Sammamish Forum Jan. 22
January 21, 2014
Save the trees
In response to the article “City to begin review of tree preservation guidelines.” What guidelines? I certainly don’t see any tree preservation whatsoever.
I live on 211th Avenue Northeast, and I can tell you for a fact that no such guidelines seem to exist! And no, it’s not a perception issue (City Manager Ben) Yazici.
Since I moved here seven years ago, there has been one house after another built around me. They are just starting on No. 11 down the street and 12 on the next street over. And of these 12 houses not one freaking tree was saved!
These lots were all bought by developers, broken apart into 50-foot sections per house and clear cut. And for good reason, as you can’t really fit much more on a 50 foot lot other than a house and driveway.
Which begs the question, what happened to the impermeable surface guidelines? Not to mention the fact that the houses are going up at twice the density of the R-4 zoning they are being built on! Anyone at City Hall care to comment on that?
Come on! Seriously? You’re going to discuss guidelines that clearly either don’t exist or you don’t adhere to?
All I can gather from this is that someone’s probably getting rich off of all this construction, and it’s the people that live here paying the price.
I can’t speak for everyone, but the reason I moved here sure wasn’t for a feeling of being jam packed with houses, without a tree in sight. I would have gone to Seattle for that.
What residents here in Sammamish want more development? Please raise your hand. Because I’d bet it would be a quick count of about 20 people (the City Council, Planning Commission, and Yazici).
Support Lake Washington measures
Please join me in supporting our local public schools with a big “Yes” vote on the Feb. 11 ballot.
This year, the Lake Washington School District is asking you to renew the four-year Education Programs and Operations Levy; renew the four- year Technology and Computer Levy; and approve a 20-year bond measure.
The bond issue would raise $755 million to build schools needed to house a projected growth of 2,400 students over the next four years.
These measures are a bargain, in my view, since the overall tax rate will be $4.73 per $1,000 of assessed value. This amounts to an increase of only $365 for many of us.
Lake Washington School District has a consistent record of accountability, using local dollars exactly as portrayed and voted upon, within budget, for sustaining high performing public schools.
The writer was a member of the Lake Washington School Board
Did you know Washington ranks 43 out of 50 states in per pupil education funding per “Education Week,” and Issaquah ranks 292 out of 295 in Washington school districts in state per-pupil education funding? This is still true even with the McCleary decision. State funding hasn’t changed enough to bring us anywhere close to a national average.
So how is the per-pupil funding so low, and our schools so great? Issaquah counts on every single levy dollar to make it work.
The Issaquah School District has the lowest administrative costs as a percentage of their budget of any other district in King County.
A 2011 study by the Center for American Progress ranked Issaquah as the No. 1 district in the state for return on educational investment. The district manages its resources with extreme care and has very talented teachers and staff excelling in their jobs.
So, yes, we really do have great schools, but we are only one levy failure away from losing that greatness. The Maintenance and Operations Levy alone makes up 21 percent of the district’s total operating budget.
On Feb. 11, we have a chance to keep our schools and community strong.
I encourage you to vote yes 3 times for Issaquah Schools. It takes the renewal of the Maintenance and Operations Levy, the School Bus Levy, and the Capital Levy to keep our schools great.
The writer is a member of the Issaquah School Board
One more lesson to glean from the Mark Zmuda firing at Eastside Catholic. Democracy and freedom of speech are good lessons, but those are high school lessons taught in the core curriculum. Let us take our students to the next level and teach them from an AP/college curriculum. Before you whine that ‘it is not fair’ (and Bill Gates would tell you that “life is not fair”) read the fine print. Your actions have consequences. If you sign a contract, if you are hired for a job, and then you do not perform you will be let go. Either Mark Zmuda was going to be fired or the parents who were paying for their kids to get a Catholic Education were going to leave the school and not pay for their education there. The parents who are paying for their child to go to this school expect that the Catholic faith will be integrated and lived out in the school. The School had a moral obligation to fulfill this contract with their paying customers. A more complex lesson – freedom means choices. There are multiple schools that a person can go to or work at; if you try to make them all the same there is no choice. To make it simpler to understand take a less charged topic. If I am an orthodox Jew that keeps kosher and I send my child to an orthodox Jewish school I expect them to keep kosher too. If they had a teacher that brought a pork sandwich to school they had better fire that teacher or they would lose all their students. To drive this lesson home any student who skipped class or left campus when not allowed should have suffered whatever consequence goes with the infraction. Test question: Who in history was willing to suffer the consequences of laws they broke? The signers of the Declaration of Independence, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. to name a few.
Most residents of Klahanie PAA have community ties to both Issaquah and Sammamish.
The strength of those ties can vary depending on where one works, shops, goes to school, goes to church or socializes. I’d like to point out why even those who feel a closer tie to Sammamish should still vote yes for annexation to Issaquah.
This election is not a choice between Issaquah and Sammamish. Our votes will only decide whether we join Issaquah or remain in unincorporated King County. If the annexation measure is approved, our property taxes will drop and services will improve (especially roads and police protection!). If the measure fails, we can only hope Sammamish will eventually annex us.
Sammamish recently made overtures toward Klahanie PAA, but there is no guarantee they would follow through on it. Sammamish could easily lose interest if they run the numbers and decide that Klahanie annexation would result in a negative cash flow. We might then forever remain an unincorporated high tax, low
service zone, sandwiched between two cities. That’s a bleak outcome that can be avoided by voting YES on Issaquah annexation.
As a 25year resident of Klahanie PAA, I feel part of both Issaquah and Sammamish. I’d be glad to be a resident of either city. But this election is a decision between a sure thing (Issaquah) and a “hope it happens someday” (Sammamish). Since a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, a yes vote, it seems, the smartest move.
Klahanie PAA resident
It is a pity Mr. Isenhower has decided to run against our State Senator Andy Hill. It might be better if he ran for Larry Springer’s or Roger Goodman’s’ House seats.
Andy Hill has worked consistently to successfully add $1 Billion to the education budget in this state with NO tax increases. Consider for a moment the endorsement that Andy Hill deservedly received when his legislative colleagues, including Democrats, passed his budget by an unprecedented 89% ‘Yea’ vote. May I say it again, this was without a tax increase.
Mr. Isenhower claims to support education. Well, don’t we all? If Mr. Isenhower really wished to help the schools he could have been advocating, as a member of the PTSA, to trim the excessive expenditures in the Lake Washington School District. For example, the bloated and overpaid bureaucracy or the wasteful and very expensive program of tearing down good solid buildings (most of them newer than the houses most of us live in) just to be replaced by overpriced Taj Mahals. He could have been advocating for focusing the money on the class rooms and a solid future for our students. Now he wants to be our senator?? I think not.
All of which reminds me, vote NO on Prop 3. More than enough money has been spent by the LWSD bureaucrats on new/replacement facilities rather than modernizing the ones we have. It is time to improve the level of education and improve the percentage of graduation in the district, not replace good facilities with extraordinary facilities. This in a district where the Superintendent of the LWSD makes double what the Governor of the State is paid. It is time to reign in the wasteful bureaucracy and work for our students futures.