City’s emergency manager transferred amid controversy

By Miki Mullor
Editor

The Sammamish emergency preparedness manager was transferred to Fire District 10 on March 2 amid controversy that goes across a broad spectrum. The transfer is unrelated to the Coronavirus outbreak.

  • Complaint of harassment and political retaliation levied against council member Pam Stuart by the City’s Emergency Preparedness Manager employee, Andrew Stevens.
  • Stuart subsequently levied a charge of making a threat against Stevens.
  • Stuart complains of Stevens’ wife’s involvement in a Facebook election-oriented group and being “very mean.”
  • Roots date to 2015 during the administration of then-Mayor Tom Vance and then-city manager Ben Yazici, when neglect and equipment failure was revealed.
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City council election results certified; no change in outcome

The final results for the Nov. 5 election for Sammamish City Council have been certified by King County Elections.

There is no change in the outcome. Percentages compared with election night varied between 1 ½% to 2 ½%, the historic norm since Sammamish Comment has been following the elections from 1999.

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Stuart flip-flops on tax vote: Favored higher levy before voting no

By Scott Hamilton

Guest Contributor

In a maneuver reminiscent of Sen. John Kerry’s infamous “I was for it before I voted against it” declaration in the 2004 presidential election, Sammamish Council Member Pam Stuart declared she would support taking the 1% property tax increase allowed by law.

Council Member Pam Stuart

Then she voted against it when the vote was called.

She was the deciding vote in causing the motion to fail.

The vote came after the council on Nov. 19 added $270,000 to the city’s expenditures for the next year that hadn’t been budgeted.

This included $120,100 for the Technology Fund and $150,000 for a grant in the Health and Human Services Commission dedicated for youth mental health.

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I-976 $30 car tabs win in Sammamish; Council precinct analysis

Sammamish voters approved I-976, the $30 car tab fee, by a margin of 54%-46% in election night precinct tabluations.

King County Elections released the Nov. 5 election night precinct-by-precinct votes on Nov. 8. The Election Night percentages typically vary from the final tally by no more than 1%-2%. Between Tuesday and Friday, percentages in the city council races varied by fractions of a percent.

Sound Transit’s funding scheme, relying heavily on car tab fees, was the prime target of Tim Eyman’s initiative. Sound Transit car tab fees use an inflated, outdated car valuation schedule that results in hundreds or perhaps thousands of dollars more in fees than using a Kelly Blue Book value.

The Sammamish voters in the 5th Legislative District—the greater Klahanie area—approved the $30 tab fee by the narrow margin of 50.5% to 49.5%. The 5th is closest to the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride, where Sound Transit provides frequent service.

The Sammamish voters in the 41st Legislative District—basically the southern half of the city south of SE 8th St.—approved I-976 by a 55.8%-44.2% vote.

The Sammamish voters in the 45th Legislative District—north of SE 8th—approved I-975 53%-47%.

Final results may alter these percentages slightly.

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Winners and Losers in Sammamish’s David v Goliath city council election

  • This is a very long post.

By Scott Hamilton

Guest Contributor

Analysis

The 2019 Sammamish City Council election turned out to be the classic David vs Goliath fight.

The supporters of Karen McKnight, Rituja Indapure and Karen Howe (the McK3) amassed a record amount of money to defeat incumbent Christie Malchow and her allies, Ken Gamblin and Kent Treen (the M3).

Supporters of the McK3 were determined to defeat Malchow in particular, as well as the two “Ks”. They wanted to take over the city council with a 5-2 majority, or at the very least, a 4-3 majority, to push forward with the Town Center—potentially up zoning it and removing height restrictions. They wanted to weaken traffic concurrency standards, which would have the effect of loosening development potential in the rest of the city.

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Malchow, Treen, Gamblin leads continue upward trend

On the third day of ballot returns by King County Elections, the vote leads of Sammamish City Council candidates Christie Malchow, Kent Treen and Ken Gamblin continue to widen over challengers Karen McKnight, Karen Howe and Rituja Indapure.

Through Thursday, 19,520 ballots were returned by Sammamish voters. This represents, so far, a 52.2% turnout, the heaviest in city history for an off-year, city council election. Turnout normally is between 35%-45%.

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