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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Rodne won’t run for reelection

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.

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Funding for roads used for other priorities, wrote former Public Works director

  • 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.

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Council takes up 2018 budget tonight–“crossover point” (deficit spending) appears to arrive years early

The long-awaited “crossover point” when deficit spending occurs for the Sammamish city budget—in recent years projected to be early next decade—may be here now.

The City Council takes up the budget tonight and a comparison of revised figures by Council Candidate Mark Baughman shows proposed expenditures exceed projected revenues by $4m.

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In 2006, Sammamish pointed to concurrency to stop growth

As the Sammamish City Council looks at alternatives for traffic concurrency policies to

SE 228th in Sammamish, off-rush hour. Seattle Times photo via Google images.

cope with development and growth, Members should revisit a May 2006 statement by the then-City Manager who said concurrency can be used to limit growth.

That statement, in the City Newsletter by Ben Yazici, stands in stark contrast to statements this summer by his successor, Lyman Howard, Vic Saleman, a traffic engineer consultant, and the City staff, that this isn’t strictly true.

The Council has a study session tonight beginning at 5:30pm at City Hall that includes a focus on concurrency options.

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Seatax fatigue may affect Sammamish tax need

Sound Transit 3 would not have passed without an overwhelming Yes vote from Seattle. The tax hike still is reverberating. (Sammamish voted 52%-48% against this new tax.)

Dow Constantine, King County Executive headquartered in Seattle, proposes a $469m countywide tax for arts.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray proposed a $275m five-year city tax to combat homelessness. Then he dropped the idea and proposed instead a county-wide tax that would raise $335m over five years.

Seattle never met a tax it didn’t like. Despite the suburbs often rejecting new taxes, the overwhelming concentration of Yes votes in Seattle usually carriers the day.

It’s not Seattle anymore. It’s Seatax.

And Seatax fatigue may make it harder for Sammamish to raise taxes for new road projects or land preservation acquisition.

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Issaquah-Fall City Road cost jumps 36% over pre-annexation estimate

The construction cost of Issaquah-Fall City Road (IFC) improvements quietly has gone up by 36%.

Or has it?

The Sammamish City Newsletter says the improvements to Issaquah-Fall City Road will now cost $36m. In 2015, the figure was $23m.

The March Sammamish City Newsletter’s page 1 article updating the plans to widen Issaquah-Fall City Road is the following, opening paragraph:

“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.

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