Four new members of the Sammamish City Council are sworn in tonight. The mayor for the next two years and deputy mayor for the next year will also be selected.
This new Council has a plethora of thorny issues facing it this year. Many of them come with hefty price tags that could mean a need to raise new taxes, despite universal opposition to any in a county where tax fatigue has set in.
Except for the declared No. 1 priority, traffic, there’s no attempt to prioritize these issues; they are listed in alphabetical order.
Sammamish Comment is looking for a writer to help cover this year’s City Council elections and other issues.
With four Council Members out of seven retiring, this year’s election is guaranteed to see a power shift in the Council that could have deep ramifications for the direction of the City beginning in 2018.
As I announced last August, and which is also discussed in the “About” section, I moved after 20 years in Sammamish to Bainbridge Island in August. While I’ve been covering many issues from Bainbridge, it won’t be feasible to me to be on-the-spot to cover the campaigns of those seeking a Council seat.
There are already six candidates announced for the four positions. More are expected. So a writer who lives in Sammamish is desired.
King County Parks has analyzed all the reported conflicts in East Lake Sammamish Trail (ELST) Section 2B and is working on solutions, King County Council Member Kathy Lambert tells Sammamish Comment.
In an interview March 16, Lambert said the County Parks department created a large book
with the details of the conflicts presented by property owners along 2B, the final section of ELST to be developed into a paved walking/jogging/bike trail.
Section 2B runs north from the 7-11 on East Lake Sammamish Parkway in Sammamish to Inglewood Hill Road. Construction on Section 2A, south of the 7-11 to the Issaquah city limits, is now underway. Section 1, north from Inglewood Hill to the Redmond city limits, is done.
Section 2B has unique conflicts from home development dating to King County’s rule before Sammamish was incorporated and before the County acquired the right-of-way from Burlington Northern Rail Road, which discontinued using it.
There are also some challenging topographical and environmental issues.
Little tangible progress appeared to be the result of a staff-to-staff meeting two weeks ago between King County Parks and Sammamish over the interminable controversy of development of the final segment of the East Lake Sammamish Trail.
But City Manager Lyman Howard is hopeful some progress can be made.
“I think so,” he said in an interview with Sammamish Comment this week. County officials said they want to work with the City and property owners—statements that have been made before, only to be met with unsatisfactory results.
Howard, ever hopeful and acknowledging past disappointments, nonetheless isn’t throwing in the towel.
Sammamish officials faced an onslaught of bicyclists last month in a coordinated, mass-attack email campaign urging them to approve the development permits for Section 2B of the East Lake Sammamish Trail.
City Council members were inundated with emails that said were coordinated by the Cascade Bicycle Club to approve the permit for the center section of the ELST. This section runs from roughly the 7-11 north to Inglewood Hill Road. It is the final section that is at the development permitting stage.
Sammamish, the permitting agency, is resisting the applications filed by King County, developer of the trail, on several grounds. These include environmental, tree preservation, disputes over legal ownership of the trail and past and current problems between the County and adjacent property owners over development of the north and south sections.