It’s become a testy time in the backyard relations between Issaquah and Sammamish.
Water, fire service and annexation issues have officials and residents of both cities finding fault with each other. It shouldn’t be this way. Beyond the shared backyard fence, there is much more that unites the two cities than separates them.
Taken together, Issaquah and Sammamish are a potent political and economic force in the region. Both cities are upscale and are home to leading businesses and business leaders. The two school districts that serve the area are among the top in the state. Both cities have a rich and growing arts community.
Yes, we know disagreements can crop up between neighbors. That’s even more true when cities also intermingle their borders with special service districts.
Residents of Sammamish are concerned over Issaquah’s plans to pump storm water runoff into the ground as a way of filtration. The issue? It would be done close to one of the wells that provides drinking water.
Issaquah is miffed that Sammamish has injected itself into the question of whether residents of Klahanie and nearby neighborhoods want to annex to Issaquah. A state board some time back ruled that the potential annexation area belongs first to Issaquah.
And everyone is wondering what might happen if Sammamish pulls out of Eastside Fire & Rescue, which serves both cities, to start its own fire service or link up with another city.
All of these issues will play themselves out in time.
Whatever the results, the cities of Issaquah and Sammamish will still exist, linked together by geography, history, culture, transportation portals and a shared dedication to providing their residences and business communities a positive place to live, work and play. Like our representatives in Washington, D.C.,, the two cities need to work through their short-term “turf wars” and petty differences and spend more time and energy towards making their shared corner of East King County the best it can be for its citizens – and for each other.