Wasnick fails to answer issues questionnaire

Jim Wasnick, a candidate for City Council Position 4, 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, Wasnick has largely limited his issues statements to advertisements and an occasional candidate meeting. As far as I know, he has not door-belled to meet voters. He was a regular at the Farmer’s Market.

Wasnick and his supporters have largely focused on negative campaigning against his opponent, Ramiro Valderrama, rather than concentrating on the issues. 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.

Pettiness from the Wasnick campaign

Update: Valderamma gave this interview Oct. 3 to the Sammamish Patch, saying he never meant to mislead voters. Wasnick denied giving the story to the Sammamish Review, in the Patch story.

But others say that Wasnick has been spreading the story by other means.

Original Post:

It’s validation of what I reported in an earlier post in which I identified the election between Jim Wasnick and Ramiro Valderamma as the bitterest campaign shaping up in this year’s city council election.

In comments from Wasnick’s co-worker (though he is not identified as such) on the Sammamish Review article about Valderamma’s past domestic violence incident, Leo McCloskey adds a ridiculous barb about a West Point yearbook saying Valderamma wants to be “dictator” of the world.

McCloskey and Wasnick are vice presidents at the same company and Valderamma is a graduate of West Point.

How petty can you get?

All of us who have had entries into yearbooks saw good comments, sarcastic ones and jokes entered. That’s what happens. For McCloskey to throw this into the mix is outing the whispering campaign that was going on from the start.

Other commenters criticize Valderamma for “lying” on a Sammamish Patch response. I don’t know whether Valderamma lied or had a different understanding of what the process and outcome of the report and investigation. But when his son, also a West Pointer, says the incident was his fault, I find this compelling.

But if Wasnick’s supporters are concerned about lying, then they ought to be concerned about Wasnick’s running mate, Jesse Bornfreund. On two occasions, Bornfreund looked me in the eye and said he was not running with Wasnick, when the opposite was and is clearly the case. They have been campaigning together and Bornfreund has been seen, distinctive pony tail and all, taking down Valderamma’s signs.

I met with five of the six candidates (Vance being the exception) and found positive attributes of each. What’s emerged in the last week–Wasnick’s hit on Valderamma, his co-worker’s pettiness over some year book entry and Bornfreund’s false denials–are all cause for concern.

Wasnick is showing pettiness and desperation. Bornfreund wasn’t truthful. They are both tied to John Galvin, whose history of abusing city staff, commissions and committees (and anyone else who doesn’t agree with him) this column has well documented. Galvin’s abusive behavior is such that city officials had police on hand on multiple occasions to be sure he didn’t get out of control.

Galvin and Wasnick, in a Sammamish Reporter article, were clear that they share the same “vision.” Here is the article: SammamishReporterPrimary.

It’s fair to say that this is the Wasnick/Bornfreund/Galvin ticket.