City affirms past manipulation of concurrency traffic modeling data in favor of development

By Scott Hamilton

Sammamish yesterday refuted allegations by former city employee Sarah Hawes Kimsey that Sammamish Comment reporting about concurrency traffic modeling was inaccurate.

Jeff Elekes, the public works director, wrote Kimsey asking for a correction to her blog in which she used an email from Transportation Planner Doug McIntyre to assert Sammamish Comment and Miki Mullor lied about how the city’s transportation model had been manipulated up to 2017 and beyond.

“…[Y]ou re-printed an email from a Transportation Planner on my team, Doug McIntyre,” Elekes wrote. “Both Doug and I are were very surprised to learn how his email to you was used and promoted in your blog.”

Miki Mullor

Elekes said, essentially, that Kimsey mischaracterized the traffic audit as a traffic modeling analysis to conclude there had been no manipulation in the past.

“However, I can confirm that Sammamish’s traffic modeling data under previous administrations has been manipulated in the past in favor of development,” Elekes wrote. “This has all been clearly documented through discovery and analysis. I am writing you now to set the record straight and give you the facts, which I expect you will use to correct your blog post.”

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A tsunami in Sammamish – unless we act

Guest Op-Ed 
By Kent Treen 
Sammamish City Council Member  

Kent Treen

The debate about the negative impacts of development mostly focuses on what we all see and experience, like the pain of traffic, overcrowded schools, and the loss of trees and wildlife. But development triggers a more powerful force, that unless properly mitigated, can be the most destructive of all: stormwater.   

When development does not handle its stormwater properly, its runoff will cause permanent damage to our creeks, our endangered kokanee salmon, our drinking water, our lakes and to our neighbors living downhill (just ask the residents in the Tamarack neighborhood). 

To my shock and disbelief, I learned recently that in 2013 the City Council relaxed the strict storm water regulations that were in place for the Town Center development. 

Why? 

As the public record shows, they put the financial interests of development in the Town Center ahead of our environment, explicitly for the developers’ financial gain.

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Ritchie calls city council racists, white privilege over Town Center opposition

By Miki Mullor
Editor

  • Ritchie calls council members who oppose the Town Center racists, classists, white privilege.
  • Charges manipulation of the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
  • Casts  some opponents to Town Center as standing with Trump against fairness and equity.
  • Unrelated, King County initiates an inquiry into Ritchie’s residence status over his voter’s eligibility and whether he vacated office.

The controversy over the Town Center development project took a new turn with Council Member Jason Ritchie invoking racism and white privilege language against some City Council majority members.  He did not name names.

Ritchie posted his message on his campaign Facebook page, which Council Member Pam Stuart supported by giving it a “like.” 

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Black Lives Matter; is defunding the police a solution to misconduct?

By Scott Hamilton

Commentary

Black Lives Matter.

By Scott Hamilton

Thanks to everybody carrying a camera in their pocket via cell phones, the world now sees just how common police misconduct toward blacks remains.

Whether it is excessive use of force or gunning down someone, cell phone videos make it clear and unequivocal there is a systemic problem in law enforcement.

This problem doesn’t stop with police agencies. We now can see that all too often, prosecutors are complicit in covering up these police crimes, either by commission or omission of investigating and prosecuting.

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City Clerk Melonie Anderson retires

Commentary 

By Miki Mullor
Editor

Melonie Anderson

Tonight will be the last Sammamish City Council meeting for City Clerk Melonie Anderson who is retiring on June 30. Anderson is the longest tenure city employee and has been the city’s first permanent City Clerk.   

The role of the City Clerk is pivotal to records keeping of the local government. Every ordinance (local law) adopted by City Council must be authenticated by City Attorney and City Clerk to be true and correct to City Council’s action.

20 years of service 

The Sammamish Comment located the first ordinance Anderson authenticated. It was the Fireworks Ordinance, number 02000-65, adopted on June 28, 2000, prohibiting Fireworks discharge in the City. 

Anderson will retire exactly 20 years and two days after signing this ordinance for the City. 

Almost the entire body of the ordinances in Sammamish bears Anderson’s signature. 

A beacon of integrity 

The City Clerk’s role is also responsible for keeping the government transparent by providing access to government documents in response to public records requests. 

The Comment has used public records requests extensively over the years to uncover facts, documents, council and staff thinking and actions, wrongdoing  and to hold the City accountable.  The City Clerk’s team many times finds itself at odds by having to provide documents to the public that may put its employer and colleagues in unfavorable light. 

In this challenging environment, Anderson, a Sammamish resident herself, has been a beacon of integrity and transparency. Sammamish residents were well served by Anderson’s unwavering commitment to the law and for doing the right thing, even when faced with adversity from previous City Managers. 

It is with mixed feelings that we wish Anderson a happy retirement. Her calm presence at City Hall will be missed.  

Good luck, Melonie, in your retirement. Well deserved.