Huckabay professed neutrality on Initiative while working against it, emails show; misrepresents City Attorney opinion, too

Sammamish Deputy Mayor Kathy Huckabay wrote a planning commission on February 4 that she felt an obligation to remain neutral on the Initiative and Referendum once the City Council approved placing the April 28 ballot as an Advisory Vote. The Council approved doing so February 3.

Within days, Huckabay was surreptitiously  engaged in a campaign to defeat the measure and to deny the Citizens for Sammamish (CFS), the sponsoring organization, places to meet.

New emails released by the Sammamish City Clerk’s office reveal the extent of Huckabay’s activities, which I first revealed April 20 in an investigative report.

In response to a February 2 email from the planning commissioner, Frank Blau, Huckabay replied on February 4, “Now that it is headed for the ballot, I feel obligated to remain neutral.”

Within days, emails show, Huckabay was soliciting people to write the “Con” statement to the election Guidebook on the Initiative (her next door neighbor eventually did so) and Huckabay was making inquiries (or complaints, depending on your viewpoint) to the City over the legality of CFS signs erected along City streets.

On February 17, the day after Huckabay sent her inquiry to Deputy City Manager Lyman Howard over the signs, City Attorney Michael Kenyon responded:

In my view, though, the fact that the I&R election is an advisory matter, rather than a binding matter, does not cause it to lose any of the constitutional protection afforded to political signs.  It remains an official election of the City, paid for and conducted in the same manner as elections on binding matters. 

Huckabay also misrepresented the position of the City Attorney over whether CFS should be required to file documents and disclosures with the State Public Disclosure Commission.

As I wrote in my investigative report of April 20, Huckabay claimed in an email to me that the City Attorney opinion CFS was required to file reports with the PDC. In the emails produced Monday by the City Clerk’s office in response to my Public Records Request earlier this month, Kenyon wrote Howard in that same February 17 response:

I express no opinion whether “Citizens for Sammamish” is required to register and report with the PDC, and cities typically do not involve themselves with those issues.  Any citizen with a concern in that regard is free to make inquiry to the PDC in that regard.  Thanks.  MK

 This email was produced by Huckabay from her own files.

On April 1, Council Member Tom Odell file a complaint with the PDC.

On April 11, Huckabay wrote me, “City attorney opined that any political campaign, even for an advisory vote, is required to file with the PDC.”

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10 Responses to Huckabay professed neutrality on Initiative while working against it, emails show; misrepresents City Attorney opinion, too

  1. Pz says:

    It appears that Huckabay dissembles (how about lies) and obfuscates with impunity nor any consideration of her actions and their consequences.. We are being ill served by her action in pursuit of an individual (Harry Shedd) and CFS. Time for her to do the honorable (assuming she has any comprehension of that concept) and resigns from the City Council. Odell should do the same since it is clear that his hands are dirtied in this series of obviously senseless and vindictive moves.

    • cityhamilton says:

      At least Odell was upfront all along: he voted against even putting the issue to an Advisory ballot; I disagree with his vote but admire his sticking to his guns in an up-front way.

  2. Pz says:

    City Hamilton, you are correct in your assertion that Odell was more upfront all along, but I hope that you will allow me to the opinion that his actions in attempting to engage the PDC was a bit of back biting aimed at Shedd and has the appearance of being driven by Huckabay. Even though there is no smoking gun it has the “appearance” and in today’s world appearances become the reality irrespective of the actual circumstances. Thanks for being on top of the political “in and outs” of the political scene in the city.–PZ

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