Valderrama decides against a third term

Ramiro Valderrama announced today he is not going to seek a third term on the Sammamish City Council.

His full announcement, posted on Facebook, is below.

As the 2019 election approaches, I wanted to summarize and review my work with and for the citizens over the past 7.5 years in office.  I ran for Council in 2011 and wanted to make a positive impact by:

  • Promoting fiscal responsibility and transparency
  • Supporting balanced growth, respect for the environment and increasing
    Ramiro Valderrama

    transit

  • Increasing citizen participation to ensure their voices were heard and expertise leveraged

My record shows:  In the area of fiscal responsibility and transparencyI have:

  • Promoted fiscal conservatism to hold the city accountable for its spending.
  • Fought for our ability to charge high impact fees so that growth will pay for growth.
  • Led push for reform of the city’s contracting practice, eliminating sole source contracts.
  • Opposed recent calls for additional taxes, levies and bonds, recognizing the tax burden on our citizens from new taxes inc.  McCleary, ST3, etc.

In support of our environment,I was instrumental in:

  • Reinstituting higher storm water and retention standards, and to provide funding for culverts to ensure a better watershed and helping our Kokanee.
  • Successfully led lobby (with the City, Tribes, KWG and others) to secure state grants from Olympia for our culverts for Kokanee restoration.
  • Designed the basis for the Thriving Urban Forestry Management Plan (now a State model) to increase our tree canopy and enhance our city character and helped lead the increase of Tree retention to 35%. I also championed establishment of community local gardens in the Commons.
  • Pushed for land acquisition for ball fields and active parks.
  • Was the decisive vote in the fight to preserve our Environmental Critical Areas.
  • Fought for ELSP trail’s trees, environmental sensitivity, and to protect the lake and respect property rights.

On balanced growth:

  • In November 2018 I modified the city Interim Development Housing Regulations and sent them to the Planning Commission (with unanimous support of the full Council) to provide balanced growth and preserve our city character.
  • With full Council three times voted for the Town Center as designed to provide more commercial and housing options for our citizens.
  • Fought for citizens and neighborhoods to ensure their voices are also heard by the city and their HOAs respected.

.For transportation, I:

  • Secured funding in 2017 for the DOT study to help Sammamish traffic on RT 202
  • Worked with the Council to institute new Concurrency Levels of Services at Intersections. Sought use of state regional measures to ensure that growth fully pays for growth. While I supported the work on concurrency, I am not convinced that we have arrived at the appropriate V/C ratio on Sahalee.

On accountability to our citizens:

  • While in office instituted numerous mechanisms to increase citizen participation: Council office hours, increased city communications via newsletters, social media, on-line and physical town halls.
  • Pushed for accountability to the citizens by the city, commissions and Council
  • Encourage citizens be heard as well as dissenting opinions of both Commissioners and Council members.

 Engaged with city, regional organizations 

  • Former Vice Chair and long-time Board member on Eastside Fire and Rescue
  • Member of Task force that brought Central Washington University to Sammamish
  • Worked with Don Gerend to help lead efforts to annex Klahanie
  • Represented the citizens on external boards and commissions, Sound Cities (twice Vice Chair Public Safety), AWC Legislative Committee, and others.

Some highlights from my Council committee work include:

Serving as the Chair of the Legislative Committee. This year our efforts led to obtaining $1.75m funding for our city culverts for the Kokanee, secured a new bill to allow our annexed citizens to petition to avoid double taxation of park districts, sought condo reform, and opposed increased density being mandated by our State legislators. I have also served as Chair of the Utilities committee and on the Finance committee.

I appreciate the encouragement from many of you who continue to ask me to run for a third term, and while I will continue to serve you throughout my current term in office through December 2019, I will need to take a break. As many of you know, last year I was diagnosed with cancer and at this time I need to prioritize my health.

It has been an honor to represent you on the City Council these past 7.5 years. I plan to stay involved in the city through my work with civic groups and I look forward to continuing to work with each of you.

 

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