To the Editor
February 4, 2014
It’s time to let the people decide this issue
As a homeowner in the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area, I have no animosity toward Sammamish, and recognize it is a developing and growing city. What I do have is a frustration with the approach taken by the opposition spreading mistruths about Issaquah. Sammamish had 8-plus years to approach King County regarding annexation and did nothing.
Among the inaccuracies: 1) Issaquah’s police force is not inadequately manned as it has 34 police officers for a population of 32,000, with six more to come. Our research has shown Sammamish has 24 for a population of 48,000. Issaquah has 1-plus per 1,000 while Sammamish has 1 for every 2,000 citizens. 2) Issaquah rightfully supports shared responsibility for Issaquah-Fall City Road and will work aggressively with the other two boundary entities to make appropriate improvements as should be the case. 3) Bonded indebtedness is a phony sales pitch. Sammamish is a 10-plus-year-old city that has little developed infrastructure, business or city build outs — so yes, no debt, yet — bit it will come as it grows. Issaquah is a 100-plus-year-old city — years of growth and development benefiting every one of their citizens.
Question? When was the last time you lived in a city and said, “I won’t use that park, recreation center or highway, so I don’t or won’t pay my share of taxes for the debt to build and maintain them?” Never. Even with the debt included, Issaquah’s property taxes are lower than Sammamish. Expect to see Sammamish’s taxes go up with growth as the homeowner is now the only place to find $$$ — the business activity in Sammamish is minimal — oh yes, that’s why there are no B&O taxes, yet.
Klahanie PAA Annexation — a bird in the hand
Most residents of Klahanie PAA have community ties to both Issaquah and Sammamish. The strength of those ties can vary depending on where one works, shops, goes to school, goes to church or socializes. I’d like to point out why even those who feel a closer tie to Sammamish should still vote yes for annexation to Issaquah.
This election is not a choice between Issaquah and Sammamish. Our votes will only decide whether we join Issaquah or remain in unincorporated King County. If the annexation measure is approved, our property taxes will drop and services will improve (especially roads and police protection). If the measure fails, we can only hope Sammamish will eventually annex us.
Sammamish recently made overtures toward the Klahanie PAA, but there is no guarantee it would follow through on it. Sammamish could easily lose interest if it runs the numbers and decides that Klahanie annexation would result in a negative cash flow. We would then remain trapped in an unincorporated high-tax, low-service zone, sandwiched between two cities. That’s a bleak outcome that can be avoided by voting yes on Issaquah annexation.
As a 25-year resident of the Klahanie PAA, I feel part of both Issaquah and Sammamish. I’d be glad to be a resident of either city. But this election is a decision between a sure thing (Issaquah) and a “hope it happens someday” (Sammamish). Since “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” a yes vote seems the smartest move.
Klahanie PAA resident
What about changing all that paperwork, addresses?
I am a retired R.N. and have lived in Oxford Park in Klahanie for the past 19 years. I am a very active senior and have kept up on this situation from the beginning. I cannot believe the actions of the Sammamish council members that are blasting us with all these debatable promises at the last minute. It is truly political, and we residents are the ones who will pay the price.
I want to ask Sammamish what it is going to do about change of addresses. No one mentioned this, and this will be an added problem for all owners and apartment renters. It will take weeks to accomplish notifying friends, relatives, banks, credit companies, legal documents — all will have to be changed. I dread thinking about that problem. It is an added negative in my many concerns.
I shop completely in Issaquah, have all my doctors in Issaquah and many activities are centered here. I notice that many of our condo neighbors in Oxford Park do not read their free paper you so kindly send so are not aware of all the flurry that Sammamish is suddenly sending our way.
Please put this in your next issue for I know that the majority of residents have not thought of the change-of-address problem.
Sammamish will listen to Klahanie residents
Annex to Issaquah. It made sense. I’ve identified with Issaquah for 20 years. I knew I didn’t want to be in King County.
That is what I used to think, but I changed my mind, big time. A few years ago, a couple of youth soccer supporters sought to encourage our local governments in Issaquah and Sammamish to build artificial turf fields to accommodate the growing needs for active recreation. We spent years meeting with city councils, park boards, planning boards, county councils, State Parks. There was strong interest from the thousands of families that played soccer, lacrosse, football and baseball.
We discovered that Issaquah was not interested in hearing what the masses wanted. Issaquah has an agenda and we actually upset the city by asking that some of the $6.2 million “park” bond go toward active recreation, rather than restricted access creek side land and open space. We finally succeeded, after several hundred citizens voiced their concerns, in securing a down payment for the Issaquah Highlands fields. We were, however, shocked at the politics and “closed” system in Issaquah.
Sammamish welcomed us and wanted our input. While the Issaquah park survey was designed to confirm its agenda, Sammamish’s survey asked people what they wanted. The way the two governments conduct their politics is starkly different. Issaquah is closed, secretive and mired in politics, while Sammamish is open and collaborative. I like Issaquah, but there is another side that I don’t like. Like beauty is sometimes skin deep. It wants to get married, forever, but there is this background check.
