The Sammamish City Council was clear at its May 10 meeting: the draft plan for Sound Transit 3 does nothing for our taxpayers.
A majority of the Council was also clear: they didn’t want to support a statement sought by the Suburban Cities Association (SCA) in support of principals of mass transit, because these were viewed as a “Trojan Horse” for ST3.
Led by Deputy Mayor Ramiro Valderrama, members feared that there would not be an opportunity to later weigh in on ST3 itself and any expression of support for the SCA principals would be taken as support for ST3.
Mayor Don Gerend, who was clear about his opposition to ST3 as drafted, wanted to support the SCA principals–as did Member Kathy Huckabay, who also opposes ST3 as currently drafted. But there was little support even for the principals because these were viewed as thinly disguised for ST3.
Members Tom Odell, Christie Malchow, Valderrama and Tom Hornish were opposed to the support of the principals. Gerend and Huckabay expressed support for them. Member Bob Keller, the City Council’s representative to the SCA committee called opposition “premature,” but sought a consensus of the Council to carry the message back to SCA.
SCA is an association of cities in the Seattle metropolitan area formed to give weight to voices in order to offset Seattle if need be. Huckabay said she was concerned that if Sammamish opposed the principals supporting mass transit, the City would be “the odd man out” in SCA.
Valderrama didn’t mind.
“We’ll be doing the right thing for our citizens,” he said. Valderrama noted that Sammamish residents would be required to pay about $500 more a year in taxes, without receiving any additional service. “This is taxation without transportation,” he said.
This was the foundation of opposition by Odell, Malchow and Hornish as well. Gerend and Huckabay also oppose ST3 as drafted. ST3 is a 25-year, $50 billion expansion of light rail and other services with $27 billion in new taxes. Sammamish gets nothing out of the ST3 draft plan.