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Issaquah math discussions Issaquah School District officials are hosting two more mathematics discussions and they are hoping to gather input from you. Officials and teachers on the selection committee will provide their insights about why they recommended Discovering Mathematics for high school students. The conversations will help district officials and the Curriculum Selection Committee better understand the values the community has before adopting a new high school math curriculum. Parents can test-drive the

Forum Continued from Page 4

dates who are running for City Council positions. It was interesting watching the interplay among Tiliacos, Odell and Vance. Several times during the session, one could see gracious kudos being bantered back and forth among the three; effectively patting each other on the backs. During the forum it was evident, based on their answers, that the three were more interested in how to spend taxpayer dollars than they were in maintaining a budget surplus for Sammamish or ensuring responsible growth for the city in the coming years. The last thing we need on the City Council is an inner circle which will, as a group, dictate how they will prioritize projects and spend our tax dollars. We want public servants who think and act for the benefit of the citizenry. Don Gerend, Jack Barry, John Curley and John James are among those who will act in our behalf, not their own. Rick Creson Sammamish

Vote for Tiliacos and Odell In survey after survey, Sammamish residents have expressed strong support for a teen/community center, additional ballfields and trails. Many letter writers and the candidates themselves have discussed the important and challenging issues facing the next council. From my perspective, the new councilmembers will need to bring an ability to engage

October 28, 2009 • 5

materials, hear results from the districtwide parent and math student surveys, and provide feedback as to what math supports their students’ needs in the classroom and at home. The math conversation nights are: ◆ 7-9 p.m. Nov. 3 at Liberty High School, 16655 S.E. 136th St. ◆ 7-9 p.m. Nov. 16 at Skyline High School, 1122 228th Ave. S.E. A math curriculum adoption is expected by the end of this school year. Learn more at Click on “Instructional Materials Adoption” and then “High school math adoption.” the community in discussions around growth, taxes and services as well as have good analytical skills, a commitment to public service and community building. A big dose of common sense will help as well. Erica Tiliacos and Tom Odell have all of these qualities, as well as the time and energy to do the hard work of attending regional meetings to advance our concerns such as securing reasonable growth allocations and obtaining robust transit services. As past chair of our planning commission, Tiliacos brings an ability to analyze issues from multiple viewpoints and to solicit and listen to a broad range of voices. Her strong community roots, ability to work with others and to think outside the box will be an asset to a council that will have to look for new ways to provide services and to create a Town Center that will meet the business, housing and recreational needs of our growing community. Odell has been attending council meetings for more than a year, studying and learning the issues. With his background in financial management and transportation planning, he has consistently asked the tough questions and enriched our council discussions. But it is his commitment to continue to work toward our goal of a ‘family friendly’ community that has really won my support. He’s committed to providing a full range of community services in our interim recreational center and to work toward the creation of a full service community center. Had he been on the council,


over. “My guess is that the city might, based on discussions the city had on the whole Klahanie Continued from Page 3 annexation topic,” she said. In 2005 and 2006, Klahanie voted to annex into get crunches, they cannot maintain this park, and Issaquah, but then refused to take on new costs associated with joining he feels very fortunate that “(The county executive) Issaquah. Sammamish stepped up to the plate,” Yazici told the council. The annexation process fell feels very fortunate that But Yazici said he has also disflat and hasn’t resurfaced Sammamish stepped up since. cussed the matter with represento the plate,” tatives from the Klahanie Yazici said that if neither Homeowners Association, and Sammamish nor Issaquah took – Ben Yazici, over the park — assuming the they were less open to City Manager – Sammamish owning the park, he King County Council does said. actually mothball it in the first “I don’t think we should take them lightly,” he place — the homeowners association would likely said. work out a lease agreement with the county. Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger said the Issaquah City Council has not discussed a transfer Reporter J.B. Wogan can be reached at 392-6434, of Klahanie Park, though she suspects Issaquah ext. 247, or To comment on would be open to having someone else take it this story, visit he would have been a strong advocate for our skate park and our Sammamish Trail that are enjoyed by so many families and young people. I’m confident that our city will be well served by the election of Erica Tiliacos and Tom Odell. Kathleen Huckabay The writer is a member of the Sammamish City Council

