The Sammamish Chamber of Commerce vowed to defy the City Council and proceed with the annual Farmers Market despite the city cancelling all its sponsored public events this year due to the Coronavirus crisis.
The Chamber has managed the Market under contract to the City since 2009. The City also partially funds the Market.
But the director of the Market, Deborah Sogge, claims the Market is a Chamber event despite a clear City contract and five-figure funding from the City budget—taxpayer dollars.
The Market has been held in City Plaza since inception.
The 2019 Sammamish City Council election turned out to be the classic David vs Goliath fight.
The supporters of Karen McKnight, Rituja Indapure and Karen Howe (the McK3) amassed a record amount of money to defeat incumbent Christie Malchow and her allies, Ken Gamblin and Kent Treen (the M3).
Supporters of the McK3 were determined to defeat Malchow in particular, as well as the two “Ks”. They wanted to take over the city council with a 5-2 majority, or at the very least, a 4-3 majority, to push forward with the Town Center—potentially up zoning it and removing height restrictions. They wanted to weaken traffic concurrency standards, which would have the effect of loosening development potential in the rest of the city.
A Sammamish Chamber of Commerce vice president this week called for denser development and taller buildings in a piece containing scathing criticism of the city council published on the chamber’s website.
At least a half dozen supporters of Sammamish Council Member Ramiro Valderrama who lent their names to his Endorsements page on his campaign website have been pressured and intimidated to remove their names, eliminate references to their titles and affiliations and in some cases, drop their endorsement of Valderrama and endorse his opponent, Hank Klein, a Sammamish Comment investigation has shown.
In addition, efforts are underway by Valderrama’s opponents to dig up “dirt” to make allegations of impropriety in the closing weeks of the campaign, it has been learned.
The pressure and intimidation have been traced to some members of the so-called Gang of 4, the ruling majority of the Sammamish City Council, according to interviews.