Intervention badly needed for Sammamish city council

By Scott Hamilton, Editor

Editor’s Note: This column was drafted the week before last. The plan was to publish once the final traffic concurrency and building moratorium votes were taken, anticipated in November. But this weekend, Council Member Pam Stuart launched a highly personal, accusatory attack on Mayor Christie Malchow on Facebook. Stuart brought into the attack indirect reference to Malchow’s children, a political verboten that goes to the presidency of the United states. Thus, I made the decision to publish this column today.

The Sammamish city council badly needs an intervention. Residents have serious cause for concern with the dysfunctional, bitterly split ruling body.

The divisions and in-fighting are the worst seen since before incorporation.

Initially, the council split into two factions: The “new V-3” (Ramiro Valderrama, Jason Ritchie and Pam Stuart, odd bedfellows if there ever were any) and the “M-4” (Christie Malchow, Tom Hornish, Chris Ross and Karen Moran).

Ritchie coined the terms. (The old V-3 were Valderrama, Malchow and Hornish. The latter two split with Valderrama over his 180 degree flip-flops on environmental and development issues and his persistent distortion of facts and outright falsehoods he makes to advance his positions.)

For a while, even this split broke down. It became 2-2-3. Malchow and Hornish remained staunch allies. Moran and Ross became unpredictable votes, flip-flopping on the same issue between the M-2 and the V-3. The V-3 by-and-large remain a solid voting bloc.

More recently, the 4-3 split reemerged. The infighting is worse than ever. It’s not clear that it won’t get worse.

Factions in their corners

Members of each faction complain that the other factions don’t talk to each other. Distrust is rampant. Disdain is rampant.

The city suffers for it and therefore the citizens suffer.

Responsibility falls on everyone. Nobody escapes on this.

Poor leadership

The mayor and deputy mayor are selected by their fellow council members and not the public. They are titular leaders, not leaders as defined by elections.

Irrespective of this and of whatever diverging policy positions, it is incumbent upon the mayor and deputy mayor to build bridges and reach, if possible, consensus on controversial issues.

There is simply no other way to put this: Mayor Christie Malchow, former Deputy Mayor Tom Hornish and current Deputy Mayor Karen Moran have failed in these roles. At various times, each has declared they can’t talk to Stuart or Valderrama.

But this is not entirely their fault. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. And in this case, the dance partners are unwilling to do the two-step.

Valderrama’s flip-flopping

Valderrama in his first term was the outcast and often alone or in the minority on key issues. But he was the squeaky wheel that even as a pariah by the ruling majority often prevailed in his role as citizen ombudsman. In his first term, he revealed in being the contrarian. And he was productive.

In his second term, from 2016, Valderrama has done a 180 flip-flop from citizen ombudsman to cheerleader for development and most specifically, STCA, which wants to develop in the Town Center.

Instead of being a productive contrarian, he lost the support of his long-time allies (Malchow, Hornish, Ross and Moran) due to his flip-flops and egregious and frequent misrepresentations, distortions and outright falsehoods to advance what are now his pro-development positions. (Sammamish Comment has cataloged Valderrama’s transgressions several times.)

The divide between Valderrama and his former allies is wide and appears to be that it cannot be bridged. For this, Valderrama is largely responsible. The M-4 deeply distrust him.

Having alienated his allies, he teamed with Stuart and Ritchie, odd bedfellows. These are two solid Democrats and Valderrama is a solid Republican.

Stuart’s opinions vs facts

Stuart’s first 10 months demonstrated that she won’t let facts get in the way of her opinions.

Despite ample evidence that the traffic concurrency model was broken, and it is still not fixed, Stuart refused to see the big picture because her pro-development positions.

During her election, the Master Builders Assn. endorsed her and donated money to her campaign. This money represented 65% of the money she raised. In the MBA candidate questionnaire, she supported upzoning in Sammamish.

