Sammamish voters should re-elect Ramiro Valderrama-Aramayo to Sammamish City Council Position 4.
Valderrama has been a thorn in the side of the Gang of 4 and of the City Administration. He asks questions that need to be asked, often to the point of irritation. He challenges the leadership to the point where they actively sought people to run against him. He challenges the City Manager and the City Staff.
This is how it should be. We don’t need a Council of “yes men.”
For his troubles, Vance and the ruling majority all too often ignored and isolated Valderrama, and his fellow squeaky wheel, retiring Member Nancy Whitten.
Valderrama has carved out a position as the Citizens’ Advocate, something that has become novel in today’s politics from a national to a local level. He advocated for the property owners along the East Lake Sammamish Trail, who were being run rough shod over by King County. He advocated for neighborhoods with concerns about road barricades. He advocated to allow the Klahanie annexation area to vote in the Nov. 3 election, just three weeks away (they won’t get to vote in a City Council election until November 2017).
This list goes on.
Valderrama is nominally opposed by Sammamish Parks Commissioner Hank Klein. Klein was persuaded to run by members of the ruling majority of the Council, the so-called Gang of 4, led by Mayor Tom Vance and Deputy Mayor Kathy Huckabay. (Vance is up for reelection, opposed by Tom Hornish.) Klein dropped out of the race two months later, too late to remove his name from the ballot.
One of the complaints registered against Valderrama by the ruling majority is that he sometimes embarrasses the Council over things they haven’t done that should have been done.
They should be embarrassed. The record of neglect until the Council chamber is filled to over-flowing with citizens demanding action is long and sorry. Valderrama, through his sometimes fingernail grating ways, has on more than one occasion embarrassed the Council into action.
It didn’t have to be this way if the Vance-Huckabay leadership had been more concerned about doing their job instead of pursuing their own agendas.
Valderrama deserves to be returned for a second term.