Letters to the editor, Aug. 2, 2019

Fall City Fire; parks levy

Fall City fire memo concerns

At an Eastside Fire and Rescue (EF&R) board meeting on July 11, the Board of Directors chair and the EF&R fire chief presented a briefing document to the board, outlining their planned efforts to take over the Fall City and Snoqualmie Fire Departments.

On the SaveFallCityFire website at https://www.savefallcityfire.com/press-releases, you will find a copy of their document along with a response created by the SaveFallCityFire committee.

We found several areas of concern with the document due to inaccuracies, misleading and incomplete information created to gain support for their planned actions; recommendations that would violate the King County Mutual Assistance and Interlocal Agreement; and most importantly, clearly ignoring the recent Fall City Fire Department Proposition 1 vote results in which the voters overwhelmingly voted against a merger with Issaquah Fire District 10 (and EF&R).

The document also outlines retaliatory recommendations, attempting to strong arm these two agencies into joining or contracting with EF&R by severely restricting mutual aid services. Curiously, if the suggested retaliatory recommendations were enacted, the negative impact would be much greater on the EF&R taxpayers than those of Fall City or Snoqualimie. EF&R taxpayers would experience longer delays in receiving critical medical and fire suppression services and significant delays in receiving additional needed manpower who would have to respond from EF&R stations that are much farther away from incidents.

The document and the stated recommendations are not only shocking and irresponsible, but they clearly reflect the thinking of an organization that is intent on imposing its will on all around it and doing whatever it takes to get its way.

We ask that EF&R respect our Proposition 1 results and the independence of our Fall City Fire Department. We don’t want to be part of an organization that continues to rely on misinformation and strong arm tactics.

Nora Hightower

Fall City

On behalf of Save Fall City Fire

Support parks levy

King County has beautiful parks and trails where our children are able to learn and grow. Our kids deserve safe, clean and accessible parks to play in and trails to enjoy. That is why Washington Trails Association and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust are supporting King County Proposition 1.

Washington Trails Association and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust have spent decades working to maintain trails with our partners at King County. In 2018, WTA and Greenway volunteers worked more than 16,800 hours on King County lands. Without this funding, organizations like ours couldn’t do the work we do to sustain these close-to-home treasures.

King County Parks are the places we all love to play – from the Snoqualmie Valley Trail to Tolt-MacDonald Park and Rattlesnake Mountain. Proposition 1 will fund maintenance, upgrades and preservation of King County’s 200 parks, 175 miles of regional trails and 28,000 acres of open space. It will also provide funding to protect thousands of acres of new parks, forests, habitats and open spaces, and help create opportunities for access to the outdoors for everyone. Its inclusion of a community partnerships and grants program as well as an equity grants program exemplifies a commitment to ensuring everyone can experience the wonderful green spaces King County offers no matter where you live.

This levy replaces an expiring levy approved by 69 percent of voters in 2013, and is set to raise $810 million over six years for King County’s 200 parks. The property tax would cost 18.32 cents per $1,000 of assessed value or about $7.60 per month for the owner of a home valued at $500,000.

Let’s give everyone a reason to go out and enjoy the outdoors on King County parks in Snoqualmie Valley. Vote “Yes” on King County Proposition 1 by Aug. 6.

Jill Simmons

Executive director Washington Trails Association

and

Jon Hoekstra

Executive director Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust


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