The Sound Cities Assn. (SCA) approved a resolution endorsing “principals” of mass transit for the Sound Transit taxing district (roughly Everett to Tacoma, Seattle to Sammamish) with Sammamish as the lone dissenting vote.
Four other members of SCA which are not in ST district abstained.
A majority of the Sammamish City Council opposed the “principals” as a thinly disguised endorsement of the $50bn Sound Transit 3 draft plan. ST wants voter approval for $27bn in new taxes. Sammamish gets nothing in the proposed new plan, except an average of more than $500 a year in new taxes: no new service and in some respects, service is taken away.
SCA’s action took Council Members by surprise. It was their understanding that SCA would not take any position that was adverse to any member, say Deputy Mayor Ramiro Valderrama and Council Member Christie Malchow.
Neither knows where this understanding originated or when, but Valerrama said other Council Members had the same understanding. None was aware of SCA taking a position that “hurt” any member previously.
Valderrama, who along with Council Member Tom Odell led opposition to endorsing the “principals,” cited among his reasons was a fear that SCA would not offer cities a separate vote on whether to support the ST3 Draft Plan. It turns out that he is correct: he said SCA advised him there will be no separate vote.
Valderrama criticized the tax plan as “taxation without transportation” for Sammamish residents.