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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Shirking their civic duty

The Sammamish Review and Issaquah/Sammamish Reporter shirk their civic and Fourth Estate duties.

Neither makes endorsements in elections.

The Review used to, but stopped last year in advance of the Sammamish City Council races. The Reporter never has.

There was no explanation from The Review for its reversal. The Reporter said people can make their own decisions.

Continue reading

ST3 opposition is the right move by Sammamish


Deputy Mayor Ramiro Valderrama led the opposition to Sound Transit 3.

The Sammamish City Council’s vote Tuesday night to oppose Sound Transit 3 was the right choice for the City. The vote was 5-2.

ST3 takes bus service away from Sammamish but offers a park-and-ride for the north end, an obvious contradiction. Even the PNR is not a firm offer.

Taxpayers would fork out between $500m-$550m in taxes over 25 years for this.

Issaquah and Redmond get light rail extensions. But the Issaquah light rail goes to downtown Bellevue and south Kirkland, not Seattle. The rail station is projected to be at roughly I-90 and SR900, behind the QFC grocery store (presumably in the I-90 median.) It needs to go to Issaquah Highlands.

If Sammamish residents want to commute to Seattle by light rail, the choices would be to go to the QFC terminal, either by car or bus, then to Bellevue and connect to Seattle; or go to the potential north Park and Ride (if it happens), then to Redmond, through downtown Bellevue and on to Seattle.

Fat chance.

Continue reading

Sammamish Council opposes ST3

City_of_SammamishOct. 4, 2016: The Sammamish City Council voted tonight to to oppose Sound Transit 3 for the $27bn tax package, a $54bn multi-modal transportation package that reduces service to Sammamish in exchange for citizens paying an estimated $500m-$550m in taxes over 25 years.

The measure is on the Nov. 8 ballot in the Sound Transit area that includes portions of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

Going into the meeting, five Council members told Sammamish Comment they opposed ST3. These were Mayor Don Gerend, Deputy Mayor Ramiro Valderrama and members Tom Hornish, Tom Odell and Christie Malchow.

Members Bob Keller and Kathy Huckabay supported ST3.

The vote tonight was 5-2 against the huge tax package. Keller and Huckabay were the dissenting votes.

Continue reading