Jan. 16, 2016: The third and last day of the Sammamish City Council Retreat saw yet a third run at the 42nd St. barricade issue.
(Our post yesterday has also been updated.)
Greg Reynolds, the leading proponent for removing the barricade, said City officials admitted the roadway on the west side of the barricade is unsafe, requiring action to fix the situation and remove the barricade, or it faces liabilities if it takes no action.
This is the other side of the same coin argued by a leading opponent who has since moved out of state, Rick Kuprewicz, who argued Sammamish would be opening itself to liabilities if it removed the barricade because of the unsafe road.
Sammamish inherited the problems, including the barricade and road design, from King County, which approved both before incorporation.
Reynolds called for proceeding with a study (as advocated by Council Member Bob Keller) and said if the street is unsafe, the street should be closed–but residents live on the street and can’t be closed.
Tim Larsen, the City’s communications manager, said the mission of his department is to “make sure residents have accurate information for their community. When inaccurate information is put out, we put out accurate information.”
Larsen said his department is lean, in keeping with the City’s lean staff ethos. His recommendations for more outreach include more round-tables, Internet town hall meetings, “walk with the mayor” events, and use of the web service called Nextdoor, which is like a Facebook for neighborhoods. Larsen recommended expanding attendance to public events, such as the Farmer’s Market and similar events.
The following assignments were made for Council committees (subject to a final vote at a regular Council meeting):
The Sammamish Council Members named to the Board of the Eastside Fire and Rescue District are Keller and Valderrama. Huckabay stepped down from the Board to an alternate on the Board. The EFR Finance and Administrative Policy Committees will be represented from Sammamish by Staff.
Jon Bromberg of the Sammamish Citizens Corp, during public comment, called on the Council to increase City investment in emergency preparedness, including hiring an emergency manager. He called on more training for the City Council and Staff, and undertake “table top” exercises. He urged more exercises that would also include citizen volunteers. He also urged participation in the Cascadia Rising disaster drill in June.
Storm Water Stewards
Sharon Steinbis announced the creation of a new group called Storm Water Stewards, which advocates a new approach to storm water retention. Today’s designs, commonly known as “storm water prisons” for their concrete designs and/or surrounded by chain link fences, could be replaced by attractive features that also can serve on attractions for wildlife.
Today there were nearly a dozen members of the public at the retreat, an endorsement of holding it on this side of the Cascade Mountains. Also: Snoqualmie Pass was closed this morning avalanche control. Several members took advantage of the the public comment period, a new feature to the Retreat this year.
The two local papers still did not attend.
Clarification on the barricades issue: Deputy City Manager (soon to be city manager) Lyman Howard clarified that opinions expressed concerning the safety of the road at the 42nd St. barricade were made by persons who were not experts in road engineering.