To the Editor

March 11, 2014

By Contributor

Klahanie

Open letter to the Issaquah City Council:

The vote is over and the residents of Klahanie and surrounding neighborhoods have said no to annexation to Issaquah. My neighbors and I voted no, not because we wanted to stay unincorporated, but because we would like to pursue Sammamish as an option. In order for that to happen, and to have the opportunity to belong to a city, I am asking for your help.

When Mayor Fred Butler and Councilman Joe Forkner were campaigning last fall, both said that they would support removing Klahanie from Issaquah’s Potential Annexation Area if the citizens rejected Issaquah annexation.

Please remember your words last fall, Mr. Butler, and please support our area in finding a home with your neighbor to the north. Time is of the essence! I would further request you not delay this process with considerations of dividing up the Klahanie PAA, which would only lead to difficulties for both cities when it comes to providing services and road improvements.

I know that I speak for many when I say that we appreciate Issaquah and will continue to shop, dine and participate in Issaquah-based activities. We are truly blessed to have such great neighbors (in all directions) and we look forward to your help in fast-tracking our desire to proceed with Sammamish annexation.

Kirsten O’Malley

Klahanie

 

Issaquah, let go of Klahanie, the sooner the better

To the Issaquah City Council,

Letters to the editor in the March 5 Issaquah Press reinforce my feelings about the results of the Klahanie annexation vote. Mitch Millar states, “It is time for Issaquah to release the whole Klahanie Proposed Annexation Area to the city of Sammamish.” I totally agree, and the sooner the better.

Julie Pai, in another letter, states that in his campaign for mayor, Fred Butler said, “I would support removing Klahanie from our PAA if Klahanie citizens vote not to be annexed to Issaquah.” Again, I totally agree, and although Butler is no longer on your council, I believe other council members made similar statements.

The March 5 Issaquah Press Editorial is entitled “It’s time to let Klahanie go.” This has to be one of the few times that I agree with the letter writers and the editorial. It is time to not only let Klahanie go, but time to work with the city of Sammamish and King County to make the transition vote out of King County and into Sammamish happen as soon as possible.

By the way, there was also a letter to the editor from former Issaquah City Councilman now Sen. Mark Mullet, wherein he explained the reasoning for his vote against placing a 2/3 vote threshold for tax change in our state constitution. Mullet was an excellent City Council member and seems to be plotting the right course at the state Legislature. Again, I totally agree with his letter.

Best wishes from a supporter of the two fine cities of Issaquah and Sammamish.

Dino Guzzetti

Klahanie

 

Some neighborhoods controlled the vote

You’ve heard from Klahanie, now let’s hear from Hunter’s Ridge. Hunter’s Ridge, Brookshire and Livingston are always lumped together with Klahanie but we are not Klahanie.

When we moved here, we specifically chose not to live in Klahanie. My understanding is most of Klahanie residents voted no for annexation. Based on the yes signs and speaking with my neighbors, a vast majority of the other three neighborhoods voted yes. Klahanie is larger than we are, so they controlled the vote, but they do not speak for us.

My son goes to Issaquah High School, so more activities are in Issaquah. I also do all of my shopping there. Children of Klahanie residents go to schools in the Sammamish area, so more of their activities are in Sammamish.

In a perfect world, Klahanie can go to Sammamish while the rest of us go to Issaquah. I have absolutely no interest in becoming a part of Sammamish.

Gretchen Melton

Hunter’s Ridge

 

Issaquah should try to annex Klahanie again

Rather than giving up, Issaquah should take another pass at annexing Klahanie. The most important thing is “what is best for the Klahanie residents,” and Sammamish is simply not capable of providing the necessary services and does not have the tax base to support them, even if it had them. The most important source of any Washington city’s revenue is sales tax collected by retail outlets within the city.

Issaquah has a sizable commercial tax base of auto dealerships, large retail outlets, restaurants and other businesses, while Sammamish has relatively little. Moreover, Issaquah has a functioning and well-respected police department that also operates a modern jail that many other local police agencies also use.

Issaquah also operates public works departments for roads, water supply, sewer and storm water, and has a modern facility for basing equipment and personnel. If you want your pothole repaired, your road plowed, a permit issued or a park-use request attended to, Issaquah is much more likely to provide the service one needs.

Issaquah is a key part of Eastside Fire & Rescue that has provided effective fire and EMS service for many years. More EFR personnel are based in Issaquah at four large stations than in any other member agency and, for a major fire or motor vehicle accident response, numbers count.

Issaquah did an amazingly bad job of making its case for annexation to the Klahanie residents. It is almost as if it did not want to “win.” I am a resident of the South Cove area that was annexed a few years ago by Issaquah and the Issaquah services that we have received have been excellent, and far better than those prior to annexation.

Take another shot at annexation, Issaquah, and this time actually try!

David Johnson

Issaquah

 

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Comments

2 Responses to “To the Editor”

  1. Michael Foss on March 14th, 2014 2:02 pm

    Letter to the Editor,

    As a resident of the south end of the Klahanie PAA which voted a very high percentage yes in the recent annexation ballot (Brookshire -77.63% yes, Ranch – 64.98% yes and Klahanie – 60.85%) and as a strong believer in the democratic process, I understand the feelings of the Pro Sammamish voters and their desire to “just move on”. However, this vote was a vote that never had to be done. Issaquah could have annexed the PAA through and ILA (Inter Local Agreement) but they chose to see how the citizens of the PAA felt and I applaud that decision. This democratic vote had options before and after the vote was taken, so no one is ignoring our democracy.

    Now that the vote has been cast, Issaquah also has the right and I believe the obligation to recognize the split in location preference within the PAA and to see if there is a way to accommodate all the voters; yes allow the high NO vote to move on, but consider the HIGH YES voters desire to join Issaquah.

    If the financial analysis shows a positive path to annexation and the council recognizes the value of adding these citizens to their population; then moving forward with Annexing those three connected High Yes areas while releasing the High No vote areas to Sammamish, would allow ALL THE CITIZENS A WIN – AND THAT’S TRUE DEMOCRACY.

    Michael Foss, Brookshire Estates, Brookshire Precinct – Klahanie PAA

  2. Kirsten O'Malley on March 16th, 2014 2:38 pm

    The true democracy that Michael Foss keeps talking about already occurred when the ballots were counted (again) and failed (again). His desire to split up the area, which was a Master-planned community, jeopardizes either city’s ability to service our area. The geography alone makes more sense to belong to Sammamish, but if Mr. Foss had been listening, he would have also heard the very real concerns Issaquah has about it being financially feasible or even beneficial to the current residents of Issaquah, much less Mr. Foss’s neighborhood. There are more important things at stake than Mr. Foss’s desire to be in the Issaquah boundary!

    If Issaquah and Sammamish work this out, great. But catering to Foss’s personal feelings better not be to Klahanie’s detriment when it comes to road improvements, police and fire service, water/sewer, garbage, etc…

    Kirsten O’Malley, Klahanie resident and Chair, http://www.KlahanieChoice.org

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