Breaking News: Karen McKnight announces candidacy for city council

By Miki Mullor
Editor

Sammamish Chamber of Commerce President Karen McKnight announced candidacy for Sammamish city council, a filing with the state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) reveals.

Karen McKnight

According to her LinkedIn profile, McKnight is a Managing Broker at Keller Williams Eastside and a top producing, award winning realtor at Keller Williams Realty, Windermere Real Estate and the Heller Company.

Continue reading “Breaking News: Karen McKnight announces candidacy for city council”

Breaking News: Rituja Indapure announces candidacy for city council

Rituja Indapure

Planning Commissioner Rituja Indapure, who ran for Sammamish City Council in 2017, has announced today on her Facebook page a campaign for city council in 2019.

After losing the 2017 to Council Member Chris Ross, Indapure was appointed in 2018 to the Planning Commission by City Council.

Indapure is the first person to announce candidacy for the city council in the November 2019 election.

She, along with Ross, won the 2017 August primary in a three person race. Ross received about 52% of the primary vote and went on to win the general election by a similar margin.


The Comment endorsed Indapure in that race.


This year, three seats are up for election, held by incumbents Mayor Christie Malchow, Tom Hornish, each completing their first terms; and Ramiro Valderrama, who is completing his second term. None has indicated reelection plans.

She has not indicated which seat she will seek.

Indapure’s 2017 questionnaires:

 

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A Split City Council Votes to Oppose Sen. Palumbo’s “Minimum Density” Bill

Miki Mullor
Editor

In a 4/3 split vote, Sammamish City Council voted to officially oppose Sen. Palumbo’s bill to mandate upzoning in areas within the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).   

Council member Chris Ross said:

“I am very strongly against ceding control over our community… to allow the state to take over our planning and treating an urban rural suburb [Sammamish] the same as core urban city like Seattle is completely irresponsible”.

Continue reading “A Split City Council Votes to Oppose Sen. Palumbo’s “Minimum Density” Bill”

In a historic vote, Sammamish City Council takes a stand on over-development

By Miki Mullor

Analysis

On Tuesday night, the Sammamish City Council drew a line in the sand on over-development, forcing a potential pause on development until a much needed public infrastructure is built.  

A split council voted on an esoteric traffic engineering parameter that decides what is the accepted level of traffic congestion the city is willing to tolerate.  

In doing so, the council have possibly made Sammamish the first jurisdiction in the Puget Sound to be implementing the Growth Management Act (GMA) the way it was originally intended to – to protect the citizens’ quality of life.

Continue reading “In a historic vote, Sammamish City Council takes a stand on over-development”

Financial statements show Seattle YMCA siphons at least $1.4m annually from Sammamish

SAMM_LocationThe Sammamish Community Center, a $33m facility funded with $28m of  Sammamish taxpayers’ money and operated exclusively by the Y, generated at least $1.4m in surplus that is being sent to Seattle Y, raising questions regarding accounting methods.

The Community Center exceeded all expectations set forth in the city’s original plan.  The city thought the Community Center will attract 1,750 members, with a monthly membership rates for a family at $68.  In reality, more than 5,700 memberships were sold, with monthly membership rates for a family at $138.

The difference is sent to Seattle, although it supposed to stay in Sammamish.

Continue reading “Financial statements show Seattle YMCA siphons at least $1.4m annually from Sammamish”

Intervention badly needed for Sammamish city council

By Scott Hamilton, Editor

Editor’s Note: This column was drafted the week before last. The plan was to publish once the final traffic concurrency and building moratorium votes were taken, anticipated in November. But this weekend, Council Member Pam Stuart launched a highly personal, accusatory attack on Mayor Christie Malchow on Facebook. Stuart brought into the attack indirect reference to Malchow’s children, a political verboten that goes to the presidency of the United states. Thus, I made the decision to publish this column today.

The Sammamish city council badly needs an intervention. Residents have serious cause for concern with the dysfunctional, bitterly split ruling body.

The divisions and in-fighting are the worst seen since before incorporation.

Initially, the council split into two factions: The “new V-3” (Ramiro Valderrama, Jason Ritchie and Pam Stuart, odd bedfellows if there ever were any) and the “M-4” (Christie Malchow, Tom Hornish, Chris Ross and Karen Moran).

Ritchie coined the terms. (The old V-3 were Valderrama, Malchow and Hornish. The latter two split with Valderrama over his 180 degree flip-flops on environmental and development issues and his persistent distortion of facts and outright falsehoods he makes to advance his positions.)

For a while, even this split broke down. It became 2-2-3. Malchow and Hornish remained staunch allies. Moran and Ross became unpredictable votes, flip-flopping on the same issue between the M-2 and the V-3. The V-3 by-and-large remain a solid voting bloc.

More recently, the 4-3 split reemerged. The infighting is worse than ever. It’s not clear that it won’t get worse. Continue reading “Intervention badly needed for Sammamish city council”

Stuart’s faux environmentalism

Editorial

Sammamish City Council Member Pam Stuart ran for office in 2017 vowing to protect the environment.

Council Member Pam Stuart
Council Member Pam Stuart

Instead, she is using a claim of environmental protection to support her vote for lifting the building moratorium on the Town Center and as a proponent for higher density.

At the Oct. 16 council meeting, Stuart argued that lifting the moratorium is environmentally friendly because concentrating growth in one area protects other areas in Sammamish from building.

This shows an appalling ignorance of Sammamish’s land use zoning, the history of the development of the Comprehensive Planning to limit growth, political realities and impacts on property owners.

Either that, or Stuart just is using “environmental protection” as a faux excuse to open the development door to STCA, the principal developer waiting to get the green light to file permit applications to build the Town Center.

Or it could well be both.

Continue reading “Stuart’s faux environmentalism”