City-YMCA deal was sole-source, no-bid contract, no Requests for Proposals issued

By Scott Hamilton

Analysis

Sept. 16, 2019: The agreement between Sammamish and the YMCA for the latter to run the community center was the result of a sole-source, no-bid contract.

No Request for Proposals was issued that would compete management of the center.

The contract between Sammamish and the YMCA was a sole-source, no-bid arrangement. No Requests for Proposals were issued. A Sammamish businessman wanted to bid. City of Sammamish photo.

An offer by a Sammamish health club owner to submit a bid that would return 15% of the gross receipts to the city didn’t even get a hearing.

One of the leading advocates throughout the years for the YMCA was a city council member who also sat on the YMCA board, a clear conflict of interest that was ignore by the city administration and a successive series of city councils. (This member was off the council in 2012-13, when the votes were held.)

The YMCA was fundamentally the only entity supported by the city for nearly a decade before a contract was negotiated.

These lie at the roots of the current controversial examination of the city’s management contract with the YMCA that sees the agency siphoning off $1.4m a year to the Greater Seattle YMCA rather than keeping the money in Sammamish or sharing the profits with the city’s general fund.

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Sammamish Chamber VP calls for denser development, taller buildings

By Miki Mullor
Editor

A Sammamish Chamber of Commerce vice president this week called for denser development and taller buildings in a piece containing scathing criticism of the city council published on the chamber’s website.

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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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How the Town Center plan happened

By Scott Hamilton

Commentary

Aug. 22, 2019: There is a lack of knowledge about how the Sammamish Town Center Plan unfolded and what it is today.

Here is how it happened.

Sammamish became a city in 1999. One of the first orders of business was to create the Comprehensive Plan. The first city council appointed 17 citizens to what was called the Planning Advisory Board (PAB) to draft a plan.

The PAB had a cross-section of Sammamish residents: environmentalists, developers, real estate agents, business people and people simply interested in serving. I was on the PAB.

The PAB worked over 18 months on all elements except one: the area that became the Town Center.

The PAB was directed by that first city council to wrap up its work just as we got to the center of town. Whereas nearly all new cities took three years to complete its first Comp Plan, that city council and the city manager at the time, Ben Yazici, wanted it done in record time.

The center of town was set aside for its own process—which took from 2001 to the end of 2009.

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Indapure jumps to early, big lead in fund raising

Sammamish City Council Position 6 candidate Rituja Indapure jump to an early and big lead in fund raising, according to reports filed through Wednesday with the Washington Public Disclosure Commission.

Indapure raised nearly $18,300 from 87 contributions. Fifty-six percent of the contributors come from within Sammamish.

Karen McKnight, candidate for Position 2 opposing incumbent Christie Malchow, is a distance second fund raiser, with $3,641 listed in her PDC filing.

Malchow is fourth at $1,910. Kent Treen, running for Position 4, is third, with $2,100 in contributions.

The others haven’t reported raising any money yet.

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Council candidate Gamblin misses PDC filing deadlines

Ken Gamblin

Sammamish City Council candidate Ken Gamblin filed his required paperwork with the state Public Disclosure Commission this week, long after the deadline for candidates to do so.

The last day for candidates to file for election was May 17. Forms called C1, C3 and F1 are required for candidacies, financial contributions and financial disclosures and must be filed within 10 days of declaring candidacy.

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Treen, Gamblin file for city council candidacy

By Miki Mullor
Editor

Two more candidates filed yesterday for Sammamish City Council candidacy: Ken Gamblin filed for seat 6 opposing Rituja Indapure. Kent Treen filed seat 4, opposing Ryika Hooshangi and Karen Howe. As it stands today, seat 4 will have a primary in August. Both Treen and Gamblin are first time candidates.

The deadline for filing for the election with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission is Friday.

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