Perspectives: Glynis Matula
This is part of our continuing series of interviews with people who live in and/or are connected to Sammamish, providing their perspective on what is happening on key issues in the community. Responses may be edited for length and flow.
Glynis Matula is a design consultant with California Closets and has been a Sammamish resident since 1994.
What are the key issues facing the Sammamish business community and/or community as a whole?
The thing that surprises me is how the town center was approved several years ago, and I have no idea what the holdup is. It’s a little disconcerting. I drive 25 to 100 miles a day, to people’s homes and to building sites. Traffic is really not bad on the plateau. I can go from Sahalee to Metropolitan Market for a meeting; it takes about three minutes in rush hour.
I feel like people are using traffic as an excuse, but the problem is not on the plateau. It’s the choke points in Issaquah and Redmond that are the problem, and it seems like no one is concentrating on that piece. Let’s have a conversation about getting those areas widened.
I grew up in Los Angeles, I know traffic; this might be like LA when I left it 25 years ago. I can get from my home to a grocery store in two minutes. If you try to leave at 9 am, you’ll have traffic, but I expect that. But the middle of the day or evenings, it doesn’t even affect me.
Nobody wants more housing; they want everything to stay the same, but that’s not going to happen. Building coming into the city helps put in the infrastructure. Growth is how we help pay for things. We’re a very solvent city and we can do these things.
I’m also concerned that with the town center not getting done, empty nesters are getting out to Kirkland, Seattle and other cities where there are more restaurants, more things to do. We used to have an Ace Hardware, but now we have to get off the hill to get something.
Sammamish has so much potential to be more. I wish we had a hotel or a place where out-of-town people would have a place to stay. I have elderly parents and there is not a senior center in Sammamish. My parents have to go into Redmond to take part in activities. I would like to see something like that in Sammamish.
What's the #1 positive thing going on?
It’s becoming a lot more diverse; I’m seeing it with my customer base. We have a lot of different cultures coming in and they are very family friendly, which I think is really nice. Sammamish has been a wonderful place to raise a family with a great sense of community.
What's the #1 frustration?
From the outside looking in it seems like there is a lot of turn over now at the city. I was very impressed with the previous city managers, Ben Yazici and Lyman Howard. They were instrumental in keeping the community solvent and one of the few cities anywhere that is not in debt. People who have been there a long time are leaving for jobs at other cities, why?
How do people in Sammamish get their news about what's going on in the community, and how is that working?
We all used to look at the Sammamish Review, but it’s long since gone. We don’t have anything since then. A lot of other towns, even tiny towns, still have newspapers. I feel like nobody really knows what’s happening. We have a growing population here where people are not aware of things.
Looking to the future, how do you think Sammamish will be operating a year from now? Better or worse?
If it keeps on the trajectory they’re on, I don’t see getting the town center built. Businesses invested based on that happening but things aren’t getting done. It’s a shame to promise something and not deliver on it. We need to get people involved who have common sense and want the best for our city as a whole. Businesses could be thriving.