City Council faces a pivotal decision on Town Center; STCA proposal reveals phase II details

By Miki Mullor
Editor

UPDATE: tonight’s City Council meeting has been cancelled.

The new majority on the  Sammamish City Council will face its first major decision tonight on the Town Center – whether to revamp the Town Center plan, or focus on adjustments. This decision comes as new details on further phases of Town Center are revealed in an unsolicited proposal developer STCA made to Sound Transit to place a “transit center” on one of its properties. 

STCA’s proposal details a total of 2,000 homes (6,000 residents), 2,000 employees and 11,000 daily customers in the area west of 228th Ave, above the Met Market complex.

Tonight’s meeting is closed to  public attendance due to the coronavirus but will be broadcast live on Channel 21 and on Facebook, starting at 6:30pm:

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Pivotal hearing in Gerend vs. Sammamish will be held tomorrow at city hall

By Miki Mullor
Editor

Tomorrow, Friday, March 6, at 9am in Sammamish Council Chambers, the Growth Management Hearing Board of Central Puget Sound will hold a hearing on the merits in the Don Gerend v. City of Sammamish case over the city’s new concurrency rules. 

The board granted the Sammamish Comment’s request to record and broadcast the hearing to the public. The City of Sammamish agreed to broadcast it live on Channel 21 starting at 9am.  A recording of it will be available on the City’s YouTube Channel. 

UPDATE: due to public health restrictions, the hearing is closed to the public.

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City’s emergency manager transferred amid controversy

By Miki Mullor
Editor

The Sammamish emergency preparedness manager was transferred to Fire District 10 on March 2 amid controversy that goes across a broad spectrum. The transfer is unrelated to the Coronavirus outbreak.

  • Complaint of harassment and political retaliation levied against council member Pam Stuart by the City’s Emergency Preparedness Manager employee, Andrew Stevens.
  • Stuart subsequently levied a charge of making a threat against Stevens.
  • Stuart complains of Stevens’ wife’s involvement in a Facebook election-oriented group and being “very mean.”
  • Roots date to 2015 during the administration of then-Mayor Tom Vance and then-city manager Ben Yazici, when neglect and equipment failure was revealed.
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City Staff Secretly Meets With King County On Growth

By Miki Mullor
Editor

Sammamish staff took deliberate steps to keep a meeting with county officials secret in order to avoid public records requests, Sammamish Comment discovered.

The meeting involved discussion to set growth targets for Sammamish. 

Staff-to-staff meetings aren’t typically public. They aren’t announced on government websites, meeting notices aren’t issued and the public isn’t invited to attend. But it’s highly unusual that a government takes steps to keep the meeting secret from public records.

Sammamish did just that over a meeting last month. Calendar entries for Sammamish staffers didn’t list the purpose of the meeting. A voice mail specifically detailed the motive to avoid public records requests.

Ironically, The Comment obtained the entries and voice mail under a public records request and was nevertheless able to piece together the purpose of the meeting and the motive for hiding it.

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City listens to Gerend on legal representation in his case against the city

By Miki Mullor
Editor

  • Former Mayor Don Gerend, suing the city, advises who city’s attorneys should be – and the city is set to award a contract.
  • Mass exodus of lawyers sets up new firm Gerend recommends.

Former Mayor Don Gerend, who challenged Sammamish’s stricter traffic concurrency testing ordinance adopted last year, recommended that the city council keep its attorneys after a group of them defected from Kenyon Disend and set up their own law firm.

And, tonight at the council appears ready to follow the advice of the plaintiff asking the Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB) to overturn a piece of legislation that is critical to measuring traffic in future development applications.

The city’s law firm since incorporation in 1999, Kenyon Disend, lost five of its 10 attorneys in November, when those five attorneys abruptly resigned to start their own law firm. Two of those attorneys represented the city in the Gerend case. 

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