Valderrama cites fake facts in Town Center moratorium flip-flop

Ramiro Valderrama

Sammamish City Council Member Ramiro Valderrama, citing what turns out to be a series of unsubstantiated claims, executed a pirouette on his previous vote supporting a moratorium including the Town Center—and went splat.

The Town Center was exempted from the moratorium at the Nov. 21 meeting by a 4-3 vote, with Valderrama, Mayor Bob Keller and Council Members Don Gerend and Kathy Huckabay voting to lift it.

Valderrama said his vote always was about storm water management for the Town Center. In voting to exempt the Town Center, Valderrama claimed the emergency moratorium was not about traffic concurrency.

This simply wasn’t true.

Continue reading “Valderrama cites fake facts in Town Center moratorium flip-flop”

“Against Annexation” lead holding; How Issaquah lost Klahanie

Today is Thursday, Feb. 20. A mere seven more votes were counted in the Klahanie annexation vote: two more “For Annexation” and five more “Against Annexation.” The spread is now 31, up from 28 yesterday.

I can now provide this analysis of How Issaquah lost Klahanie.

It had to come as a shock to Issaquah government officials: residents of the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area sent them packing in February 11’s annexation vote.

It wasn’t just that residents rejected the prospect of assuming a portion of Issaquah’s current debt load—that happened in 2005, despite overwhelmingly approving annexation itself. This time, the election night results presented a shocking six vote margin in favor of annexation. The results from the next day narrowed this to one vote. The next day, the vote counting swung in favor of “Against Annexation” with a 34 vote margin. And it got worse from there.

How did Issaquah lose Klahanie?

Arrogance. A sense of entitlement. A sense of what Klahanie could do for Issaquah, not what Issaquah could offer Klahanie. Past statements making it clear improved roads and parks for the area weren’t in the cards. An aggressive Sammamish offering an alternative. A history that demonstrated Issaquah had trust and integrity issues. A nasty fight with the Sammamish Water and Sewer District that revealed the worst of Issaquah government. And an effective citizens uprising in the form of Klahanie Choice.

Continue reading ““Against Annexation” lead holding; How Issaquah lost Klahanie”

Why Issaquah can’t be trusted, Part 4: proof Issaquah planned an assumption of Water District despite denials

The Sammamish Reporter has a long story about Issaquah’s plans that have in the works for several years to take over part of the Sammamish Plateau Water & Sewer District.

Issaquah repeatedly denied to Klahanie that it plans to do so, and was forced to backtrack when the Water District revealed the plans. The Sammamish Reporter provides a detailed look at a 2011 Issaquah “White paper” that makes it clear Issaquah indeed had plans to assume part of the District.

Furthermore, I found another Sammamish Reporter article from 2009 that once more casts doubt on Issaquah’s track record of doing what it says it will do.

Issaquah entered a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District in 2009 to treat stormwater before it entered the Lower Reid Infiltration Gallery (LRIG) and then didn’t follow through.

Pre-treatment of stormwater before it is injected into the LRIG is at the heart of the disagreements between the two governments. And it is disagreement over this that leads to the proposed hostile takeover of the sliver of the District that lies within Issaquah but which supplies 40%-50% of the drinking water to the 93% of the District that lies outside Issaquah, including most of Sammamish, the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area and other parts of King County.

Providence Point within Issaquah is one of the more concentrated areas also served by the 7% of the District within the city. Three wells also are within the “7%” and represent the heart of the District’s assets.

I previously reported that Issaquah reneged on an MOU it signed with Sammamish to transfer the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area to Sammamish.

  • The Sammamish City Council this week adopted a resolution directly the City Manager to undertake a study of potentially annexing Klahanie if the expected vote tentatively scheduled by Issaquah to do so fails.

Residents of the Klahanie PAA need to think long and hard about whether they want to be part of a city where the government is so unreliable.

Issaquah Reporter slams City’s cybersquatting–but not one word of condemnation from elected officials

The Issaquah Reporter, in an editorial, joined the Issaquah Press and Sammamish Review in slamming the City of Issaquah for cybersquatting the website of the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District.

But there still has not been one word of condemnation from the elected officials of the City of Issaquah. Instead, Mayor Ava Frisinger and City Administrator Bob Harrison defended the action.

