In a maneuver reminiscent of Sen. John Kerry’s infamous “I was for it before I voted against it” declaration in the 2004 presidential election, Sammamish Council Member Pam Stuart declared she would support taking the 1% property tax increase allowed by law.
Council Member Pam Stuart
Then she voted against it when the vote was called.
She was the deciding vote in causing the motion to fail.
The vote came after the council on Nov. 19 added $270,000 to the city’s expenditures for the next year that hadn’t been budgeted.
This included $120,100 for the Technology Fund and $150,000 for a grant in the Health and Human Services Commission dedicated for youth mental health.
Sept. 20, 2019: It is now clear that the Sammamish City Council election this year has come down to one issue: unfettered development across the city vs controlling development so it doesn’t further overwhelm the roads and aggravate the congestion that already exists.
All other issues have taken a back seat.
If you support unfettered development, Karen McKnight, Rituja Indapure and Karen Howe are your choices for council.
If you want to control development and moderate traffic congestion, Christie Malchow, Kent Treen and Ken Gamblin are your choices.
Sept. 16, 2019: The agreement between Sammamish and the YMCA for the latter to run the community center was the result of a sole-source, no-bid contract.
No Request for Proposals was issued that would compete management of the center.
The contract between Sammamish and the YMCA was a sole-source, no-bid arrangement. No Requests for Proposals were issued. A Sammamish businessman wanted to bid. City of Sammamish photo.
An offer by a Sammamish health club owner to submit a bid that would return 15% of the gross receipts to the city didn’t even get a hearing.
One of the leading advocates throughout the years for the YMCA was a city council member who also sat on the YMCA board, a clear conflict of interest that was ignore by the city administration and a successive series of city councils. (This member was off the council in 2012-13, when the votes were held.)
The YMCA was fundamentally the only entity supported by the city for nearly a decade before a contract was negotiated.
These lie at the roots of the current controversial examination of the city’s management contract with the YMCA that sees the agency siphoning off $1.4m a year to the Greater Seattle YMCA rather than keeping the money in Sammamish or sharing the profits with the city’s general fund.
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.