Hank Klein drops out of Council race against Valderrama (developing)

Hank Klein has dropped out of the Position 4 race for Sammamish City Council, but too late to pull is name off the ballot.

“I have decided to drop out of the race for City Council because of personal reasons,” Klein wrote Sammamish Comment today after I left a voice mail for Klein seeking his website address. Through yesterday, no website had been created.

Continue reading “Hank Klein drops out of Council race against Valderrama (developing)”

Sammamish’s war on dogs

Update, May 8, 11am: I received an email from Jessie Bon, who says the Sammamish Review not only misquoted her on the issue of dogs “relieving” themselves in the water–she says she didn’t say anything of the kind:

I believe I was misquoted in the Sammamish Review. To my knowledge (and I’ve watched the tape), I did not make a comment about dogs relieving themselves in the water. In fact, nothing of that nature was said at the council meeting based on my review of the tape this afternoon.

If, indeed, the Review did misconstrue what Bon said or didn’t say, this doesn’t negate the larger issue, and that is the City of Sammamish is engaged in unnecessary action to restrict parks from dogs. Big Rock Park’s North Meadow makes a great run/play area and Evans Creek Park has acres and acres of meadow for which no use whatsoever is undertaken.

Update, May 8, 12n: I’ve now received an email from Ari Cetron retracting the dogs relieve themselves portion of his story. Cetron writes:

She was generally right about the water. I actually just reviewed the tape myself. She didn’t say the dogs relieve themselves in the water, she said there would be “sanitation issues” with dogs on ballfields and kids then playing the the field. I conflated the two situations and have corrected it online.

Original Post:

The City of Sammamish continues its war on dogs.

This week’s Sammamish Review has this article that proposes more regulations banning dogs from pretty much any public park and property. The Review writes:

The new regulations all but bans dogs from large parts of Sammamish parks. Four-legged friends, even on a leash, would no longer be permitted on athletic fields, in picnic shelters, or in water bodies and their associated beaches, docks and nearby marine areas.
[Parks director Jessi] Bon said she understands some dog owners like to take their pets to swim at city lakes, but noted that animals might relieve themselves in the water, causing potential health problems for people. She also noted some areas where dogs are currently allowed might also be taken off the list if the animals destroy vegetation.

Apparently Bon doesn’t own a dog, or so it seems. Dogs have very distinct postures when “relieving” themselves and after a lifetime of owning dogs, I’ve never seen one do so in the water. They splash, swim, wade and even run. People are more likely to “relieve” themselves than are dogs. The larger problem of urine and feces in the water comes from ducks, geese, fish and other wildlife.

Dogs are already restricted at all the city parks in some form or another. The exception, if you want to call it that, is the prison-like off-lease area at Beaver Lake Park, a very small area that can be walked around in five minutes. Big Rock Park and Evans Creek Park have large, open fields that are used for nothing that make great play areas to run and chase balls–but our City Council designates these entire parks as on-leash parks.

The vote was 5-1-1.

This is another nanny state effort on the part of the City Council.

Welcome to Sammamish, Klahanie.

Odell announces re-election bid

Tom Odell yesterday announced his bid for re-election to a second term on the Sammamish City Council. He’s currently Mayor, which is selected by council members. The Mayor serves a two year term (the Deputy Mayor, also selected by peers, is a one-year term).

That leaves Don Gerend yet to announce, though his fellow council members says Gerend plans to seek another term. He was first elected in 1999 and is the only remaining original city council member.

Insulting the staff, by councilman-wannabe

John Galvin wants to be a city councilman, with oversight of the city staff via the city manager. Yet for years, Galvin has regularly abused the staff with verbal and written insults and intimidation.

Two recent examples are just the tip of the iceberg.

In an email (March 31, 2011, 8:09 am), Galvin wrote Eric La France on the staff in which he said, in part:

“If you and Ms. Currey [another staff member] are prepared to put your so called professional judgement (sic) to a practical, real life test, then you will make an appearance. We will have video cameras to record your visit and comments.” He goes on to write, “so-called scientists like you” and “Personally, I have lost respect for your professional judgement (sic).”

In an email (June 15, 2011, 9:26am), to council member John Curley, titled “Pull the other leg,” Galvin wrote about the community center process:

“[Consultant] Herbet’s presentation on a 12 person focus group was a complete con job.” And: “The entire process is a con job. The Kellman property was the desired outcome….No talk about funding means this is a fake plan….”

