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Originally published Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 10:21 PM

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Late Tuesday count shows Klahanie annexation to Issaquah undetermined

A tight special election means Klahanie residents will have to wait a little longer to see whether Issaquah will annex them this year. If Issaquah can’t, Sammamish will soon do everything it can to annex Klahanie instead.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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Issaquah and Sammamish’s fight to annex the Klahanie area isn’t over yet.

Results from a special election asking Klahanie-area residents whether they want to be annexed by Issaquah showed only a six-vote edge in favor of annexation Tuesday night. To pass, the measure needs a 60 percent majority; Tuesday night it had 50.13 percent.

About 100 ballots remained uncounted Tuesday night and several more are expected to arrive Wednesday, said King County Elections spokeswoman Barbara Ramey.

If the proposition passes, Issaquah — a city hoping to lure light-rail service someday — will grow from about 32,000 to 43,000 residents this year. If the measure fails, Sammamish will have a shot at annexing the Klahanie area instead.

Over the past year, Sammamish politicians and supporters of the Klahanie Choice group launched an increasingly determined effort to encourage “no” votes. They argued that because the area is bordered mostly by Sammamish and mostly lies on the same plateau, Sammamish could offer the area basic services more consistently than Issaquah.

But a group of Klahanie residents who had spent more than two years organizing an effort to be annexed to Issaquah argued that the area’s residents should vote to join a city while the option is still on the table.

Klahanie residents voted to join Issaquah once before, in 2005, but the failure of a second ballot proposition requiring the area to take on Issaquah’s bonded indebtedness killed the annexation attempt.

Leaving unincorporated King County and being annexed to a city means each Klahanie-area household would save hundreds of dollars in taxes and fees every year while improving basic services such as law enforcement, snow plowing and road repairs.

While the results are being decided, former Issaquah City Councilman David Kappler, who is against the annexation, says he will file a complaint with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission over suspicions that the Klahanie PAA Annexation to the City of Issaquah Committee has not reported all its campaign contributions.

The committee’s $3,447.46 helped pay for at least three mailers, he said, including one that incorrectly stated King County would close down Klahanie Park should the area not be annexed to Issaquah.

Another ballot item affecting Issaquah was too close to call Tuesday night. A proposition that would repeal a plastic-bag ban in the city was losing by 200 votes, with 51.61 percent opposing repeal.

Alexa Vaughn: 206-464-2515 or avaughn@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @AlexaVaughn.



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