Letters to the Editor

December 31, 2013

By Contributor

School levies

Education — no better return on your investment

As we enter a new year, Issaquah School District voters have a unique investment opportunity.

On Feb. 11, the entire community will have the opportunity to vote yes on a three-part Issaquah district school-funding ballot, comprised of the following items:

  • Four-year Maintenance and Operations Levy in the following amounts: $44.5 million in 2015, $48 million in 2016, $51.5 million in 2017, and $54 million in 2018.
  •  One-year Transportation Levy in the amount of $1.7 million in 2015.
  • Four-year Critical Repairs/Technology levy in the following amounts: $11.4 million in 2015, $12.05 million in 2016, nearly $13.6 million in 2017, and nearly $14.9 million in 2018.

When you consider the social and economic impact of supporting our schools, there’s no better return on investment. These dollars directly help Issaquah students and the future members of our community. Our ability to help develop creative, intelligent and productive young adults offers such a contribution to the fabric of our community that, to borrow a phrase, it’s “priceless.”

At $40 per year in per-household increase in tax basis on average, we can contribute to a school district infrastructure and technology platform that is among the best in the state. As homeowners, this investment supports our community’s reputation as being one of the best places to live and raise children.

It’s no surprise we find signs in front of new housing developments, or homes being listed, touting “in the Issaquah School District.” Whether you’re a homeowner with school-aged children or not, the resulting contribution this investment makes to the value of your home or property is clear. It’s a great investment.

For me, it’s an easy choice and decision. Please vote yes for the upcoming Issaquah School District levies.

Marc Messina

Newcastle

 

Klahanie

Slur campaigns shouldn’t enter into vote decision

I have loved living in Issaquah for the past 23 years. At least that’s what I’ve always told friends and family. But the truth is that I live in Klahanie, part of unincorporated King County, and most recently entitled “The PAA” or “Acquisition Candidate for Incorporation into Issaquah.” While this melding into the city of Issaquah seems like such a natural and logical act, I’m suddenly being hit by a barrage of campaign literature, from, of all places, my water company.

With wild claims of “Malicious and intentional pollution of the water supply” (which turned out to be false) to claims of “Financial Lies and Budgetary Irregularities” (again of a very questionable nature), it seems like the Sammamish Water and Sewer District has gone to war with the city of Issaquah. As a member of Issaquah’s chamber of commerce, I tried to find out what had triggered such a voracious attack.

The more I asked, the more often people’s eyes rolled as they told me the story of a few individuals, including a board member of the water district, that just didn’t want Klahanie and its inherent financial value leaving its unincorporated status. While the acquisition plan intended that Klahanie would remain with the water district, it no longer was dependent upon it, should Issaquah decide, in the future, to develop its own water system.

A few years ago, when Klahanie originally voted down a merger with Issaquah, the failure was, believed by many, attributed to a last minute slur campaign by these same individuals, using later disproved attacks.

Frankly, I’m tired of these shenanigans by a few dishonest individuals keeping my neighborhood from lower taxes, better services and a safer community offered through the annexation. Please join with me in supporting this important effort.

Paul Hutton

Issaquah

 

Klahanie isn’t and shouldn’t be in Issaquah

If only I had a nickel for every time I was asked in the past 20 years, “Why don’t you like Klahanie?” Klahanie is a fine community with lots of great people that deserve to be in a city that can efficiently and sustainably serve them. That city was never Issaquah and it is even truer now than in the past.

Klahanie has seen its road conditions significantly deteriorate since the 2005 evaluation and accessing Klahanie for needed services has become much more difficult as traffic volumes have increased and a quick-and-easy trip across Highlands Drive is no more. Issaquah has now fully committed to its Central Issaquah Plan and to prioritize spending the many millions of dollars needed to make the plan work in the city core as surrounding residential areas have become a lower priority.

The dollars proposed in the Nesbitt Study will provide a substandard level of service to Klahanie. Realistically and fairly, you can’t just underserve 10,000 people in your city. What combination of increased taxes and reduced service for the whole city would we look at to provide fair service to Klahanie?

Sammamish has essentially no debt and millions in the bank. Not only can it serve Klahanie, but it needs to improve roads in and adjoining Klahanie to support its own existing residents living north of Klahanie. Look at a map of Klahanie and you will see the missing southeast corner of Sammamish.

One can wish the best for Klahanie, but one does not have to think Issaquah can most efficiently and sustainably serve Klahanie.

David Kappler

Issaquah

 

The Children’s Garden

Thanks to preschool, founder for community legacy

Thank you for your article about Bonnie Steussy who founded the preschool The Children’s Garden. The article was great but only lightly touched on the impact The Garden has had on our community.

It is a preschool that does amazing things in creating well-rounded adults who go out and take the world by storm. The type of adults this preschool creates, who go out in the world and have amazing accomplishments, is incredible. And it comes from a place of developing the whole child. The school has never focused on just academics but instead looks at the whole child and embraces and grows it — with art, music, learning to communicate and most of all being respectful.

The Garden is also a place that helps the parents of its children become incredible parents and also people who are out in the community making change — people in our community making change and a difference, like Robin Callahan, Cathia Geller or Fred Nystrom. The Garden does this by bringing people together to work together. The auction it puts on every year, yes, is a fundraiser, but it builds community and people taking on leadership. These are the people making Issaquah and the world an even better place to live.

So, yes, we are fortunate to have The Garden to grow our children but we are also fortunate to have The Garden to grow us as adults. When my 15-year-old was born, I was hoping that Bonnie and the school would be in existence long enough for Caroline to get through the preschool program. Little did I know our community would be fortunate enough that The Garden is still here and continues to grow us as a community.

Thank you, Bonnie, for your vision and your legacy.

Jody Mull

Bellevue

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