Skaggs seeks change in 5th District

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SNOQUALMIE VALLEY - Loren Skaggs of Sammamish has not been a happy resident of Washington's 5th District, so he has decided to run against incumbent Republican Glenn Anderson for the Position 2 seat in next month's election.

"There have been some assumptions made about this district that I don't think are healthy, like it being a lock for the Republicans," said Skaggs, a Democrat.

He said he would emphasize education if he is sent to Olympia. Raising levy lids and getting rid of the supermajority approval needed to pass levies would be at the forefront of his efforts.

"We're not being fair to all the districts," he said. "If their levy lid was higher, Issaquah would have had plenty of money to cover their shortfall and they wouldn't have had a strike."

Anti-tax initiatives showed government officials that Washington citizens wanted more accountability from state agencies, and Skaggs said the initiative to keep car tabs at a flat fee was a perfect example of voter's disappointment with the system.

"You had to walk to a small office and wait in a long line to pay all that money," he said. "That should be as easy as getting your Lotto ticket."

Skaggs said that same fiscal responsibility should also trickle down to small business owners who say they are struggling to stay open amidst paperwork and taxes.

"I work for Microsoft where we have entire divisions of the company who handle that," he said. "Small businesses don't and so we need to help them."

He wants to streamline some agencies and have some of them subjected to "meaningful audits," an idea he said State Auditor Brian Sonntag has supported.

But he also said citizens are willing to pay for services they think are important, such as education and transportation. He strongly supports Referendum 51 and said that although it brings up the "dreaded 'T' word," it is something Washington residents can do to help solve a significant problem.

"I'm actually disappointed there wasn't any legislative action on that to pass," he said. "But it is a chance for the voters to get it done. The worst thing we can do is nothing."

Skaggs stressed, however, that development for business and transportation should be made within the confines of current environmental regulations. Although he said he would like to see State Route 202 widened, he said that parts of the road go through sensitive wetlands and any construction should steer clear of damaging them.

The same attitude goes for water rights, which Skaggs has said should be given sparingly.

"At the last Salmon Days [in Issaquah], the streams were lined with dead fish because there wasn't enough water to make the run," he said. "We don't want dry riverbeds."

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