Sammamish disaster planning “not enough,” says City Manager

June 23, 2016: Sammamish participation in the Cascadia Rising earthquake drill this month was labeled a success, but City Manager Lyman Howard acknowledged the level and scope of participation wasn’t enough.

Lyman made his remarks in an interview last week with Sammamish Comment.

Sammamish wasn’t going to participate at all until The Comment began making inquiries last fall about failure to sign up for the multi-state, multi-jurisdictional, international drill. The drill, assuming an earthquake from then Cascadia fault line off the West Coast, encompassed British Columbia to Northern California.

The drill’s parameters assumed Sammamish telephone and cell phone communications were disrupted and damage on major arterials leading in and out of the City occurred.

Howard told The Comment that Sammamish focused on its inter-agency and emergency communications with local citizen groups, such as the Info Hubs operated by the Sammamish Citizen Corp and CERTs; and Sammamish Plateau Water. City Hall was evacuated. But links to the County and State weren’t tested, nor were there actual drills in the City.

“It’s not enough [what the City did], I’ll be honest,” Howard said. “We’re talking with CERT about annual drills.”

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Sammamish Council Retreat, Day 3: More on barricades; Community Outreach; and more

City_of_SammamishJan. 16, 2016: The third and last day of the Sammamish City Council Retreat saw yet a third run at the 42nd St. barricade issue.

(Our post yesterday has also been updated.)

Greg Reynolds, the leading proponent for removing the barricade, said City officials admitted the roadway on the west side of the barricade is unsafe, requiring action to fix the situation and remove the barricade, or it faces liabilities if it takes no action.

This is the other side of the same coin argued by a leading opponent who has since moved out of state, Rick Kuprewicz, who argued Sammamish would be opening itself to liabilities if it removed the barricade because of the unsafe road.

Sammamish inherited the problems, including the barricade and road design, from King County, which approved both before incorporation.

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Looking ahead to 2016 in Sammamish

Sammamish Comment LogoShortly after the Nov. 3 election, Sammamish Comment identified issues that face the City Council this year. These include:

  • Fully assimilating the Klahanie annexation area into Sammamish.
  • The Sahalee Way road project. The City Staff hasn’t clearly made its case to many residents, or some on the Council, why this project is needed and what it should look like.
  • Appointments to the City commissions.
  • Setting priorities for the year. This should happen at the annual retreat, Jan. 14-16. The retreat begins at 5pm on the 14th and continues to noon on the 16th. It’s at the Murano Hotel in Tacoma.
  • Holding staff accountable to its own codes.
  • Resolution of the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

The full post, with details on these, may be found here.

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Top 10 stories of 2015 in Sammamish

Sammamish Comment LogoHere are the Top 10 stories in Sammamish for 2015, as measured by readership on Sammamish Comment:

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Closing thoughts on the Sammamish City Council election

Tuesday is Election Day, but ballots have been out for more than two weeks. As we count down to Tuesday’s voting for City Council, a few closing thoughts are in order.

Stepping up to the front lines

Hamilton KING5_2

By Scott Hamilton. Photo via Google images.

First, I want to say right up front that as much as I have come to disagree with the direction of the current City Council, I respect and applaud each member’s willingness to step up, serve and be in a position to take the criticism that comes with a public position. Having served eight years on the Planning Advisory Board and the Planning Commission, I was subjected to more than my share of abuse from the public. But let me tell you: each person serving on any city commission and on the City Council deserves the recognition that too few people step up to do the job, and those that do deserve at least a modicum of respect and thanks for doing so.

New Voices, New Perspectives Needed

Having said that, our City Council needs new voices and new perspectives.

I’ve chronicled all year issue after issue on which this City Council and its leadership has failed its citizens. Public records obtained through the Public Records Requests, documents on the City website and through interviews paint a picture of a City Council that has lost touch with its citizens and which has become more interested in maintaining its own power structure and agenda.

Even though the self-branded environmentalists indignantly protest criticism over a belief they have strayed from their brand, the evidence is compelling. The variances routinely granted by staff on traffic and environmental issues in approving development are well documented. Where have these self-branded environmentalists been in providing the oversight of the City Manager, and through him, the staff, for which they are responsible? One letter writer to The Sammamish Review supporting Mayor Tom Vance for reelection said the next council needs to focus on the environment. That’s what this Council and this mayor were supposed to do. The letter writer wrote, “Soon the current city manager will be leaving and I’m hoping that a new era will start – one that focuses on the environment and the original intention of incorporation.” Where was Vance’s leadership, as Mayor for two years and a Council Member for four years, in upholding the “original intention of incorporation”? There has been a huge failure of leadership–Vance’s leadership–and of the self-branded environmentalists on the current City Council. Why reelect the failed leadership in hopes of a “new era?”

When you have a staff that routinely ignores City codes in traffic and environment, and follows unwritten policies, something is very wrong.

When you have a Council that still does not get that the movement behind the Initiative and Referendum was the manifestation of citizens feeling unheard—not because of any burning issue to put up to an Initiative–something is very wrong.

When 55.5% of the people who voted approved the I&R and you still have members of the Council who attempt to diminish the result, something is very wrong.

When you have City Council Members who try to throw a planning commissioner off the commission because she supported the Initiative and Referendum, something is very wrong.

When you have the mayor of the City (not Vance in this case) calling the school superintendent to discipline a school principal because she supported retention of the Eastside Fire and Rescue in contrast to the mayor’s position, something is very wrong.

When you have scores and scores of property owners pleading with the City because King County is trashing the environment and over-reaching on property concerns to build a freeway-like lake trail, only to be ignored until it is too late, something is very wrong.

When the Ruling Majority blithely dismisses the minority members because they can, something is very wrong.

When you have members of the Ruling Majority undertake frontal and covert assaults on one Council member through front-people filing massive email Public Records Requests in an attempt to dig up dirt that doesn’t exist, something is very wrong.

When you have a City Administration and City Council give lip service to disaster preparedness, something is very wrong.

The examples go on and on.

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