It was May 2018 when I joinedthe Sammamish Comment as a deputy editor. This came almost a year after I uncovered the City’s wrongdoing on traffic concurrency and independently went public with it. Later that year, in December 2018, I took the reins from Scott Hamilton, who founded The Comment and made it the only media outlet covering city hall and city politics. The Comment informed and it was a watchdog of the city government.
Hamilton is a professional journalist and a phenomenal writer. He also had years of experience in city hall politics as a former member of the Planning Commission, Planning Advisory Board and a highly involved volunteer in our city’s history.
The Sammamish Plateau Water District board voted unanimously enact a moratorium on new sewer connection certificates in the northern part of Sammamish. Current development in the permitting process, including Town Center Phase I 400 homes project, are not impacted by this decision. Future development in the Town Center and elsewhere within the affected area will be blocked while the moratorium is in place.
In January, we reported the Sewer District’s warned King County a moratorium is coming, yet apparently no progress has been made.
Sammamish planning commissioner Josh Amato yesterday announced his candidacy for City Council for the November election. Amato is also seeking the city council’s appointment for Jason Ritchie’s vacant seat, to be decided by mid-March. Ritchie resigned Jan. 20.
Amato, a newcomer to Sammamish, moved here in 2018, according to his website joshforsammamish.com. Under his priorities, he lists transportation, development code, youth mental health, police and senior services.
Amato is a political consultant with affiliation to the Republican Party and a former spokesman for the Washington Republican Party. In a blog post, he says his affinity with the Republican party is now close to zero.
The candidate also shares his personal journey of family hardship and his own past issue with the law as a window to who he is today.
A months-long investigation by Sammamish Comment that includes email interviews with staff and public records requests reveal city staff opposition to restoring a stringent stormwater standard in the Town Center area.
Staff opposes the former standard because the soil in the Town Center makes it “infeasible” to implement.
In public, staff said the standard or an equivalent to it, is in place.
In private meetings with council members, staff admitted it was eliminated and opposed restoring it.
STCA’s Phase I 400 homes permit’s stormwater section was approved although the developer said it is not implementing it because “it is not feasible”.
The City does not know the impact of the currently enacted and relaxed standards on the creeks and downstream homes.
City Manager David Rudat on The Comment’s investigation: “a take down”.