Galvin likes to brag he has a PhD in psychology. Even a first-year psychology student knows that insulting, berating and intimidating people is poor psychology. Galvin deserves a refund of his degree.

Whitten goes off the deep end on affordable housing

It was a perplexing comment in The Sammamish Review profile of Nancy Whitten, seeking election to her third term on the City Council.

Here’s the bizarre portion of the article:

Whitten said she is also concerned about Town Center’s requirement that 10 percent of a development’s housing units be “affordable,” in that they can be rented by a family with an annual income of about $54,000. Having grown up in Chicago, she points to the infamous Cabrini-Green public housing project as an example of the downfalls of clustering affordable housing together.

“I question, socially, if we want to pack that much affordable housing in that small of an area,” she said.

I, too, am from Chicago (the Western suburbs) and know well the history of Cabrini Green. In the heart of Chicago, the place was a notorious housing project owned and operated by the City–not privately-owned units administered by a local organization like Seattle’s Arch. It was a densely-packed project for thousands of people of low income.

Chicago’s Cabrini Green. This is no Sammamish.

The affordable housing plan for Sammamish is a required 10% of the 2,000 units throughout the Town Center (with an option to go up to 20% of any given project), and families would have an average income of $54,000–which in their dreams, nobody residing in Cabrini-Green remotely made (except through illicit activities, perhaps).

The Chicago Housing Authority so mis-managed the “projects,” as it was known, and crime was so rampant, that the projects were eventually torn down.

Sammamish’s affordable housing plan doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to Cabrini-Green, and Whitten knows it.

In fact, the Town Center Plan doesn’t even remotely resemble the one once advanced by the Lake Washington School District, which owns 15 acres in the Town Center (not all of which is buildable). LWSD once proposed 144 units on this site, all of which would be affordable, for professions like teachers, police officers and fire fighters. Insofar as the proposal came very early in the Comprehensive Plan process, it was deemed premature and LWSD withdrew the plan.

The Town Center plan calls for a minimum of 200 and a maximum of 400 units, scattered throughout the 100 buildable acres.

What is Whitten thinking?

Galvin flouts law in candidacy

John Galvin, who has spent years complaining about and alleging that Sammamish flouted its own procedures and the law in the Town Center process, flouted the law when it came to his own candidacy for the Sammamish City Council.

Galvin declared his candidacy May 12, in opposition to incumbent Nancy Whitten. Under state law–and clearly defined for new candidates on the Public Disclosure Commission website–Galvin had 14 days to file is paperwork with the PDC. The paperwork is called a C-1, which lists his candidacy and his campaign treasurer, and an F-1, which is a financial disclosure statement.

The C-1 and the F-1 were required to be filed by May 26. He did not file and the PDC was alerted to this failure the next day. The PDC then contacted Galvin, and he finally filed his paperwork dated May 31 and received June 1. Here it is:  Galvin PDC Candidate Filings.

Galvin has a history thinking that the rules don’t apply to him. Throughout the last decade, Galvin has routinely shouted out from the back of the city council chambers, disrupting the meeting. The City Council, Planning Commission and Park Commission all have time limits for public comments so no one member of the public monopolizes the time. The public comment period, three minutes for individuals and five minutes for a representative of a group, is timed and a bell goes off when the time is up. The Mayor and chairmen routinely let the speaker go perhaps 30 seconds over to complete his or her thought but Galvin routinely abuses the process. He not only ignores the time limit and the bell, he often also ignores the admonition to wrap up. He routinely goes two-three minutes over the time and in one case talked for 12 1/2 minutes. (Mayor Gerend deserves blame for indulging this frequent, routine, blatant and egregious violation of the rules.)

Galvin has proved over and over that rules and courtesy don’t apply to him. Now he’s demonstrated the state law doesn’t apply to him, either. This is not a person citizens want or need on our city council.

Sammamish Legislator proposes eminent domain restriction

State Rep. Larry Springer (D-45th) has introduced a bill in the Legislature that would restrict government’s ability to condemn property and resell it for commercial purposes. Springer represents the northern end of Sammamish.

The Sammamish Review has this story.

I proposed such a restriction in testimony during public comment before the City Council as a protection for homeowners in the Town Center. The City Council rejected the recommendation.