March 4, 2014

By Staff

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.


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3 Responses to “Editorial”

  1. Matt Barry on March 7th, 2014 10:43 am

    I wonder how many Klahanie residents thought about Issaquah’s embarrassing cybersquatting episode from a few months ago, when the Issaquah administration directed a city staffer to create a fake and misleading website.

    We never heard Mayor Frisinger apologize for that scandal. In fact, her smug letter on the matter actually defended the trickery in an immature they-started-it-first manner. The silence from the city (including city councilmembers) was deafening. We certainly never heard of anyone being terminated or even slapped on the wrist.

    Perhaps a few Klahanie residents didn’t want to be associated with an unethical administration that would stoop to such deceptive practices. It probably wasn’t the top issue, but given the 32-vote margin, maybe it was enough to tip the scales. That fake website may have been the most expensive purchase Issaquah made in years.

  2. Jason on March 9th, 2014 9:44 am

    Are we really saying that 30 opposed votes should speak for entire Klahanie area? If you look at the voter turnout, the overwhelming majority of the south side of Klahanie voted for annexing to Issaquah. In fact, the highest voting disparity is in the south side (where Issaquah won by over 70%–Brookshire alone with nearly 80%!!!). Further, is it really appropriate for an Issaquah based media source to post biased based opinions? It’s fine for the individual, but not for a professional organization such as the Issaquah Press. If anything is to be done, split the area. Yes, some Klahanie residents want to be part of Sammamish–let’s let that portion go. This election was far too close to just let the entire area go.

  3. jeffr on March 24th, 2014 1:39 pm

    re Jason:
    i have some other votes that i’d like to parse – perhaps some presidential elections, or gubernatorial results – but is that how democracy is supposed to work? decisions are made by people who show up to vote – your side seems to have lost.

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