Budget plan does not include property tax hike

November 4, 2014

Sammamish officials are looking to increase general fund expenses by about 3 percent over the next two years, but increasing property taxes will not be a way to pay for it.

The City Council discussed a preliminary budget proposal Oct. 21, and while it made several minor changes to City Manager Ben Yazici’s plan, the estimated 2015-16 budget of $132.8 million looks relatively intact. Adoption of the budget is expected at the council’s Nov. 17 meeting.

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Letters to the Editor

November 4, 2014

Citizens’ role in government is important

It is time for the Sammamish City Council and its executive staff at City Hall to do its “homework” on the source of government power. The Washington State Constitution, which when enacted in 1889 actually gave more protections to the rights of citizens than even the federal Constitution did, is very clear on this.

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City bans marijuana-related businesses

October 27, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 27, 2014

The Sammamish City Council adopted an ordinance Oct. 21 that will prohibit businesses from growing, processing or selling marijuana in the city limits.

The council approved the new law by a 6-1 vote, with Councilman Don Gerend providing the lone opposition.

Since last December, the city had passed two temporary moratoriums to keep recreational marijuana businesses away. More than 30 cities around the state have adopted permanent laws around the issue, which resulted from the passage of Initiative 502 in 2012.

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Volunteer for a Sammamish city commission, board

October 18, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 18, 2014

The Sammamish City Council is looking for residents to fill vacancies on the city’s Arts Commission, Beaver Lake Management District Board, Parks & Recreation Commission and Planning Commission.

All terms begin in February 2015 and are for four years. The exception is the Beaver Lake Management Board; those terms end in December 2017.

Apply on the city’s website. Click the “Commissions/Board” tab on the upper left of the homepage and then click on the appropriate commission/board.

There you will find information about the role of the commission/board. Email your application, along with a letter of interest and your résumé showing applicable experience, to manderson@sammamish.us.

City of Sammamish edges closer to vote on Klahanie annexation plan

October 14, 2014

If everything goes according to plan, the city of Sammamish could set a date for a special election on the Klahanie-area annexation by the end of the year.

Plans to add the roughly 2-square-mile area onto Sammamish’s southeast corner have progressed since February, when Klahanie-area residents voted not to join the city of Issaquah. In April, the two cities announced a deal to transfer the unincorporated area, which includes about 11,000 residents, to Sammamish’s potential annexation area.

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Sammamish City Council passes resolution to support gun-safety initiative

October 14, 2014

Washington voters will decide next month whether to expand background checks for private sales of firearms, and the Sammamish City Council has publicly stated its support for the idea.

Initiative 594 was the subject of a public hearing at the council’s Oct. 7 meeting, prompting people on both sides of the debate to speak. After the hearing, the council voted 5-2 to support the initiative.

Councilmen Don Gerend and Ramiro Valderrama opposed the resolution, saying they were unclear on the proposed law’s intentions and couldn’t form a strong opinion.

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Letters to the Editor

October 14, 2014

Here’s to the future success of city’s arts fair

The recent Sammamish Arts Fair was an outstanding achievement. The Sammamish Arts Commission, 4Culture, the city of Sammamish and the Sammamish Library are to be congratulated on their cooperative effort that went into the success of the two-day cultural experience.

It is very rewarding to have events such as the Arts Fair available to the residents of Sammamish and surrounding areas. The artists that were selected represented a wide range of schools of art and artistic media. It was inspiring to walk through the exhibits and not only see the artist at work but also hear him or her sharing stories with those in attendance.

One noted feature was that many of the artists were from nearby communities, such as Pamela Wickard, from North Bend, who also has displayed her paintings at Sammamish Nights. Hopefully, the ninth annual Sammamish Arts Fair next year will be as popular as this year’s.

Larry Crandall

Sammamish

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Trail construction causes frustration for residents

October 7, 2014

The Sammamish City Council received an update, and more concerns, regarding King County’s construction on the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

The 18-foot-wide trail, under construction in the north of the city, has caused quite a stir from homeowners. Director of Public Works Laura Philpot updated the council during its Sept. 16 meeting regarding the most recent county developments.

“It is on schedule, and it is anticipated to open in the spring of 2015,” she said.

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Letters to the Editor

October 7, 2014

Andy Hill puts kids first with solid education policies

Like many of us in this community, I’ve had kids in the public school system and really value having high-quality schools for my children. In following state politics for the past several years, I’m very impressed with the work that Andy Hill is doing in Olympia.

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Plan to ban marijuana businesses gets no public comment

October 1, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 1, 2014

No residents spoke at the Sammamish City Council’s first public hearing regarding a proposed prohibition of recreational marijuana.

After almost a year under a moratorium against recreational marijuana business practices, the council is now considering an ordinance that would ban any producers, processors or retailers from setting up shop in the city.

“When you renewed that moratorium, you gave the Planning Commission some direction to consider a prohibition,” Susan Cezar, Community Development deputy director, said at the Sept. 16 meeting. “And the Planning Commission held a meeting in July and voted 6-0 to recommend that to you.”

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