The CEO of the Pine Lake Club and Columbia Athletic Club, Cy Oskoui, has given a total of $45,000 to the Political Action Committee Common Sense Sammamish, according to the latest filing with the Public Disclosure Commission. Columbia has given $900 in-kind for designing the mail piece.
Another $40 was reported contributed from Jim Aries.
This essentially makes Oskoui a one-man PAC opposing the Community Center, though several other citizens have spoken out against it at the City Council meetings and in letters to the newspaper.
Voters have a right to know who is behind Common Sense Sammamish and the vested interest involved. I’m not at all suggesting this is wrong–just saying full disclosure is warranted, just as the undisclosed risk factors in the public-private partnership between the City and the YMCA should be revealed by the City.
This is rich. Do you really expect us to believe there are no “vested interests” behind the sweetheart deal the city wants to make with the YMCA?
The YMCA would foot less than 20% of the total cost and walk away with 100% of the revenues for 40 years.
What kind of city council and city manager would consider this to be a good deal for Sammamish taxpayers?
Is this really the result of simple incompetence? Or something else?
You want us to believe there is something wrong with a man trying to protect his business from an abusive government.
You should be asking why the city council and city manager want to give the gold mine to one favored group while giving taxpayers and long-standing private sector businesses the shaft.
I didn’t say any of that, what you suggest, at all, David. And I have been extremely critical of the advisory vote (as a waste of $50,000), the fact that the City wouldn’t know why voters turned it down (if they do) and that they have failed to disclose financial risks.
At the same time, voters have a right to know who’s behind a PAC that on its face would seem to have broad support when in fact it’s a one-man PAC.
Here’s the key phrase you totally ignore:
I couldn’t agree more. While I would love to have such a facility I don’t want the YMCA to have any part of it…nor any other group. If they want to privatize the management (which is a good idea), the City Council should open the management up for bidding. DO I care about the concerns of a private business, sure, but at the same time I don’t want the government to show favoritism pro or con to that business or any other. The “PAC” talks about competition with the government…and I personally feel that all competition is in the best interest of the consumer. Columbia Fitness has a lock in Sammamish and has a need for much improvement in it’s facility, services and prices. There are ways for them to set themselves apart from a “community” owned facility and they need that incentive to improve.
It certainly makes sense for Cy to protect his business that he has spent over 15 years building from unfair competition. With the City gifting $25 million to the YMCA they will have no mortgage to contend with or taxes to pay. That is a 30%+ overhead advantage. It makes no sense for the city to be duplicating a service already available and, in the process, ruining a good business.
We also have many more important issues the money should be spent on such as protecting the environment with storm water systems and getting the Town Center project launched. The council’s priorities are misplaced. They should be focusing on essential services.
Then there is the issue of tax increases. How can we be hearing about tax increases for existing storm water and property taxes when we have so much money on reserve that it is burning a hole in the council’s pockets? It just defies common sense.