Sammamish voters should advance John Robinson and Pamela Stuart through the Aug. 1 primary to the November general election for Sammamish City Council.
As with our Recommendations yesterday for Position 5, 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, Robinson and Stuart 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 responses at the Candidates Forum this week were strong.
Robinson is retired and will be able to devote virtually unlimited time to the City, despite a Council Member being ostensibly a part-time job. His responses to our questionnaire were well-researched and thought-out. He will bring good management principals to the Council, though we are generally skeptical of cutesy acronym-based approaches such as he uses for “SMART,” an over-used term in government typically associated with “Smart Growth.” If elected in November, Robinson will be the oldest member of the Council, representing a senior demographic of Sammamish.
Stuart also provided well-researched, thoughtful responses to our questionnaire. Her website, at this writing, is thin on detail. She has a mechanical engineering education, something that could be useful on the City Council, and has been active in the community. She had a series of pragmatic answers during the Candidates Forum and displayed a wit that can be used at tense moments during Council meetings to diffuse situations.
When the general election campaign gets underway, a robust debate between Robinson and Stuart will benefit voters and, ultimately, he citizens of Sammamish. We will watch both closely, or whomever advances, in the general election campaign, and evaluate our recommendation anew.
The third candidate, Melanie Curtright, was superficial in her responses to our questionnaire, answering too many questions with a pledge to learn about this issue or that. The photo on her website was that of Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah–not of a location in Sammamish, where she is running for Council. This is a small detail, perhaps, but being a City Council member for the City of Sammamish is about details. He lack of knowledge of details during the Candidates Forum was evident. If Curtright doesn’t advance to the general election, or if she is defeated if she does, she should seek appointment to the Planning Commission, where she will learn about the issues in the detail she lacks to this point.
By Scott Hamilton and Jen Baisch