As the Sammamish City Council prepares to transition next month to the largest makeover in a single year since incorporation, the first order of business after the swearing in of four new council members will be to select a mayor for the next two years and deputy mayor for the next year.
Christie Malchow earned selection as mayor. Tom Hornish earned selection as deputy mayor.
Both are two years in to their first, four-year term.
Their leadership and willingness to dig deeply into issues during their first two years has been nothing short of outstanding. Their honor and integrity is likewise outstanding.
Malchow is your cliché bulldog: once she bites into a subject, she doesn’t let go. She does her own research; she is skeptical of staff information when something doesn’t feel, look or smell right; and she isn’t at all hesitant about challenging the city manager. These are all traits that have been in short supply on previous city councils, which were all too willing to accept what was presented to them.
Hornish is deceptively low-key. He shares many of Malchow’s traits, with the bonus of being an attorney. His legal training gives him an edge to question the city attorney and make his own legal interpretations that proved useful in his first two years on the Council.
Malchow and Hornish made an excellent team in challenging the staff and digging into the traffic concurrency issues. Backed by retiring Member Tom Odell, Malchow, Hornish and Odell led the Council to adopt an emergency building moratorium on Oct. 4, a move that is fraught with legal and political risk but which reflects responsiveness to citizens fed up with traffic and questioning the staff.
Malchow’s deft handling of shepherding the vote in October for a moratorium proves conclusively she has to skills to make her case and get the votes.
Additionally, Malchow skillfully uses social media to inform the public.
Malchow is the best choice for mayor. Hornish is the best choice for deputy mayor. They made a great team the past two years. They made a great team on the moratorium issue. They’ll make the best team to be Sammamish’s new leadership.
Ramiro Valderrama, the third incumbent who is in mid-term, began lobbying Council Member-elects to be mayor the day after the election. Valderrama has long had ambitions for the position and never has been able to muster four votes.