Klahanie future remains unclear as county certifies election
March 4, 2014
By Peter Clark
Klahanie-area residents have spoken — and 32 of them may make all the difference.
The final results of the Feb. 11 election are in. With 49 percent of registered voters casting a ballot, only 49.47 percent, or 1,504, voted for an Issaquah annexation. While 50.53 percent, or 1,536, voted against the measure.
Even with the narrow number of votes separating the sides, it is outside the 0.25 percent margin that would trigger an automatic recount. Though one side or the other could pay for one, no one has suggested they are willing to do so.
After Issaquah spent a year and a half on studies and holding public meetings exploring the option of annexing the residential neighborhoods with a population of more than 11,000 people, officials are now investigating how to proceed.
“Now that the county has certified the results, the city’s next step is to review all of our options,” City Communications Manager Autumn Monahan said. “We’re really in our research phase and we don’t know all of them yet.”
She said the City Council would ultimately make the decision.
Election campaigning brought out support in the area for a Sammamish annexation. Klahanie Choice, a political action committee, said a no vote for an Issaquah annexation would essentially mean saying yes to Sammamish.
Before Sammamish could attempt to annex the area, Issaquah would have to relinquish it, something the Issaquah City Council can do.
Sammamish has already begun a bullish move to investigate its own annexation of the area.
“I think, if anything, the election was an election for choice,” Sammamish Mayor Tom Vance said, adding the city has already done some internal studies and might hire a consultant to do a more formal one. “We’re moving to get our house in order.”
Sammamish has already sent a letter to the King County Growth Management Planning Council, and had city officials testify there in favor of moving the potential annexation area. Vance said a vote on annexation could occur this year, but that would require a “perfect storm” in order to get everything together that quickly.
He pushed for the Issaquah City Council to drop Klahanie from its potential annexation area, allowing Sammamish to adopt it.
“I hope that they honor the election and do the right thing,” Vance said.
Sammamish Review Editor Ari Cetron contributed to this story.