Sale signs should be allowed There is an ordinance out there in the city of Sammamish that most of us are unaware of. In fact, you would not know about it until it affects you. The ordinance states that local real estate agents are not allowed

to put out directional signs. If you have a home on a major street, this is not of concern to you. Your “For Sale” sign is visible to the majority driving by. However, if you look at a map of Sammamish, 80 percent to 90 percent of homes are off major streets. In fact, the city has stated they are opposed to dead ends and cul-de-sacs but that is what most of this city is made up of. If your home is for sale in a subdivision, down a rarely driven road, in a cul-de-sac, or on any street other than one of the major streets, you are not allowed to give prospective buyers an opportunity to see that your home is for sale. In other words, a prospective buyer would have to drive up and down streets to find homes for

sale. This creates the exact opposite goal of the city, which is to reduce miles driven. The city of Sammamish needs home sales excise tax to use as revenue for capital projects, and therefore by not aiding homeowners with sales, the city is, in fact, causing their own financial downturn. This may not affect you now, but it may in the future in one way or another. Either you will have trouble selling your home, or your taxes will go up because the city is not getting the tax from the sales of homes. This election make your voice heard so that changes to absurd policies can be made. Lori Barnett Sammamish

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September 16, 2009

EFR has heated talks


Skating the day away

Board at odds over declaration of transparency By J.B. Wogan

Lee Fellinge provoked the ire of the Eastside Fire & Rescue board chair by proposing a motion about transparency and open government Sept. 8. Fellinge, who sits on EFR’s Board of Directors as a Sammamish representative, said that two recent incidents made him feel it was necessary for the board to state publicly that it would conduct itself as a transparent public body in the future. Board Chair Ron Pedee spoke against Fellinge’s motion. “I want to urge a no vote because the nature of this motion connotes that we haven’t been open and transparent,” Pedee said. “The motion itself argues for something we already have.” The board voted 5-3 against the motion. Fellinge said the motion was sparked by insufficient information sharing in two arenas. The first was a software problem. The EFR administration e-mails agenda packets with all the major documents that board members like Fellinge intend to vote on at a meeting. The packets are broken into individual documents and some of those documents are saved in a format that some board members can’t open, Fellinge said. The software problem led to an ill-informed vote when the board approved a consent agenda in July that included altered response times for firefighters, Fellinge said.

Klahanie Park, highlighted in white, is adjacent to Sammamish. Southeast 32nd Street forms the boundary between the city and the county.


Photo by Paul Stanley

Jay Hergert skateboards at the Sammamish Skate Park. “Frankly, most of us didn’t know what was in it,” he said. The new response times approved by the board are, in general, loosened from the previous standard of a 90-second response time 90 percent of the time. The new standards take into account the type of call (emergency medical or fire) and whether the call takes place at night or during the day. Fellinge did not contest the validity of changing the response time standard. “It may well have been appropriate to change that objective,”

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he said. Aside from the software issue on e-mailed agenda packets, the board failed to hold sufficient discussion about Fire Chief Lee Soptich’s 2009 evaluation, Fellinge said. “The single most important task that a board like ours has is the selection of the fire chief and the appraisal of that fire chief,” Fellinge said. “What we did on this was not have discussion, and we really should have as part of that process.” EFR appointed three members See EFR, Page 7

the annual overhead cost for the park is $95,000. The park is 64.11 acres with Continued from Page 1 one baseball field, two soccer fields and a restroom. The fields type of resolution to keep it are natural grass and are not lighted. open is critical,” Kos said. He added that it might The idea has already gained make more sense for traction with some Sammamish residents. Sammamish to take over Frank Blau, who lives by Klahanie Park since it sits on Beaver Lake Park, told the counthe edge of Sammamish’s southeast city limit. cil Sept. 8 that he would like Sammamish to The take over the Klahanie “I don’t see any real Homepark. obstacles.” Blau’s reaowners soning was Associa– Kevin Brown, tion that Klahanie King County parks and CommPark would be recreation director – unity better suited might also to accommoapprove of date synthetic a Sammamish takeover, turf fields and night lights — Manager James Tripp said. two features under discussion “We would absolutely be for renovations at Beaver supportive of somebody else Lake Park. taking it over,” he said. Tripp said the park was Reporter J.B. Wogan can be meant to be run by a public reached at 392-6434, ext. 247, or agency and if Issaquah or To comment on this story, visit Sammamish could operate and maintain it, they should. Brown said the park was built in the early 1990s and

