With the 2019 Sammamish City Council race underway, Sammamish Comment looked back at the 2015 race in which Christie Malchow and Tom Hornish were elected for the first time and Ramiro Valderrama was reelected to a second term.
Malchow is seeking reelection. Hornish and Valderrama are retiring. Malchow defeated former city council member and mayor Mark Cross, who was seeking a comeback after a four year hiatus. He was closely aligned with Mayor Tom Vance, who was seeking reelection to a second term. Malchow won with 58% of the vote, a landslide.
Hornish defeated Vance, making him only the second incumbent Sammamish council member and the only sitting mayor in the city’s history to be defeated. Vance won his 2011 election with 67% of the vote against a weak candidate. He lost his reelection, receiving only 47% of the vote, a 20 percentage point drop. Hornish was a reluctant candidate, running because he didn’t want to see Vance run unopposed.
Valderrama defeated Hank Klein, who withdrew from the race too late to be removed from the ballot. Valderrama used his huge win, with 85% of the vote, as a springboard to run in 2016 for the State Legislative House against Democrat Roger Goodman. Goodman, a flawed candidate who should have been easy to defeat, hammered Valderrama by capturing 62% of the 45th District vote. Valerrama only captured 40% of the Sammamish vote in the 45th–a dismal showing compared with his 2015 and 2011 results.
Some of the issues then remain issues today: Tamarack storm water drainage, Sahalee Way and, as always, development.
After nearly a decade and a half of little, the Sammamish City Council may finally be ready to address serious storm water drainage issues in the Tamarack subdivision on the city’s west side.
The issue is on the council’s agenda tomorrow night.
Tamarack has been subject to increasingly damaging storm water runoff as development uphill from the subdivision, which is sited on a downhill slope off Thompson Hill Road, flows through the neighborhood.
Sammamish City Council member Ramiro Valderrama displayed hypocrisy last Tuesday in his aggressive attempt to force fellow member Tom Hornish to remain on committees following acceptance of a new job in the private sector.
Two years ago, Valderrama sought a new job in the public sector that would have had direct conflict of interest with his city council position. It would have meant choosing between his new job and the council when it came to attending meetings and committee meetings. It likely meant Valderrama would have missed the council’s annual retreat at which goals and committee assignments are made for the coming year.
Yet Valderrama vowed to retain his council position if he got the new job and brushed aside all objections from his constituents.
When Hornish stepped up and recognized time constraints were coming, resigned his position as deputy mayor and stepped off all but one committee, Valderrama—oblivious o his own actions two years earlier—objected and engaged in a transparent attempt to set Hornish up to fail and ultimately force him off the council.
City Council Member Tom Odell is on the record—several times—that Sammamish neglected its road infrastructure for 10 years. Charts and graphs below tell the depressing story.
“[F]unding that could have been used for transportation capital projects was used for other priorities such as city hall, the city’s street maintenance program, the YMCA/Community Center and to some extent, even the city’s parks capital projects,” wrote the City’s former Director of Public Works in June 2017.
If Sammamish residents want to know why there is so much traffic congestion, two visuals created by citizen Miki Mullor tells the story easier than long, drawn out narratives can.
The City Council meeting tonight at 6:30p will undoubtedly discuss the Mullor Study. The study may be accessed here.
By Scott Hamilton
The news yesterday that Sammamish has been using outdated traffic counts, mostly from 2012 but some from 2014 and none from 2016, to run its traffic concurrency tests for development applications is fundamentally cooking the books to approve projects.
I should be outraged, but I’m not.
I should be shocked, but I’m not.
I’m not even surprised.
It just goes to show you how far our city government and City Council declined over the years to become a mini-King County.
I reached this conclusion as far back as 2009. That was 10 years after Sammamish incorporated.
Filings for candidates for the November election ended Friday. There are races other than those for Sammamish City Council of local interest.
King County Council
As expected, incumbent Kathy Lambert filed for reelection to the District 3 seat of the King County Council. Sammamish is part of District 3.
Former Sammamish Mayor Tom Vance in March filed the necessary paperwork with the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) to challenge Lambert, but in the end, he did not file the required documents to become a candidate.