Staff confirms Klahanie annexation’s adverse affects on other road projects

Aug. 26, 2019: The Klahanie area annexation to Sammamish in 2015 caused road projects in the legacy parts of the city to be delayed, despite promises from then-Mayor Tom Vance and then-City Manager Ben Yazici there would be no adverse impacts.

Then-Mayor Tom Vance and then-City Manager promised no ill affects on legacy Sammamish from Klahanie annexation.

Acting public works director Cheryl Paston confirmed at the City Council’s Aug. 20 meeting what Sammamish Comment feared and reported in 2015: the Klahanie annexation would divert money from key projects to fulfill a Christmas list of promises made by Vance, Yazici, council members Don Gerend and Ramiro Valderrama to entice Klahanie residents to vote to annex to Sammamish.

As the current city council debates over projects listings on the Transportation Improvement Plan—notably the Sahalee Way project—the 2015 council led by Vance and Yazici’s administration manipulated the TIP then to claim sharply reduced costs for a major Klahanie road project while simultaneously shifting monies from other road projects in legacy Sammamish.

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Sammamish community acts to counter racist graffiti; rally tomorrow

By Celia Wu

The Sammamish community is acting to counter a series of racist graffiti vandalism in the Klahanie area, organizing a rally tomorrow (see below) and GoFundMe campaigns in support of the victims.

Some residents of Klahanie woke up  Feb. 20 to racist graffiti scrawled over their property.

According to Sergeant Christine Elias of the Sammamish Police Department, 17  people were targets, with reports still coming in Friday. Property vandalized included cars, garage doors, mail boxes, street signs, and even a cement dumpster.

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Intervention badly needed for Sammamish city council

By Scott Hamilton, Editor

Editor’s Note: This column was drafted the week before last. The plan was to publish once the final traffic concurrency and building moratorium votes were taken, anticipated in November. But this weekend, Council Member Pam Stuart launched a highly personal, accusatory attack on Mayor Christie Malchow on Facebook. Stuart brought into the attack indirect reference to Malchow’s children, a political verboten that goes to the presidency of the United states. Thus, I made the decision to publish this column today.

The Sammamish city council badly needs an intervention. Residents have serious cause for concern with the dysfunctional, bitterly split ruling body.

The divisions and in-fighting are the worst seen since before incorporation.

Initially, the council split into two factions: The “new V-3” (Ramiro Valderrama, Jason Ritchie and Pam Stuart, odd bedfellows if there ever were any) and the “M-4” (Christie Malchow, Tom Hornish, Chris Ross and Karen Moran).

Ritchie coined the terms. (The old V-3 were Valderrama, Malchow and Hornish. The latter two split with Valderrama over his 180 degree flip-flops on environmental and development issues and his persistent distortion of facts and outright falsehoods he makes to advance his positions.)

For a while, even this split broke down. It became 2-2-3. Malchow and Hornish remained staunch allies. Moran and Ross became unpredictable votes, flip-flopping on the same issue between the M-2 and the V-3. The V-3 by-and-large remain a solid voting bloc.

More recently, the 4-3 split reemerged. The infighting is worse than ever. It’s not clear that it won’t get worse. Continue reading

Sammamish’s Town Center-concurrency dilemma

By Scott Hamilton

Editor

The Sammamish City Council faces a complex set of issues interconnecting the Town Center and efforts to revise its traffic concurrency policies.

At stake is whether the Town Center proceeds per the 2009 plan adopted by the Planning Commission and City Council or, as some desire, the plan is reopened with the goal of down-sizing it.

Reopening the plan also allows the possibility of some advocating an up—zoning of the TC.

The city is under a building moratorium adopted last October. The council and staff want to lift the moratorium in July, but controversy over how to proceed with revisions for concurrency casts doubt over whether revisions may be ready by then.

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Clibborn to retire from State House

Judy Clibborn. Photo via Flickr.

State Rep. Judy Clibborn (D-41st) of Mercer Island announced she will retire at the end of this term.

Clibborn was first elected in 2002.

The 41st includes the southern half of Sammamish roughly along SE 8th St.

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Rodne won’t run for reelection

Lost in all the hoopla over the Legislature’s vote to exempt itself from the Public Records

Jay Rodne. Photo via Google images.

Act and the drama over its repeal, State Rep. Jay Rodne (R-5th) announced Feb. 28 he won’t run for reelection.

Rodne vote for the exemption. He was nearly defeated in 2016 by Jason Ritchie, a Democrat who lives in the Klahanie neighborhood in Sammamish. Ritchie led Rodne on election night but the tide turned as votes were counted, and Rodne won reelection narrowly.

Ritchie ran the next year for Sammamish City Council and won.

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Legislators show utter contempt for Sammamish constituents

State Rep. Paul Graves was the only Samammish legislator to vote against SB6617, which exempts legislators from the Public Records Act.

Sammamish’s representatives, except for one, displayed utter and complete contempt for their constituents last week.

State Rep. Paul Grave (R-5th), who represents the greater Klahanie area of Sammamish, was the only one of nine legislators to vote against the measure exempting legislators from the laws of the Public Records Act requiring governments to turn over documents when citizens request them. Continue reading