Editorial: Our 2013 goals for the Snoqualmie Valley

January 2, 2013

By Editorial Board

New Year’s resolutions aren’t exclusive to individuals. Sometimes, it’s a good thing for a community to have its own goals. These top our list:

Education. One of the biggest challenges is going to be the opening of the Freshman Learning Center, as well as kids being shuffled to different schools due to redistricting. We hope it’s a smooth transition for the students, teachers, bus drivers and parents. Let’s exercise patience during what could be a very trying time.

Hospital dollars. The Snoqualmie Valley Hospital actually has millions of dollars in reserve. In December, it cut its $30 million debt by $7 million when it paid off the 22-acre Leisure Time property. With this reserve, refinancing the current debt load would be prudent. A reserve means a better interest rate. We also want to see audio-recorded minutes of board meetings available online.

Community involvement. January is when North Bend and Snoqualmie city governments hold retreats to set their 2013 priorities. The public is invited to attend. Not only can you listen, but you can also offer input. Take it a step further — attend at least one City Council meeting this year. As a news organization, we attend nearly every meeting for you, but grassroots government is worth experiencing yourself.

Humanity. Last year, two Snoqualmie Valley neighborhoods had temporary homeless shelters move in. In spite of concerns, get acquainted. Take a hot meal to the shelters, sit down, with the guests, get to know them. What they say may just might change your mind about who is homeless.

Fire service. Eastside Fire & Rescue leaders must find a solution that works for all its partners or prepare to move on possibly without the city of Sammamish. North Bend and Fire District 10 taxpayers have much to lose without Sammamish. We hope to see a resolution by mid-year.

Local elections. We’re only months away from candidate filing for city councils and school board positions. If you are interested in the ultimate volunteer job, it’s time to start planning your campaign. The community is best served when every position has challengers to engage in good dialogue and offer voters a choice.

New legislators. State Sen. Mark Mullet and state Rep. Chad Magendanz need to join Rep. Jay Rodne with their ears wide open and their hands outstretched when the Legislature convenes next week, and be prepared to set aside party agendas in favor of bipartisan cooperation to develop solutions to the state’s education and budgetary issues.

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