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2 •

July 8, 2009


How much is already in Sammamish? If developers were building affordable homes in the Town Center this summer, they would go for $100,000 to $200,000, according to Michael Matthias, the city’s project manager for the Town Center. The actual price would depend on the unit size, homeowner’s association dues and interest rates, Matthias said. The city doesn’t have any housing under $200,000 currently, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Among active listings, the city had 324 single-family homes as of July 2. The median price was $648,000. The price range was between $295,000 and $4.9 million. Matthias said the city used 2000 census data to determine how much affordable housing was in the area around the time of the city’s inception. Using the definition that affordable housing is either a permanent home or rental unit affordable to someone making 80 percent of King County’s median income, Matthias found that affordable housing in Sammamish was less than elsewhere in the county. About 450 rental units and between 100-200 permanent houses were affordable, meaning that about 5.1 percent of the 11,600 total units in the city were within the price range of a person or family making the county’s median income. In 2000, about 30 percent of King County’s housing units were affordable and about 20 percent of east King County’s units were affordable. Photo by J.B. Wogan

Candy Hammer credits access to affordable housing for giving her lege. clerk, is both public sector employee and a single parent. And if the affordable housing Continued from Page 1 units were in Sammamish today, she said she would be looking to and property owners to go move here. beyond the 10 percent minimum, “I think it would be nice to be although nothing official has that close. The schools up here been approved. are good schools,” said Herman, Community Development who has a 13-year-old daughter. Director Kamuron Gurol has said Herman is looking at affordemployees in the public and priable housing options, but she’s vate sectors of Sammamish are scoping out North Bend, where likely to live in the Town Center’s she currently rents. affordable housing units. Gurol “You get to the point where said he expected some single par- your salary is enough,” Herman ents would live in those units. said. “It would be nice to have a Stacy Herman, deputy city yard, instead of having to drive to


children a chance to go to cola park or a river.” Amy Jeffery, who works in the city’s permit center, said she would like to own a home in Sammamish, if it were feasible. “I think there’s a stigma around people who live in an apartment,” said Jeffery, who rents an apartment in The Knolls at Inglewood Hill. Jeffery said her son plays little league baseball and youth football, but his interactions with peers are limited. He doesn’t live in a residential neighborhood with his classmates or teammates. Jeffery used to commute to

work from Woodinville and said there are definite benefits to living in the city where you work. “It’s made it way better. I can go pick (my son) up, and take him to work, or bring him home if I need to,” she said. Jeffery said even the rental situation in Sammamish is sparse. In terms of child-friendly apartments, The Knolls at Inglewood Hill was the only place that fit within the Lake Washington School District’s borders. There were a couple options on the south end of the city, but that would have required switching her son to a different school and different school district. Maybe one day Herman and Jeffery will have anecdotes like

Candy Hammer. In 1992, representatives from Habitat for Humanity of East King County came to Hammer’s school to say she qualified for a home they were building in Issaquah. It would cost $100,000 with no interest on payments. “There were 85 screaming women (co-workers), jumping up and down, because I finally got my house,” Hammer recalled. The home gave her security and provided options for her and her family, she said. Hammer has worked in the Issaquah School District for 32 years, ascending the ranks from custodian to facilities supervisor. Two of her three children attended schools in the Issaquah School District, graduating from Issaquah High School and then attending college. Hammer attributes a great deal of that success to having a place she could call home. Reporter J.B. Wogan can be reached at 392-6434, ext. 247, or To comment on this story, visit

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Freed Continued from Page 1

Gerend also spoke with an air of reluctance, prefacing his statement by saying that he had “come over to the dark side.” In the past, Gerend had voted against relocating the Freed House, a project that has appeared in city budgets since 2006.

Authority Continued from Page 1

representative on EFR’s board of directors. “You can accomplish the same thing through cooperative agreements.” Fellinge added that he is leery of potential conflict-of-interest situations in a regional fire authority. “The quality of the governance tends not to be as good. What you get as a governing body is firefighters. There’s nothing wrong with firefighters, but there’s a conflict of interest,” Fellinge said, adding that firefighters in governing roles would have the dubious responsibility of approving salaries for themselves and their peers. “It wouldn’t matter if you were setting that up for fire or any other service that you can imagine,” Fellinge said. At the June 9 board of direc-

Correction The June 17 story “Sammamish Historic Society stands up for the Freed House” lists an inaccurate amount for City Councilwoman Nancy Whitten’s proposed donation. Whitten offered to contribute one month’s salary, or $850, to a pool of donations that would help save the Freed House.

