Sammamish Initiative and Referendum effective

  • 37 of 47 precincts approve the Initiative and Referendum.
  • All precincts where Council Members and Candidates for Council live approved I&R.
  • City and certain Council Members engaged in secret campaign against the vote and to undermine information.

The power of Initiative and Referendum became effective in Sammamish yesterday.

Hary Shedd 2

Harry Shedd, chairman of Citizens for Sammamish, led the charge to get the Sammamish City Council to adopt the Initiative and Referendum.

When the City was incorporated in 1999, the power of I&R wasn’t included in the City charter. Omission was claimed by City officials a decade and a half later to have been an oversight, but Karen Moran and Di Irons, two citizens involved in the incorporation at the time, said City officials deliberately left the power out.

Regardless, Citizens for Sammamish, a grass roots group chaired by Harry Shedd, pressed the current City Council last year to adopt an ordinance granting the power. The Council refused, with a majority simply opposed to giving Sammamish voters the right to I&R. Shedd continued his crusade and in January this year, the Council agreed at its retreat to put the issue to a non-binding Advisory vote. It later set April 28 as the election date.

Although a majority of the Council informally said at the retreat they would honor the outcome of the Advisory vote, and later officially said they would remain neutral, in fact the City and several Council members engaged in a stealth campaign to defeat the I&R, sow confusion, disseminate misinformation and suppress information and ultimately voting.

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Two Council Members voted against advancing the I&R to an enabling ordinance after the Advisory vote passed by a 55.5%-44.5% margin: Deputy Mayor Kathy Huckabay and Member Tom Odell.

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