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 Sound Transit car tab fees use an inflated, outdated car valuation schedule that results in hundreds or perhaps thousands of dollars more in fees than using a Kelly Blue Book value.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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Election Results, Day 2: Malchow, Treen, Gamblin widen vote lead

Election results from Day 2 of the Sammamish City Council race saw the winners from election night widen their leads in vote totals, even if the percentages were shaved fractionally.

Incumbent Christie Malchow ended election night with a 2,985 vote lead over challenger Karen McKnight. Today, this vote lead increased to 3,259. The percentage narrowed slightly from 66.35% to 65.83%.

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Former Mayor Odell backs Malchow, Gamblin, Treen

By Tom Odell

Guest Column

It’s that time again.  The time that you, as a resident, citizen, and hopefully a voter, get to decide on the future of our both our local government as well as that of the City of Sammamish.

Tom Odell

The decision immediately at hand over the next few days is nothing less that the future nature of our city, Sammamish.  Your opportunity to be heard – and counted – will expire next Tuesday evening, November 5th.

At stake is the composition and direction of the next Sammamish City Council.  The choice should be clear:  one side is for unabated and unrestricted development within our city while the other is for moderated growth that keeps pace with our ability to handle it in terms of the capacity of our transportation system, the schools, and our ability to deal with increasing stormwater runoff issues.

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Unfettered development vs controlling it is the only issue in this election

By Scott Hamilton

Commentary

Sept. 20, 2019: It is now clear that the Sammamish City Council election this year has come down to one issue: unfettered development across the city vs controlling development so it doesn’t further overwhelm the roads and aggravate the congestion that already exists.

All other issues have taken a back seat.

If you support unfettered development, Karen McKnight, Rituja Indapure and Karen Howe are your choices for council.

If you want to control development and moderate traffic congestion, Christie Malchow, Kent Treen and Ken Gamblin are your choices.

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City-YMCA deal was sole-source, no-bid contract, no Requests for Proposals issued

By Scott Hamilton

Analysis

Sept. 16, 2019: The agreement between Sammamish and the YMCA for the latter to run the community center was the result of a sole-source, no-bid contract.

No Request for Proposals was issued that would compete management of the center.

The contract between Sammamish and the YMCA was a sole-source, no-bid arrangement. No Requests for Proposals were issued. A Sammamish businessman wanted to bid. City of Sammamish photo.

An offer by a Sammamish health club owner to submit a bid that would return 15% of the gross receipts to the city didn’t even get a hearing.

One of the leading advocates throughout the years for the YMCA was a city council member who also sat on the YMCA board, a clear conflict of interest that was ignore by the city administration and a successive series of city councils. (This member was off the council in 2012-13, when the votes were held.)

The YMCA was fundamentally the only entity supported by the city for nearly a decade before a contract was negotiated.

These lie at the roots of the current controversial examination of the city’s management contract with the YMCA that sees the agency siphoning off $1.4m a year to the Greater Seattle YMCA rather than keeping the money in Sammamish or sharing the profits with the city’s general fund.

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