She also has personal animosity toward the citizen who exposed the sham: Miki Mullor, now deputy editor of The Comment. She refuses to meet with him one-on-one and she refused to engage at a meeting at which he would be present at which concurrency was the sole topic. The meeting was canceled as a result.

To be sure, Mullor’s demeanor can be grating (as can mine). He also missed the target on some detail, but overall, he was spot on and exposed how Sammamish’s traffic concurrency model was manipulated to ensure all development applications passed.

When Stuart ran for council in 2017, she stated at a candidates’ forum that council members should rely on staff and, essentially, let them lead the way. Given what was going on over concurrency at the time, this was an eyebrow-raising position. Sammamish Comment reported her statement and afterward, she tried to walk it back.

But her 10 months in office provide ample evidence that she falls into the camp, whatever the staff says, goes—until it doesn’t produce the preconceived answer she wants.

A recent discussion over concurrency is case-in-point. The concurrency model still needs some fixing, but Stuart voted to lift the building moratorium regardless.

I was going to end this commentary on Stuart here, until her unprovoked attack on Facebook on Malchow occurred.

It is extraordinary in Sammamish for one council member to publicly attack another, although this norm began to break down in the 2015 election when Valderrama won a second term. The public feuding between him and the then-ruling majority was out in the open for all to see.

Even considering this, Stuart’s Facebook attack on Malchow was stunning in its ferocity, its accusations and its personal nature. But Stuart went even farther. She brought Malchow’s young children into the attack. This simply isn’t done in politics. Even in the era of Trump, except by very few irresponsible people, a politician’s children are considered are considered off limits.

Stuart not only stepped over the line. She rubbed it out.

Lightweight Ritchie

Ritchie was elected with Stuart, Moran and Ross. He ran for US Congress against incumbent Dave Reichert, a losing proposition from the start as a Democrat running against a Republican in what was then a solidly red district.

In 2016, he ran for State Representative in the 5th LD, which includes the greater Klahanie area where he lives. He came very close to defeating incumbent Republican Jay Rodne, who soiled himself with incendiary, racist remarks against Muslims (who make up part of the 5th LD constituency).

After running for national and state office, one would expect Ritchie to be well-versed in the issues. But as he shifted to prepare a run for Sammamish City Council, it was clear he had no understanding of the Growth Management Act or of political realities about changing it. He first told The Comment the way to control growth in the city was to go to the State Capitol and simply change the GMA.

It was a naïve position for anyone to take, let alone a two-time candidate for higher office.

During the city council election, Ritchie fell back not on well-researched positions but on feel-good platitudes that completely avoided the issues and questions during the one candidate forum for the position he sought. His opponent ran rings around him on the issues, but Ritchie’s name recognition from the two previous races and his solid base in Klahanie assured his election.

During his 10 months in office, Ritchie’s laziness on the issues has been more than apparent. He doesn’t do his homework. On concurrency, staff scheduled one-on-one meetings with council to go through highly complicated data. Ritchie merely dropped by, collected the data and left without discussing it with staff.

He has proved to be incurious. He asks questions to which some homework would provide answers. He is very good at framing issues, but good sound bites don’t make up for laziness in learning the data. On his Facebook posts and, mostly but not always, at Council meetings he comes across as affable. Behind the scenes, he has a nasty streak and shoots from the lip on issues over which he knows not of what he speaks.

Ritchie has proved to be a lightweight.

Unpredictable Moran and Ross

Fellow council members complain they can’t count on either Moran or Ross, who developed a record of taking both sides of the same issues at different times—and then sometimes returning to their first positions.

At the Oct. 16 council meeting, when debating whether to lift the building moratorium on the Town Center, Moran wanted to table the motion for two weeks—but she did not make a motion to do so. Instead, she abstained on the vote in which she knew a 3-3 split was coming. A tie vote normally fails the motion. But under Sammamish rules, an abstention is recorded with the motion. In this case, this meant the motion would have passed. Only then did Moran vote No. It was a clumsy attempt to avoid taking a position.

