Houghton Lives -- HB2610 "not expected to move forward"

On Tuesday, the Washington State Senate took no action on the bill which would have eliminated the Houghton Community Council (HCC), stopping momentum after passing the House by a vote of 56-40. All is not settled but the bill did not make progress yesterday, which is being viewed as a victory for the supporters of HCC. According to one individual very familiar with the process, HB2610 is "not expected to move forward".

The bill repealing provisions governing community municipal corporations had several detractors in Olympia yesterday, including Kirkland City Councilmember Bob Sternoff and Houghton Community Councilmembers Rick Whitney and Laura Hein as well as three members of East Bellevue's community council.

In addition, petitions with approximately 260 signatures and comments opposing the bill were submitted to the Senate Government Operations, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee.

"I will state the obvious: this is a contentious issue in Kirkland," said Sternoff who continued to ask, "Isn't it ironic that a bill that is promoted under good government has disenfranchised the more than 6,000 people most affected?"

Supporters of HB2610 were also on hand to participate in the process.

Speaking in favor of HB 2610 were former Kirkland Mayor Bill Woods and three former City Councilmembers Nona Ganz, Santos Contreras and Dave Russell. "Kirkland doesn't need this extra layer of government," said Nona Ganz. Santos Contreras stated, "This really stands democracy on its head."

Bill Woods, Kirkland mayor from 1966-1973, spoke about the consolidation of the cities of Houghton and Kirkland. "When we discussed this issue, there was supposed to be a sunset on this bill in ten years," said Woods, "[The bill] was not intended to last for 43 years."