BREAKING NEWS: Former Mayor, Don Gerend, sues the City over concurrency

By Miki Mullor

July 24, 2019: Former City Council Mayor Don Gerend sued the City of Sammamish, challenging the new concurrency regulations.

The complaint, filed today at Central Puget Sound Growth Management Board states that:

“Mr. Gerend owns and/or has a vested and cognizable legal interest in property within the City of Sammamish that is directly affected and prejudiced by, has interests as a result of their property ownership which the City was required to take into account and as a former Councilmember re-elected four times and Mayor of the City has actively been engaged in the City’s ongoing long range planning both within the City and regionally under PSRC, all of which would be adversely  impacted by the Ordinance.

As a resident and participant in the City’s transportation concurrency process, the City was obligated to consider his interests when it engaged in the challenged action. Petitioner is likely to incur injury due to Ordinance No. 02019-484 unless this Board issues a decision which redresses that injury. “

As we reported, under the new concurrency rules, the first 424 units application for the Town Center is currently blocked.

Reference: Don Gerend’s complaint

UPDATE: Don Gerend’s response to the Comment’s question on his interest in this legal action:

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29 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS: Former Mayor, Don Gerend, sues the City over concurrency

  1. In my fifteen years here, I am still getting surprised by the fact that there are many folks running for City Council that have a direct financial connection to the policies they may or may not implement while on the council. I guess I should stop being surprised, but am now wondering if we can’t find some way to enforce some disclosure by current council members and future candidates on how they might personally benefit or be harmed by the way issues facing the City are resolved. For such a small City, there is so much that smells bad on these issues coming from the Council.

    • I agree. We have some developers and business owners on the commissions and council in Kirkland that have a vested financial interest in some of the decisions being made. However regular full time working people do not have the band width to serve on the council, or the financial means to run for ekection, or the inside support from city council members. These city elected or council appointed commissioners are doing business development for their personal business when serving the city.

    • Council Members are residents and likely property owners. Every resident is impacted by policies the City elects to implement and if they are a property owner (own a home) they are absolutely impacted by policy decisions.

    • How telling it is that the former mayor who made SO many poor decisions is the one suing the city because of the sane/logical current city council. We are in this [edited] pile of concurrency because of the past city council. I hope our city cross-sues Gerend based on him making city decisions for his benefit and not for the citizens of Sammamish. I also hope that all Town Center shareholder names are subpoenaed in discovery (yes, I will pay for this) so that we all can see who the (edited)s are who are earning a dollar at our detriment.

      • Right on Layna and Otto: use any means possible to go after self dealing grifters. That’s not name calling, because I didn’t mention any of the [edited] sons of [edited] names.

        I volunteer to help the campaign of anyone who is currently in or supporting the goals of the current 4/3 majority in council. My name is in the phone book.

  2. What makes Gerend feel litigation is the way to settle this situation ? Maybe if his ploy fails he can pay ALL the legal fees for both parties.
    I always believed an election can be the best solution the city’s future, not paying more “legal beagles”. I vote, how about you ?

  3. I am so sick of elected officials from the very top of our country down to the the bottom (Sammamish) using their elected office to feather their beds! This country is devolving into a banana republic kleptocracy controlled by the 1%. The only solution: become an informed citizen and vote all you deadbeats!

      • What a greedy [edited]. So his years of service for the city, probably crafting code changes for his personal financial gain. He is now in the position of not having the power to make his changes stay so he is mad? Obviously there is a concurrency issue and we should reevaluate what is the best model. Appears he would like to keep the code he set up that benefited himself. Public officials should serve their city not their own greedy needs.

      • Already there – am retired also. Just because one belongs to a socioeconomic group does not infer that one agrees with majority of individuals of that group.

    • Couldn’t agree more. This country is brought low by exactly this kind of self-serving elected officials like Don Gerend. I don’t know how people with such total lack of conscience and integrity can even live with themselves.

      It makes me all the more thankful that we currently have 4 top notch council members Tom Hornish, Karen Moran, Chris Ross and Mayor Malchow who are trying to do right by Sammamish. We have to do all we can to help Christie Malchow get reelected, and Kent Treen to take the spot of Valderrama so we can maintain this 4-3 majority on the council.

      • agree! Make your votes count people. It can and does make a difference. Maintaining a 4-3 majority with Malchow at the helm is critical to avoid turning over control of the city to developer interests…

  4. So let’s see, Don Gerard , as our former mayor pushed for the building of the City Center, while failing to recognize the obligation of building adequate transportation infrastructure to support it. All while supporting the expenditure of $40 million for the purchase of Mars Hill and building the YMCA. Now he wants to sue the city for traffic congestion that the city is left with? He must be running for office again

  5. Having Don Gerend being the mayor was like the fox guarding the hen house. His profile on the Sammamish website stated that he was a developer, married to a professor of “Urban and Regional Planning”, i.e. lover of high density development, at Evergreen College. He actually boasted in his farewell speech that in the 18 years that he was on the city council, the population of Sammamish *doubled* from 31,000 to 62,000. The main reason we moved to Sammamish was because it had very strict restrictions on building. Don Gerend led the council to do away with that moratorium. This [edited] needs to get the hell of Sammamish. He should know how much he is despised by long term residents in this city for the irreparable damage he has done to this city, and still he isn’t done. Absolutely despicable.

  6. Information supporting a forensic analysis of ex-Mayor Gerend’s finances during and subsequent to his incumbency might yield some very interesting fodder. Should the defendants’ counsel in this matter (whom, by the way, will be billing the very taxpayers that the ex-Mayor is actually suing) push their discovery in this direction, they might earn their keep and perform a real service to the community.

    By the way, that “name calling” we’re not supposed to engage in here has a somewhat stifling effect when we discuss [edited]s like Mr. Gerend.

    I remain, self-censoriously yours, Otto.

  7. I’m disturbed by the vitriol displayed here toward Gerend.

    His action is perplexing and there are legitimate questions to be asked over just what his ownership and vested interests are in illustrating his “Standing.” But the accusations in previous comments are extreme. I’ve known Don since 1998 and despite disagreeing with him on policy many, many times, must say Don served with distinction during his 19 years.

    • Agreed, These attacks against Gerend are very disturbing. I have worked with this man for many years and have known him as someone of integrity and a Mayor and Councilman who genuinely cares about our City and its people. Let’s be educated rather than assume the worst. Gerend has surprised me by the things I have learned from his knowledge and actions. He may just have some of our citizens interests at heart.

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  10. I find this development somewhat disturbing to say the least. Don Gerend is someone who has certainly served many years in public service to Sammamish. But as one who served 9 years on a federal management agency, I am sensitive to the issue of members reclusing themselves from voting on certain issues where they have a vested interest in the outcome. In reaching an opinion as to whether such is the case here, like Cityhamilton, I would like to hear full answers to the questions he has raised.

  11. having lived in Klahanie & issaquah for 10 years and in Sammamish for another 17, my parents also own here since 1995. its shocking how developments have not helped the roads, as in helping it to get wider and get more access. At first, I thought he was sueing the city to get their act together on road problems. I was too young to be involved in city politics when he was in office, but he is using this to get city laws changed for his benefit from how everyones responding so he can benefit from fruits of his labor that is many terms in council. Whatever his true intentions are, this does expose our citys inefficient and dishonest and financially poor decisions made over many years of crazy raping of our town by developers. my dad tells me his wife was a real estate agent. i hope this lawsuit makes everyine realize how important road improvements are in conjunction with houses and people moving here! we cannot take on more!

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