Stuart flip-flops on tax vote: Favored higher levy before voting no

By Scott Hamilton

Guest Contributor

In a maneuver reminiscent of Sen. John Kerry’s infamous “I was for it before I voted against it” declaration in the 2004 presidential election, Sammamish Council Member Pam Stuart declared she would support taking the 1% property tax increase allowed by law.

Council Member Pam Stuart

Then she voted against it when the vote was called.

She was the deciding vote in causing the motion to fail.

The vote came after the council on Nov. 19 added $270,000 to the city’s expenditures for the next year that hadn’t been budgeted.

This included $120,100 for the Technology Fund and $150,000 for a grant in the Health and Human Services Commission dedicated for youth mental health.

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Former Mayor Don Gerend forms a PAC

By Miki Mullor
Editor

The latest entrant to the election cycle is former Mayor Don Gerend, who has just formed a PAC (Political Action Committee), a PDC filing shows. Gerend has also recently initiated legal action to reverse the City Council’s new concurrency rules.

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Valderrama now supports Sahalee Way project he once called lipstick on a hippo

By Scott Hamilton

Commentary

July 29, 2019: The Sahalee Way project Sammamish City Council Member Ramiro Valderrama now advocates approving is the same ones he labeled “lipstick on a pig” and “lipstick on a hippo” in January 2017.

Ramiro Valderrama

Valderrama opposed the 2015 plan, comparing with a proposed set of projects for East Lake Sammamish Parkway in 2011 that he labeled the “most wasteful project in the city’s history.”

In posts on Facebook last week, Valderrama falsely claimed he supported the Sahalee Way project but only after a Transportation Management Plan was prepared.

Valderrama made his remarks on a Facebook thread commenting about the petition filed by former Mayor Don Gerend seeking to overturn a traffic concurrency adopted two months ago.

Development of the next phase of the Sammamish Town Center cannot pass the concurrency standard on Sahalee Way.

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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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No good solutions forces City Council to rethink transportation projects plan

By Miki Mullor
Editor

  • No real solutions to traffic congestion
  • Phantom traffic projects used to approve developments 
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Ritchie, Stuart owe mayor public apology over sexist remark

By Scott Hamilton

Commentary

If residents wonder why the Sammamish City Council is mired in acrimony, one need look no farther than the June 18 meeting.

Council Member Pam Stuart

Jason Ritchie

Jason Ritchie

Sammamish Council Member Jason Ritchie isn’t wrong when he cites frustration about the divisions in the city council.

Nor is he wrong when he fingers members of the majority of the council for their contributions to the split.

But Ritchie needs to look in the mirror and accept responsibility for his own actions.

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