New year brings new city goals
January 2, 2013
There are dozens of issues Sammamish could tackle this year. Here are a few select ones we’d like to see accomplished in 2013.
Economic Development/Town Center. The city will study how to spur economic growth in the city in general and Town Center in particular. But be cautious, stick to the vision. Resist giving into the whims of a developer just to get something started. Be patient and the market will come to the community.
Quality education. Sammamish is noted for high-quality schools. State funding may be stabilizing, but it isn’t likely to be enough. Citizens need to help: give to the schools foundation, join the PTA, volunteer, anything. The children of the city and your property values depend on quality schools.
Annexation question. Keep an eye on the potential for annexing Klahanie into Sammamish. It’s possible the city of Issaquah will relinquish its hold, and Sammamish should be ready to woo the citizens.
Critical areas ordinance. This controversial rewrite of environmental regulations must be treated cautiously yet thoroughly. The end product must balance the environment with property rights — and withstand court challenges. Give and take is called for.
Barricades. Almost since incorporation, Sammamish leaders have said they want to study the barricades scattered across the city, with an eye toward removing those that aren’t useful. They studied one and apparently stopped. The council should move this forward and start making decisions one way or the other.
Community Center. Finally, there’s a plan in place that a majority of Sammamish voters support. The city needs to move forward with its YMCA partnership and building design. Let’s see groundbreaking this year.
Common Core education. Schools in the state will be transitioning to the common core standards of education and testing by the 2014-2015 school year. The time will pass more quickly than it seems. School districts and the state should start explaining the new system to families and taxpayers.
Sammamish Reads. The library, in conjunction with civic groups, unveiled the All Sammamish Reads program last year, inviting people across the city to read the same book and meet to talk about it. It was a great community-building program. Let’s do it again!
Fire Service. Sammamish may choose to leave Eastside Fire & Rescue in favor of lower costs for citizens. EFR leaders must find a solution that works for all its partners or prepare to move on without Sammamish.
State senators. Because of a coup in the state senate, Sammamish senators will be chairmen of two committees that could be among the most influential in the session. They need to fulfill the promise of this new bipartisan majority while they develop solutions to the state’s education and budgetary issues.