Moran was involved in creating the city, ran for council twice before she was elected on her third run, served on the Planning Advisory Board and Planning Commission and on the Sammamish Plateau Water District. She was the most qualified candidate other than former state senator Phil Dyer (who ran for the first council in 1999) to run for council.

Yet she has been wishy-washy and timid She’s been intimidated by the strong-willed Stuart who is excellent at puncturing Moran’s balloon. As deputy mayor, she’s failed to lead and she’s failed to bridge divides.

With more than 20 years of public service and political activity, she should be leading. She’s not.

Ross is a newcomer to politics and his uncertainty and insecurities were evident for all to see in his first six months in office. His footing has become surer in the next four months, but his vote remains unpredictable.

An intervention is needed

I was involved in the incorporation of Sammamish, development of the first Comp Plan, the Town Center Plan and every election from 1998 through 2017. I’ve seen bitter, bitter, political factions, infighting and dirty politicking. The first city council election in 1999 was filled with anonymous fliers, innuendo and campaign forgeries.

But I’ve never seen anything as bad as the last 10 months.

This city council needs an intervention.

Every year, the council and staff have a retreat in January to set the agenda for the year. The 2019 retreat needs to start off with an intervention to get this council back on track.

I’ve been a big critic of council retreats being sited at a remote locations, which were clearly intended to discourage public participation. The 2020 retreat is an exception.

These people need to be locked in a room with nothing but pots of coffee and no restroom breaks until they break the back of the dysfunction that permeates the council and by extension the city administration.

Sammamish government has been better than this. It can be again.

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25 thoughts on “Intervention badly needed for Sammamish city council”

  1. This forum has been used to attack the council members that don’t agree with Malchow. Ms Malchow’s recent attempt to manipulate a council hearing with the You Tube video, her implication of peer misconduct and total disregard for the legislative process is outrageous. Sammamish Council is supposed to work together, consider all data, discuss and reach a decision. Not employ Trumpian tactics of bully, attack and control, which is what we are seeing from Malchow. Malchow and Hornish have had many opportunities to move the concurrency discussion to a close but they seem to prefer keeping the Council from moving forward, wasting precious tax dollars when they could be working to shape this City’s future. Wait until everyone’s taxes are increased to pay for this boondoggle while they are forced to cut City services. This is just another attempt to discredit and silence others opinions. Its apparent that Ms Malchow wants to be in charge and like Trump, she will do whatever she feels is necessary to maintain control. Right now that is a barrage of attacks against her peers. It’s pathetic and shameful. Malchow took this Council to Facebook, where her peers have been under attack for months by a small antigrowth faction. What’s next? Make Sammamish great again? I am hopeful that the smart citizens of this City will see what’s going on and not permit Ms Malchow to continue using the City for her own personal agenda.

    1. Gee, Catherine, this column cited Malchow and Hornish for poor leadership. Did you not read that?

      And you don’t bring someone’s children into the debate. Period.

      This has nothing to do with their voting with or against Malchow and Hornish. It’s about integrity and taking their talking points from STCA and the Master Builders Assn. instead of placing citizens first.

      1. Scott, yes, I read the article. I agree with you that dysfunction is real. My point is that this is the circus Malchow has orchestrated. I didn’t see Ms. Stuart’s post was it on a public or closed site? I’ve seen plenty posted about Stuart and the rest of the council members with the exception of Malchow and Hornish. As long as Malchow is on this council, the dysfunction will continue. I have zero doubt that this council would come together if she left. You mention Ms. Stuart’s treatment of Ms. Moran, not certain what you’re referring to, watch Malchow totally shut Moran down while her sidekick Mr Hornish stifles Valderamma by shouting out of order. You want to talk about integrity, why don’t you ask why we have a council member employed fulltime in San Diego who omits his council role from his employer’s website and “phones it in” for most meetings. Or the Mayor’s Trumpian techniques for controlling others with opposing views. Malchow even supported the release of long and short plants, yet worries about trees – how many trees occupy her property? Inferring that people that disagree with her are doing so because of ulterior motives is ludicrous. There are plenty of reasons someone might disagree with her. Try building Malchow’s bridge across Lake Sammamish and land it next to the Hornish family trust home and I guarantee he will disagree with her.

