Editor's note: Sammamish Patch is offering excerpts from interviews with the candidates for Sammamish City Council Position No. 4. They will have a primary on Aug. 16. Sammamish Patch has published interviews with candidates John Galvin and Jim Wasnick. Sammamish Patch also offered each candidate the chance to speak for up to 90 seconds on video.
Age: Declined to state, citing privacy and identity theft concerns
Occupation: Managing director, Audax International
Place of birth: Declined to state, citing privacy and identity theft concerns
Where do you live now and how long have you lived there?
Sammamish, since 2004.
Spouse or domestic partner if any: Sheri Valderrama
Children: Two boys, two girls
Education: Master's degree, George Washington University; Bachelor of Science, United States Military Academy at West Point
Declined to give years of graduation, citing privacy and identity theft concerns
Some graduate work at MIT Sloan School of Management and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Four years at West Point
Memberships and affiliations with clubs and other organizations:
Citizens for Sammamish, East Lake Sammamish Parkway Coalition and selection board for the U.S. Service Academies for the 8th Congressional District
Have you or a business you owned (or had principal interest in) ever filed bankruptcy?
As an adult, have you been convicted or charged with a crime other than a minor traffic violation?
Email address: email@example.com
Phone number: 425-898-9777
Campaign manager: Wife
Campaign manager contact information: Same as above
PREVIOUS ELECTED OFFICE(s):
Other campaigns for public office: None
What is the primary reason you are running for this office?
I’ve always been involved in community activities, particularly here in the city of Sammamish. I see this as the natural progression. I want to help the maturation of our city and increases in participation so they (residents) can express their real concerns and needs to their city government.
I’ve been involved for at least 20 years with city, state and federal government modernizations and efficiency programs around the world with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. I am very interested in seeing (that) the city...has full representation of the citizens. This is part of the maturation process that I’ve been coming to grips with for the last number of years. The City Council is maturing. The citizens themselves are maturing. I want to make sure we capture all of that. I, like a majority of the citizens here, want to look and make sure that this city is fiscally responsible and efficient in the use of the resources that are now much more limited than they were in the past. Our situation has changed.
I am much more interested in ensuring that the city takes into account the citizens’ concerns and needs in managing the growth that is coming to our city, as well as making the city more accessible, not just for the motorized transportation but for the non-motorized transportation. Pedestrian, bike, etc. It needs to be much more accessible and that’s much more cost effective in how we look at that. Finally, what I want to do is leverage the full wealth of diversity of our citizens, population, knowledge, experience, as well as the resources they bring to bear here in the city.
What will be your top three priorities if you get elected and why?
1. Fiscal responsibility. I think that’s critical for us and diminishing. I want to make sure we have a prioritization of the programs that we’re doing. Too often, when we’re doing parks, when we’re doing different road projects without having a list of which are our top projects and how we’re looking at that and how does that relate to our vision, comprehensive plan and to our current funding situation. So fiscal responsibility is my first one and making sure we have prioritized our resources.…Let’s go back and revisit the community center to make sure it is within the appetite of the citizens as well as the reality of the city to be able to finance.
2. Management, smart growth in the city. I’d like to address the Town Center and accessibility has to go with that....From both the policies in the comprehensive plan, where it’s located as well as how it’s put together. We have the Town Center plan but that has to be flexible reflecting current situations.
...Do we need more retail? Or less retail? I applaud the Council developing the economic development subcommittee….When this plan, which is a great plan, that was put in, it was a different economic situation. You look at Saffron shopping center. You look at Safeway shopping center. You look at Redmond Town Center. You look at how many shops are empty there. So, we have to look at what’s more attractive.
3. Citizens' participation: I’d like to formalize them and get them into different groups. So, that it’s not just listening to them (city government leaders) but having them as an active participant, whether it’s in the finance budget group, whether it’s in the connectivity activities that are taking place. All of these subgroups are open to all of the citizens. It’s not just Citizens for Sammamish. I’m talking about the Chamber of Commerce, getting Kiwanis, getting the Rotary clubs actively involved in a real way.
What sets you apart from the other candidates and/or previous office holders?
What sets me apart is my actual actively working with different groups and pulling groups together, looking for real, creative and practical solutions. I have founded the East Lake Sammamish Parkway group, for example. That was 25 different home owner associations.
I should mention – my international experience. I’m not coming fresh out of one field. I have worked in a variety of settings. That has helped me realize that everybody has valuable information to give. But you can come out richer if you have that experience. Look for that common base.
How much money do you expect your campaign to spend on this election?
Hopefully, far less than the past elections.
Is there anything else you want to add?
My background in the city speaks volumes about who I am, how actively involved I am in all of the cross-cutting issues and the tenure of time that I’ve put into this. I am very open.
Editor's note: Later this week, Sammamish Patch also will have a candidate profile on Valderrama, based on his campaign statement. Sammamish Patch wrote similar stories after Galvin and Wasnick announced their campaigns.