It was a very close call. Both candidates would serve the Council well with no shortage of intelligence, wit and a strong work ethic. Although Moran showed less energy in her doorbelling than Howe, both candidates landed about the same in funding and endorsements.
Moran earns the endorsement because of her public service experience. Moran has been supporting Sammamish for 30 years, filed for incorporation, helped write the first Comprehensive Plan while on the Planning Advisory Board, sat on the Parks Commission, Planning Commission, King County Metro Transit Committee, and is a current Water Commissioner for Sammamish Plateau Water, a position she will resign if elected to devote her full attention to the Council.
No other candidate running for any of the positions has this depth and breadth of experience.
Transparency and accountability
Moran will be a strong voice for more transparency and accountability. In her Canidate Questionnaire, she didn’t hesitate to call out the need for departmental line-by-line detailing of the budget. Moran is calling for this detail to provide better budget management since she’s not in favor of raising taxes to meet the budget shortfall.
Moran has shown the ability to understand issues at the city and the citizen level, for example pointing out that Issaquah-Pine Lake Road improvements have been on the TIP for years and should’ve been completed long ago, as well as citing citizen concerns about the dangers of crossing the road without a traffic light that she heard at an open house. Moran appears capable of working the big issues tops down and bottoms up.
Enthusiasm from Howe
Howe’s ideas and enthusiasm were refreshing highlights at the candidate forums. On traffic issues, she was the first candidate to raise ideas around the necessity of planning for autonomous vehicles now, the need for local shuttles and smaller but more numerous park and rides. The other candidates often echoed her in their answers.
However, some of Howe’s ideas belie her inexperience. For example she suggested that we increase the real estate excise tax, which she was quick to point out in her interview that she’d learned wasn’t possible.
The candidates’ responses to The Comment’s inquiring about their support for the newly imposed moratorium may be a good example of their differing backgrounds. Howe’s response shows her years in high tech with a desire for more specific data around outcomes, timing, and a communication plan.
“Questions we need more clarity on over the next 60 days:
- What exactly is the desired outcome and by-when?
- What is the measurable impact?
- What is the impact on those residents looking to sell?
- Is there an opportunity cost?
- How do we effectively communicate realistic expectations to residents about the moratorium? Since projects can proceed if they’re already underway or have filed development applications, residents may be understandably confused when they see development activity.”
Moran’s response, while self-serving, accurately points out the history in Sammamish, the planning that didn’t happen previously which landed the City where it is now, and the need to do it right this time.
“Sammamish has been under a moratorium for almost a third of its existence. What didn’t happen, during that time, was that we didn’t build or plan for the ROADS. I am hopeful that those remaining Council members, along with the newly elected, will have the knowledge needed to use this time wisely and use the moratorium for what is being called out for “TRAFFIC/ROADS.
“This is the time to elect those with the experience and knowledge to work our traffic/roads forward in the direction called for by our residents!!!”
Howe will be an effective member of the Council if elected. If not, gaining experience on the City’s commissions and advisory boards will serve Howe well should she choose to run again.
By Jen Baisch.