Sunday, June 30, 2013

The vision has a place . . .

Yesterday's post mentioned the state capital budget including revenue to support our purchase of 35 acres in Maple Valley's donut hole, a large tract of land owned by King County that includes the Elk Run golf course.  We have been working with King County for about a year on this purchase, but for a number of reasons were not able to finalize it.  We then made a collaborative decision to engage with city staff, council members, and state legislators to explore the possibility of expanding the network.  Yesterday's capital budget brought success to this work.

There are many people that have contributed to this success, some I know and some I'm sure that have been working in Olympia behind the scenes that I don't know.  I'll start with our School Board who made the decision to explore this possibility and President Tim Adam for being part of our team in conversations with county staff and state legislators.  Also, to board member Mary Jane Glaser our legislative representative who has over the years developed a positive working relationship with our state representatives that was an important contribution to this effort.

Locally, Mayor Allison and city manager David Johnston played an active role in conversations with legislators including how our vision aligns well with the city's long term vision for this property.  At the county level Executive Constantine, Roads Division staff, Carrie Cihak, and especially Lauren Smith were key contributors to this effort.  At times, lobbyists for both the city and county were important contributors to the outcome.

At the state level, we spoke with multiple elected officials.  Not knowing how exactly our request made it through the difficult interactions we have witnessed with two special sessions, I know that without the leadership and support of Senators Mullet and Fain and Representatives Sullivan and Dunshee success would not have been possible.  Also in the House, Representatives Rodne and Magendanz provided support in their caucus as did others we did not meet with.

We owe all of these important people thanks for allowing our vision of a high school and regional learning center in the city of Maple Valley to move forward.  It has been a very complex process with highs and lows that I would go through again for this vision to have a chance at reality.  We can now move forward and answer the question in the minds of many.  Where will this school be built?  In what we in our community have come to call the donut hole. So, I guess its time for even me to celebrate.

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