By Miki Mullor
A months-long investigation by Sammamish Comment that includes email interviews with staff and public records requests reveal city staff opposition to restoring a stringent stormwater standard in the Town Center area.
- Staff opposes the former standard because the soil in the Town Center makes it “infeasible” to implement.
- In public, staff said the standard or an equivalent to it, is in place.
- In private meetings with council members, staff admitted it was eliminated and opposed restoring it.
- STCA’s Phase I 400 homes permit’s stormwater section was approved although the developer said it is not implementing it because “it is not feasible”.
- The City does not know the impact of the currently enacted and relaxed standards on the creeks and downstream homes.
- City Manager David Rudat on The Comment’s investigation: “a take down”.
By Josh Amato
The City of Sammamish budget is in a structural deficit — the amount of money coming into the General Fund (operations) is less than the expenses going out.
With this year’s original spending proposal, the biennial budget was in a $16.6m deficit. The deficit could be fixed by raising taxes, cutting expenses, using Fund Balance (reserves), or a mix of all three. The Council has known this day would come for a long time – as far back as 2016. But it seems no matter who won the last election, nearly every candidate was opposed to increasing revenue. There was no candidate in 2019 willing to say new taxes would be necessary, except one: Mark Baughman in 2017.
“At the Candidates Forum, the other seven candidates stated their firm opposition to new taxes and then turned around to support bonds to pay for roads,” Sammamish Comment reported at the time. “When it came Baughman’s turn, he was the only candidate to declare that bonds may require a tax hike to pay for them. It’s a truth that needs telling, and Baughman told the truth.”
Baughman was defeated by Jason Ritchie
So here we are.