Sammamish Forum Feb. 5
February 5, 2014
$755 Million: Small Investment, Big Return
What do we get for the $755 million Lake Washington School District is asking for Feb. 11? What kind of impact will it have on our household and business budgets?
In the near-term, $755 million in direct investment will be spent right here in our local economy, not only creating local jobs for people doing the work but also generating more revenue and jobs for our local business as the work progresses and new workers spend their incomes. In the medium-term, the investment in our highly-rated school system will continue to support companies’ decisions to keep and add jobs in our regional economy. And in the long-term, improving and maintaining a high-quality education system has a documented, direct link to higher productivity and economic growth.
The investment each family has to make is small in comparison to the positive impact voting yes for all three Lake Washington bond and levy measures Feb. 11 will generate. Voting yes on all three measures (not just the bond measure) will cost a median family less per month than the price of going out to dinner at Red Robin, less than the price of a single tank of gas, less than the price of two lattes a week.
The benefits to our local economy far outweigh the costs to our families and our businesses! Is there any better investment in the future than in improving the educational environment of the very children who eventually will become the leaders of our communities?
Vote for Issaquah levies
In response to the Jan. 22 editorial, “Vote Yes for all Measures,” I wanted to extend my support and encourage others to vote yes for the three Issaquah School District levies. As a parent of two children in the district, and as someone who volunteers and substitutes in the Issaquah School District, I want to make sure everyone knows how important it is to vote yes for this funding.
There are three levies on the ballot Feb. 11. The first is a maintenance and operations levy. This levy provides 21 percent of the Issaquah School District operating budget (staff salaries, books, heat and light, fuel for buses, and building maintenance). Our taxes in Washington only provide 60.8 percent of the total budget for the district; federal funds account for 3.9 percent of the budget, tuition and fees (13.1 percent) and other funds (0.3 percent). Even with the levy dollars, Issaquah schools only rank 257th out of 295 school districts in the state in per student funding. Therefore, it is critical to our schools to pass this levy if we want to provide our children with a quality education.
The second levy is a school bus levy that will replace old buses with new, more efficient models that align with the state’s safety standards and replacement cycle. Fuel savings and lower maintenance costs mean that more money can go into the classroom to provide quality education for our children.
The third levy is a capital levy that pays for the classroom technology needs and critical repairs of buildings throughout the district. Washington state provides zero dollars of funding for technology. Our schools depend on local levy money and community funding for our classroom technology funding.
Please vote yes for all three Issaquah School District levies on February 11.
Vote for Issaquah annexation
As plateau residents, we have an interesting vote due Feb. 11. We must vote yes to annex our 18 jurisdictions in the Klahanie PAA to the city of Issaquah.
Simply put, this is our last chance to do this. The city of Issaquah is prepared to annex us with a yes vote, and will not with a no vote. We have no guarantees past this, other than to stay unincorporated in King County. The process to get this election has taken over three years and hundreds of volunteer man-hours that your neighbors have conducted.
This is not a comparison between Issaquah vs. Sammamish, and it concerns me that detractors from this effort continue to try and lead you to believe it is. If that were really true, there would not actually be vote on Feb. 11, as Sammamish would have (and should have) gotten the annexation done years ago after the 2005 failed vote to Issaquah. Did they do it? Nope, not even a minor attempt. They are only stepping forward at the 11 hour to protect special interests and block Issaquah. That concerns me even more.
I have been a resident in Klahanie for over 24 years. We deserve to lower our taxes. I can think of dozens of ways I’ll enjoy spending the approx. $1,000 per year savings I’ll see in my household. And since we are paying for it, we deserve services we don’t really get today, like police, road services, repairs and government representation. We deserve to be a city, and the only way to do this is to vote yes to annex to Issaquah on Feb. 11.
And by the way, four yes votes please; annexation and three Issaquah School levies!