    2. Exposing truths is not attacks. It’s democracy. We take a lot of effort to document evidence, even including raw materials in posts.

      1. One thing that is great about requesting information from the City is that each request is dated. It documents the request, no matter how specific or obscure. It also proves what was never requested . . . Some requests show general fishing for information while others are very specific. There’s a reason why some requests from engineering or other professional firms are narrow in their scope. But there are some requests that make a person say, “hmmm.” Also, the term is cite your sources. You really should, since you make statements as an editor. I’m merely a member of the public watching this circus play out.

  2. Catherine, you make some bold accusations here.

    The concurrency project was sabotaged by Lyman & co, dragged for months while promising it will account for congestion, only to admit in May it ain’t so. The “new” model was the same as the previous one, contrary to promises made to council. The “black box” controlled by staff shows, for example, that it takes 12 seconds to get through an intersection on sahalee way, that was timed at 12 minutes.

    we have a guest op-ed policy: why don’t you write one, and include your references – and we’ll publish?

  3. Hi Scott, I appreciate the breakdown of the situation at our city council. I am a bit confused though. The article said that council member Stuart launched an unprovoked attack on Mayor Malchow and her children, but then went on to chide Mayor Malchow for “poor leadership”? That doesn’t sound right to me. Seems to me the blame is misplaced. I am quite surprised by Ms. Stuart’s action, it seemed out of character, I think perhaps she took a lot of heat for her vote on the Town Center and took it out on Mayor Malchow. Whatever the reason I find that kind of ad hominem attack disappointing. I think the blame on Mayor Malchow’s “leadership” is misplaced, and quite unfortunate. It’s like blaming the victim.

    I’m very thankful for Mayor Malchow and council member Tom Hornish’s staunch support for Sammamish residents against the unscrupulous developers who are destroying our beautiful city. They deserve our support, not scorn. I hope that we can also count on future support from council members Moran and Ross, and I pray the remaining 3 members will vote with integrity and conscience next time. Anyone with eyes can see the damage that is being done to Sammamish in the last 5 years, and it doesn’t take a genius to see how much worse traffic has gotten. The Town Center plan will destroy Sammamish by completely clogging up all traffic downtown. There is already such a development within 5 minutes of Sammamish — Issaquah Highlands, with easy highway access. All those who want/need apartments, retail and restaurants are free to move there. Downtown Sammamish is completely landlocked. We simply cannot afford this kind of development.

    I’m not sure what you think Mayor Malchow should/could do that she isn’t doing. She didn’t elect Pam Stuart, Jason Ritchie or Valderrama. Mayor Malchow can’t be held responsible for how others’ act. They are all adults and should be held accountable for their own actions.

    1. Janet: my assessment of the “poor leadership” is cumulative of 10 months, not specific to Stuart’s attack over the weekend. This attack merely accelerated the publishing date.

      1. Perhaps you are privy to more information than I, but I judge by the results. I think Mayor Malchow is the best mayor we’ve had in a long time. I could be wrong but I believe the 2 mayors before her were foxes guarding the hen house and had a lot to do with how Sammamish became so over developed. Finally we have a mayor who actually has integrity and wants to help restrict out-of-control development, we need to give her all the support we can, not tear her down. She may not be perfect but nobody is. Give her the benefit of the doubt and judge her by the results – the moratorium vote was a big sigh of relief for those of us who want to curtail development. It’s easy to criticize from the outside, but please bear in mind that this is a non-paid job, entirely voluntary and takes up a lot of their time. I for one am very grateful for mayor Malchow and councilman Hornish’s service to the city. They are on the side of all those who want less development in Sammamish and they deserve our full support.

