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Irons vs. Irons for 12th District County Council
About a month ago long-time Issaquah School Board
member looked to be in good shape for the upcoming general election.
He had defeated fellow Republican _ and ten-year veteran
King County councilman - Brian Derdowski in a bitter primary race
for the District 12 seat. With no Democrat challenger for the position,
his election on Nov. 2 was at most a formality.
Then his sister _ and former Derdowski legislative aid _ Di
Irons filed as a write-in candidate under the Democratic banner. Since that Oct.
4 event, the sibling rivalry has become fodder for news programs and
radio talk shows.
For his part, David, Jr., has attempted to avoid questions about
impact on the family, stating at one point that the race was " a
campaign this is not about ideology," but it is
well known that family disagrees strongly on the issues, with an emphasis on
the proper approach to development.
Recently even sister Janet Irons got into the fray. In a recent letter
to several local newspapers covering the
12th District, she accused her sister
and parents of "trying to buy this election out from the under the man
who earned it."
She subsequently urged voters vote for David, stating she's
asking "on behalf of those sane members of the Irons family."
However, as with any political race, the contest comes down to
issues. Both say they are opposed to unplanned development and
urban sprawl. In running against Derdowski, David Irons, Jr. said that
his opponent's approach of holding down road and infrastructure
improvements hadn't worked, as witnessed by crowding and congestion in Issaquah.
Di Irons says she's also against rampant growth, but accuses her
older brother of being a tool of developers. In her voter's information guide _
notably, styled to resemble the state's voters pamphlet _ Di Irons stated, "
I couldn't stand by and see our district handed over to developers, by a
tiny minority of voters. Growth must be reasonable and rational. We
cannot allow greed to destroy our quality of life."
An opportunity arose for the two to discuss the issues face to face, or
at least publicly present their platforms to the voters, on Thursday, Oct.
21, when both were invited to appear at a candidate's forum hosted by
the Greater Sammamish Chamber of Commerce in Issaquah.
Unfortunately, David wasn't able to attend and
sent his regrets.
In a short letter read to the participants, he stated, "I am running for
the King County Council. It's time to stop the angry rhetoric, and time to
work together to control growth. Solutions will come when we start working
"I believe people should have a choice," said Di Irons during her
short presentation. "I know King County inside and out. I'm experienced
in King County government and have been involved for the last
several years. Being able to know where to go in the government is very
"We've had so much outside influence from developers. I think
it's time to take the government back."
While the attention of the race has seemingly focused on the
Issaquah area and its issues, Di Irons did address a couple Snoqualmie Valley
concerns following the conclusion of the meeting.
"The flooding you've got in the Valley is serious," she
commented. "They're calling for a 100-year
rainfall this winter, and I think emergency services of King County should be
on their toes and able to respond. All of these developments are contributing
to the problems.
"Another big issue is Grouse Ridge," Irons added. "It brings up
a question of water quality and what is its impact on the aquifer. They
need to address local concerns of noise, traffic and visual impact on the
community. They're also the question of Snoqualmie Tribal lands."
Under normal circumstances, a write-in candidate has little
chance against someone whose name is already on the ballot. However, on
Nov. 2, the voters in district 12 could deliver yet another surprise.
How the outcome will affect the questions of development, the
environment and quality of life, remains to be seen.