A final election wrap: Valderrama, Richardson, Vance are preferred

The election ballots will be received in the mail shortly and Sammamish voters will be choosing three council members. Who do they choose?

I’ve written quite a bit about the election in the recent weeks. Now it’s down to crunch time.

This the most disappointing council election I have seen in this city since the first one in 1999. The whispering campaign from the Jim Wasnick camp against Ramiro Valderrama began before the primary votes were fully counted. Despite his denials, there is ample evidence that Wasnick himself was actively involved and the whispers weren’t limited to his supporters, who were more interested in smears than in issues.

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Bornfreund fails to answer issues questionnaire

Jesse Bornfreund, a candidate for City Council Position 6, failed to respond to the questionnaire I sent following the August primary.

The questionnaire (below the jump) is comprehensive–much more so than that of the Sammamish Review– and would provide voters will a better understanding of his position on issues of importance.

Throughout the campaign, Bornfreund largely confined his campaigning to advertisements, being a regular at the Farmer’s Market, attending candidate forums and for the most part has done very little door-belling.

Bornfreund has aligned himself as essentially a co-candidate with Jim Wasnick rather than taking an independent approach to the campaign. Wasnick is closely aligned with John Galvin, whose history has been well documented in this forum.

See the issues questionnaire below.

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Publication schedule for candidate responses to issues questionnaire

Beginning October 13, I will publish candidate responses to a long issues questionnaire I sent the six city council candidates, leading up to the mailing of ballots to voters October 19 for the November 8 election.

Here is the schedule:

Position 2:

October 13: Kathy Richardson

October 14: Nancy Whitten

Position 4:

October 15: Ramiro Valderrama

October 16: Jim Wasnick

Position 6:

October 17: Jesse Bornfreund

October 18: Tom Vance


October 19: A wrap-up view of the election.

October 20: A final comment.

November 8, 8:15pm: The initial returns are in. Based on the history of the past elections since 1999, the election night returns are within one or two percentage points of the final results and the leader on election night has been the winner in the final results. The only exception was in 2001 when Nancy Whitten led incumbent Ken Kilroy by 17 votes but lost the election by fewer than 150 (while remaining within the 1-2 percentage point “rule”). So on election night, I should be able to “call” the elections unless there is a squeaker like the 2001 Whitten-Kilroy race.

Issues questionnaire coming

I will begin publishing later this week candidate responses to a long list of questions I posed concerning issues relevant to the City of Sammamish.

I sent the questionnaire to all six candidates shortly after the August primary. I’ll publish the returns in advance of October 19, when the first election ballots are mailed to voters–just nine days from this post.

Unlike the newspapers, where space is at a premium, these are much more expansive and the responses will be published verbatim, without edits of any kind.

Assessing the candidates’ forum

Five of the six Sammamish candidates for City Council appeared at forum last week sponsored by the Rotary Club and the Kiwanis Club.

Kathy Richardson, who had planned a trip to Africa before she decided to run for City Council, was absent. She had a video-taped statement and a stand-in give a closing statement.

As far as the performance of the other candidates, there wasn’t really much difference between them on the issues. All believe the current City Council did not consider alternatives for creating a Community Center, the $64 million Taj Mahal that is proposed for the Kellman property in the Sammamish Commons. This 98,000sf proposal is 2 1/2 times the size of City Hall. Each of the candidates believes a public-private partnership should be considered, along with the possibility of a location outside the Town Center.

Some criticized Jesse Bornfreund as detached. Our view was that he was “relaxed.”

None supports a utility tax for general purposes and there was only limited support if for a specific purpose.

Who “won?”

Tom Vance was clearly the most well informed and in command of the details and nuances. We’ve remarked that nobody can out policy-wonk Vance. Nancy Whitten was second-best on wonkiness. Whether you agree with their positions is another matter. From a “performance” standpoint, Vance was the “winner.”

The other candidates had varying levels of knowledge of the issues, relying more on philosophical approaches to governing Sammamish in the next four years.

The Sammamish Review and Sammamish Patch have more detailed stories.