April 26, 2022: Some on the Sammamish City Council just don’t get it. Mayor Christie Malchow and Member Karen Moran sure don’t.
Members Amy Lam, Kali Clark, and Karen Howe get it, especially Howe. Howe provided an eloquent argument for why the Rudat ethics investigative reports should be made public. She is providing leadership that is, sadly, absent from Mayor Malchow, who now flip-flops her votes. She did so twice in last week’s meeting.
Sammamish Comment has written much about the Rudat probe and why the reports of his misdeeds should be made public. We won’t repeat these long details. Last Tuesday’s city council meeting brings up new issues in the debate over releasing the reports.
March 15, 2022: The Sammamish City Council owes its citizens a full and transparent accounting of the Dave Rudat mess. In fact, there is an overriding public interest to do so.
There is a cover-up that is keeping all the sordid details out of public view. The Settlement Agreement approved on a 4-2 vote in which Rudat, the City Manager, receives an estimated $300,000 golden parachute raises questions whether the council entered into the agreement to cover up charges by Rudat’s supporters of malfeasance on the part of most of the previous council. Six of the seven members of the previous council—Christie Malchow, Chris Ross, Ken Gamblin, Kent Treen, Pam Stuart, and Tom Odell—deny the accusations. Karen Moran did not respond to Sammamish Comment’s inquiry.
Malchow, who was deputy mayor when the investigation of Rudat began and one of its chief supporters, is now mayor. She has mishandled this entire affair. The object of scathing criticism during the probe, fellow council members said she chickened out when it came to the first vote in November whether to fire Rudat or suspend him. Bowing to criticism, fellow council members said she counted the votes and realized she would not prevail—so rather than vote to fire Rudat, she supported suspension instead.
Malchow said the information presented to the council only supported the suspension.
But how is the public to know? The Sammamish taxpayers funded the hiring of two outside counsels to conduct the investigation and another to represent three minority council members who opposed the probe from the start. The total cost has not been tallied, but it is certainly in the tens of thousands of dollars, as the investigator alone charged the city more than $30,000, the agreement shows
These were the words of Gerald R. Ford, minutes after he was sworn in as the 38th President of the United State.
The events of Jan. 6 as Trump supporters invaded and occupied the Capitol proves our current, long national nightmare isn’t over yet. But it appears a crescendo was reached.
President-elect Joe Biden takes office Jan. 20. He’s got one huge mess bequeathed to him by Trump. Biden must end the COVID pandemic. He must repair the economy. He faces damaged US standing on the global stage. And he must repair the divisions within the US.
Thanks to everybody carrying a camera in their pocket via cell phones, the world now sees just how common police misconduct toward blacks remains.
Whether it is excessive use of force or gunning down someone, cell phone videos make it clear and unequivocal there is a systemic problem in law enforcement.
This problem doesn’t stop with police agencies. We now can see that all too often, prosecutors are complicit in covering up these police crimes, either by commission or omission of investigating and prosecuting.
It’s that time again. The time that you, as a resident, citizen, and hopefully a voter, get to decide on the future of our both our local government as well as that of the City of Sammamish.
The decision immediately at hand over the next few days is nothing less that the future nature of our city, Sammamish. Your opportunity to be heard – and counted – will expire next Tuesday evening, November 5th.
At stake is the composition and direction of the next Sammamish City Council. The choice should be clear: one side is for unabated and unrestricted development within our city while the other is for moderated growth that keeps pace with our ability to handle it in terms of the capacity of our transportation system, the schools, and our ability to deal with increasing stormwater runoff issues.