Frantic growth versus a thoughtfully balanced community. Sammamish offers better police and parks, but most importantly, it will listen to us. There is no question that Sammamish wants us. I want it. No contest.
Unincorporated King County
Sammamish’s No. 1 priority is residents
I moved to Issaquah in 1983 because it was the quaintest town I could imagine living in so close to a thriving metropolis.
I still love Issaquah but it is no longer the same town. It is now full of big business (which I enjoy) but I found myself moving up to the Sammamish Plateau for the new quaint town and neighborhoods.
We don’t have to live where we shop.
Sammamish is now the quaint town I once loved Issaquah for. It is managed by the finest people in government. They have proved over 10 years how their residents are their No. 1 priority.
Sammamish is the logical choice. Please vote no to an Issaquah annexation. Sammamish will pick us up shortly after, of which many neighbors are not aware.
Issaquah would be best place for Klahanie
Sammamish brags it has no bonded indebtedness and no utility tax, but it should be noted that even with bonded indebtedness, Issaquah pays a lower tax rate; and Sammamish has no utility tax because it does not have any of its own utilities, the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District has it.
Klahanie residents should also look at a couple of issues besides just the finances in deciding how they will vote on annexation. Sammamish controls no ingress and egress from their city with Redmond controlling access to the north and Issaquah controlling access to the south.
Because of that, Sammamish will always be only a residential suburb of those other two cities, regardless of what Sammamish would like to do, and forever be inward looking. Annexation to Issaquah brings to Klahanie an outward focus to Interstate 90, if nothing else, and a chance to be forever an integral part of a vibrant city currently listed by Sunset magazine in its “Best Places to Live in the West.”
Continue the ban to protect the environment
Issaquah should continue the current ban on thin plastic bags in the city. It is consistent with the city’s goal of protecting our natural environment and reducing waste and environmental contamination.
I urge fellow Issaquah citizens to vote to continue the current bag ban and vote no on Proposition 1. The law is currently working, so leave it alone. Vote no on Prop 1 on your mail-in ballot, and be sure to return your ballot by Feb. 11.
City’s future depends on overturning bag ban
Geoff Carson raves about Issaquah’s plastic bag ban, discounting all legitimate complaints against it, but then admits that he’s a county resident.
So, the ban doesn’t affect his area.
Let’s consider the chain of events that brought us to this point.
First, the man who pushed this bag ban upon Issaquah, Mark Mullet, owns an Issaquah Highlands ice cream shop (offering plastic spoons), which isn’t subject to his very own ban.
Second, our elected representatives who once begged for our vote, and will surely beg again, refused to let Issaquah residents vote on this matter that affects our daily lives.
Third, bag-ban supporters continue to insist plastic bags harm the environment — yet even Britain’s own Environmental Agency recently concluded that of all choices, the plastic bag causes the least harm to the environment.
Fourth, even more painfully, our wonderful merchants are seeing fewer shoppers. This economy is already challenging. When people refuse to shop in Issaquah, the city loses tax revenue — then compensates by raising our property taxes.
And yet, people like Mr. Carson are shaming folks who don’t agree with the ban.
“Of all tyrannies,” wrote C.S. Lewis, “a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
Please vote yes to overturn the bag ban.
Issaquah’s future depends on it.
Vote no while people get back on their feet
Once again we are asked to support the Issaquah School District and the upcoming levy.
I can’t remember one of these levies not passing.
I have serious concerns about the level of support being foisted upon those who live in the district for what seems like a constant upgrading to our schools, administration buildings, etc.
The schools in the Issaquah district are palatial when compared to other districts. If this is not a time for the voters to take a break from a continually running spigot of support for this district, then when is that time? People are hurting. They need to find ways in which to keep food on the table, not adding bling to an already overly financed school district.
Let’s take a break from additional taxes for schools. These schools will survive the pause in support while the populace gets back on its feet.
Levies provide for every student in the district
Please vote yes in favor of the school levy in February. Before I became part of the PTA, I didn’t know much about levies and didn’t really understand why they were important for me to vote in.
Now that I have two children in the Issaquah School District, I am acutely aware of the value a levy provides to every student in our district. These levies keep the basics of education flowing; they are a crucial element for funding the day to day needs of our schools.
You hear in the news about the happenings in the Legislature regarding education, and while we are hopeful that the state will increase per-student funding, these changes are still a long way from replacing the need for levies. Without the passage of the three levies, our district will have to make deep cuts that our students will feel daily.
Please take the time to vote yes for the three levies to fund education. I’m voting yes for all three levies because I know they make a difference to every person in each of our schools and benefit the community we live in. Education is the key to keeping our city prosperous!
Heather Berry, co-president
Issaquah Valley Elementary PTA