Valderrama, Howard sought a Developer Agreement with STCA without council authorization

Sammamish City Council Member Ramiro Valderrama and City Manager Lyman Howard last year wanted to negotiate a Developer Agreement with Town Center developer STCA, without the required council approval, Sammamish Comment learned.

Ramiro Valderrama

The revelation is in an email (click to read it) dated Nov. 21, 2017, that the city manager designated “attorney client privileged.” The email was recently determined to be not privileged and released in a public records request.

The email was addressed to another city employee and cc’d to the city attorney and a second city employee. Howard’s labeling the email attorney-client privilege is intended to bar the email from public disclosure.

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Valderrama’s hypocrisy over Hornish issue

Analysis

Ramiro Valderrama

Sammamish City Council member Ramiro Valderrama displayed hypocrisy last Tuesday in his aggressive attempt to force fellow member Tom Hornish to remain on committees following acceptance of a new job in the private sector.

Two years ago, Valderrama sought a new job in the public sector that would have had direct conflict of interest with his city council position. It would have meant choosing between his new job and the council when it came to attending meetings and committee meetings. It likely meant Valderrama would have missed the council’s annual retreat at which goals and committee assignments are made for the coming year.

Yet Valderrama vowed to retain his council position if he got the new job and brushed aside all objections from his constituents.

When Hornish stepped up and recognized time constraints were coming, resigned his position as deputy mayor and stepped off all but one committee, Valderrama—oblivious o his own actions two years earlier—objected and engaged in a transparent attempt to set Hornish up to fail and ultimately force him off the council.

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Next to Last meeting for four Council members; reception tonight

Tonight is the next to last meeting for four Sammamish City Council members, who chose to retire rather than seek reelection.

Don Gerend is the dean of the Council. He has been on the body since the first Council was elected in 1999.

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Valderrama cites fake facts in Town Center moratorium flip-flop

Ramiro Valderrama

Sammamish City Council Member Ramiro Valderrama, citing what turns out to be a series of unsubstantiated claims, executed a pirouette on his previous vote supporting a moratorium including the Town Center—and went splat.

The Town Center was exempted from the moratorium at the Nov. 21 meeting by a 4-3 vote, with Valderrama, Mayor Bob Keller and Council Members Don Gerend and Kathy Huckabay voting to lift it.

Valderrama said his vote always was about storm water management for the Town Center. In voting to exempt the Town Center, Valderrama claimed the emergency moratorium was not about traffic concurrency.

This simply wasn’t true.

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Sammamish’s Tax Day of Reckoning has arrived

The Tax Day of Reckoning for Sammamish has arrived.

The City Council tonight may decide whether to adopt a 1% property tax hike, something Councils have avoided for the past eight years.

It could even decide to recapture the eight years of deferrals, or an 8% increase in property taxes, but this is unlikely.

Council Member Don Gerend also suggested the possibility of a utility tax during a study session last night.

Council Member Kathy Huckabay suggested a Transportation Benefit District tax dedicated only to road projects.

Continue reading “Sammamish’s Tax Day of Reckoning has arrived”

City Council candidates vow no tax hike but endorse new spending anyway

All eight candidates for Sammamish City Council vowed last night that they would not raise taxes, but nonetheless most of them endorsed a host of new spending programs.

A few expressed fiscal caution about new programs and only one called out endorsement of new debt bonds for road infrastructures as “not free.”

This was perhaps the highlight of the only forum for all eight Council candidates for the Nov. 7 election. Eight people are running for four positions. Ballots are mailed to voters Oct. 18.

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The inside story of how traffic and concurrency became “the No. 1 issue in Sammamish:” failure, success of government

Update, July 25, 2017: The reporter for the Issaquah/Sammamish Reporter has been transferred to sister papers in the Bothell-Kenmore area.

A Special Report

This is seven pages when printed.

By Scott Hamilton

Analysis

Traffic and concurrency in Sammamish is a classic example of failure, and success, in government. It’s a glaring failure of the local newspaper.

It’s a success story of how a single citizen forced debate on an issue that even determined City Council members could not.

Here is the back-story of how traffic and concurrency became “the No. 1 priority in Sammamish.” A sequential history is necessary before we get to the punch line.

Continue reading “The inside story of how traffic and concurrency became “the No. 1 issue in Sammamish:” failure, success of government”