Take a peek... I-90 traffic cameras

June 24, 2009 •


The relocation would cost $330,000, with an estimated additional $400,000 or more to renovate it, according to Parks Director Jessi Richardson. Gerend said comments from the public had convinced him that the building was worth restoring. “There really is a history to it, even though it may not be by a famous architect or have an astounding design,” Gerend said. “I think as a council, I think we

made that commitment and I think I’m ready to stand by it now.” Mark Cross, Lee Fellinge, Kathy Huckabay and Nancy Whitten voted against the relocation. “I think this really is one of the most difficult decisions that we’ve had to make,” Huckabay said. Fellinge said he wasn’t comfortable voting to relocate the building without knowing exactly

how the city or public would pay for its restoration. “I have not been able to discern a real clear plan of what the building would be used for,” he said. “My experience of doing restoration of old buildings and old structures – my experience is that whatever you think the cost will be, the cost will be higher.” Virginia Kuhn, co-president of the Sammamish Heritage Society, said she was discouraged by the council’s deci-

sion. “We do not know where we will go from here,” she wrote in an e-mail. But Kuhn added that she had received several phone calls encouraging her not to give up on the house.

tors meeting, Fellinge reiterated to his fellow board members that Sammamish is not interested in becoming part of a regional fire authority or any other kind of expanded fire agency. Formal partnerships and the formation of a regional fire authority are different from mutual aid agreements, which EFR currently has in place with surrounding fire agencies such as the Fall City and Snoqualmie Pass fire departments. EFR Fire Chief Lee Soptich reported to the board of directors June 9 that he is also pursuing an equipmentsharing arrangement with Mercer Island City Fire Department. “Sammamish taxpayers would see a significant increase in cost of fire service without an added benefit in coverage,” Fellinge said. “It would be unfair to our taxpayers.” Regardless of Sammamish’s position, the idea of a regional fire authority is picking up traction in nearby areas.

Elected members of fire commissions in Fire Districts 10 and 38 have voted to form a planning committee July 15 that will develop a proposed fire authority, with the possible inclusion of Snoqualmie Pass, Issaquah, Woodinville and other local fire districts not associated with cities. Supporters say regional fire authorities are supposed to enable multiple fire departments in adjoining areas to make joint decisions that cut costs while providing equal or better service for the overall area, according to EFR Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Griffin. Eric Robertson said the theory works. Robertson is the administrator of the Valley Regional Fire Authority, which combined the Auburn, Algona and Pacific fire departments with the Fire District 31 in January 2007. “The first two years of our existence, it has provided a reliable, flexible funding source to meet our demands. Across the

board, the average taxpayer saw just a very slight increase,” Robertson said. Rick Gaines, who used to sit on the EFR board of directors and is the chair of the District 10 Fire Commission, said forming a regional fire authority would help build new fire stations. A regional fire authority could spread the cost across a wider taxpayer base, he said. Under the EFR structure, individual partners must go to their individual taxpayers to pay for major capital expenses like a new fire station. So, while service might be borderless, funding is cordoned off to individual taxpayer bases. A recent example was the November bond passed by Issaquah voters for a new fire station. While the fire station might have had benefits to all of EFR’s partners, Issaquah residents had to pay for it. Issaquah City Councilman Dave Kappler, one of Issaquah’s representatives on the EFR Board

of Directors, said he liked the concept of a regional fire authority enough to explore the option, but he has some reservations about how it will work in practice. “I’ve been skeptical about them, mostly on the funding model,” Kappler said. Meanwhile EFR administrative staff is trying to appear neutral on the issue. EFR staff might attend meetings about forming a regional fire authority, but the administration has no official position on regional fire authorities, Deputy Griffin said. If partners like Sammamish wanted to join a regional fire authority, the individual city council or fire commission would have to take a formal vote to participate.

Reporter J.B. Wogan can be reached at 392-6434, ext. 247, or To comment on this story, visit

Reporter J.B. Wogan can be reached at 392-6434, ext. 247, or To comment on this story, visit

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Issaquah School District officials are hosting two more mathematics discussions and they are hoping to gather input from you. Officials and...

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Issaquah School District officials are hosting two more mathematics discussions and they are hoping to gather input from you. Officials and...