To the Editor

November 23, 2010

By Contributor

Compassion House

Caring community united to raise $12,000 at charity pie auction

This past weekend, several local churches banded together in support of Compassion House, a local ministry providing transitional housing to families on the margins. Specifically, these churches — Covenant Presbyterian, Foothills Baptist and Mountain Creek Christian Fellowship — hosted a pie auction featuring 40 freshly baked pies, which were auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The evening started with a spaghetti dinner held in Covenant Presbyterian Church’s spacious fellowship hall. The event also featured numerous silent auction items, which were donated by local supporters, including a beautifully embroidered, handmade quilt featuring the Compassion House logo. At the end of the evening, more than $12,000 was raised to benefit Compassion House. Several of the pies were auctioned off for more than $400 each!

It was a wonderful evening of fun and fellowship, and it was also a first-class fundraising event. Beyond that, it was a wonderful opportunity for these local churches to link arms in support of a group of people who are definitely near to God’s heart — the poor and the disenfranchised.

Once again, we saw ample evidence that Issaquah is truly a community that cares! I feel so blessed to live and minister here. On behalf of Compassion House, I want to thank everyone who participated in making this the most successful fundraiser in our more-than-15-year history.

Thanks to the generosity of the attendees and the hosting churches, Compassion House will be able to continue and even expand the vital ministry they provide to those in our midst who need help in rediscovering their independence and their worth. We are humbled by their generosity and appreciative of their partnership.

Mark C. Miller

Pastor, Mountain Creek Christian Fellowship, Founder, Compassion House


Central Issaquah Plan

Tall buildings don’t belong in Issaquah

The Central Issaquah Task Force has done a great job in planning for our city’s future and has worked hard. The members have incorporated a lot of greenery into the plan and a lot of pedestrian-and-biking-friendly spaces. Most of it is great. But…

The task force’s proposal calls for very tall buildings, 10 to 12 stories tall!

I understand the practical and economic reasons for density and height (preserving green space, profitability of the building venture, affordable housing, etc.) However, 10 to 12 stories? Can we not restrict buildings to five or even six stories?

If we allow 10 to 12 stories, we are looking at a total change of character for Issaquah. It means we’ll be looking like another Bellevue. Is that what the residents of Issaquah really want?

Barbara Royce Extract

Issaquah


Property taxes

Some council members still don’t get what are and are not core services

I’m glad that the City Council declined to raise our property taxes this year. Kudos especially to Mark Mullet and Eileen Barber, who correctly noted — during an earlier meeting — that the city could and should prioritize its services without raising taxes.

But two other council members made it sound like the city’s basic services were in danger of collapse.

Tola Marts claimed, “Our ability to provide core services to the citizens of Issaquah could be compromised in a way that we’ve really never seen before.”

John Traeger indicated that “we’re not funding a lot of important things,” such as facility maintenance, and that “we’re on the edge of de-funding other areas that are actually core services … I don’t know that we have a lot of room to move.”

Wow. Sounds dire, doesn’t it? And yet, during that very same meeting, the council voted to spend $12,000 on a sculpture of three cedar poles. (That’s right: $4,000 per pole.) Is that one of those “core” services that Marts and Traeger were worried about? Try “extraneous” or “superfluous,” certainly not “core.”

The city also spent more than $128,000 on other art projects in 2010, funded through a 5-percent tax on movie tickets and special events. Such expenditures (and taxes) are irresponsible, especially during a recession.

If you love to view the arts, visit our local museums, galleries and theaters. If you love to create art, head down to Michael’s, buy some clay or paint, and knock yourself out. You don’t need to raise my property taxes or tax my movie tickets so you can engage in those personal activities.

It’s clear that the concerns expressed by Traeger and Marts were unfounded. Both eventually joined their colleagues in deciding against the tax increase, but they obviously knew that the city has plenty of “room to move.” For example, they could have put the aforementioned $140,000 toward services that are actually essential.

Thanks again to the council for not raising property taxes. Next, the council should reduce taxes by removing fluff that doesn’t belong in the budget to begin with.

Matthew Barry

Issaquah

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