Sammamish staff took deliberate steps to keep a meeting with county officials secret in order to avoid public records requests, Sammamish Comment discovered.
The meeting involved discussion to set growth targets for Sammamish.
Staff-to-staff meetings aren’t typically public. They aren’t announced on government websites, meeting notices aren’t issued and the public isn’t invited to attend. But it’s highly unusual that a government takes steps to keep the meeting secret from public records.
Sammamish did just that over a meeting last month. Calendar entries for Sammamish staffers didn’t list the purpose of the meeting. A voice mail specifically detailed the motive to avoid public records requests.
Ironically, The Comment obtained the entries and voice mail under a public records request and was nevertheless able to piece together the purpose of the meeting and the motive for hiding it.
Former Mayor Don Gerend, suing the city, advises who city’s attorneys should be – and the city is set to award a contract.
Mass exodus of lawyers sets up new firm Gerend recommends.
Former Mayor Don Gerend, who challenged Sammamish’s stricter traffic concurrency testing ordinance adopted last year, recommended that the city council keep its attorneys after a group of them defected from Kenyon Disend and set up their own law firm.
And, tonight at the council appears ready to follow the advice of the plaintiff asking the Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB) to overturn a piece of legislation that is critical to measuring traffic in future development applications.
The city’s law firm since incorporation in 1999, Kenyon Disend, lost five of its 10 attorneys in November, when those five attorneys abruptly resigned to start their own law firm. Two of those attorneys represented the city in the Gerend case.
Development, the Town Center, traffic congestion and the 2019 city council election dominated the Top 10 2019 stories in Sammamish.
The Town Center became the surrogate for development throughout the city and the poster child for traffic congestion that is frustrating drivers across the Plateau.
The election, in which three city council seats and control of the council were at stake, became unusually bitter and set records for expenditures on both sides of what became a pro-development slate vs a slate that advocated “infrastructure first.”
STCA filed a permit application for Town Center Phase 1 on Nov. 4, revealing more details.
This project was issued a controversial certificate of concurrency in August.
City Council ordered an audit of the certificate of concurrency – that has yet to start.
STCA LLC’s first project in the Town Center area has been granted a “complete application” status by city staff. The significance of the status is that this particular project is now legally “vested, meaning any future change to the development code, such as density, design limitations or concurrency, will not apply to it.