Amato announces candidacy for Sammamish City Council

By Miki Mullor
Editor

Josh Amato

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. 

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STCA, Town Center developer, covers Gerend’s PAC $70,000 debt

By Miki Mullor
Editor

STCA, the Town Center developer owned by Matt Samwick, has contributed $70,882.80 to former Mayor Don Gerend’s Livable Sammamish PAC.

Gerend and Kathy Huckabay, also a former mayor of Sammamish, were the only citizen contributors to Livable Sammamish. Gerend was the public face of the political action committee.

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Election reflection – what was different

By Miki Mullor
Editor

Analysis

The Sammamish City Council election was decided by a landslide vote almost two weeks ago. This is the first time in the history of the city that all three contested seats have swept with large margins.  

Other than the issues, what else in this election was different? 

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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 Sound Transit car tab fees use an inflated, outdated car valuation schedule that results in hundreds or perhaps thousands of dollars more in fees than using a Kelly Blue Book value.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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