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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Sammamish hires full-time emergency management director

Sammamish has hired its first emergency preparedness director.

Andrew Stevens, the emergency manager of Downey (CA), starts work April 17. He holds

Andrew Stevens, Sammamish’s first full-time emergency management director.

the same position in Downey (CA).

“I’m very pleased that we were able to attract and hire Andrew Stevens to the position of Emergency Manager,” Sammamish City Manager Lyman Howard wrote in an email to The Sammamish Comment..
The folks on the interview panel were impressed and delighted as well.  I’ve also heard positive comments from the regional Emergency Management community, that we made a good choice.  Andrew starts April 17th.”

The appointment comes nearly two years after The Comment revealed Sammamish was going skip a multi-state, multi-jurisdictional, Canadian-US earthquake disaster drill called Cascadia Rising. Sammamish scrambled to join after the revelation.

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Sammamish electeds have history of using private email accounts

Special Report: (10 pages when printed.)

  • Council Members routinely used private email accounts for City-related business.
  • Expansive Public Records Request during 2015 Council elections brought issue to fore.
  • One Council Member, acting as a private citizen, demanded emails on private account from another Council Member.
  • The City Attorney, paid for by tax dollars, became de facto attorney for the “private citizen” Council Member.
  • Two Council Members subsequently failed to produce emails from their private accounts.
  • One of the two Council Members failed to produce emails from her private account again in 2016 pursuant to a PRR.

Hillary Clinton’s email was a story that wouldn’t die in the presidential campaign, dogging her right through the Nov. 8 election.

The City of Sammamish has its own problems over emails. Council members routinely used private emails for city business and when it comes to complying with the Washington State law for Public Records Requests (PRR), some members aren’t always forthcoming with documents.

One City Council Member was explicit that a controversial topic should be discussed using private emails to avoid public disclosures through City emails.

The City Attorney’s position on compliance in responding to Public Records Requests appears inconsistent.

The issue is about transparency in government and complying with the law.

Requirements to hand over emails from personal accounts is well established in Washington State. A Bainbridge Island case is illustrative. See here and here.

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Endorsements in the 5th Legislative District: Mullet, Ritchie, Graves

Sammamish is covered in part by three districts in the Washington State Legislature: the 5th, 41st and 45th. Endorsements today are the for 5th. The 41st will be listed tomorrow. The 45th will be on Monday. An endorsement in the Sound Transit 3 balloting will appear Tuesday.

5th Legislative District

The 5th includes the greater Klahanie area of Sammamish. The State Senate and two House seats are up for election this year.

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