Aug. 26, 2019: The Klahanie area annexation to Sammamish in 2015 caused road projects in the legacy parts of the city to be delayed, despite promises from then-Mayor Tom Vance and then-City Manager Ben Yazici there would be no adverse impacts.
Then-Mayor Tom Vance and then-City Manager promised no ill affects on legacy Sammamish from Klahanie annexation.
Acting public works director Cheryl Paston confirmed at the City Council’s Aug. 20 meeting what Sammamish Comment feared and reported in 2015: the Klahanie annexation would divert money from key projects to fulfill a Christmas list of promises made by Vance, Yazici, council members Don Gerend and Ramiro Valderrama to entice Klahanie residents to vote to annex to Sammamish.
As the current city council debates over projects listings on the Transportation Improvement Plan—notably the Sahalee Way project—the 2015 council led by Vance and Yazici’s administration manipulated the TIP then to claim sharply reduced costs for a major Klahanie road project while simultaneously shifting monies from other road projects in legacy Sammamish.
The Sammamish Town Center plan was about seven years in the making, controversial throughout. Then development was held up by the 2008 Great Recession. Ground was finally broken in 2015. The first store, Metropolitan Market, opened this year. And now the Town Center is again at the center of controversy over the building moratorium.
By Scott Hamilton
There has even been a call to revisit the plan.
Here’s why doing so is not a good idea and why the Town Center is needed.
Sammamish Comment will continue publishing past Dec. 31, but on a limited basis.
In August 2016, I announced that my wife and I moved to Bainbridge Island after 20 years in Sammamish and that I would continue publishing Sammamish Comment through 2017, at which time I intended to discontinue the effort.
Not being a resident of Sammamish any longer meant I was somewhat removed from events. Although I obviously remained in contact with established relationships, and created some new ones, being absent on a day-to-day basis made it challenging for what was already an endeavor that is pursued in my free time.
My work schedule, at a time when I should be retiring, has gone the other direction. I’m busier than ever and traveling more.
But events emerged that I just can’t give up serving the City I’ve been serving in one way or another since 1997, when I filed my first land use appeal, prior to incorporation.