  4. Just an FYI – Miki Mullor donated $500 to Pam Stuart’s opponent in the 2017 City Council election and has been attacking her since the beginning. I donated $201 to Pam Stuart. I like transparency.

    1. 1. I didn’t write the posts about Stuart. Scott Hamilton did. I contributed one paragraph to one of the posts

      2. The election was over a year ago.

      3. I didn’t write anything about Stuart until she attacked the mayor on Facebook this weekend, including dragging the mayors children into the mix.

      4. Stuart is free to reach out to correct anything she thinks we may have gotten wrong. She hasn’t yet disputed anything that was written about her.

      1. 2. I don’t forget things, even if it was a year ago.

        You attacked her on Facebook in 2017, and blocked people that challenged you (including me and several of my friends). We didn’t attack you, we challenged you, and I don’t think you like when people challenge you. I know Pam reached out to you at that time and attempted to set up a meeting.

        I also believe you were behind the ‘anonymous’ change. org petition that was full of false information regarding Pam Stuart. You have been out for Pam since the beginning. I believe you are incredibly bias in your reporting. My opinion. While you might be doing ‘great’ things regarding traffic concurrency you have not earned my trust, just yet.

      2. let’s set the record straight…

        1. Again, Scott wrote those stories, not I.

        2. I did meet with Pam pre-election in 2017 for an hour.

        3. After the election, I ran into Pam at Met Market. I shook her hand and congratulated her on her win and offered my support now that she’s on the council. It was not well received on her part and there were witnesses to this encounter.

        4. Earlier this year, Paul Tedrow was trying to arrange a small round table about the Town Center with Pam. Once she heard I’ll be there she said she won’t engage, only listen. Likely because I know too much about the details of the law and the history of the project. It was canceled by Paul.

        5. The change.org petition is not “anonymous”. If you check the public record you will see that I submitted it not only to council but also asked the city clerk to add it the public record. 1200 people signed it. They wanted the moratorium to be kept – Pam voted to lift it.

        6. This is not about Pam, or me or anyone else. The future of this town is at stake. All I’m doing is exposing information from public record. I care about integrity in government. I spend significant personal time to research public record and put the truth out there. It’s not pretty but you get to choose – ignore it, trust me or dig in and make your own judgement.

        7. My comments on Facebook pre-election were factual. I alerted the public on MBA endorsement and questionnaire answers. I was attacked viscously by her supporters on personal basis, called arrogant etc. So yes, I get to choose to block people on FB I feel so.

  5. While I agree that our Council could benefit from a team building retreat, this article appears to be another in a long succession of personal attacks on individual council members and is filled with inaccuracies and distortions. You appear to relish in tearing down individuals who do not agree with you. While you lead with a sentence that calls out the Mayor, Deputy
    Mayor and former Deputy Mayor for lack of leadership, you provide few details on the Mayor, none on the former Deputy Mayor, and spend the majority of the article criticizing Stuart, Ritchie and me. Your repeated attacks on Stuart are uncalled for. Whether you agree with her positions or not, she is actively pursuing potential regional solutions and trying to bring them back for discussion. Instead of distorting Council Member Stuart’s position why not praise the work she is doing, along with the City staff, County staff, other Council Members, Chamber of Commerce, and developers and citizens looking to work together with Metro and Sound Transit to find additional funding and resources to have transit solutions brought to the Plateau? Your derisive words do not contribute anything towards solutions.

