Haworth services Sept. 27

Ron Haworth

Services for the late Ron Haworth will be Wednesday, Sept. 27, in Selah (WA).

Selah is next to Yakima, about a two hour drive from Sammamish.

The services will be at the Selah Civic Center, 216 1st Ave. Doors will open at 11:30 and service will be at 1pm.

 

Drinking water contamination traced to EF&R, Issaquah says

A legal battle may be brewing between Issaquah and Eastside Fire & Rescue over damages to Issaquah drinking wells from highly toxic chemicals the city’s consultants say originated with the EF&R.

Issaquah has a conflict of interest and the City of Sammamish may also if Issaquah seeks damages from EF&R.

Two wells that provide drinking water for Issaquah residents were shut down briefly this summer from contamination of PFOS and PFOA, two toxic chemicals detected in the wells. The levels of toxicity were above Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Issaquah rushed to spend at least $1m to lease a filtering system to cleanse the water. The wells have been reactivated. Additional costs for consulting services continue.

Sammamish Plateau Water detected the chemicals at levels well below the EPA standards in nearby wells after conducting its own tests and hiring a consultant to assist.

Issaquah issued a press release yesterday in which it said the city and EF&R are working together to “further investigate potential sources of these PFCs.”

The city is cash-strapped and will likely make a claim against EF&R, Sammamish Comment is told.

Two members of the Issaquah City Council are on the board of EF&R, establishing a conflict of interest if Issaquah makes a claim for damages.

Two Sammamish city council members are on the EF&R board and a third is on the EF&R finance committee. Sammamish gets its fire service from EF&R, with taxpayers paying for this service. Sammamish City Council members thus could also be put into a position of a conflict of interest.

With two members of the EF&R board in a clear conflict of interest and two more in a potential conflict, the seven member fire board could be deprived of a quorum to decide how to settle any claim.

The Issaquah Press release:

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Sammamish, the first two years

City_of_Sammamish

The new City’s logo was adopted from a combination of entries from school children in a contest.

After the first City Council election for the new Sammamish, the task of creating a new city was enormous.

The City Council had to select its leadership and committees for key “needs,” such as transportation. Ordinances had to be created. Contracts for essential services had to be negotiated. An interim City Manager and staff had to be hired. Eventually a Comprehensive Plan would have to be written. A temporary City Hall had to be located, no small task in a community with no business complexes. A place to hold City Council meetings had to be identified.

And these are just some of the priority issues.

One of the top issues, the reason for incorporating in the first place, was to put a halt to the runaway development.

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City sponsors, skips Sammamish Disaster Preparedness Fair in City Hall

  • October 15’s Great Washington ShakeOut drill reveals City’s Emergency Operations Center radio system was boxed up and inoperable since the remodeling more than a year ago.
  • City claimed regular drills with activated EOC.
  • State law requires annual emergency plan drills.
  • City skipped signing up last year to participate in four-day Cascadia Rising drill next year, joining after Sammamish Comment revealed the inaction.
  • Ten days later inoperative radio system discovered in EOC.
  • 12 days later City skips its own Preparedness Fair.
  • State law requires plan update every two years; last plan dated 2012, being updated now.

The City of Sammamish was a sponsor of the Sammamish Disaster Preparedness Fair held Saturday in City Hall, but it skipped the event. There was no City table or personnel to provide information to citizens of what to do or how to prepare for a major disaster, or to explain just what the City’s role would be in such an event.

Eastside Fire and Rescue and Sammamish Police had tables. So did the Sammamish Citizens Corp, Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, the Red Cross and several private enterprises displaying (and selling) survival kits. There was even a hot dog stand selling refreshments.

But no table from City Hall.

Sammamish’s own five year old Emergency Management Plan says “City and County governments will take the lead in managing public health, safety and welfare services.”

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Sammamish to send Initiative/Referendum to citizens for advisory vote-Part 2

Jan. 24, 2015: The Sammamish City Council agreed at its retreat today at the Suncadia Resort in Roslyn (WA) to ask its citizens whether the right to initiative and referendum should be adopted by the City.

The Council will formalize its consensus approval at the Feb. 3 City Council meeting. No formal, legally binding action could be taken at the retreat, including appointments of Council representation to regional committees.

The advocacy group Citizens for Sammamish (CFS) has been pressing the City Council to adopt an ordinance granting the right. Council members have been reluctant to approve the initiative/referendum process because of what they view how the state process became abused by Tim Eyman, who makes a living at filing state initiatives; and the increasing dominance by “big money” interests rather than the original intent of power to the people.

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Last minute EF&R breakthrough keeps Sammamish in, pending approval

A last minute breakthrough in funding arrangement for the Eastside Fire and Rescue changed the recommendation from Ben Yacizi, city manager of Sammamish, from “get out” to “stay in.”

But Issaquah has to sign off on the funding agreement, as do other members of EF&R, and it ratified by January 17 or Sammamish could still bolt.

The Sammamish Review has an extensive write-up.

Eastside Firefighters offer to pay for Mediator in Issaquah-Sammamish dispute

The Eastside Firefighters association made an offer today to Issaquah and Sammamish to pay for a professional mediator to resolve the differences between the two cities over the entire Eastside Fire & Rescue dispute.

I suggested use of a mediator or arbitration when I appeared before the Sammamish City Council Tuesday.

The association’s letter to the Councils is here.

Meantime, Sammamish told Save Our Fire Department that its signs erected along streets in the city are illegal and need to be taken down or moved to private locations. Sammamish claims they don’t qualify as political signs under the city’s sign ordinance. Save Our Fire Department takes the position that the signs are political and qualify for their public right of way locations. I agree with the Save Our Fire Department group on this one.