Larson resigns as Sammamish Communications Manager, was under investigation

Tim Larson

Tim Larson, the Sammamish Communications Manager, resigned today, three Council Members confirmed to Sammamish Comment.

He had been on paid administrative leave since Aug. 24, under investigation for reason(s) that have not been revealed.

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Election coverage begins today

Sammamish Comment’s coverage of the November 7 election begins later today with a report from last night’s City Council candidates forum.

Here’s what we have planned so far, leading up to the election. The schedule is subject to change and additions:

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Council returns Sept. 5 to take up traffic, concurrency

  • This is six pages when printed.

Lyman Howard. Source: Google images.

The Sammamish City Council returns Sept. 5 from its August recess with traffic and concurrency the No. 1 priority and the No. 1 item on the agenda.

City Manager Lyman Howard will present a proposal to establish a “roadmap” going forward to take a top-to-bottom look at how the City implements traffic concurrency policies and testing that are required before development can be approved.

Controversial study prompts review

The review is the outgrowth of a controversial study by a Sammamish citizen, Miki Mullor, who concluded the City Staff had manipulated data to approve development. After a de facto moratorium brought on by the 2008 Global Recession, an improving economy and capital liquidity enabled a major spurt of growth that saw wholesale tree removal and increased traffic congestion over a few years beginning about 2014.

Mullor’s study contained incendiary charges that prompted Howard to label it “inaccurate” and “deeply offensive” at the June 6 Council meeting, the day after Mullor emailed the study to the City. Howard suggested later at the same meeting that Staff would answer questions raised by the study and from the Council.

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The inside story of how traffic and concurrency became “the No. 1 issue in Sammamish:” failure, success of government

Update, July 25, 2017: The reporter for the Issaquah/Sammamish Reporter has been transferred to sister papers in the Bothell-Kenmore area.

A Special Report

This is seven pages when printed.

By Scott Hamilton

Analysis

Traffic and concurrency in Sammamish is a classic example of failure, and success, in government. It’s a glaring failure of the local newspaper.

It’s a success story of how a single citizen forced debate on an issue that even determined City Council members could not.

Here is the back-story of how traffic and concurrency became “the No. 1 priority in Sammamish.” A sequential history is necessary before we get to the punch line.

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City Council needs to adopt building moratorium tonight

June 6: The Sammamish City Council needs to adopt an emergency building moratorium tonight at the Council meeting.

The meeting begins at 6:30pm. Public Comment is scheduled to begin about 7:25pm. Discussion of the study is not on the agenda (the issue came up too late for inclusion) but is certain to come up.

The findings of the study by Miki Mullor, which Sammamish Comment reported last night, justify a temporary pause in processing building permits while the serious allegations of manipulating traffic numbers and other data are investigated.

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Writer wanted for Sammamish Comment

Sammamish Comment is looking for a writer to help cover this year’s City Council elections and other issues.

With four Council Members out of seven retiring, this year’s election is guaranteed to see a power shift in the Council that could have deep ramifications for the direction of the City beginning in 2018.

As I announced last August, and which is also discussed in the “About” section, I moved after 20 years in Sammamish to Bainbridge Island in August. While I’ve been covering many issues from Bainbridge, it won’t be feasible to me to be on-the-spot to cover the campaigns of those seeking a Council seat.

There are already six candidates announced for the four positions. More are expected. So a writer who lives in Sammamish is desired.

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History of Sammamish resumes today

Sammamish Comment today resumes its occasional series that is loosely called The History of Sammamish (According to Scott).

City_of_Sammamish

History of Sammamish

This is principally based on recollection and first-hand accounts of The Comment’s founder and editor, Scott Hamilton. Hamilton was involved in the incorporation election in 1998 and every City Council election since the first one in 1999.

He served on the Planning Advisory Board, which wrote the first Comprehensive Plan, and the Planning Commission, which created the Town Center Plan. Hamilton moved to what was then unincorporated Sammamish in 1996 and in August 2016, moved to Bainbridge Island. Sammamish Comment continues this year to complete The History. Plans are to discontinue The Comment Dec. 31, 2017.

Related stories:

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