    I also noticed a couple of absurd shots at myself – saying “Valderrama has done a 180 flip-flop from citizen ombudsman to cheerleader for development”. Strange comments from the Sammamish Comment that also publicly advocates for the Town Center and lifting the moratorium. I have as you stated earlier a long record of working to protect the environment in Sammamish. If you look at recent City initiatives, the Sammamish Urban Forestry Management Plan which has received State funds and is seen as a model for the State of WA in large part came out of personal work I had done looking at increasing character and tree canopy coverage in our city. I initially presented Thriving Sammamish Integrated Approach to the Council on May 9, 2017. https://www.sammamish.us/event/?id=43279 (City Staff and University of WA presentations are there too). I was the lead champion on the Council in getting the new Zachuse creek culvert funded, and I am continuing to seek additional funding from the State for other culverts. I also pushed back up the Storm Water retention requirements on the Plateau. I championed the increased building restrictions on the Ingelwood Hill Basin that were then copied for Thompson Hill. I continue the fight for sensitivity and protection on the Eastlake Sammamish Trail for the tree retention and sensitivity to the lake environment. On the interim regulations recently passed, I should note that in 2016 I first raised to staff the need for transition zones (of various means, not just setbacks as Odell and Malchow recommended looking at in 2017) to protect the character of neighborhoods, and in 2017 wrote staff (after hearing from citizens) to look at applicability of dimensions and sizes of homes similar to regulations they have in Mercer Island. Staff replied that they would all be part of the interim regulations that have come forward for consideration. None of these I believe are “pro developer” but, as I have always worked to do what I believe is best for our city and our environment for the long term. Likewise, I believe the other council members are also “pro Sammamish” and work to protect our environment.

    Finally, I find that the statement that Council members “can’t talk” to me is absurd. I always make myself available to both Council members and citizens. I am not aware of any time I have not accepted the opportunity to speak with Council members and have initiated many meetings with fellow Council members.

    Let’s make this a forum to look for solutions and champion our city, not to “attack” others.

    1. Ramiro’s comment is really quite laughable because I know his history so well.

      In the 2015 election campaign, in which he ran for reelection, Ramiro instigated, leaked and reveled in “attacks” (as he put it) on then-Mayor Tom Vance, then-Deputy Mayor Kathy Huckabay and two others in the Gang of 4 that existed then.

      Ramiro had absolutely no concerns about taking these council members to task to further his reelection and political ambitions. That the shoe is now on the other foot, prompted entirely by his own actions, is only when he objects.

      Ramiro touts his environmental record. He omits the fact that his original forestry plan had, as an option, reducing tree retention from 35% to 15% on lots—obviously a pro-developer feature of this plan. Then he lied about who he claimed supported the plan and he lied about even proposing the plan, despite doing so at at least two public citizen meetings.

      Ramiro also supported storm water injection in the STCA Town Center plan, something that can destabilize the ground and threaten drinking aquifers. When this blew up in his face (notably by a long letter from environmentalist Wally Pereyra, whom Ramio claimed supported the idea), Ramiro lied that he ever supported it. He lied when he asserted Wally supported it. He lied when he claimed two commissioners from the Sammamish Water District supported it. He tried to deflect responsibility for this support by claiming one of the water commissioners didn’t understand the difference between injection and infiltration.

      Ramiro did not address the whole issue of taking his talking points on concurrency and the Town Center, or an emergency development regulation ordinance, from STCA and the Master Builders Assn. He was a party to blind siding Malchow and Hornish and even the city attorney in an effort to modify this ordinance, which he voted for in the first place. This modification was written by the Master Builders Assn.

      Ramiro’s righteous indignation rings hollow.

  6. Voting for Christie Malchow has been my best vote I have ever done. I will vote for her again in a heartbeat, should she decide to run again. She does her homework & gets to the pulse of the issue. She listens to the community & puts their interest into the plans, as it should be done.

