Sammamish Forum March 12
March 12, 2014
Don’t read into
So the vote is in and the majority ruled that there is to be no annexation for Klahanie to the city of Issaquah. It was democracy in action but certainly not a win by a landslide. Considering the population of Klahanie, the number of votes are rather embarrassing in my thinking.
There are several reasons why people vote the way they do and it is not always selfless but for what they will gain. Why wasn’t the vote a landslide would be my question if the Klahanie residents wanted to be a part of Sammamish so badly. The truth behind the vote of yes was what the majority felt they would gain personally by becoming part of Sammamish and possibly not what was best for the city of Issaquah. Just an observation.
They could have just moved to Sammamish if they wanted so badly what they think our city has to offer them. In essence, our City Council bribed them to get them to vote no. Our own Mayor Tom Vance uses the word “honor” when he asks that the city of Issaquah now relinquish the area so that Sammamish can take its prize. Honor, really.
There was no honor in how our City Council went about bullying their way to take Klahanie. I don’t really care personally whether Klahanie is annexed to our city or not. What bothers me is how our city council goes about getting what they want.
Lake Washington bond failure could mean dire consequences
Great schools are like money in the bank for homeowners, and that has certainly been true in the past for homeowners in the Lake Washington School District. Those who move to the Seattle area often request to live in the district, and that is good news for local home values.
While in February the two school district levies (needed for school operations) passed, the bond (needed for school modernization and construction) did not, and this places our school district in a difficult situation. Now our community needs to make some tough decisions. What do we want to do with the projected 4,000 new students (the equivalent of two very large high schools) arriving in the next eight years? Do we want to buy 180 portable classrooms (not cheap, by the way, and where do we put them?) for the 180 classrooms we’re short? Should we provide double shifts (one group goes to school in the morning and another in the afternoon) at numerous schools?
Change the boundaries of the schools throughout the district? Bus students away from their neighborhood schools? Do we want to discontinue or reduce all day kindergarten as an option? Go to a year-round school schedule?
These are the choices we face if a bond doesn’t pass. While some may be ok with some of these options, the general population will likely not be, and this could have a profound affect on the desirability of our community.
Fortunately, the school board has recently recommended a reduced bond providing the money required for emergency needs that will be on the ballot April 22nd. Only 17 percent of registered voters between the ages of 18-44 voted on the February levies and bond, and this is the age group most likely to be affected by lack of school facilities.
When you receive your ballots in April, please vote and encourage your friends and neighbors to vote and let your choice be known.
Lake Washington Citizens Levy Committee Member/Parent to three(soon to be four) Eastlake graduates
Issaquah has done well
Recently, my wife and her friend, a longtime Issaquah resident, had dinner in Issaquah Highlands. My wife’s friend had not visited the highlands for some time, and her spontaneous response was, “Wow, this is a jaw dropper!”
I could not agree more! Several appealing new restaurants, a YWCA Family Village, well-used mass transit park-and-ride, a movie theater, grocery store, a wide range of retailers, discount gas, a full service hospital, additional medical services, and more to come. Mayor Fred Butler shared in his State of the City report that Bellevue College will build a campus in Issaquah Highlands and Swedish – Issaquah will extend its hospital campus to include additional medical offices.
As a resident of Sammamish, I am proud to be Issaquah’s neighbor! My wife and I visit the highlands often and enjoy our close proximity to its array of new amenities and services. We extend to Issaquah, its current and past City Council leaders, business partners and residents our hearty congratulation on your careful attention to planned growth, protection of the environment and sustainable living in a lovely residential setting! Your thoughtful approach to development is a reflection of strong leadership! Thanks, Neighbors!
The writer is a former member of the Sammamish City Council