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Councilmember Dean Hachamovitch puts unfairness on full display

On October 15, Councilmember Dean Hachamovitch reached out to all the city council candidates claiming he had received interest from “some candidates” in publishing endorsements received by those running.

“I’m writing to all of you to ask if you have any endorsements you want me to include in the newsletter,“ wrote Hachamovitch. He provided 48 hours for a response and gave no stipulation on what counted as endorsements.

All candidates submitted their endorsements as requested, but he changed the rules after the fact, claiming that endorsements from residents wouldn’t be included and he would only include endorsements from organizations or politicians.

He appeared to reverse course after receiving pushback from two candidates for changing his rules after the fact. But his reporting of those interactions suggests unequal and disturbing anti-woman sentiments in his publication’s treatment of Dr. Ashley Eckel. In his blog, Hachamovitch claims, “For example, one candidate chose to withdraw their submission in response to my initial plan to include only the ‘short version.’ Another candidate offered reasoned and strong disagreement that made sense to me. I agreed to include the full versions.”

Hachamovitch described the pushback from the male candidate as “reasoned and strong disagreement,” while cherry-picking emails from the female candidate to make it look like she just quit.

Dr. Eckel’s email to Hachamovitch on October 18 at 3:06 PM read:

Dean, 

When you originally requested candidates submit a list of endorsements, I did so following your guidelines. After you received my list, you notified candidates that you have redefined the meaning of ‘endorsements’. Two candidates showed concern about this new definition, and Mr. Friedman and Mr. Sinwell appear to support your new definition. Mr. Sinwell has now protested, and asked for an extension of unknown duration in order to obtain “hundreds” of endorsements from those voting for him.

I carefully made my original list, and submitted it to you in accordance with the rules you provided to candidates, by the deadline you provided to candidates. I am not willing to play high school games. As a CPA and “Co-Chairman of Deloitte”, as Mr. Sinwell states time and time again, he should know that rules govern his industry. I am not going to run around seeing who can get the most names for inclusion in your purportedly impartial newsletter. 

Unless your publication includes only that which was submitted to you by the candidates by the deadline you established, please do not publish my submission to any degree. 

Thank you, 

Ashley Eckel

His attacks on women shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, Mayor Marianne Klaas said she chose not to run for re-election because “I do not wish to endure their personal and professional attacks for another term.”

It’s unfortunate, but unsurprising, that Dean Hachamovitch continues to behave this way when a woman has the audacity to question him for the benefit of the community. His untruthful reporting while serving as a Councilmember to influence an election continues to erode public trust. 

Dr. Eckel is currently on the council and running to retain her seat. She is a strong candidate with an impressive resume who is unwilling to back down when confronted with bullies. She has received an impressive number of endorsements. We have included them below.

Councilmember Ashley Eckel’s Endorsements

Bruce J. Dodds
34 year resident of CH
“… I am pleased, and encouraged, to endorse Ashley Eckel for election to Clyde Hill council position 2. Ashley has spent considerable time with me to understand the city codes and how the council did, and should, govern without the discord it has experienced in the last two years.”

Janice Kim and Benson Chen
9 year residents of CH
“As the only female and mother running for office, we believe Ashley Eckel represents many of the residents of Clyde Hill bringing a unique and much needed perspective and balance to council.”

Terri Forsberg
24 year resident of CH
“As a Clyde Hill resident since 1999, I am endorsing Ashley Eckel… She works professionally, with a thoroughness that looks at all angles, prioritizes the needs of the city over those of a few individuals and is truly committed to creating a better community.”

Marianne Klaas
Mayor of Clyde Hill; 18 year resident of CH
“Councilmember Eckel was unanimously appointed by City Council to fill a council vacancy since May 2023… I have enjoyed working with CM Eckel and trust that she will collaborate with Administration and Council to keep the mission and values of Clyde Hill alive and well.”

Kelsey Ashe
CH resident; CH/Bellevue since 2008
“As a mother of two young children, [Ashley] understands the importance of a safe and thriving environment for our families. Her experience as a doctor brings valuable insights into public health and wellness, which are crucial for the betterment of our city.”

Lyn Adams
60 year resident of CH
“Ashley is a working professional, woman, wife and mother with boys in the public school here in Clyde Hill. She brings advocacy and empathy for more members into the conversations at city hall, and she’s now an experienced member of council who can continue the momentum and not start from scratch.”

Liina Oksanen
Resident of CH
“I offer my wholehearted support for Ashley Eckel… Her passion and dedication make her the ideal candidate for this position, and I am confident that she will make a positive impact on our community.”

Cabot and Linda Dow
47 year residents of CH, Aqua Vista
“[Ashley] is open-minded and thorough in her research on budget and land use issues facing our community. She will be vigilant in working constructively with our new Mayor, Council and City staff that so well serve our residents.”

Leslie Haeger
Resident of Clyde Hill since 1999, 24 years
 “[Ashley] is genuinely interested in and seeks to understand what residents need and want. She doesn’t have an agenda nor presumes to know the answers, as I’ve noticed with the other candidates.”

Susan Baldwin 
13 years in CH, + 5 years in Yarrow Point
“[Ashley] has no personal agenda, like her opponent (and the cabal of others who remain on the council). Ashley is a brilliant MD PhD, a UW prof + working now in the private sector to identify blood cancers in children. She applies that same diligence and intensity to studying our issues here in Clyde Hill.”

Spencer Nurse
Family has lived in Clyde Hill for 70 years
“[Ashley] is a doctor and researches pediatric cancers. She applies this same skill set to obtaining all the data before jumping to a conclusion… She does not have a personal agenda and represents a much-needed perspective as the only female on council with young children.”

Greg Roe
30 years in CH
“Keeping Dr Eckel on council seems like a perfect fit among the many retired men aiming to make the Council their next career. Our council should represent a mix and diversity of real residents with real issues and concerns.”

Laura Ebrahimi
27 year resident of CH
“I fully support and endorse Ashley Eckel for Clyde Hill City Council because we need her voice of reason… It is about time we have a woman like Ashley, a wife, a mother, a doctor, to represent our interests in the community.”

Marilee and Graham Fitch
49 year CH resident
“Ashley Eckel is a mother, wife, Dr., and a volunteer. We need her on our Council in Clyde Hill.”

Aubrey S. 
CH resident
“Ashley is thoughtful and thorough in her thinking, and takes time to research information and key decision-making data… She is focused on maintaining safety in our community and addressing budget concerns as a top priority.”

Amy Walen, Representative, 48th Legislative District

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