March 11, 2014
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.
March 9, 2014
NEW — 5:15 p.m. March 9, 2014
Lake Sammamish State Park might drop the state from its name.
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission Director Don Hoch asked in a March 4 letter that Issaquah officials consider authorizing filing an annexation petition toward the state park.
March 4, 2014
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.
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.
February 18, 2014
Eleven thousand people might still be searching for a home.
King County Elections released preliminary numbers for the Klahanie-area annexation vote Feb. 11 and the numbers stand close on whether to join Issaquah.
At the end of the first week of vote counting, 1,490, or 49.4 percent, of the residents in the area voted in favor of the annexation and to take on the encumbered debt of Issaquah, while 1,524, or 50.6 percent voted against it.
Although the measure needs 60 percent to pass with the new residents sharing the city’s indebtedness, the City Council can still choose to annex the area if the vote receives a simple majority. Under that scenario, the Klahanie area would not assume its share of the city’s current indebtedness.
February 10, 2014
NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 10, 2014
Sen. Andy Hill (R-45) announced he would not move ahead with a bill he introduced to alter Issaquah’s tax credit if it were to annex the Klahanie area.
Under current law, Issaquah would get a state sales tax credit for annexing the Klahanie area. Hill introduced a bill Jan. 29 that would have eliminated that credit.
The bill came before the Senate Ways & Means Committee for a public hearing Feb. 4. Hill is chairman of that committee.
In a statement Feb. 6, Hill said he would not continue to advance the legislation.
February 4, 2014
Annexing Klahanie would be much less palatable for Issaquah if a bill introduced by state Sen. Andy Hill (R-45) is approved.
Hill, who represents the northern half of Sammamish, introduced a bill Jan. 29, which would mean a drastic reduction to Issaquah’s expected revenue from an annexation.
Councilman Don Gerend said the Sammamish City Council did have a hand in bringing the bill to the Senate, and to Hill, chairman of the Senate’s budget-writing committee.
February 4, 2014
For Klahanie-area residents’ remaining questions, the city of Issaquah offered answers.
As the deadline approached for the Feb. 11 vote on whether people living in the potential annexation area would join Issaquah, city employees held an open house Feb. 1. Directors from most city departments came prepared with maps and answers to any questions residents could ask.
Department heads, police officers and Mayor Fred Butler headed into the middle of the annexation area and hosted the event at Klahanie’s Challenger Elementary School. Curious residents and the undecided showed up to ask questions in a session that lasted an afternoon.
January 14, 2014
Annexing the Klahanie area would lead to many costs and benefits for Issaquah residents according to the city-commissioned Nesbitt Planning and Management study, but questions remain.
January 14, 2014
The Sammamish City Council is trying to make the Klahanie annexation area an offer it can’t refuse.
The council voted unanimously Jan. 7 that if the Klahanie area does not vote to be absorbed into Issaquah, Sammamish will “fast track” an annexation of its own. It also made a laundry list of promises for what types of services it would provide Klahanie-area residents if they were to enter Sammamish.
“We would endeavor to have a vote of the Klahanie area as soon as possible,” Councilman Don Gerend said.