Sammamish City Council may hire economic development specialist
July 11, 2012
The City Council may consider hiring a consultant to help kick start commercial development in Sammamish.
During a July 3 meeting, Deputy Mayor John James proposed authorizing City Manager Ben Yazici to hire a consultant in the coming months.
That didn’t fly with some on the council, though they did resolve to consider funding the position in next year’s budget.
“We need someone who has taken zoning rules and regulations and turned that into bricks and mortar with tenants,” James said.
A recent analysis by Northeastern University’s Dukakis School cited Sammamish’s lack of a coherent economic development plan as a shortcoming in economic development and suggested the city do more to market itself as a home for prospective technology, science and aerospace start-ups.
The council debated what the exact scope of such a position should be at the meeting and whether the consultant should focus just on Town Center or the city as a whole. Mayor Tom Odell said having a full-time person on staff that has experience in economic development may be able to do more than the council’s three-person economic development committee.
“None of the current economic development members have the time to devote to this particular effort,” Odell said. “If we’re serious getting this going we need to look outside of the current team that is looking at this issue and bring in additional firepower.”
The council is scheduled to further discuss the potential new position at a Sept. 11 study session.