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Snoqualmie OKs sister city group

The city of Snoqualmie continues to move forward in establishing a connection to a future sister city across the globe.

Last week, the city established a Snoqualmie Sister City Association, meant to encourage cultural exchange programs with the city and other communities.

Seven residents of Snoqualmie are now needed to serve on a newly-formed committee to look at ways to connect Snoqualmie and other cities worldwide.

The Snoqualmie Sister City Association will operate under the management of the Sister City Committee, which will be made up of members of the Snoqualmie community on a voluntary basis. It will be a separate entity from the city of Snoqualmie and will make its own decisions about programs, but will receive input and suggestions from the city.

The vote, on Monday, Sept. 22, was 5-2 for creation of the association, which will file papers to become a non-profit corporation.

Bob Jeans and Charles Peterson voted against the move.

“I don’t think this is something we need to do,” Peterson said. “It’s too much, too soon.”

He asked why the city needs a sister city, when Snoqualmie has problems of its own to deal with.

“If there were a groundswell of citizens walking in the door,” interested in the process, “it would be different,” Peterson said.

Mayor Matt Larson said he has been in talks for months with South Korean leader Mun Young Hoon, about a potential visit by a dozen Korean students for a multi-week English-immersion visit to Snoqualmie this winter.

If progress doesn’t happen soon on the sister city issue, the visit may not happen, Larson said.

The new association would handle liability issues and legwork for the visit.

Larson described the association as a starting point for student exchange programs and a way to share ideas among civic organizations.

“There are an increasing number of international delegations visiting Snoqualmie,” Larson said. “The committee could serve as hosts for information and touring. The committee can focus on a single program or throw a wider net with a range of interests.”

The mayor’s Korean counterparts are already discussing ways to bring students from Snoqualmie for a visit to Korea.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for Snoqualmie to expand beyond our city limits, to learn from and embrace another culture in a more personal way,” Larson said.

• To find out more about the Snoqualmie Sister City Committee, call Michelle Maddux at (425) 888-1555 or e-mail to mmaddux@ci.snoqualmie.wa.us.

Details about sister city programs are available at www.sister-cities.org.

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