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A Rollercoaster Ride in Clyde Hill: 2023 Year End Review

We bid farewell to 2023 and now it’s time to reflect on the highs and lows that marked the year in Clyde Hill. While our picturesque city has experienced moments of unity and progress, it hasn’t been immune to controversies that have left residents questioning the stability of local governance. As we gear up for a new year, let’s take a closer look at the notable events that shaped Clyde Hill in 2023, acknowledging both the triumphs and challenges that unfolded.

Councilmember Drama: Shifting Sands of Endorsements

The year included a political storm surrounding Councilmember Dean Hachamovitch and his questionable maneuvering during the endorsement process for city council candidates. Changing rules mid-game, biased reporting, and questionable behavior eroded public trust. Dr. Ashley Eckel’s principled stand against such “high school games” brought attention to the need for transparent and fair political practices in Clyde Hill City Council members. Read the full story here.

Whistleblower Complaint and Transparency Concerns

A whistleblower complaint shed light on alleged misconduct by former Councilmember Scott Moore and Councilmember Dean Hachamovitch. Despite the city resolving the dispute with a $20,000 payment to the former employee, the lack of transparency around the whistleblower complaint, the city not releasing the report after more than a year and its contents raises concerns. Accusations of abuse of power and attempts to use public resources for personal gain add a layer of complexity to Clyde Hill’s political landscape. Read the full story here.

Visibility Requirements and Conflicts of Interest

The controversial removal of the 150-foot visibility requirements for fire hydrants from the city code stirred the pot in Clyde Hill. The move, linked to Hachamovitch’s own denied gate permit, his lawsuit against the City and incurred legal bills at taxpayers expense. Calls for his recusal due to potential conflicts of interest were met with resistance, as the Council voted to remove the requirement despite public opposition and safety concerns. The incident underscored the importance of accountability and ethical governance. Read the full story here.

Responding to State Mandates on Homelessness

Clyde Hill faced the challenge of complying with state mandates on housing for the homeless, beginning work on an ordinance in 2023. Concerns circled in the community with the La Qunita transitional housing near Clyde Hill.  The delicate balance between following the law and preserving community values led to ongoing discussions on land use, performance requirements, and safety protocols. As the city navigates these uncharted waters, residents are engaged in shaping policies that reflect both compassion and the unique character of Clyde Hill. Read the full story here.

Police Union Negotiations and Budget Disputes

The Clyde Hill Police Union’s cost-of-living increase negotiated with the Mayor’s Office led to public dissatisfaction among officers. Budgetary concerns and accusations against the former mayor made by City Council highlighted the need for clear communication and collaboration between elected officials. The new police contract, including a 6.5% wage increase, raised questions about past negotiations and the allocation of funds by the City Council. Balancing priorities while dealing with the political maneuvering by City Council influenced the Police raise. Read the full story here.

While 2023 brought its fair share of challenges to Clyde Hill, it also showcased the resilience of the community. As we enter 2024, there’s hope for a more stable and united future. With three new council members in 2024, residents are hopeful an ethical change in council is underway. The lessons learned from the past year can serve as a catalyst for positive change if residents are engaged holding their elected officials accountable.  

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