Bob Keller named new Sammamish mayor

Christie Malchow elected Sammamish deputy mayor

The Sammamish City Council voted Tuesday to elect Deputy Mayor Bob Keller as its mayor for the remainder of the year. Council also unanimously elected Councilmember Christie Malchow as its new deputy mayor.

Former Mayor Don Gerend announced earlier this year that he would be stepping down as mayor at the July meeting.

“I could have stayed in as mayor but I felt I would be neglecting my duties,” Gerend said. “I think it adds a little interest to the city to have a new mayor.”

Both Gerend’s and Keller’s terms end this year, as well as Councilmembers Kathy Huckabay’s and Tom Odell’s.

Keller, who was nominated by Odell, was one of two nominations for mayor. Councilmember Ramiro Valderrama was nominated by Councilmember Tom Hornish.

“I think Bob Keller has served the city well,” Odell said before the vote. “Bob has put in a lot of time for the city. He’s been extremely active with the community. … I think he would make an excellent mayor.”

Keller ran unopposed for the City Council in 2013. Though this was his first term on the council, he had served on the city Planning Advisory Board which created the city’s first vision statement and Comprehensive Plan. He then served four years on the Sammamish Planning Commission, his final year as chair.

The council decided to vote for Valderrama-Aramayo first, as decided by a coin toss.

“We know that Ramiro has been a great council member,” Hornish said before the vote. Hornish pointed out that, after the year’s end, Valderrama-Aramayo will be the longest standing council member. “I know Bob would do a great job, but I know he has already decided not to continue on with council. Ramiro will be on for at least another two years with six years behind him.”

Valderrama-Aramayo earned three favorable votes. Keller earned six favorable votes, with Valderrama-Aramayo abstaining.

“I think anyone of us would be able to lead the city in a fine manner,” Malchow said before the vote. “Councilmember Valderrama and Deputy Mayor Keller are both very fit to serve in that role.”

Malchow, who is in her first term as a council member, was unopposed for the deputy mayor position. Huckabay nominated her.

“I have just been very impressed with Councilmember Malchow and some of the challenges she’s taken on, the way she’s grown over the last few years,” Huckabay said. “I do think that an opportunity to experience more leadership will help spread the knowledge and wealth of those people who are coming in at the start of January.”

Odell also showed his support for Malchow.

“I, like Councilmember Huckabay, have been very impressed with the way she’s taken on tasks and her attention to detail,” Odell said. “I think the city will be well served by her as deputy mayor.”

“Not only does she do her homework and is she extremely prepared for any meeting that I’ve attended with her, [she adds] excellent perspective,” Keller added.

Normally, the council elects a mayor every two years and a deputy mayor every year.

More in News

Seattle and King County officials want a safe injection van

The mobile project—an alternative to permanent sites—still doesn’t have a defined timeline.

An autopsy found that Tommy Le was shot twice in the back during an fatal encounter with a King County sheriff’s deputy. Photo courtesy Career Link
New report calls for increased transparency from King County Sheriff’s Office

The fatal shooting of Tommy Le served as a case study for researchers.

Sammamish Council discusses possible changes to concurrency plan

Council will explore the data collected on peak hours of morning traffic.

Subject falls asleep and runs boat into dock | Police blotter

The Sammamish police blotter for June 3-8.

Zackuse Creek restoration project breaks ground in Sammamish

The city of Sammamish has partnered with the Snoqualmie Tribe, Kokanee Work Group, King County and local property owners to restore the creek.

A scene from the 2017 Women’s March Seattle. Photo by Richard Ha/Flickr
County sexual harassment policies could be overhauled

One King County councilmember says male-dominated departments have “workplace culture issues.”

Western Washington could see more wildfires this year

Lots of grass and warmer weather could make for worsening fire seasons.

Authorities target violent drug traffickers in series of Puget Sound busts

More than 80 “drug dealing conspirators” have been arrested over the past four months.

Seven Puget Sound residents are suing Sound Transit for $240 million. Photo by Atomic Taco/Wikipedia Commons
Sound Transit faces $240 million class-action lawsuit

An Auburn lawmaker has organized a suit that claims the new car tab taxes are unconstitutional.

Most Read