To the Editor

September 24, 2013

By Contributor


What is the city afraid of anyway?

The city of Issaquah has not been very happy to actually let its citizens have their own opinions for quite some time. The administration has long had a culture that punishes dissent, and anything that they do resembling a mistake doesn’t require an apology and change, but a bigger bunker to hide behind, and usually some nasty finger pointing.

More recently, the city has become even more protective, removing the history of much of the city information from the website and requiring information requests for that which was formerly publicly available.  I want to be clear here that most of the staff does not act this way and they actually are interested in what people have so say. (Yes, indeed, there are the occasional exceptions.)

The City Council tends to get only the information that the administration wants to provide to achieve, seemingly, iron-fisted control and unsustainable growth of our city.

What is lost in Issaquah right now is the idea that a town is created and run for its people, and the very baseline of a 5-star city is complete and accurate information for the people so that they can inform the process.

Instead, Issaquah’s administration is hiding the information and making it difficult for anyone to effectively engage. What are they so afraid of … people realizing that the emperor has no clothes?

Connie Marsh


If we cared, we would do something about it

Regarding the city cybersquatting: I don’t think this really matters — as a nation we are accepting of being spied on by our government, ambivalent to the loss of certain freedoms in lieu of false security and ever more tolerant of government governing citizens as though we were members only of “makers” over “takers.”

Let’s face it — we don’t care — if we did we would do something about it.

Bryan Weinstein



School board

Choose Alison Meryweather, a nonstop education advocate

Alison Meryweather is absolutely the right choice for the Issaquah School Board.

Alison has been a nonstop advocate for our public education system for more than a decade. She has actively sought and found every opportunity over the years to take a leadership position in any endeavor that will bring resources to our schools so that all of our children can have the best possible education.

Whether as a past PTSA president at multiple levels in our district, a board trustee for the Issaquah Schools Foundation, or a longtime committee member then chairwoman of Volunteers for Issaquah Schools, the all-volunteer organization that raises money for and runs Issaquah’s bond and levy campaigns, she has spent seemingly all of her time outside of raising her daughters dedicated to the cause of helping make Issaquah schools better.

The knowledge, insight and experience she has gleaned from all these years of work have already been and will continue to be enormous assets on the school board.

All of us to some degree think we’re “experts” about our schools because we have shepherded our own kids through the system. Alison’s dedication to helping all kids puts her in a different category.

Her years of work as a fundraiser and advocate have produced deep understanding and convictions about the challenges facing schools. This is what drives her to keep doing more, and always trying to do better. The Issaquah School Board — and in turn, all of our students — only stand to gain.

Leigh Stokes



City Council

Issaquah would be privileged to have Joe Forkner as mayor

More than 20 years ago, I met a man too good to be true. He was honest, forthright, hard working, loyal, respectful, compassionate, with common sense. He was firm when he needed to be, and taught his sons to make good choices and decisions.

Joe Forkner isn’t one to talk about himself because he’d rather be in the background doing the hard work, boots on the ground. Joe would rather just do the work than get credit for it. You will see him at events like ArtWalk, Winewalk, Fenders on Front Street and Salmon Days doing the work that is needed.

Joe has devoted himself to this community, giving countless hours in volunteerism, plus his years of experience on City Council and boards and commissions. He is a former police officer, reserve deputy sheriff, volunteer firefighter and EMT. He knows what it takes and how to get things done.

I am honored and privileged to have Joe as my husband. Issaquah would be honored and privileged to have Joe as its mayor.

Michele Forkner



State park

Improvements to regional treasure should be simple

The article on proposed “improvements” to Lake Sammamish State Park did nothing but horrify me. The solution to reinvigorate Lake Sammamish State Park does not lie in additional schemes to prostitute our public lands for the miniscule amount of additional revenue they might generate for the state. If you want to make the park a more inviting place, then all it needs is some capital improvements, but not ones that will forever change the character of the state park.

If you build it they will come — bring back the lifeguards; bring in new sand for the beaches; smooth and replant the lawns; put in a couple of swimming and fishing docks; replace the bath house; and upgrade and add picnic shelters. You do not have to look any further than Gene Coulon Park, Pine Lake Park, and Sammamish Landing to see how wildly successful this approach will be.

Lake Sammamish State Park is a regional natural treasure. Within its boundary are salmon spawning streams, a heron rookery, a diverse environment that supports a variety of wildlife, passive and active recreational activities, and vital wetlands that help to absorb the runoff of water from the surrounding communities. Is this really the place where we need to add a lakeside restaurant, a hotel/convention center or additional soccer fields?

The pretense of adding these amenities is to generate revenue for the state. But the real question that needs to be answered here is to what degree are we going to develop the very item we are trying to protect. Lake Sammamish State Park is available to serve our recreational and environment needs because prior generations made a conscious decision to preserve it for future generations.

What is your vision and legacy for the park; is it short term or long term?

John O’Brien


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One Response to “To the Editor”

  1. Lake Sammamish State Park: Renewed Discussion : on February 26th, 2014 5:21 pm

    […] on these topics. We share for the most part the opinions of John O’Brien recently expressed in a Letter to the Editor at The Issaquah Press: “bring back the lifeguards; bring in new sand for the beaches; smooth and […]

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