Sammamish Forum Jan. 9
January 9, 2013
Council is profligate
Recent articles and letters to the Sammamish Review have caused me to take pen in hand, again.
Most recently, the citizens of this community have been financially whipsawed by the City Council in the matter of obscene raise in income to the city legal counsel, some 13 percent, with only one member of the council voicing his concern for the appearance it presents to citizens who must envy such a generous lifting.
Bouquets to Councilman Ramiro Valderrama for his rightful protests in publicly opposing the raise for the lawyers.
Brickbats to the other members for not speaking out publically while privately protesting.
They want to show a sense of unity but at the same time thought it was disingenuous of the legal folk to ask for such a large increase. Spines of jelly!
Additionally, over the course of almost a year, we have the awesome sight of the Mayor Tom Odell, almost singlehandedly denying the citizens the right of initiatives or referenda, which should have been present from the founding of the city.
The citizenry are presently saddled with having to go through a laborious and expensive process to effect popular change in governing.
Interesting, at least to me, is that Councilman Don Gerend, like the present legal advisor, was present at the beginning and was involved in perpetrating this “oversight” as it has been characterized.
Perhaps singlehandedly is unfair to Odell in this context, since Gerend is certainly an active collaborator in this outlandish performance.
Citizens of Sammamish are treated like sheep and herded into whatever pen some members of the City Council think they belong in with little regard for their rights under the federal and state constitutions.
Some citizens think that is OK and are content to let Forbes rhapsodize that this is a swell place to live.
I suppose this is so, as long as the city keeps plowing treasure into money holes like parks or edifices reflective of lost youth aspirations or memories and personal hobbyhorses.
More like bread and circuses, I think, to keep the populace from becoming restive.
An open letter to Petco
On Nov. 14, the residents of Sammamish learned that Petco was coming to our town via a small article in the Sammamish Review newspaper.
I think I can speak for many residents of our city that find it strange that Petco would choose Sammamish for a new store; we already shop your locations in nearby Issaquah and Redmond.
Sammamish is a unique community in that while our population is roughly 46,000, we have very few retail businesses in our city due to limited commercial space.
We basically have two shopping centers within the city; each with a grocery store anchor tenant and smaller businesses that residents frequent on a weekly, if not daily basis; yogurt stores, hair salons, dry cleaners, restaurants, etc.
Because our city has limited commercial space, we really need businesses we frequent regularly. A Sammamish resident might frequent a business like Petco once a month; not frequently.
You might think that having a Petco in Sammamish will make our lives easier, but in reality, it is going to cause the opposite effect.
Petco will occupy a space previously vacated by Hollywood Video, but the size of your store required two restaurants to be pushed out; two restaurants we desperately needed.
Petco coming to town has become a common topic of conversation in our city at coffee shops, City Council meetings and private holiday parties. Unfortunately for Petco, all the talk is very negative.
The space Petco is leasing is managed by Regency Centers, a company that is “out of touch” with the residents of Sammamish. They control nearly all the commercial real estate in our community, but they have no regard for what businesses we need. Because of their “out of touch” decisions, even our City Council is working to save our Ace Hardware.
Although construction has already begun on the Sammamish Petco, I think your company should conduct a telemarketing survey. I predict the survey will show that most people will choose your Redmond and Issaquah locations in protest of your Sammamish location.
Diversity is important
To Damon Lundgren: I have been a resident of Sammamish for nearly 30 years – I wanted it to stay the way it was nearly 30 years ago — that is why I moved here.
What was disgusting was your comments like: “What’s wrong with having a nice city whose residents are comprised primarily, but not exclusively, with upper-income types,” and “there are plenty of places that have lower average incomes, more ethnic diversity, and more liberal prevailing views,” and “Every place doesn’t need to fit your ideal of a sufficiently diverse city.”
Really? There is nothing wrong with being a nice city but these words are saying much more.
Those sentiments were the prevailing undertone of the Republican rhetoric during the election and sound like snobbery to me.
When Sammamish becomes primarily upper-income types (because the rest of us had to leave) where are all your housekeepers, gardeners and nannies going to live?
Apparently somewhere else where there is more ethnic diversity, lower incomes and liberal views. Then you’re calling the kettle black (not an ethnic pun) in your last paragraph.