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.
Lost in all the hoopla over the Legislature’s vote to exempt itself from the Public Records
Jay Rodne. Photo via Google images.
Act and the drama over its repeal, State Rep. Jay Rodne (R-5th) announced Feb. 28 he won’t run for reelection.
Rodne vote for the exemption. He was nearly defeated in 2016 by Jason Ritchie, a Democrat who lives in the Klahanie neighborhood in Sammamish. Ritchie led Rodne on election night but the tide turned as votes were counted, and Rodne won reelection narrowly.
Ritchie ran the next year for Sammamish City Council and won.
City Council Member Tom Odell is on the record—several times—that Sammamish neglected its road infrastructure for 10 years. Charts and graphs below tell the depressing story.
“[F]unding that could have been used for transportation capital projects was used for other priorities such as city hall, the city’s street maintenance program, the YMCA/Community Center and to some extent, even the city’s parks capital projects,” wrote the City’s former Director of Public Works in June 2017.
If Sammamish residents want to know why there is so much traffic congestion, two visuals created by citizen Miki Mullor tells the story easier than long, drawn out narratives can.
“When 10,000 Klahanie-area residents came into Sammamish last year, the city knew that a big responsibility was going to follow them through the door – a $36 million item known as Issaquah-Fall City Road.”
This figure is not what the City told Klahanie residents and the taxpayers of legacy Sammamish when promoting annexation to Sammamish.
Instead, then-City Manager Ben Yazici and then-Mayor Tom Vance said IFC Road would cost $23m, a reduction from the $38.8m King County priced the road improvements, cited by Issaquah.