2003 City Council election flips from 4-3 conservative majority to 6-1 “green” Council

City_of_SammamishThe 2003 Sammamish election presented an opportunity to shift the balance of power from a Republican-conservative leaning City Council to a Democratic-left-of-center membership.

As the election season approached, the Council was generally, though not reliably, split 4-3. Ken Kilroy, Ron Haworth, Troy Romero and Jack Barry were reliably a voting bloc. The minority three were Michele Petitti, Kathy Huckabay and often, but not always, Don Gerend.

Petitti won her seat in 2001. The others were all original council members from 1999.

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Lake Trail overhangs Sammamish politics for 20 years

  • This is about 10 pages when printed.

City_of_SammamishJune 5, 2016: Development of the East Lake Sammamish Trail has been an overhang of Sammamish politics for 20 years.

It was a dominate factor in the first City Council race 1999 and surfaced again in 2001. It became a key issue in the 2003 election, with a flood of “outside” money flowing to candidates favoring the Trail.

The issue surfaced periodically in subsequent elections. It wasn’t until 2015 that once more it became a key election issue, as Trail residents rallied behind three candidates to win bitterly contested races. For the first time, they helped elect a resident who lives along the Trail.

And the issue hasn’t subsided, either.

In April, three Council Members voted to undercut the City’s own Hearing Examiner and side with King County, developer of the Trail, on a jurisdictional issue in an appeal before the State Shoreline Hearings Board.

This is the story behind the 20-year battle of the ELST.

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The Greenies fight back: the 2001 Sammamish City Council election

After being routed in the 1999 City Council elections and licking their wounds for the better part of two years, the environmentalists in Sammamish—the “greenies—“ began a comeback.

All seven Council seats were up for election in 2001. This was because that as a new city, two- and four-year terms had to be established. The largest vote-getters in 2001 would get four year terms. The three lowest vote getters would get two year terms.

As it happened, only three Council members were challenged by people backed by the Greenies, and by SHOUT officials (see the post of March 28 to understand who SHOUT was): Ron Haworth, Ken Kilroy and Phil Dyer. Don Gerend, Kathy Huckabay, Jack Barry and Troy Romero were unopposed. By default, they would receive the most votes and four year terms.

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Sammamish, the first two years

City_of_Sammamish

The new City’s logo was adopted from a combination of entries from school children in a contest.

After the first City Council election for the new Sammamish, the task of creating a new city was enormous.

The City Council had to select its leadership and committees for key “needs,” such as transportation. Ordinances had to be created. Contracts for essential services had to be negotiated. An interim City Manager and staff had to be hired. Eventually a Comprehensive Plan would have to be written. A temporary City Hall had to be located, no small task in a community with no business complexes. A place to hold City Council meetings had to be identified.

And these are just some of the priority issues.

One of the top issues, the reason for incorporating in the first place, was to put a halt to the runaway development.

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Sammamish’s first City Council election: Lambs to the slaughter

City_of_SammamishComing off the euphoric high of a landslide win in the November 1998 election to incorporate, citizens of what would become the City of Sammamish were excited to elect the first City Council the following April.

Nearly two dozen people filed for Council in the February special election primary. People backed by the SHOUT and SING incorporation groups filed, along with those unaffiliated with either group. A surprise in the primary: Di Irons, a member of the activist Irons family, won more votes than former State Sen. Phil Dyer, a Republican. The results stunned the party establishment.

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