January 14, 2014

By Staff

Sammamish offers Klahanie a choice

By this time next week, ballots for the Feb. 11 election will be in the mail and voters in the Klahanie annexation area will be choosing future services for their homes.

Or not.

The Klahanie annexation vote continues to be mostly an emotional one for many we have spoken with. It’s easy to say yes to annexation, understanding that property taxes will go down, and road and safety services will go up. And after all, those residents already have an Issaquah address and live in the Issaquah School District, and drive through the city nearly every day.

But there is another option. Should Klahanie voters — and those in nearby neighborhoods within the annexation area — decide to turn down Issaquah’s offer, Sammamish is ready to welcome them into the city to the north.

Sammamish has been listening to concerns and has already promised that should Klahanie want to be annexed into that city instead, they will keep one police officer on the streets of Klahanie 24/7, ensure representation on city commissions and committees, and hold public hearings and meetings in Klahanie. And fix the roads. Taxes would not be as low as in Issaquah, but taxes would be lower than Klahanie residents currently pay.

Isn’t it nice to be wanted? Two cities, two options.

We believe Sammamish is the better choice for Klahanie residents. It would mean waiting a while longer to get annexed, but long-range opportunity for local government decision-making is to be considered.

An address change to Sammamish may be just too much for Klahanie residents to deal with, although that’s a silly reason to vote yes to the ballot question.

Consider the options carefully before you vote. Take time to study the facts, then vote with your head, not just with your heart.


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3 Responses to “Editorial”

  1. Deb Sogge, Exec. Director on January 21st, 2014 10:40 am

    Change is sometimes difficult, but can be a catalyst for progress. Yes, there may be some initial expense for changing your City name. I ask you though, to think visionary and to a better future.

    Sammamish has a reputation for taking good care of their parks and amenities and is a very safe and friendly City. Geographically, it just makes since to be part of Sammamish. Klahanie is even on the Sammamish map due to its proximity and like-minded business community.

    The Sammamish Chamber has always considered the neighborhood of Klahanie as part of the Plateau, serving their business community and delivering welcome bags to new residents since the early 2000’s.

    Vote NO Issaquah and join the thriving and friendly City of Sammamish. Enjoy road improvements, business promotion and tax savings from having no B&O and Utility taxes.

    Deb Sogge, Exec. Director Sammamish Chamber of Commerce

  2. Gretchen Melton on January 28th, 2014 2:31 pm

    I’m sorry but I do not consider myself to be part of Sammamish at all. I do all of my shopping and business in Issaquah so would like to have a say on issues that effect me such as the bag ban. Geographically it’s easier for me to drop down off the plateau and do my shopping where there are far more amenities than wind my way to Sammamish where choices are limited. Not all cities are flat or have nice square corners on their boundaries. I have nothing against Sammamish but feel Issaquah has much more to offer me and my family. VOTE YES!!!

  3. Paul Manassero on January 30th, 2014 1:12 pm

    I find this editorial unconvincing. Let’s see point by point:

    1.) “Sammamish promises 1 cop in Klahanie all the time.” Is that 1 cop or 1 King Co Sherrif in a blue suit? When I research this, why do I never hear that Sammamish will be starting their own Police Department? King Co Sherrif have conflicting interests, have to leave for county emergencies, etc.

    2.) “Sammamish promises representation on citizen committees and commissions.”
    That is good to hear, I had no idea that Issaquah was a Stalinist city where city residents are prohibited from engaging and participating in their city government. Come on, “we have democracy” is not a unique compelling factor for Sammamish.

    3.) “They’ll hold some of the citizen meetings in Klahanie.” Um… ok.

    4.) “Taxes will actually be lower in Issaquah, but…” Well, that seems interesting…

    Look, like most of the Klahanie residents I know, I turn and drive down the hill to Issaquah to shop, to commute to work, to go out to eat, to go to the gym, etc. That’s the city I am a part of… *And*, all of these transactions are taxed. Why would I not want some return on my tax dollars? Joining Sammamish means no return on Issaquah sales tax spent by me.

    What is my *number 1* citizen concern right now? (And this is a BIG key.) The traffic volume and access to getting on I-90 for my morning commute from Klahanie is *awful*. How can I fix this? By becoming a citizen of Sammamish at some ill-defined point in the future?

    No, I solve it by becoming a city resident of the city that has the power/responsibility to fix it and exerting pressure as a citizen to the council.

    Becoming a citizen of a city I rarely visit and can’t serve any of my needs is pointless.

    In addition:

    – The argument that debt is always bad is a naive and financially uneducated one. Debt can save you money, especially when the cost of debt is low, as has been the case recently. For example, if the cost of debt over time will be lower than the cost of real estate appreciation over time, then a city would be wise to assume debt to purchase in the short term, (again, say, real estate in this example), versus attempting to accumulate funds and wait for a much more expensive future purchase price (and run the risk of other transactional complications). And that’s only the most simplistic explanation of why debt is just a financial tool. Debt can be mismanaged certainly, but to *automatically* label it as bad by it’s very existence is just silly or disingenuous.

    – For Sammamish backers to tout that city’s $70 million in reserves also seems unsophisticated. Having money sitting and doing nothing seems irresponsible to me. There is a cost associated with your money sitting and doing nothing. Unless Sammamish has a long term strategic or capital plan for this money, they are doing the equivalent of stuffing it in a mattress. And that’s not who I want running my municipal fiscal policy.

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