Accusations fly as Council drops committees

By Scott Hamilton

Accusations flew between the two factions of the Sammamish City Council as it considered whether to drop committees in favor of a council Committee of the Whole or some hybrid system.

Motives were questioned, personal attacks flew and “blind ambition” was alleged as interfering with the work of the committees.

Two members claimed the body is a “do-nothing” council.

The meeting again illustrated the dysfunction and political rivalries between the majority and minority factions.

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Reject power play to dissolve committees

By Scott Hamilton

Commentary

The Sammamish City Council tomorrow will take up a motion to dissolve its

Council Member Tom Hornish

committees, where a lot of spade work is done on issues, and adopt a Committee of the Whole (COW) process instead.

This move should be rejected. It’s been tried before. The council ultimately returned to the committee system. This city council should not repeat the mistake of the past.

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Ryika Hooshangi files for city council seat 4

By Miki Mullor
Editor

Ryika Hooshangi

Sammamish Plateau Water Commissioner Ryika Hooshangi filed a PDC report (Public Disclosure Committee) yesterday, indicating intent to run for Sammamish City Council seat 4.

Hooshangi ran for city council in 2017 and lost in the primaries to Chris Ross and Rituja Indapure. Sammamish Comment endorsed Hooshangi and Ross in the primary and Indapure in the general election.

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Sammamish fire station hours reduced, fire engine removed

By Scott Hamilton

Staffed hours at Sammamish Fire Station 81 on 212th Ave. near SE 20th St. were reduced by half and the fire engine removed Jan. 1.

In what appears to be a series of communications failures, there was no notice to city residents in the service area.

Station 81’s service area is the light green color with 284 incidents. All but 80 occurred during the 8:30am-8:30pm period. The fire engine has been retired and an aid car (ambulance) now is staffed only during this 12 hour period instead of 24 hours. Source: Eastside Fire & Rescue.

Station 81’s service are is the western part of Sammamish from roughly just west of 228th Ave. SE to Thompson Hill Road on the north and Snake Hill Road on the south. The Station is located on 212th Ave. SE a half a block south of SE 20th St.

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A Split City Council Votes to Oppose Sen. Palumbo’s “Minimum Density” Bill

Miki Mullor
Editor

In a 4/3 split vote, Sammamish City Council voted to officially oppose Sen. Palumbo’s bill to mandate upzoning in areas within the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).   

Council member Chris Ross said:

“I am very strongly against ceding control over our community… to allow the state to take over our planning and treating an urban rural suburb [Sammamish] the same as core urban city like Seattle is completely irresponsible”.

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In a historic vote, Sammamish City Council takes a stand on over-development

By Miki Mullor

Analysis

On Tuesday night, the Sammamish City Council drew a line in the sand on over-development, forcing a potential pause on development until a much needed public infrastructure is built.  

A split council voted on an esoteric traffic engineering parameter that decides what is the accepted level of traffic congestion the city is willing to tolerate.  

In doing so, the council have possibly made Sammamish the first jurisdiction in the Puget Sound to be implementing the Growth Management Act (GMA) the way it was originally intended to – to protect the citizens’ quality of life.

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Intervention badly needed for Sammamish city council

By Scott Hamilton, Editor

Editor’s Note: This column was drafted the week before last. The plan was to publish once the final traffic concurrency and building moratorium votes were taken, anticipated in November. But this weekend, Council Member Pam Stuart launched a highly personal, accusatory attack on Mayor Christie Malchow on Facebook. Stuart brought into the attack indirect reference to Malchow’s children, a political verboten that goes to the presidency of the United states. Thus, I made the decision to publish this column today.

The Sammamish city council badly needs an intervention. Residents have serious cause for concern with the dysfunctional, bitterly split ruling body.

The divisions and in-fighting are the worst seen since before incorporation.

Initially, the council split into two factions: The “new V-3” (Ramiro Valderrama, Jason Ritchie and Pam Stuart, odd bedfellows if there ever were any) and the “M-4” (Christie Malchow, Tom Hornish, Chris Ross and Karen Moran).

Ritchie coined the terms. (The old V-3 were Valderrama, Malchow and Hornish. The latter two split with Valderrama over his 180 degree flip-flops on environmental and development issues and his persistent distortion of facts and outright falsehoods he makes to advance his positions.)

For a while, even this split broke down. It became 2-2-3. Malchow and Hornish remained staunch allies. Moran and Ross became unpredictable votes, flip-flopping on the same issue between the M-2 and the V-3. The V-3 by-and-large remain a solid voting bloc.

More recently, the 4-3 split reemerged. The infighting is worse than ever. It’s not clear that it won’t get worse. Continue reading