  7. Again I find your response to be distorted as you attack my environmental record. People can watch the video themselves on the Urban Forest Plan and there are many options that will be analyzed by UW consultants addressing how we will increase tree canopy.
    On injection, NO such plan has been proposed and despite many public information requests you have NOT a single document discussion of anything presented in Town Center for storm water management except natural infiltration. Natural infiltration is what I supported and as I recall, you did too on the Planning Commission. In fact ,you even wrote in the Comment March 15, 2018 “Ace Hardware signs LOI for Sammamish Town Center: STCA” that you asked STCA and “He also said NO stormwater injection is planned“. That is also what was said by their geologist in Public Comment – they are looking at natural infiltration as sought after in the City and Planning Commission plans. Additionally you stated that any possible confusion on infiltration and injection came from STCA in a conversation.
    As to Wally Pererya and his comments, here is what he posted last year on Facebook: “What happened I believe was a poor decision by Ramiro based on incomplete info and misinterpretation of my remarks re the need for developer bonding. I am concerned that folks now think Councilman Valderrama is anti environment. Such is not the case. His record speaks for itself. Keep in mind he was the first council member to intervene on behalf of the folks along the lake regarding the County’s blatant disregard for trees along the trail. He championed our efforts to get the City to set aside funds to replace the City’s malfunctioning Zackuse Creek culvert under the Parkway in support of our Kokanee restoration efforts. He has argued time and again against the City’s waste of taxpayer’s money associated with the excess development of Big Rock Park which was donated to the City to be a “natural park”. Ramiro is the Council member who has pushed the need for completion of the Basin Plan so we know what is happening with stormwater and can mitigate against anticipated impacts. When our former City Manager tried to quietly replace our excellent Hearing Examiner, Mr. John Galt, with two unneeded hearing examiners who would have been more “developer friendly”, Ramiro joined with others to force the City to recall the RFP and retain Mr. Galt. More recently Ramiro has meet with citizens including myself who are trying to get the City to fix the mess the County made of the George Davis Creek culvert under the Parkway and down to the lake such that since the 1980s Kokanee have been totally blocked from using that important creek for spawning. When the City petitioned the Council to lower the TC stormwater retention standard from 100% to 60% and lower, Ramiro was the Council member who argued strongly against that unfortunate change in the stormwater protection and voted against it. And as regards the issue of the injection of stormwater its self, Council member Valderrama strongly opposed Issaquah’s proposal to inject stormwater in the vicinity of our Water District’s water wells.

    I could go on but I hope folks will reflect on Ramiro’s environmental record and not judge him on the basis of one mistaken vote which in hindsight I believe he regrets. I feel strongly that our ire should not be directed at Ramiro Valderrama who has championed keeping the TC stormwater retention regulation at 100%, but rather at those Council members who supported and voted for the lowering of the Town Center stormwater retention standard to 60% which has created the stormwater situation we are facing today. Ramiro Valderrama gets my vote as a strong supporter of our environment and the livability of our City.”
    Again hardly “pro developer”. Instead of attacks let’s praise efforts by all to work for a better city.

    1. You continue to ignore your claims of support from people who did not support you on the 15% tree retention or the Sammamish Water Commissioners.

      Your reference to “watch the video” ignores the fact that my comment below referred to two citizen meetings, not a council meeting. You are attempting to muddy the waters.

      You ignore the issue of getting your talking points from STCA and Master Builders Assn.

      You ignore the issue of blindsiding Malchow and Hornish with an ordinance written by MBA.

      You ignore previously stated issue of lying about what Troy Romero said vis-a-vis living in San Diego.

      Given Samwick’s history in Oregon, I take anything he says with a grain of salt.

      This is about more than injection, which you still distort. Readers might check this article out about Ramiro’s own words on injection:
      https://sammamish.news/2017/11/28/valderrama-cites-fake-facts-in-town-center-moratorium-flip-flop/

      While Ramiro cites Wally above, here’s what he didn’t quote:

      This was immediately disavowed by Pereyra. In an email to the City and others, and later to The Comment, Pereyra minced no words.

      “My short phone conversation with Ramiro took place late one night when he called me to advise that the TC developer’s injection idea was gaining traction and might be approved,” Pereyra wrote. “Did I have any thoughts? I responded, ‘Make sure it is bonded.’ We never got into a discussion of the merits or demerits of injecting stormwater.

      “Unfortunately, it seems Ramiro took a suggestion I made to him that any proposed solution needed to be bonded to mean I support the concept of injecting TC runoff into the ground. I do NOT support this latest TC proposal. It is risky and will have environmental impacts to normal hydrological functioning of our wetlands and streams and hence our Kokanee,” Pereyra wrote.

