Nearly every day this month, Black Diamond’s City Council has been meeting about the massive development that has been proposed by YarrowBay, a Kirkland developer. Over 6000 apartments and houses and the equivalent of 10 Wall Marts of commercial development are poised to be approved.
But why hasn’t the city’s planning staff been attending the meetings?
It is shocking to me that the most qualified and informed city staff members have been obviously absent. It makes me wonder if they have been prohibited from attending. Has Mayor (Rebecca) Olness told them to stay away? Why would she not want the very people she hired advise her and the City Council on planning related issues, present for these most important meetings? Has she and the council been intimidated by the developer so much that they are giving up their right to have professional advice?
The city of Black Diamond is paying an Issaquah attorney tens of thousands of dollars to attend every meeting, but their own staff isn’t available to ask questions or even to hear first hand what is going on.
The people of Black Diamond deserve an answer from Mayor Olness and the City Council. Why isn’t the planning director and staff there for the most important growth management meetings this city will ever have?