Valderrama, Howard sought a Developer Agreement with STCA without council authorization

Sammamish City Council Member Ramiro Valderrama and City Manager Lyman Howard last year wanted to negotiate a Developer Agreement with Town Center developer STCA, without the required council approval, Sammamish Comment learned.

Ramiro Valderrama

The revelation is in an email (click to read it) dated Nov. 21, 2017, that the city manager designated “attorney client privileged.” The email was recently determined to be not privileged and released in a public records request.

The email was addressed to another city employee and cc’d to the city attorney and a second city employee. Howard’s labeling the email attorney-client privilege is intended to bar the email from public disclosure.

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Valderrama’s hypocrisy over Hornish issue

Analysis

Ramiro Valderrama

Sammamish City Council member Ramiro Valderrama displayed hypocrisy last Tuesday in his aggressive attempt to force fellow member Tom Hornish to remain on committees following acceptance of a new job in the private sector.

Two years ago, Valderrama sought a new job in the public sector that would have had direct conflict of interest with his city council position. It would have meant choosing between his new job and the council when it came to attending meetings and committee meetings. It likely meant Valderrama would have missed the council’s annual retreat at which goals and committee assignments are made for the coming year.

Yet Valderrama vowed to retain his council position if he got the new job and brushed aside all objections from his constituents.

When Hornish stepped up and recognized time constraints were coming, resigned his position as deputy mayor and stepped off all but one committee, Valderrama—oblivious o his own actions two years earlier—objected and engaged in a transparent attempt to set Hornish up to fail and ultimately force him off the council.

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Next to Last meeting for four Council members; reception tonight

Tonight is the next to last meeting for four Sammamish City Council members, who chose to retire rather than seek reelection.

Don Gerend is the dean of the Council. He has been on the body since the first Council was elected in 1999.

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Valderrama cites fake facts in Town Center moratorium flip-flop

Ramiro Valderrama

Sammamish City Council Member Ramiro Valderrama, citing what turns out to be a series of unsubstantiated claims, executed a pirouette on his previous vote supporting a moratorium including the Town Center—and went splat.

The Town Center was exempted from the moratorium at the Nov. 21 meeting by a 4-3 vote, with Valderrama, Mayor Bob Keller and Council Members Don Gerend and Kathy Huckabay voting to lift it.

Valderrama said his vote always was about storm water management for the Town Center. In voting to exempt the Town Center, Valderrama claimed the emergency moratorium was not about traffic concurrency.

This simply wasn’t true.

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“City Hall will not be the same;” reactions to the emergency building moratorium in Sammamish

The surprise move Tuesday by the Sammamish City Council to adopt an emergency building moratorium was about more than creating a pause to understand how traffic concurrency became an enabler of development rather than a control mechanism.

It was a rebuke to a staff and consultants that, years in the making, had ignored Council policy and the City’s own codes and Comprehensive Plan.

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The inside story of how traffic and concurrency became “the No. 1 issue in Sammamish:” failure, success of government

Update, July 25, 2017: The reporter for the Issaquah/Sammamish Reporter has been transferred to sister papers in the Bothell-Kenmore area.

A Special Report

This is seven pages when printed.

By Scott Hamilton

Analysis

Traffic and concurrency in Sammamish is a classic example of failure, and success, in government. It’s a glaring failure of the local newspaper.

It’s a success story of how a single citizen forced debate on an issue that even determined City Council members could not.

Here is the back-story of how traffic and concurrency became “the No. 1 priority in Sammamish.” A sequential history is necessary before we get to the punch line.

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City Council, in rebuke of Administration, staff, consultants, votes in-depth review of traffic

  • “This is the No. 1 priority of Sammamish citizens.”–Tom Hornish.
  • City’s road program has been to “urbanize” streets, not ease congestion.
  • Administration attempted to discredit Mullor study.
  • Mullor credited with starting important conversation by Council Members.

In what can only be regarded as a searing rebuke of the City Manager, City Staff and outside transportation consultants, the Sammamish City Council voted 6-1 July 18 to pursue an in-depth review of transportation policies.

The Council also agreed to have discussions at every Council meeting in the foreseeable future.

Mayor Bob Keller was the dissenting vote.

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