By Miki Mullor
The Klahanie Homeowners Assn. (HOA) is hosting a forum for Sammamish City Council candidates on Oct. 9–but invited only three candidates to attend: Karen McKnight, Rituja Indapure and Karen Howe.
Emails show that Klahanie ignored requests from Christie Malchow to advertise in their September newsletter, until the last minute when it was too late, but let her opponent, McKnight, do so.
Update 9/27/2019: Klahanie HOA Board President extended invitations to the remaining three candidates – who accepted – citing an “oversight”.
Three candidates not invited
Controversy erupted on the “Vote Sammamish” Facebook group when a Klahanie resident posted an email sent from HOA about a candidate forum to be held on Oct. 9. The forum announced that only three city council candidates are participating: McKnight, Indapure and Howe.
Indeed, Klahanie HOA’s website confirms what was reported by the resident:
“Please plan to attend the Community Forum to hear from and question the candidates from both the Klahanie Board of Directors election and three challengers for the City of Sammamish Council elections. The three challengers present for the Council elections will be Karen McNight, Karen Howe, and Rituja Indapure,” writes Fred Nystrom, Association Director.
“The Sammamish City Council elections this year will have a direct impact on the issues surrounding how Klahanie Park is redeveloped. The City Council members are pivotal on a host of issues, such as road construction, traffic concurrency and safety services. It is critical that we help to elect those who understand the issues important to Klahanie residents.”
Indapure lives in Klahanie. So does City Council Member Jason Ritchie, who supports KcKnight in her campaign to defeat Malchow. Ritchie and McKnight are also both officials of the Sammamish Chamber of Commerce.
The other three candidates who were not invited, Malchow, Kent Treen and Ken Gamblin, are opponents of the three that were invited.
All the three confirmed to The Comment that they did not receive an invitation.
Malchow opposed the development plan of the Klahanie Park; Treen worked at the Klahanie Park when he worked for the King County Parks Department.
When reached for comment, Nystrom’s assistant said that:
“The candidates forum you reference was spearheaded by our Association Director, Fred Nystrom. Fred is out on holiday and not available for comment until he returns to the office next week. He will get back to you, if needed, upon his return. Thank you.”
Request for advertising space also ignored
Emails obtained by Sammamish Comment suggest that Nystrom also favored McKnight over Malchow for ad space in Klahanie’s newsletter.
In an email response to a question from Malchow on whether she can advertise in the HOA’s newsletter, Nystrom wrote on July 8:
“I will take up political advertising with the board at the end of this month. We will have a September and November edition.”
When Malchow followed up with Nystrom on Sept. 9, it was already too late. Nystrom responded:
“The board did approve political advertising on the last day we could accept ads. The next available issue comes out in early November.”
Election day is Nov. 5.
However, PDC filing shows that McKnight was able to put an order for advertising in Klahanie’s newsletter nine days earlier:
When asked to confirm the Klahanie board decision, Chris Humberson, Klahanie HOA President, said: “I will review this question once Fred returns from his holiday and get back with you at that time. Unfortunately I do not have all the details to accurately respond to your inquiry.”