Opinion

Impact fees are rising, legislative races are getting interesting | Opinion

The next few months are going to be interesting ones for the Valley voter.

We’ve got a four-way primary shaping up in the local State Representative race—in Position 2, incumbent Chad Magendanz faces a challenge from an Issaquah resident, Ryan Dean Burkett, and a Fall City man and Mount Si High School alumnus, Colin Alexander.  David Spring, of North Bend, who has unsuccessfully challenged for a seat in 2008, 2010 and 2012, and tried for school board in 2013, is also back for another go.

In a two-way race in the fall, 5th District House incumbent Jay Rodne, at Position 1, also faces a challenge from Issaquah Democrat Essie Hicks.

It’s good to see some choices in the Valley legislative races, especially in what would otherwise be a boring even-year election without the benefit of exciting local races—and we’ve certainly seen those recently, in the school, hospital and even council and mayor positions.

The alternative is worse. Too often, our races are one-sided, boring affairs.

Since we got rid of in-person polling, voting has become a much less public ritual. Any time we have a real choice, a debate and discussion, that’s a win.

Exercise your democratic rights. Read up and learn more about your local State House races and these candidates at http://www.kingcounty.gov/elections/election-info/2014/201408/candidates.aspx#State.


School changes

It’s also good to see the impact fees in the Snoqualmie Valley School District on the rise. For years, there’s been a perception in the Valley that Snoqualmie Ridge growth didn’t adequately pay for itself, and the legacy of that has contributed to bond failures and ever-tighter classrooms. Now, with North Bend set to grow, it’s good to see the fees rise before folks are asked to go to the polls and open their wallets for new school buildings.

The school district will be gauging public opinion on the future of education and construction in a couple of different ways. Right now, and through June 2, the school district is working on the second phase of its “Share Your Thoughts” project, which aims to open channels between Valley residents and the schools.

Right now, you can rank the various priorities that locals have set for the district. Anyone can participate, whether they took part in phase one or not. It’s a chance to steer the direction of the district from the comfort of your own home.

To participate, visit the school district website, www.svsd410.org, and click “Share Your Thoughts.”

In the coming days, the district will also be conducting a random phone survey. You may be one of the lucky residents asked about your support for a roughly $130 million measure that would build a new middle school and elementary school on Snoqualmie Ridge, or a bigger, roughly $225 million measure that would  also renovate Mount Si High School, bringing the campus back to a single address.

If you do get the call, your opinions will help shape the future of our district. Children’s education is subtly shaped through the dynamics of buildings, classroom environments, buses and activities. Please weigh both your own needs and those of the community as you help the school board make the best decision for a future bond.

Learn more about school happenings at http://www.svsd410.org.

 

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