March 4, 2014
It’s time to let Klahanie go
Issaquah made the best offer it could to Klahanie, but most residents in the area are no longer interested in being part of that city. It’s time to let them go.
It had always been assumed that Klahanie would eventually become part of Issaquah. Indeed, the southern half of what is now Sammamish was at one envisioned as part of Issaquah.
Sammamish, of course, went its own way and formed its own city. In 2005, when Issaquah last attempted to annex Klahanie, Sammamish was fairly new — it didn’t even have a proper city hall yet.
At that time, the people of Klahanie overwhelmingly wanted to be part of Issaquah, (67 percent were in favor) but, of course, they weren’t too keen on taking on the debt that would come with joining.
Issaquah balked, and residents of the Klahanie area sat in limbo for eight years.
In that time, a lot changed and Sammamish grew into a well-managed, desirable city. Some longtime Klahanie residents no doubt left the area, and along with them went some of the historical bias in favor of going to Issaquah. Instead, the new residents looked to the north, to the neighbors on the plateau, where it looked like they might fit in.
This time around, the election did not go Issaquah’s way. Only 49.5 percent of Klahanie voters still want to be part of Issaquah. A drop of almost 20 percentage points over eight years is incredible.
But the people of Klahanie were not saying they don’t want to be part of any city. Indeed, joining either Sammamish or Issaquah would mean residents in the area would enjoy lower taxes and get better services.
Voting against joining Issaquah can only be seen as a prelude to voting for joining Sammamish.
But before that can happen, the Issaquah City Council must give up its hold on Klahanie. There has been some bad blood between the cities recently — due in no small part to the Klahanie issue.
The council should move past that and vote to remove Klahanie from its potential annexation area. The only reason to hold onto it at this point is spite. It’s time for Issaquah to let Klahanie go.