The Issaquah City Council voted Monday night to meet with King County and the city of Sammamish by early next year to discuss the possible...
The Issaquah City Council voted Monday night to meet with King County and the city of Sammamish by early next year to discuss the possible annexation of Klahanie.
“There’s not a good solution to this issue,” said Issaquah Councilman Fred Butler.
The council was pressed to make a decision on Klahanie, a neighborhood of 11,118 people in unincorporated King County, after a surprising outcome in the Nov. 8 general election.
Residents voted in favor of annexation but declined to take on their share of the city’s debt — a key vote that virtually would have guaranteed the annexation. Issaquah city officials scrambled to come up with a new plan. The council’s options ranged from approving a revote to giving Sammamish a chance to annex Klahanie.
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Some council members Monday night said they favored a revote, because Klahanie residents may have been confused by the wording on the ballot. Several in the audience objected to that characterization.
“The idea that people of Klahanie failed an intelligence test is somewhat insulting,” said Bryan Weinstein. “Why are we voting on this again?”
A Feb. 7 special election — which would have coincided with school-levy elections — would have cost the city of Issaquah about $15,000. The council instead decided to discuss the issue further.
The council Monday night did vote to annex the Greenwood Point/South Cove neighborhood — home to about 3,000 people — by March 2 because residents there in the Nov. 8 election approved taking on part of the city’s debt.
Annexation of the Klahanie and Greenwood Point/South Cove areas could add 14,294 residents to Issaquah. The added residents would cost about $5.2 million for annual city services, with police and fire protection making up the largest portion, according to a 2004 report.
King County is pushing cities to annex unincorporated neighborhoods so it can unburden itself of providing local services to 218,000 residents living in these areas and focus instead on regional and rural services.
Sonia Krishnan: 206-515-5546