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Read Josh’s plan to fix the budget mess

Unsustainable budgets have put what we love about Sammamish at risk

People choose Sammamish for the safe and quiet neighborhoods, amazing parks, and natural environment, which can only be maintained when our tax dollars are spent wisely.

You may have read in my previous blogs about the financial issues facing our city and the council’s attempt to pass the buck by asking a resident advisory panel to review the budget.

Short version: The city increased property taxes by 12%, then increased spending to an unsustainable level that created a budget deficit of $5 million and put us on a path to insolvency by the middle of 2027. They’re now asking a community-led advisory panel to figure out the solution.

We have a lot of unmet needs in our city:

  • Too many young people are experiencing mental health crises and need more support.
  • Our seniors do not have enough recreational opportunities and services.
  • We must increase road connectivity and capacity.
  • Pedestrian safety, especially around our schools, needs to be improved.
  • We have parks to build and maintain.
  • Our police are stretched too thin, and property crime is increasing.

Councilmembers are elected to represent our best interests and lead by taking tough votes when necessary.

It’s uncomfortable to ask city staff to justify every expense. Going line-by-line through the budget isn’t a thrilling way to spend an evening. Implementing performance-based budgeting results is tough conversations. Using asset management (saving now for future replacement costs) means you have less money now, so you aren’t hit with unmanageable replacement costs later.

No one is on the city council by accident. They asked for the job knowing it has real responsibilities—and consequences for not meeting them. Unfortunately, the council has not been doing the tough work the job demands. Now, they will ask residents to pay the price for their mismanagement through significant service cuts, unprecedented tax increases, or both.

I’m asking for your vote so I can do the tough work of writing a sustainable budget to provide essential services, protect the most vulnerable, and ensure Sammamish continues to offer all the benefits that drew us here.