City sued for censoring residents on its Facebook page 

By Miki Mullor
Editor

The City of Sammamish and its communications manager, Celia Wu, have been named defendants in a lawsuit in federal court alleging infringement of the First Amendment for ongoing censorship of protected speech on the city’s Facebook page.  

The plaintiffs in the case, Sarah Hawes Kimesy, Tarul Kode Tripathi and Catherine Freudenberg, are asking the court for an injunction preventing the city from continuing to violate the Constitution and an award of damages, including punitive damages. 

A hearing on a motion for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for October 22  in front of Federal Judge Marsha Pechman in Seattle.  (update: the hearing has been rescheduled to November 5)

The Sammamish Comment will provide a special coverage for this development story.

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The Sammamish Comment celebrates the publication of Scott Hamilton’s first book

By Miki Mullor
Editor

The Sammamish Comment celebrates the publication of “Air Wars: The Global Combat Between Airbus and Boeing ” by Scott Hamilton, the Comment’s founder. In his professional life, Hamilton is a recognized expert in the commercial aviation industry, covering the industry as journalist since 1985.

Air Wars is a story about the intense and often bitter rivalry between Airbus and Boeing. It’s also about John Leahy, the legendary head of commercial sales at Airbus, whose team booked 15,000 net orders worth $2 trillion in 23 years, and the strategies by Airbus and Boeing that changed aviation as we know it.

Congratulations Scott!

The book is available at Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

Moving on

Dear Readers, 

It was May 2018 when I joined the Sammamish Comment as a deputy editor. This came almost a year after I  uncovered the City’s wrongdoing on traffic concurrency and independently went public with it.  Later that year, in December 2018, I took the reins from Scott Hamilton, who founded The Comment and made it the only media outlet covering city hall and city politics. The Comment informed and it was a watchdog of the city government.

Hamilton is a professional journalist and a phenomenal writer.  He also had years of experience in city hall politics as a former member of the Planning Commission, Planning Advisory Board and a highly involved volunteer in our city’s history. 

The shoes were big to fill. 

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Central Sammamish out of sewage capacity; County dumps on development

King County removed a critical sewage line project from its plans. Current system is too small for future development north of SE 8th St.

District hints a building moratorium may be required. The future of the Sammamish Town Center hangs in the balance.

Lake Sammamish threatened with sewage dump.

By Miki Mullor
Editor

The Sammamish Plateau Water District is out of capacity to move raw sewage to King County’s treatment plants.

King County removed a critical sewer line from its projects list that would serve central Sammamish that would transfer waste to a sewage treatment plant in north King County.

A full system and no new project mean development north of a line roughly along SE 8th St. to the border of the Northeast Sammamish Sewer and Water District is in jeopardy. The southern tip of the Northeast district is irregular but roughly follows a line along NE 16th St. and dips south to NE 8th St. in spots.

Future development of homes and the Sammamish Town Center could be blocked by the Sammamish Water District for lack of sewer capacity.

Water Commissioners Lloyd Warren and Mary Shustov hinted that a building moratorium may be necessary if the county doesn’t come up with a solution.

Homes and businesses development in the Northeast sewer district is unaffected by this looming crisis.

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City Clerk Melonie Anderson retires

Commentary 

By Miki Mullor
Editor

Melonie Anderson

Tonight will be the last Sammamish City Council meeting for City Clerk Melonie Anderson who is retiring on June 30. Anderson is the longest tenure city employee and has been the city’s first permanent City Clerk.   

The role of the City Clerk is pivotal to records keeping of the local government. Every ordinance (local law) adopted by City Council must be authenticated by City Attorney and City Clerk to be true and correct to City Council’s action.

20 years of service 

The Sammamish Comment located the first ordinance Anderson authenticated. It was the Fireworks Ordinance, number 02000-65, adopted on June 28, 2000, prohibiting Fireworks discharge in the City. 

Anderson will retire exactly 20 years and two days after signing this ordinance for the City. 

Almost the entire body of the ordinances in Sammamish bears Anderson’s signature. 

A beacon of integrity 

The City Clerk’s role is also responsible for keeping the government transparent by providing access to government documents in response to public records requests. 

The Comment has used public records requests extensively over the years to uncover facts, documents, council and staff thinking and actions, wrongdoing  and to hold the City accountable.  The City Clerk’s team many times finds itself at odds by having to provide documents to the public that may put its employer and colleagues in unfavorable light. 

In this challenging environment, Anderson, a Sammamish resident herself, has been a beacon of integrity and transparency. Sammamish residents were well served by Anderson’s unwavering commitment to the law and for doing the right thing, even when faced with adversity from previous City Managers. 

It is with mixed feelings that we wish Anderson a happy retirement. Her calm presence at City Hall will be missed.  

Good luck, Melonie, in your retirement. Well deserved.