June 22, 2010
Sometimes, the Issaquah School District needs to put its integrity ahead of student interest. Last week, its integrity slipped when district officials tried to change a long-standing contract with the city of Sammamish.
The city upgraded the fields at Skyline High School with lights and turf in exchange for community use between 6 and 9 p.m. The city has assured nearby neighbors that the field lights would be off by 9 p.m.
Circumstances are changing for the school as it adds a freshman class, and more playing time on the fields is needed for freshman teams. It was suggested the city move its community play time an hour later and just keep the field lights burning until 10 p.m.
The school district’s not-so-veiled threat to Sammamish – give us more time or we won’t let you use the fields at all – was both wrong and a poor bluff. We are troubled by the district’s lack of concern for the community at large and the adjacent property owners, who would have to put up with lights and noise until 10 p.m.
As Sammamish Councilwoman Nancy Whitten pointed out, the school district was asking for all of the sacrifices to be on the city’s end of the deal. This is no way to maintain a relationship with the city, or with the neighbors.
Both sides are fighting for the good of overlapping constituencies of taxpayers.
The city of Sammamish took the high road – agreeing to give Skyline an extra half-hour of field time while trying to work out a more permanent solution. School officials should take a lesson.