he’s the grandfather of six, and focused on Issaquah’s growth. We asked him about the city’s current challenges and his favorite things around town. 

Favorite Places

For dinner Steak, anyone? JaK’s Grill is perfect for special occasions.
For sweets Issaquah’s Boehm’s Candies & Chocolate, which is nestled in a historic Alpine chalet. I recommend stopping by for a window tour, and picking up my favorite treat — hand-dipped chocolate truffles.
To meet with community members Yum-e Yogurt in our historic downtown.
To work out I start most of my mornings at the Issaquah Community Center’s fitness room.

©2006 Chad Routh, creative commons

©2006 Chad Routh, creative commons

To relax Cannon Beach
To clear your head I enjoy the peace and comfort of the Issaquah Senior Center.

Inspiration Board

TV Meet the Press
Movie The Sand Pebbles and Hidden Figures
Musician Kenny G
Reading Tom Clancy’s True Faith and Allegiance
Art in your house I have two favorites — wedding day photos of my parents and in-laws.
Quote “If you want it bad, you get it bad.”
Inspiration My wife Rosemarie.
Favorite Village Theatre production Million Dollar Quartet


Who do you consider the most inspiring political leader of all time? “Franklin D. Roosevelt. I’ve always admired his leadership, especially during World War II.”
Where do you take your grand-children for a fun day in Issaquah? “We enjoy spending the day touring Issaquah’s historic downtown. We often visit the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.”
What does Issaquah need more of? “Affordable housing. We’re studying this issue in-depth and are focusing on how to ensure we have a range of housing options here in Issaquah.”
What is Issaquah’s biggest challenge as a community these days? “Regional pass-through traffic. No single city in our area is isolated and unaffected by any other city.”

is the managing editor at 425 magazine. Email her.
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