Sammamish Forum

March 20, 2014

By Contributed

Thanks firefighters

 

I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am to our Eastside Fire & Rescue crew for responding so quickly and effectively to the medical emergency at our house on Feb. 22.

They got my wife to Swedish Hospital in time to save her life for which we are enormously grateful. I visited the fire station later and learned that the responders were Ryan Anderson, Rick Whalen, and Mike O’Brian.

Gentlemen, I salute you and thank you!

 

Alan Mebane

Sammamish

 

Make voting

more democratic

 

Democracy: De-moc’-ra-cy; n (pl-cles) :1. Government by the people; esp, rule of the majority.

Marjority: Ma-‘jor-ety; n (pl-ties) 1. Age at which full civil rights are accorded-status of one who has attained this age. 2. A number greater than half of a total.

From this we can assume that all governing in a democratic republic is with the consent of a majority of the governed, that is, one more than 50 percent of the governed.

In our election process however, we have managed to render this definition moot. We govern ourselves by a simple majority of those who show up and vote.

Long running evidence indicated that, on average, about 58% of those eligible to vote actually do vote, meaning that just one over 29% of eligible voters actually decide elections.

Various sides in our political dialogue have sought to change this equation, from finding ways to restrict voting in the name of security, to those who wish to allow easier access to voting.

By adopting postal voting, we in Washington State have made great strides toward ease of voting, more than have many other states. It is a good start, but just a start. If we truly believe in the idea of a democratic majority, we can build on the basic postal vote by a few simple changes.

First, we can allow the vote totals to be released on each successive day of vote counting.

Second, there is nothing sacred about the second Tuesday in November; we could allow voting to continue until at least a true majority of registered voters have cast a ballot.

This would be a minimum number determined to be 50 percent plus one, of all potential voters. In this scenario, we keep voting and releasing vote totals until a majority is actually reached. Insuring that we no longer elect by less than a true majority

By these simple rule changes, we can assure that we know day-by-day just how the vote is proceeding, and have time to mail in our ballot even if beyond the magic Tuesday.

The result should be a much better Democracy, one actually decided by a democratic majority, one decided by an actual majority of the governed.

 

W.C Schiffer

Sammamish

 

Support the new bond

 

Lake Washington School District voters have spoken, and clearly thought the bond was too expensive online australian casinos to pass; though we already face overcrowding in our schools (which will be exacerbated by the new housing popping up). Why, then, should voters approve the second attempt bond?

In short, because there are going to be very real consequences to not approving a bond for Lake Washington School District to build new schools – even if they are not in Sammamish. That’s right, the new bond will build three new elementary schools (two in Redmond, one in Kirkland), a new middle school in Redmond, and expand existing high schools in Kirkland and Juanita.

But if voters do not approve the bond, LWSD will be forced to redistrict, and our already-full Sammamish schools could have children bussed in from Redmond (as their schools are even more overcrowded – Rosa Parks Elementary has 900 children in a school designed for 700).

Other possibilities include removal of all-day Kindergarten, double-shifting, year-round schooling, additional portables (where it is even legal to place them, sometimes it is not allowed), and removal of after school programs.

Fifty-five percent of registered voters are between 18 and 44, but only 17 percent of them voted. Nearly half of all those who voted were over 60.

Many voters did not vote for or against the bond (effectively voting against by default) and this was likely because the bond measure was on the back of the ballot.

Had just 37 percent of those voters voted yes, we wouldn’t be in these dire circumstances.

The result is clear: we need to do our due diligence; we need to vote; we need to support our schools.

 

Bobbie Conti

Sammamish

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