Board, City Council meet with legislators

Board, City Council meet with legislators
Posted on 11/23/2020
In many communities, it is unusual for a city council and a school board to meet regularly with one another and state legislators, but not in Tahoma. The Maple Valley City Council and Tahoma School Board had a joint meeting via Zoom last Monday, and were joined by Washington state legislators from the 5th District, Sen. Mark Mullet, Rep. Bill Ramos and Rep. Lisa Callan.

City Council members and School Board directors took turns presenting positions, and asking the legislators for assistance with issues and projects.

School Board Director Pete Miller, who is the board’s legislative liaison, emphasized ongoing needs for basic education funding with added flexibility to allow districts to cover COVID-related expenditures.

Mullet asked what the Legislature could do to assist with the district’s efforts to return to in-person school. Superintendent Mike Hanson responded, sharing that the biggest impediment is maintaining social distancing in the buildings. Miller also emphasized that maintaining funding for transportation “is absolutely essential.”

Other legislative priorities that the board members shared focused on fully funding Special Education and maintaining the Local Effort Assistance (LEA) funding.

City Manager Laura Philpot thanked the legislators for their help with a number of issues, including federal CARES Act funding, which the city has been able to allocate to small businesses (more than $500,000), the Maple Valley Food Bank & Emergency Services, Vine Maple Place, and the Greater Maple Valley Community Center. City Council members asked the legislators to consider funding for projects such as widening Highway 18 from Issaquah-Hobart Road to the Raging River; and support for projects to improve State Route 169 within city limits and also from Maple Valley city limits to Jones Road.
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