Four council members declare support for Initiative

Four of Sammamish’s seven city council members said they will support giving the right of Initiative and Referendum to voters following approval in the Advisory Ballot last Tuesday. The council has to adopt an ordinance before citizens obtain the right.

Members Valderrama and Whitten previously declared support for the I&R. Don Gerend and Bob Keller told Sammamish Comment Friday they will support the I&R now. The measure passed with about 55.4% of the vote. Ballots are still being counted and the election won’t be certified until May 12. Ballots continue to trickle in and the outcome won’t change materially from the election night on April 28.

Council Member Tom Odell could not be reached over the weekend. Mayor Tom Vance and Deputy Mayor Kathy Huckabay did not respond to an email asking their position. Continue reading

Klahanie annexation, Initiative win

Update, April 30:

  • Initiative: Roughly another 400 votes counted; percentages largely unchanged.
  • Klahanie: Roughly another 150 votes counted; percentages largely unchanged.

This ends our coverage; even as more votes are counted, there is enough in the way of changes to the election night results to be material.

Update, April 29:

  • About 700 votes were counted in Sammamish with no appreciable change in the results.
  • About 240 votes were counted in Klahanie with no appreciable change in the results.

Original Post:

It’s been widely expected: the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area and the Advisory vote for whether Sammamish should have the right of Initiative and Referendum have both won in landslides.

  • Klahanie PAA residents voted to approve annexation to Sammamish with 86.83% of the vote.
  • Sammamish residents voted to approve the right of Initiative and Referendum with 55.25% of the vote.

Election night results reflect the early main-in ballot returns. Turnout for these special elections was low, typical of April elections in which no electoral races are on the ballot.

  • The Klahanie turnout was 2,480 out of about 6,220 voters, or a 40% turnout.
  • The Sammamish turnout was 5,747 votes out of 28,665 voters, or a 20.24% turnout.

By the time all ballots are counted over a two week period, turnout typically doubles from election night. Although turnout was low and there are ballots to be counted, the election night results were so heavily weighted toward Yes votes that I declare the two ballot issues as won. Final results rarely vary by more than a percent or two.

The I&R vote, while a 10 point spread, was not as broad a victory as had been expected: most, including at least one City Councilman, expected an 80% Yes vote. Continue reading

Huckabay professed neutrality on Initiative while working against it, emails show; misrepresents City Attorney opinion, too

Sammamish Deputy Mayor Kathy Huckabay wrote a planning commission on February 4 that she felt an obligation to remain neutral on the Initiative and Referendum once the City Council approved placing the April 28 ballot as an Advisory Vote. The Council approved doing so February 3.

Within days, Huckabay was surreptitiously  engaged in a campaign to defeat the measure and to deny the Citizens for Sammamish (CFS), the sponsoring organization, places to meet.

New emails released by the Sammamish City Clerk’s office reveal the extent of Huckabay’s activities, which I first revealed April 20 in an investigative report. Continue reading

Initiative/Klahanie votes today: Unscientific poll shows ~80% support for Initiative

The Sammamish-led votes for the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area (PAA) and the Initiative/Referendum finish up today. Ballots must be postmarked today or dropped off at the Sammamish City Hall.

Initiative/Referendum

I’ve been running an unscientific poll whether the Sammamish City Council should give citizens the right to Initiative and Referendum. The vote today is an Advisory Vote, not a binding one. The result of the unscientific poll: support for the Initiative/Referendum has been running around 80%, give or take a point or two at any given time.

Previous polls I’ve done, while also unscientific, have correctly predicted trends in final votes. The first results will be posted by King County tonight about 8:15pm.

Controversial to begin with, the topic became even more so when Council Members refused to say they will abide by the outcome of today’s election.

Controversy heightened when it was revealed by Sammamish Comment that the City engaged in a stealth campaign to silence critics, the Citizens for Sammamish, supporters of the Initiative, discussion at community groups and to deny CFS a place to meet. Continue reading

The City’s stealth campaign against Citizens for Sammamish, leader Shedd

Hary Shedd 2

Harry Shedd, chairman of Citizens for Sammamish and the driver behind the vote to give Sammamish citizens the right of Initiative and Referendum.

  • Vote in our poll on whether Sammamish residents should have the right to Initiative and Referendum. Click here to go to the post.
  • Vote in our first pre-general election poll on the Favorability/Unfavorability ratings of the incumbents, Tom Vance, Ramiro Valderrama and Nancy Whitten. Click here to go to the post.

This investigative report is more than 4,400 words and is best read when printed out.

The City of Sammamish is quietly engaged in a stealth campaign against the Citizens of Sammamish (CFS), attempting to deny the group locations for meetings, persuade groups to oppose the Initiative, stifle discussions at community groups, and limit information about the Initiative in the City’s newsletter, an investigation reveals.

Long considered an irritant and a “complainers” group, which was nonetheless tolerated and largely ignored by the City, the stealth campaign to deny CFS a meeting place began this year after its chairman Harry Shedd, was successful in backing the City Council into a corner to put an Advisory Vote on the April 28 ballot for City voters to tell the City Council if the right to Initiative and Referendum should be adopted for the City.

Deputy Mayor Kathy Huckabay is quietly driving the effort. Huckabay has been trying to deny CFS use of the Boys & Girls Club (B&GC)   from future meetings. The B&GC building is at Ingelwood Hill Road and 228th Ave. Northeast, is owned by the City, leased to B&GC. Huckabay met with the firefighters union to evict CFS from the Eastside Fire & Rescue Station #82 at 1851 228th Ave. NE, Sammamish, WA 98075. CFS typically meets at Station 82 on the first Monday of the month. It rented a room at the B&GC in February to kick off its campaign for a Yes vote for the Advisory ballot. It was shortly after this meeting that efforts began its efforts to bar CFS at B&GC and Station 82.

Council Member Tom Odell filed a complaint against Shedd and CFS with the State and the County over required filings and financial disclosures and raised the prospect of removing a planning commissioner for participating in a Girl Scout event that discussed the Initiative.

Summary

  • Council members faces off against each other.
  • Boys & Girls Club, Eastside Firefighters, Presbyterian Church, the Rotary Club and even the Girl Scouts caught up in the disputes.
  • Silencing critics.
  • Using City resources to work against the Initiative.
  • Freedom Foundation becomes a target used against the Initiative. Continue reading