Sammamish Comment begins publishing its endorsements for Sammamish City Council on Wednesday.
Position 1 is followed by 3, 5 and 7 through Saturday. How we arrived at our decisions will be explained tomorrow.
For the first time since Sammamish was incorporated in 1999, citizens have a full slate of candidates that no matter who wins, they will be well served.
In every election in the past where there has been competition (a few elections had unopposed incumbents), there were weak, unqualified, token or self-interested/self-dealing candidates on the ballot.
This isn’t the case this year. Each candidate brings a level of knowledge and expertise that is complimentary in some cases and similar in others.
This doesn’t mean The Comment likes them all equally. We don’t. We will explain why in our endorsements.
Flaws of newcomers
They all have the flaws of newcomers running for office. None, except for Karen Moran (Position 3) spent any time on previous City commissions or committees. (Rituja Indapure (Position 5) was an alternate to the Ars Commission, but inactive.) All things being equal, we would like to have seen some experience on the Planning Commission or alternatively the Parks Commission. Experience on the former would have been invaluable.
Some of the candidates showed their ignorance of reality during the Candidates Forum by advocating a transportation fix that already is in place: synchronizing traffic signals. Mark Baughman (pronounced Boff-man), who has been in construction 27 years and, after Moran, has the most on-the-ground experience, correctly pointed out that this program already exists, if somewhat flawed.
Still, newcomers have one key advantage: Fresh eyes. New ideas. A view unbiased from previous experience.
Four seats are up for election this year. This is the majority on a seven-person Council. There will be a steep learning curve for six of the eight candidates, less so for Baughman and Moran, depending on who’s elected.
Our endorsements take into account these factors and many others.
Ballots are mailed Wednesday. Election Day is Nov. 7.