To the Editor
June 18, 2013
Don’t muddy the issue with water
Regarding Tom Harman’s May 29 letter, I ask, “Were you at the same Klahanie meetings I attended?” Here’s what I heard at both of them.
Mr. Harman, president of the Sammamish Plateau and Sewer District, never indicates that in his letters. When it comes to water issues, that makes his comments extremely suspect. At both meetings, the study producers said they thought Sammamish Water might continue to supply the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area with water/sewer services. It’s open to negotiation.
The Issaquah-Fall City Road problem was mentioned at both meetings. No matter which city ends up with Klahanie, it will have to talk with King County about who will pay for upgrades. These meetings were not the forums for this discussion.
The Issaquah-Pine Lake Road fire station was built with Klahanie funds. According to one meeting attendee, Klahanie’s developer collected fees in the home prices to provide the funding for that station. According to the study, Fire District 10 or Eastside Fire & Rescue will continue as Klahanie’s fire and EMT provider. There is an Issaquah fire station in the highlands development. If needed, one or the other or both could provide coverage.
Issaquah has a parks/recreation department that maintains several city parks and recreational facilities with more on the way. Issaquah has its own police department with a great record of providing fast and reliable service. Sammamish contracts out its police coverage. Issaquah’s Public Works Department will provide better service than King County because it would be a local entity with PAA residents as city voters.
The last time, PAA residents voted nearly 70 percent in favor of annexing to Issaquah. The Sammamish Water District and Harman tried to muddy the waters then as well.
If the opportunity arises, the only answer is to be annexed by Issaquah.
Klahanie resident for 17 years
Fire, water service not issues in annexation
The issues of fire protection and sewer and water service were addressed in the study questioned by Mr. Harman. The annexation won’t change either service. Fire protection will still be provided by Eastside Fire & Rescue; sewer and water service will still be provided by the Plateau Sewer and Water District.
With EFR, the only difference is funding for the annexation area will come from the city of Issaquah and not from Fire District 10. The Klahanie fire station may become an issue later only if the city of Sammamish decides in 2014 to not renew its EFR contract — certainly not an issue for this annexation study.
Mr. Harman’s issue for the PSWD is that after annexation occurs, the city of Issaquah at some point may seek to take over the sewer and water service within the Klahanie annexation area from PSWD. This action by the city of Issaquah is a normal and routine procedure authorized (and encouraged) by the state of Washington Growth Management Act. Perhaps Mr. Harman is not concerned about the annexation but rather a possible subsequent reduction in his “empire.”
The widening of Issaquah-Fall City Road is an expensive project that no individual city would undertake by itself, and with one end of the road in Issaquah and the other end in Sammamish, a joint request for funds would undoubtedly receive a warmer reception by whichever state or regional entity will also be involved.
Finally, when the first Sammamish incorporation vote was rejected by the Sammamish Plateau voters, the incorporation committee (which included Mr. Harman) specifically removed the Klahanie area from a second (successful) vote attempt because of the low level of support on the first vote. Sammamish (and Mr. Harman) have nobody but themselves to blame. To do otherwise is a gross distortion of the facts.
Annexation is not for the citizens’ benefit
Annexing Klahanie has no benefit to the citizens of Issaquah. Besides the $6 million in up-front costs, the city’s report ignores the truth of many things. Considering capital costs, including the $19 million to fix Issaquah-Fall City Road, are “inconvenient,” thus not included. The report also drastically understates the real costs of core items, like parks and road maintenance, and police services.
The mayor and administrators are drooling. They would rule over more people, plus get a broader base to draw tax dollars from. Issaquah is very close to hitting its debt capacity, and bringing Klahanie in is key to being able to incur greater debt and spend more money on “bigger and better” things, like pushing Issaquah to look like Bellevue as soon as possible.
Those same officials are not interested in listening to, or spending money on the needs of Issaquah’s citizens. They’re about catering to their unfunded fanciful dreams of potential massive future growth, which can only be achieved by providing financial “incentives” to developers to start building, most at the expense of the taxpayers, sensible public process, and our identity.
Sadly, many people in Klahanie naively think this annexation is about doing something for them. The truth is the city wants to suck them dry.
My hope is the City Council members remember whom they actually represent, and vote in the best interests of the citizens of Issaquah by saying “NO” to this annexation. That is the best choice for us, and the residents of Klahanie.
Is privacy equal for males and females?
Re: the Feb 19, 2013, story about the high school swim teams (who were doing quite well, apparently) being coached by one or more women — I already entered a comment on the page itself. But, for reasons I can’t quite articulate, I felt the need (for what it’s worth on a 3-month-old news item) to place it here also:
If my son were on a swim team coached by a female, however accomplished or credentialed she may be, my concern would be locker room privacy. I have heard very troubling accounts of female coaches who routinely see 16- to 18-year-old young men naked — including one face-to-face conversation with a coach herself — even though male coaches do nothing of the kind when coaching girls.
My question is, are these young men actually to be respected in this regard, or is their basic human dignity being thrown under the crosstown bus every time they enter their locker room? This is a very sore subject with me, and I’d be interested in knowing the prevailing standard here. (At least I think I am — if there is an answer out there, I’m not at all sure I want to hear it!)