By Miki Mullor
King County Council today unanimously voted to appoint former Council Member Pam Stuart to Ken Gamblin’s vacant city council seat. Gamblin resigned in January. The City Council had 90 days to appoint a Sammamish resident to fill his vacant seat. However, because the 6 members of the city council couldn’t agree on who to appoint, by state law, the responsibility became King County council’s.
Stuart will serve on the city council until December 2023.
Answering questions fielded by King County council members, Stuart highlighted restoring transparency and ethics as one of her top priorities, specifically calling out the ethics investigation of former city manager Dave Rudat. Other priorities for Stuart are addressing the budget deficit and work on the upcoming 2024 comprehensive plan update and hiring a new city manager.
Stuart reiterated her support for the Town Center, citing her desire to bring socioeconomic diversity and to start addressing climate change.
Stuart’s appointment breaks a 3-3 deadlock in the city council. Stuart supported Deputy Mayor Kali Clark and council members Karen Howe and Amy Lam and is likely to join them to form a new majority.
While the new majority is aligned with supporters of the Town Center, the issue of the Town Center has been already largely settled with the publishing in last August of an Environment Impact Statement (BLUMA) by city staff that hinges on the Town Center as a key feature of the future traffic infrastructure in Sammamish, leaving city council no room to make changes to the Town Center plan.
In February, city staff approved the first project in the Town Center for many year, a 38 homes project by STCA.
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