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King County Water District No. 1

Proposition No. 1

Decrease in Number of Commissioners

Shall the board of commissioners of King County Water District No. 1 be decreased from five members to three members?



This Proposition seeks voter approval to decrease the number of commissioners on the King County Water District No. 1 Board of Commissioners from five members to three members. 

The District is currently governed by a five member board of commissioners.  The District’s only function is to provide water service to property within the District.  From 1916 until 1995, the District had a volunteer three member board of commissioners.  In 1995, the board was increased to five commissioners to deal with correcting utility deficiencies.  Since 2005, the City of Bellevue Utilities Department has operated the District’s water system, and the District’s sole activity has been to distribute surplus funds to customers through water bill subsidy payments.  This task takes little commissioner time or management capacity.  However, state law requires that each commissioner receive one hundred fourteen dollars for each day or portion of a day spent on District business, unless the commissioner waives compensation.  Other District expenses are also based on the number of commissioners.  Thus, reducing the number of commissioners will result in lower costs. If this Proposition is approved by the voters, the number of commissioners will be reduced from five to three, in accordance with RCW 57.12.017.  

For questions about this measure, contact: Bob Trimble, President, 425-450-0791,

This Proposition must be passed to avoid incurring unnecessary costs.  A change in State law now requires commissioners to be paid at a rate determined by the State (currently $114) “for each day or portion thereof” spent on District business, unless a waiver is signed voluntarily.  The payment rates are adjusted by the State each five years for inflation. 

KCWD#1’s system has been served by an all-volunteer board for the past 127 years up to the current time.  KCWD#1 is no longer operating the water system.  All maintenance and operation activities are performed by Bellevue Utilities, since 2005, when an agreement with Bellevue commenced.  The District exists for the sole purpose of distributing subsidy payments to District residents until the Subsidy Fund is depleted several decades from now.  The District will dissolve at that point.  Current limited commissioner roles require far less effort than managing an operating water system for which compensation rates are intended.  The average age of your current commissioners is upper 70’s.  If passed, the reduction will take place as terms expire, or positions are otherwise vacated over the next several years. 

Three commissioners are all that is needed for subsidy distribution.

Statements submitted by: Bob Trimble,
Len Newstrum, and Richard Sternberg,

When KCWD#1 was first established over 100 yrs. ago, the service area comprised the few homes on the north end of Yarrow Point; since then the District has grown to 208 homes with zoning room for more. In the interim, changes have also taken place in the aquifer. As a result of those changes, as well as needed improvements to meet clean water standards, the land was sold and the service area became part of the Bellevue water system.

The monies realized from the sale, in excess of $3M, have been placed into a safe investment fund with a return sufficient to continue to provide subsidized water to the District homes into perpetuity. It is for this reason that we are opposed to reducing the number of Commissioners from 5 members to 3 – it’s a matter of oversight. We are not part of Town government and we are a very small government and we are a very small district. We oversee ourselves. It is for this reason, only, that we should maintain the size of the Commission at its current number.

Statement submitted by: Liz Newstrum,

Commissioner’s are responsible for attending up to six meetings per year to review and approve minutes, payment of subsidies, and related expenses.  Subsidy amounts are determined by a computerized formula for each water bill.  In ten years there has never been a case where commissioners have differed on approval of payments.  Any District resident may have direct access, and oversight, of financial matters at our meetings, or by email request to

No statement was submitted prior to the deadline.

Simple majority (RCW 57.12.017)

1266 en-US Production

TTY: Relay 711

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