New members named to city’s planning, parks commissions

February 13, 2014

By Ari Cetron

New: Feb. 13, 12:39 p.m.

The Sammamish City Council booted incumbents off the planning and parks commissions last week.

The council interviewed applicants for both of the advisory boards Jan. 14, then made its decisions Jan. 21.

“This was one of the best group of applicants we’ve had,” said Mayor Tom Vance.

There was a bit of drama in the Planning Commission decision, which took two rounds of voting. Each council member chose two from a pool of six applicants.

After the first ballot, Frank Blau had won enough votes for appointment. Council members Ramiro Valderrama, Don Gerend, Nancy Whitten, Tom Odell and Robert Keller all supported Blau.

For the second seat, there was a 4-4 tie between Cynthia Krass and Melinda Hall Wieder.

Krass won the support of Vance, Huckabay, Gerend and Keller, while Wieder got votes from Whitten, Vance, Huckabay and Odell.

Valderrama voted for incumbent commissioner Manuel Soto, but after garnering only one vote, Soto was knocked out.

In the second round of voting, Krass won appointment on a 4-3 vote. Gerend, Valderrama, Vance and Keller voted for her.

Both Planning Commission terms are for four years.

The Parks Commission vote only took one ballot to eject Commissioner Steve Wright – the only member of the commission with young children. The council thanked Wright for his service.

It appointed Ann Precup and former Lake Washington School Board member Doug Eglington. Every member of the council voted for Eglington.

Gerend also voted for Wright, but was the only council member who supported him; the other six voted for Precup.

The Parks Commission seats are also four-year terms.

The council also appointed Barbara Jirsa, Priti Joshi, Ramu Iyer, Margaret Rosenow, Kelli Ron and Steve Wright – not the same Steve Wright from the Parks Commission – to the Arts Commission. There were six applicants for six seats.

There is also a vacant seat on the Beaver Lake Management District Board. There have been no applicants for the position.

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