In the only contested race in the city elections this year, Councilmen Fred Butler and Joe Forkner dodged. Both said they had no concurrent or advance knowledge of the cybersquatting. Butler expressed frustration at the volume of emails received from people concerned about Issaquah’s plans to inject water into the Lower Reid Infiltration Galley, uphill from an aquifer supplying drinking water to 40%-50% of the Water District, but he didn’t make any statement concerning the city’s action. Forkner declined comment, according to the Sammamish Review.

None of the other council members has made any public statement that we are aware of.

The namby-pambyism of Butler, Forkner and the city council–especially in the face of universal condemnation–is incredulous. Frisinger’s and Harrison’s defense of the action is downright appalling.

No wonder the City of Sammamish has trouble dealing with Issaquah.

No wonder Issaquah can’t be trusted, on a variety of issues, including annexation of Klahanie.

As the newspapers said, Issaquah is lacking ethics and good government.

Why Issaquah can’t be trusted, Part 2: Klahanie annexation

The opinions expressed are my own.

Why Issaquah can’t be trusted, Part 1: Mayor admits to cybersquatting.

After summer doldrums, events are picking up with the prospective annexation of Klahanie into Issaquah.

While this is known as the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area (PAA), in reality there are several adjacent neighborhoods to Klahanie that are also subject to the February vote the Issaquah City Council has set. The Issaquah Reporter has a very good story outlining the issues facing Klahanie voters. The map below is from this story and shows the adjacent neighborhoods.

But there are other issues voters need to consider, and top of the list is whether Issaquah, its city council and city administration are the best choices to become their new leaders. And this is quite questionable.

Map Source: Issaquah/Sammamish Reporter, Sept. 12, 2013.

Continue reading “Why Issaquah can’t be trusted, Part 2: Klahanie annexation”

Why Klahanie annexation, water fight matter to Sammamish

This is the “Sammamish Comment.” So why am I spending so much time on a water fight between Issaquah and the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District and the proposed annexation by Issaquah of Klahanie?

Because of the impacts on Sammamish, which could be profound.

The water fight and the annexation are the crescendo of long-running disputes between Sammamish and Issaquah, in which Issaquah has basically stiff-armed Sammamish at nearly every turn–most notably years-long efforts to adjust the financial contributions of the many partners in the Eastside Fire and Rescue (EFR) service.

Sammamish, by assessed value of the homes and land, pays the largest share into EFR. But Issaquah generates more calls. By Sammamish’s analysis, Issaquah should be paying about $500,000 a year more than it is based on the actual calls.

Issaquah refuses to adjust. Relations between Sammamish and Issaquah have reached a breaking point. Sammamish will decide soon whether to withdraw from EFR and form its own fire department or possibly even an alliance with Redmond.

Sammamish might close “Klahanie” fire station

Sammamish has warned that if Klahanie annexes to Issaquah, Station 83, more commonly known as the Klahanie fire station–which is owned by Sammamish and located at SE 32nd and Issaquah-Pine Lake Road–may be closed. Issaquah, according to our information from Sammamish, has already told our leaders it won’t buy the station.

This didn’t stop the Issaquah police chief from telling Klahanie residents that he could co-locate a police sub-station at the Klahanie fire station, a comment that came as a surprise to Sammamish officials.

Issaquah’s arrogance over EFR matters–and the continued unfair financial burden Sammamish taxpayers have because of Issaquah–is an issue unto itself but it’s also tied to the Klahanie annexation.

Continue reading “Why Klahanie annexation, water fight matter to Sammamish”

Why Issaquah Can’t be Trusted, Part 1 Update

KIRO TV did this news report Friday evening about the cybersquatting by Issaquah of the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District.

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What is especially incredible about this whole affair is this: Mayor Ava Frisinger says Issaquah created the typosquatting URLs to counter what she claims is misinformation coming from the Water District. Even if one believed the “misinformation” charge, the fact that Issaquah undertook a practice universally considered internationally to be unethical and in some circumstances illegal is astonishing. It’s even more so that the chief executive officer of the city, Mayor Frisinger, and its spokeswoman are defending this.