  8. Again I find this all odd given you publicly state you favor the Town center and lifting the moratorium. I am afraid you have your facts wrong again. On the Urban Forest Management Plan that is a model for the state the objective is to measurably increase the Tree Canopy. The alternatives chosen will NOT be made by myself but by the UW Urban Forestry Management Consultants – they are looking at various alternatives and with citizen input. I am NOT involved in that selection process. I welcome all to watch the video. Your Sammamish Comment article is clear on your conversation with STCA on where the mistaken impressions may have arisen, and so is the fact that despite your many claims and Public Information Requests of all Staff Council members etc in City, Water Districts etc. there is NOT A SINGLE document or Plan etc on injection in the Town Center exists. There is Public testimony on the natural infiltration process being sought that your Planning Commission and I support.
    On the ordinance you keep citing I had no conversation with MBA about any ordinance before the meeting, and saw the email from MBA just prior to going in the meeting. Malchow and Horinish had a similar experience at that meeting or after of not seeing a late email. I did support the motion as the Council specifically told citizens to file their permits and then without notice changed the rules after 11:30 with no public notice nor did the Council know. I believe that those citizens that did file permits and have meetings with staff should be grandfathered as they did what the Council told them to do. It is the right thing to do.
    On Wally’s note that I cited above- these were posted on Facebook a week after the call you claim to have spoken to him on his return from his trip. It stands by itself. The question however was not about Wally and the Town center it was about your strange claim that I did a 180 and am pro developer. Given my and Wally’s list of my work for the environment above I again gladly compare myself to anyone else on this or past Councils. More importantly I believe all our Council Members work for the environment and the betterment of the city. People are tired of the negativity. You have a lot of experience with the city and can help with suggestions for addressing our many problems transportation, environment, Town Center etc. I look forward to hearing them.

    1. You still don’t get it.

      You continue to ignore your claims of support from people who did not support you on the 15% tree retention or the Sammamish Water Commissioners.

      Your reference to “watch the video” ignores the fact that my comment below referred to two citizen meetings, not a council meeting. You are attempting to muddy the waters.

      You ignore the issue of getting your talking points from STCA and Master Builders Assn.

      You ignore the issue of blindsiding Malchow and Hornish with an ordinance written by MBA.

      You ignore previously stated issue of lying about what Troy Romero said vis-a-vis living in San Diego.

      1. Scott, Malchow and Hornish don’t get blindsided. Hornish is working in Southern CA. He’s apparently quite busy in his new job in San Diego, phoning in his attendance to council meetings. He didn’t read his email and Malchow says she doesn’t read her’s just before a council meeting either. Malchow has ignored requests to meet with developers, even though developers fund much of the City’s improvements. She’s incapable of being objective and her call to action video demonstrated that she doesn’t understand the legislative process. Then read the latest city newsletter that states the City’s finances are in good shape unless of course they have to spend money. What a joke. The City of Sammamish is larger than it’s neighbors with a fraction of the revenue. How many staff positions are vacant? Because a citizen or council member has an opinion that differs from Malchow and Hornish, does not mean they require talking points from a builder’s association. This is the type of statement used when you’re unwilling to consider another perspective. Why don’t you ask why a bridge across Lake Sammamish or a mosquito fleet of ships is more viable than creating a transit oriented City? Instead of focusing on a park and ride solution, what about transit lanes, partnering with neighboring cities, county, developers, etc – other Cities do it, so could Sammamish. As long as this City is held hostage by a couple litigious anti growth types, Sammamish will be unable to manage growth.

      2. Interesting perspective, Catherine. Inasmuch as you sold your house to STCA, what’s your continuing interest?

  9. It is clear we are not going to have a conversation here. You seem to ignore that this conversation was about civility, misrepresentation of my position on the environment and working to find solutions. I have answered the questions above and let them speak for themselves.

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