Sammamish voters will be well served to advance Ryika Hooshangi and Chris Ross through the Aug. 1 primary to the general election in November.
Both are newcomers to Sammamish politics. All things being equal, we like to see some seasoning and education on the complex issues of government in general and Sammamish in particular through service on the Planning Commission.
But absent this, Hooshangi and Ross demonstrated a grasp of the issues, and a willingness to dive into research to obtain this grasp, through their responses to Sammamish Comment’s extensive questionnaire that we published last week. Their performances at the Candidates Forum were strong.
Hooshangi already has civil service experience at the federal level and therefore would bring a solid understanding of government to Sammamish. She is an attorney, which can be useful to Sammamish, which has been embroiled in lawsuits over the years.
Ross brings a finance background to the table. This would be important to the City Council as incumbent Kathy Huckabay, a CPA, retires in January. The City Administration maintains Sammamish is in a solid fiscal position and the projected crossover point into deficit spending isn’t until 2023. But this only paints part of the picture: huge capital expenses for roads are on the near horizon. Ross’ financial background would be important.
Hooshangi and Ross appear ready to hit the ground running by calling out some specific actions to take to balance investments with revenues.
When the general election campaign gets underway, a robust debate between Hooshangi and Ross will benefit voters and, ultimately, the citizens of Sammamish. We will watch both closely, or whomever advances, in the general election campaign, and evaluate our recommendation anew.
The third candidate, Rituja Indapure, has promise. She was an alternate to the Arts Commission, but those serving on it noted she wasn’t especially active—not a surprising finding for an alternate.
Her answers to the questionnaire were more superficial than the other candidates. If voters don’t advance Indapure to the general election, we encourage her to seek an appointment to the Planning Commission and to try again for the Council after some seasoning.
By Scott Hamilton and Jen Baisch