Sen. Andy Hill’s bill sets bad precedent

February 5, 2014

By Administrator

Klahanie belongs in Sammamish, that much is certain. But the way state Sen. Andy Hill and the Sammamish City Council are going about trying to make it happen just stinks.

Hill, at the urging of the council, has floated a bill in Olympia that would amount to a poison pill for Issaquah if it were to annex the area. Under the bill, Issaquah would lose a state subsidy if it annexed the area instead of Sammamish.

The poison wouldn’t be fatal, since the numbers would still work out in Issaquah’s favor, but it is still sickening.

The move would save the state some money, and Hill is chairman of the budget-writing committee, so there is at least a paper-thin veneer of the senator attempting to exercise fiscal prudence, but it’s easily torn.

The bill is narrowly tailored so that it only applies to Issaquah’s annexation of Klahanie.

If the idea is good policy, it would be good policy statewide. But this is designed so it doesn’t upset folks in other parts of the state, and they’ll keep out of it.

Really, everyone in Olympia should keep out of it. Which areas belong in which cities is an issue that needs to be settled closer to home: Counties, and the cities involved should be the ones making the decision, not lawmakers from other parts of the state who have likely never heard of Klahanie, and probably couldn’t find it on a map.

Hill’s move smacks of election-year pandering. People in Klahanie and Issaquah don’t vote for him, while people in Sammamish do.

He has nothing to lose from angering those who are most impacted by the bill. Hill has worked to forge a reputation as a smart senator. He is better than this.

The Sammamish City Council has already made its case to Klahanie voters. Dirty tricks like this one should be beneath them.

Hill should withdraw the bill. Let the vote be decided on the merits of the annexation (or lack thereof) and what the people want. Meddling from Olympia in this very local issue sets a bad precedent.

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