Gerend lawsuit: both sides claim victory; development moratorium enacted

By Miki Mullor

A much anticipated ruling by the Growth Management Hearing Board rejects former Mayor Don Gerend claims that the new concurrency rules were illegal. But the GMHB faults the City on procedural errors.  The Board gave the City until October 30 to correct the errors.  

The Board’s decision caps a two year long struggle between the majority City Council and supporters of the Town Center project over the new concurrency rules.

In response to the ruling, the City Council enacted an immediate development moratorium to give the City time to address these procedural issues.

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Give Hornish a chance, city attorney advises council

  • The city council meeting may be viewed here. The discussion begins at 8:30 and continues o 46:30 minutes. It resumes at the 2:11 hour mark for committee assignments.

The Sammamish city council should give Tom Hornish up to 90-120 days to assimilate into his new job and determine how much time he can devote to the council, the city attorney said Tuesday.

Tom Hornish

But three council members pressed instead to hold Hornish’s feet to the fire and require him to maintain his committee memberships.

Members Ramiro Valderrama, Jason Ritchie and Pam Stuart were unwilling to give Hornish a pass until they lost on his announcement Tuesday that a new job requires he relinquish his position as deputy mayor and membership to the council finance committee and regional groups, Eastside Fire & Rescue and ARCH, the affordable housing group.

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Sammamish electeds have history of using private email accounts

Special Report: (10 pages when printed.)

  • Council Members routinely used private email accounts for City-related business.
  • Expansive Public Records Request during 2015 Council elections brought issue to fore.
  • One Council Member, acting as a private citizen, demanded emails on private account from another Council Member.
  • The City Attorney, paid for by tax dollars, became de facto attorney for the “private citizen” Council Member.
  • Two Council Members subsequently failed to produce emails from their private accounts.
  • One of the two Council Members failed to produce emails from her private account again in 2016 pursuant to a PRR.

Hillary Clinton’s email was a story that wouldn’t die in the presidential campaign, dogging her right through the Nov. 8 election.

The City of Sammamish has its own problems over emails. Council members routinely used private emails for city business and when it comes to complying with the Washington State law for Public Records Requests (PRR), some members aren’t always forthcoming with documents.

One City Council Member was explicit that a controversial topic should be discussed using private emails to avoid public disclosures through City emails.

The City Attorney’s position on compliance in responding to Public Records Requests appears inconsistent.

The issue is about transparency in government and complying with the law.

Requirements to hand over emails from personal accounts is well established in Washington State. A Bainbridge Island case is illustrative. See here and here.

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Sammamish, County once again head for confrontation over Lake Trail

City_of_SammamishProperty owners along the East Lake Sammamish Trail in the middle section, called 2B, in Sammamish this week implored the City Council to intervene on their behalf in their long-running conflicts with King County over final development of the trail.

Section 2B runs from roughly from the 7-11 on East Lake Sammamish Parkway north to Inglewood Hill Road.

A score of residents asked Sammamish to rescind permits for the section.

Actually, one permit application for designing the trail has been deemed “complete.” However, this permit remains in review.

Another application, for clearing and grading, was deemed by the City as incomplete. The County filed a lawsuit over this determination and is seeking damages, said City Attorney Mike Kenyon.

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