Snoqualmie's New School Board Seat Delayed Until 2014

It was revealed at last night’s School Board Redistricting Public Comment Meeting that the revised plan’s newly created Snoqualmie school board seat won’t materialize until January, 2014.  Two years later than many assumed.

Snoqualmie’s growth (evidenced in census data) and state law require re-drawing director district boundary lines every 10 years to match population changes.  SVSD is just finishing up their redistricting process.  They are completing it now to establish new districts before the November election June filing deadline.

In the revised plan, Marci Busby’s North Bend district is essentially merged with Scott Hodgins district.   The lost district is then replaced by a new Snoqualmie district – matching the population explosion in that area.  Marci’s and Scott’s terms don’t expire until December 2013, though.  State law says representatives can serve out terms if their districts change due to redistricting.   Only when their terms expire can Snoqualmie citizens residing in the newly created district run for election.  Marci and Scott can continue serving in 2013, but they would need to run against each other as the revised proposal has them residing in the same district.

In summary, the SVSD school board appeared to like the new, revised realignment proposal.  Members stated they like this plan way better than the original.  The board never pursued the Citizen Plan as a viable option, but did say that plan was “brilliant” in that it brought to light the 2,2,1 board structure – a more fair and equal structure.    Opposition to this revised plan was not as strong when compared to the overwhelming disapproval of the original proposal.   Knowing this, it appears the revised recommendation will be adopted at the May 26th school board meeting.

The only surprise of the night was the revelation that the new Snoqualmie school board seat cannot be filled by a Snoqualmie citizen until January 2014, as state statute guarantees Marci Busby the right to serve out her term until December 2013.

There are many important school board decisions in the next 2 1/2 years.  Some that more directly impact Snoqualmie students.  The annexation of Snoqualmie’s only middle school, more boundary changes due to that annexation  and new school bonds are just some examples.  Having Snoqualmie representation is critical during these two years.  This delay in filling the new seat with a Snoqualmie resident is disappointing.  There is, though,  opportunity for Snoqualmie representation in 2012.  That happens if a Snoqualmie citizen chooses to run against incumbent, Craig Husa, in November’s school board election.  And wins.  Is anyone ready for that challenge?  Only time will tell…..

Comments

  1. I, too, attended the meeting last night. As I explained last night, although the new plan may give the appearance of a 2-2-1 split, the actual reality of the situation is somewhat different.

    In sum, the new plan retains all the current school board seats. Lake Alice (and the surrounding area) is still included as a district with most of “old Snoqualmie Ridge.” This will allow Craig Husa (Lake Alice resident) to still run for reelection against either another Lake Alice/Fall City candidate or a Snoquamlie Ridge candidate. Although it is not improbable that a new candidate could unseat an existing candidate, the odds are very low. Over the past 20 years, this has only happened one (1) time. Given these odds…well…you probably see my point.

    Under the “new plan”, North Bend is, in fact, split in two. However, the split is not made in the same fashion as the Citizen’s Plan. In the Citizen’s Plan, the split would have eliminated one North Bend seat and allowed for an assured, all- Snoqualmie seat to be freed up in time for the November 2011 election. Under the District’s plan, the split made allows Scott Hodgins and Caroline Loundenback to retain their seats (or, in the case of one of these representations, run for reelection in 2011) AND allows for the existing 3rd North Bend District to remain intact until the end of 2013. Because the 3rd incumbent (Marci Busby) is not up for election until 2013, the new Snoqualmie seat cannot be filled until January, 2014.

    Lastly, as in the Citizen’s Plan, Fall City would still have an assured seat.

    I recognize that this plan is better than the first. However, what I do not understand is why it is so important to retain seats on the Board, rather than to ensure proportional representation reflective of the actual population of the District NOW. As Danna indicated, there are many large decisions that will need to be made between now and 2014. Is there an underlying reason that I am not seeing that would negate any reason to afford Snoqualmie seats on the Board now? Does the Board feel Snoqualmie has to grow even more to warrant assured representation? Why is North Bend allowed two assured represenatives, Fall City one, and Snoqualmie only one shared seat and no new seat until 2014?

    I don’t know about everyone else who resides in Snoqualmie, but there is not one member on the existing Board right now who does not know where there kids are attending school from year to year. Can you say the same for you or your kids?

    As I explained to the Board last night, realignment is like a school boundary change or a corporate reorganization. It is interesting that this “reorganization” results in virtually no change to the status quo….at least not until 2014.

  2. But if the school board divided North Bend by I-90 as proposed in the Citizen Plan, then the seat for Snoqualmie frees up in time for the June filing deadline for this year’s election. Please encourage the school board to consider this option. They should not delay Snoqualmie representation when there is a better alternative to dividing North Bend.

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