Attention turns to Sammamish tonight on EF&R issue

Sammamish City Manager Ben Yacizi is supposed to give his recommendation whether to leave the Eastside Fire and Rescue consortium tonight at the city council meeting. He is expected to endorse forming Sammamish’s own fire department.

But there is a new twist.

The Eastside Professional Fire Fighters last week offered to pay up to $10,000 for a professional mediator for Sammamish and Issaquah to resolve differences over the funding and other issues. Although EF&R is made up of five entities, Issaquah is the leader in opposing a funding change that Sammamish wants, in order to save our taxpayers $440,000 a year.

I’ve learned that EPFF has received some positive response from Issaquah to the prospect of a mediator, which was my suggestion to Sammamish at its council meeting last week, and which EPFF acted upon.

There is also some movement on the part of EF&R members to adjust the funding formula, which could render moot the need for a mediator or for Sammamish to leave EF&R.

What impact these developments will have on Yacizi’s recommendation remains to be seen. The City Council plans to make a decision November 12.

The fire issue is the last damn thing on the agenda tonight.

The Council meeting begins at 6:30pm and is televised on Comcast Channel 21. It is streamed live on the city website as well.

Issaquah issued this statement on Tuesday saying it wants Sammamish to stay in EF&R.

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