More bus service preferred over park & ride

By Tom Odell

A group of about half a dozen Sound Transit (ST) representatives were told Thursday by Sammamish citizens that they want more service in addition  to a new, proposed park and ride at the north end of the city.

ST held a public comment meeting at Sammamish City Hall to discuss options for sites for the new park and ride facility to be located in the northern part of Sammamish.

As a part of the Sound Transit 3 (ST3) bond package approved by voters in the 2016 election, Sammamish voters were promised a 200-car park-and-ride facility that was to be located somewhere in the northern portion of the city.  The objective would be to have the facility completed in 2024, concurrently with the extension of ST light rail service to Redmond.  Cost of our P&R is estimated (and budgeted) to be $23m (2018 dollars).  It would have a 200 car capacity (by comparison, the Pine Lake P&R is 260 cars).  Both single level as well as multi-story structured options were given initial consideration.

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First candidates emerge for City Council, 45th State Senate seats

City_of_SammamishWe’re only two months into 2017 and already some names are emerging for the November 7 off-year election.

City and County council races occur this year. A special election for the 45th State Senate seat, which includes the north end of Sammamish roughly along a line of SE 8th St., will also be on the ballot.

Sammamish Comment gave a full rundown of the local elections in January. In Sammamish, two City Council Members upended the dynamics of the election when they announced at the Council retreat in January that they would not run for reelection. First-term Council Member Bob Keller and Mayor Don Gerend, who has been on the Council since the first election in 1999, said they will retire at the end of this year.

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Breaking News: Graves now projected winner in 5th LD; Rodne trending toward win; Mullet’s lead in jeopardy

Sammamish Comment now projects Paul Graves will win the open seat for the 5th Legislative District for the House Position 2.

Republican Graves will defeat Democrat Darcy Burner for the seat, based on trends in the results from election night through today.

Incumbent Republican Jay Rodne, who ended election night slightly behind Democrat Jason Ritchie, is now trending toward a win, based on today’s returns from King County Elections. Rodne holds Position 1 in the 5th LD House seats.

In the 5th’s State Senate race, Mark Mullet’s lead is now in jeopardy. He ended election night with 53.33% of the vote. With today’s results, this has been shaved to 51.98%. If this trend continues, he may lose to his GOP challenger Chad Magendanz.

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Breaking News 1: King County Election results delayed until…when?

King County Election results were supposed to be posted on the website by 8:15pm. It’s 8:30 and no results on the website. Sammamish Comment called and was advised there is a “glitch” in posting the results and there is no estimate when these will be posted.

Meantime, US Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8th) jumped to a winning lead in the rest of the 8th Congressional District outside King County, with a 65% margin over Tony Ventrella. Reichert, the incumbent, is projected by The Comment to be the winner. The 8th includes Sammamish.

In Pierce County, Proposition 1-Sound Transit 3 is losing 55% to 45%.

In Snohomish County, ST3 is winning 51.2% to 48.4%.

Sound Transit 3: Vote No

Sammamish voters should Vote No on the $54 billion plan for Sound Transit 3. This is a $27 billion tax plan over 25 years.

For this, Sammamish gets degraded bus service and prospectively a new park-and-ride on the North End. The average Sammamish household will pay an estimated $1,100 a year in Sound Transit taxes. With about 20,000 households, this is $550 million over the 25 years. For a park-and-ride. And worse service.

Even more notable–and alarming: no project outlined in ST3 is guaranteed. Not a single one. Voters could approve the $27bn in new taxes and none of these projects is a sure bet. This is why The Comment says the park-and-ride for Sammamish is only “prospective.”

One thing that is not prospective but which is guaranteed: if ST3 passes, citizens in its taxing district, including Sammamish, will have no say at all in future tax packages. ST3 takes away voter approval for future taxes and puts it squarely in an unelected board appointed by elected politicians. Unlike the tax packages for ST1 and ST2, there is no sunset for ST3 taxes.

This is a bad deal in so many ways.

The Comment’s position on ST3 is well known to long-time readers of this column, so this recommendation comes as no surprise.

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