To the Editor
March 20, 2012
Red light cameras
Challenge their constitutionality or elect new council members
I am amazed at the number of people who seem not to understand the recent state Supreme Court ruling on red light cameras. They all seem to think that our initiative process translates into a pure democracy (one-person/one-vote) form of government where the people can override what their representatives on the City Council authorized.
But our republican-democracy is not a one-person/one-vote form of government. Under our Constitution, we elect representatives to vote our interests when it comes to new laws.
If the opponents of the red light cameras want to have their voices heard, they could challenge the constitutionality of the cameras. Another way of changing the system is to elect a new majority of City Council members who would vote to get rid of them.
Rightly or wrongly, that is how our republican-democracy is supposed to work.
Issaquah School District bond
Great schools provide great education, increase property values
On April 17, we as an Issaquah School District community will be asked to vote on a $219 million school construction and maintenance bond. This bond benefits everyone in our community from the finishing of Liberty High School’s remodel, to a new stadium at Skyline High School, to three brand new schools and also turf fields for all of our middle schools. This bond package was carefully analyzed and prepared by our district and by our community.
If this bond is approved, compared to what we are currently paying, we as homeowners can expect to see our yearly taxes go down.
We live in an incredible community that values education. This is shown by how we continuously vote and approve bonds and levies that are put before us. We realize great schools benefit not only the value of the education it provides the children in this community, but great schools also keep our property values high.
Please join me in voting yes on April 17!
Repairs are needed for older schools, so vote yes on the upcoming bond
Occasionally parents and residents come to me with questions about the school district, unaware that the district and the city are two entirely separate governmental entities.
But their confusion is completely understandable. More than any other city I know, the success of the city of Issaquah is tied to the success of the Issaquah School District. People move to Issaquah for many reasons, but I believe the foremost is to be able to send their children to ISD schools. Nobody comes here for the weather!
Washington is saddled with an archaic funding scheme that leaves our diverse student body with less state dollars than more affluent districts, such as Bellevue and Mercer Island. It’s so bad that the courts recently found that the Legislature’s funding system violates the state constitution’s requirement that education be the state’s paramount duty.
But year after year, the Issaquah School District does more with less than any other district in the state. Part of that is exceptional fiscal oversight; as beautiful as the rebuilt Issaquah High School is, for example, it cost much less per square foot than other recent Eastside rebuilds.
The other reason is the foresight of local voters to fund education as the great investment that it is. School levies allow the ISD to be nationally competitive, and school bonds allow long-term capital items to be funded outside the operational budget, saving core dollars for classrooms.
Issaquah is a large district with many schools that have been around a long time. There are many repairs that are needed. The district’s growth has slowed down, which is why this is a smaller bond than the last time, and for eight years instead of six. That’s why your school bond tax burden, if this bond is passed, will go down compared to last year. That’s good, restrained management, and allows me to wholeheartedly support this upcoming bond.
You’ll be receiving your ballot in the mail shortly; I hope you’ll think about the long-term health of the city, and join me in voting “yes!”
Tola Marts, president
Issaquah City Council
Washington State Patrol offers thanks after death of trooper
The Washington State Patrol would like to thank all of the wonderful people of Washington who showed their compassion and care following the tragic death of Trooper Tony Radulescu.
When we in law enforcement lose one of our own, the outpouring of support from Washingtonians is a big factor in easing a very difficult time, and helping with the healing process that follows. We find real comfort in a community that cares, and I can assure you, so do the family and friends of the fallen officer.
So, on behalf of all of us who work to protect our citizens, I want to express our gratitude for all of the support we have received from the communities, citizens, agencies, media and others. Thank you for the funds, food, time and so much more. Your support helped all involved better grieve and honor Trooper Radulescu’s life.
Trooper Radulescu’s death is not only a loss to our agency and the state of Washington, but to law enforcement as a whole. We are always mindful of the price that is paid to safeguard our citizens. Trooper Radulescu will never be forgotten.
Thank you for your care and kindness.
Chief John R. Batiste
Washington State Patrol