Forgetting who you’re serving at the Sammamish City Council

All too often, elected officials forget who they were elected to serve. This unfortunately is the case with some on the Sammamish City Council.

Artwork via Google images.

During the course of this year, Sammamish Comment chronicled a number of important issues in which the Council and the City Administration practiced benign neglect. In many cases, individual Council Members have pursued personal agenda, played follow the leader or blamed citizens for being whiners or misunderstanding what they are supposed to understand.

These attitudes are why Washington D.C. and Olympia (WA) are so dysfunctional and failing to serve the peoples’ interest in pursuit of their own. It’s why Sammamish citizens voted to incorporate in 1998: to get out from under an unresponsive King County government that ignored our wishes and needs.

Certainly being our own City proved far more beneficial than being under the King County Council. We have roads and parks we weren’t going to get under the County rule. We have community events, notably our Fourth of July, Sammamish Nights and similar activities we’d never get under King County.

But the City is letting citizens down in a number of areas due to the benign neglect and personal agendas referenced above. For example:

Skipping the Cascadia Rising earthquake drill

There are a lot of things in government that fall within the category of “What were you thinking?”

Skipping the Cascadia Rising earthquake drill tops the list.

The Sammamish Comment revealed October 5 that the City skipped the sign-up deadline last year to participate in a regional Cascadia Rising earthquake preparedness drill that outlines a scenario of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hitting Sammamish. (The scenario’s epicenter is the Cascadia Subduction Fault off the Washington coastline, with a 9.0 epicenter magnitude.)

Sammamish had no plans to participate. Until after The Comment began making inquiries.

This is a huge public safety issue. This is the worst example of benign neglect yet by our City and City Council. Read the details here.

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Standing up to government and for the citizens; or standing up for the status quo

The Sammamish City Council election this year has a number of issues before voters. One of the key issues is not about roads or trees or parks or finances. It’s about a philosophy of government. It’s about standing up to the government and for the citizens or standing up for the status quo.

Tom Vance

Mayor Tom Vance, seeking reelection, and Mark Cross, a former mayor and city councilman seeking to return to the Council after a four year absence, stand for the status quo. They have endorsed each other for election.

Christie Malchow

Council Member Ramiro Valderrama, seeking reelection to a second term, Christie Malchow (running opposite Cross) and Tom Hornish (opposite Vance), both newcomers, stand for standing up to government and for the citizens.

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Knocking down barricades

One of the most controversial issues that has faced the City Council since before Sammamish was incorporated is whether to remove barricades in neighborhoods throughout the City to improve traffic connections.

This was a major campaign issue in the 1999 City Council election and again in the 2009 election. More people have turned out for this than any other issue.

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