Revisiting the 2015 election

With the 2019 Sammamish City Council race underway, Sammamish Comment looked back at the 2015 race in which Christie Malchow and Tom Hornish were elected for the first time and Ramiro Valderrama was reelected to a second term.

Malchow is seeking reelection. Hornish and Valderrama are retiring. Malchow defeated former city council member and mayor Mark Cross, who was seeking a comeback after a four year hiatus. He was closely aligned with Mayor Tom Vance, who was seeking reelection to a second term. Malchow won with 58% of the vote, a landslide.

Hornish defeated Vance, making him only the second incumbent Sammamish council member and the only sitting mayor in the city’s history to be defeated. Vance won his 2011 election with 67% of the vote against a weak candidate. He lost his reelection, receiving only 47% of the vote, a 20 percentage point drop. Hornish was a reluctant candidate, running because he didn’t want to see Vance run unopposed.

Valderrama defeated Hank Klein, who withdrew from the race too late to be removed from the ballot. Valderrama used his huge win, with 85% of the vote, as a springboard to run in 2016 for the State Legislative House against Democrat Roger Goodman. Goodman, a flawed candidate who should have been easy to defeat, hammered Valderrama by capturing 62% of the 45th District vote. Valerrama only captured 40% of the Sammamish vote in the 45th–a dismal showing compared with his 2015 and 2011 results.

Some of the issues then remain issues today: Tamarack storm water drainage, Sahalee Way and, as always, development.

Here’s a retrospective of that election.

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Accusations fly as Council drops committees

By Scott Hamilton

Accusations flew between the two factions of the Sammamish City Council as it considered whether to drop committees in favor of a council Committee of the Whole or some hybrid system.

Motives were questioned, personal attacks flew and “blind ambition” was alleged as interfering with the work of the committees.

Two members claimed the body is a “do-nothing” council.

The meeting again illustrated the dysfunction and political rivalries between the majority and minority factions.

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Reject power play to dissolve committees

By Scott Hamilton

Commentary

The Sammamish City Council tomorrow will take up a motion to dissolve its

Council Member Tom Hornish

committees, where a lot of spade work is done on issues, and adopt a Committee of the Whole (COW) process instead.

This move should be rejected. It’s been tried before. The council ultimately returned to the committee system. This city council should not repeat the mistake of the past.

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No resolution yet, but progress in Tamarack stormwater damage

No resolution was forthcoming from the Sammamish City Council on the Tamarack subdivision stormwater drainage issues, but some progress toward one seems to be happening.

The principal sticking point remains how much of a multi-million dollar stormwater control solutions would be for public benefit and how much would be for private (Tamarack) benefit.

State law prohibits using public money for private benefit.

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No good solutions forces City Council to rethink transportation projects plan

By Miki Mullor
Editor

  • No real solutions to traffic congestion
  • Phantom traffic projects used to approve developments 
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Ritchie, Stuart owe mayor public apology over sexist remark

By Scott Hamilton

Commentary

If residents wonder why the Sammamish City Council is mired in acrimony, one need look no farther than the June 18 meeting.

Council Member Pam Stuart

Jason Ritchie
Jason Ritchie

Sammamish Council Member Jason Ritchie isn’t wrong when he cites frustration about the divisions in the city council.

Nor is he wrong when he fingers members of the majority of the council for their contributions to the split.

But Ritchie needs to look in the mirror and accept responsibility for his own actions.

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Tamarack stormwater runoff damage back before council–again

By Scott Hamilton

After nearly a decade and a half of little, the Sammamish City Council may finally be ready to address serious storm water drainage issues in the Tamarack subdivision on the city’s west side.

The issue is on the council’s agenda tomorrow night.

Tamarack has been subject to increasingly damaging storm water runoff as development uphill from the subdivision, which is sited on a downhill slope off Thompson Hill Road, flows through the neighborhood.

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