Vance, Huckabay criticized over Comp Plan maneuvers

The leadership of the Sammamish City Council was criticized by one of its own July 21 over their refusal to delay approval of the Comprehensive Plan when the final, 250-page version was presented by staff the day before adoption was on the agenda.

Nancy Whitten rapped Mayor Tom Vance and Deputy Mayor Kathy Huckabay for ignoring requests from the other five Council Members to delay a vote until the large document, which is a complete rewrite of the original Comp Plan, could be reviewed.

State law requires a major updating of the Comp Plan every 10 years.

Vance, Huckabay and City Manager Ben Yacizi make of the leadership team that sets the agenda. They pushed the City Council to approve the Comp Plan before the August recess. Huckabay made the motion to approve the Comp Plan, but the motion died for lack of a second. The Mayor typically does not move or second motions.

During Council reports at the end of the July 21 meeting, Whitten made these remarks rapping the leadership. Her remarks begin at 2:06:18 into the meeting.

I thank staff for all the time they spent and monumental effort to get the Comp Plan to us by yesterday.

When we started out in March there was quite a bit of concern that there were a lot of things omitted that needed to be added back again when they switched the comp plan forms. I do want to make one comment, though, about or process and how I am disappointed that we were pressed to try and pass that tonight when we just got the final version yesterday….

Pressing us to come to a vote on a document that is as critically important as the Comp Plan is not a good way to go when there are a lot of questions and when we haven’t even reviewed some of the language.

I was extremely concerned when I understood that the leadership in particular, backed by staff, were hoping that we could pass it today (July 21). I think that’s short-sighted, I think that it meant we would not be doing the job we were elected to do. I was very disappointed that we were faced with that, faced with a position that when somebody asked last not whether we could agree to talk about extending it out, we were told no, we would discuss it tonight to put all of us in the unhappy position of having to look at a document in its final draft that’s was about 250 pages long with very little hope of achieving that and doing the type of job we like to do, which is a thorough, conscientious one.

I hope in the future that when five of us indicate that they need more time that our leadership in particular honors that request and lets us know in a timely enough fashion that we aren’t spinning our wheels looking at a document that we can’t do the job we’re supposed to.

Neither Vance nor Huckabay responded to Whitten’s remarks.

Whitten told Sammamish Comment that the other five Council Members had each expressed reservations about the push by Vance and Huckabay to approve the Comp Plan before the August recess.

Approval is now scheduled for September. Council Members provided additional comments by an agreed Aug. 4 deadline.

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