Why I Will Not Vote for My Neighbor


Sign Placed In Front of My Drive Way

Having honorably served in the United States Army, grown up in a household with a father that served 30 years on the police force, and received Congressional Recognition for Community Service, for better or for worse, there are 3 things you should know about me: 1) I believe in following rules, 2) following the law and 3) understand the value of community service.  That said, I’ll also admit that I don’t get involved in local politics as much as I should.  Primarily because I rarely know enough about the candidates to make an informed decision, and in my opinion voting for someone, I know nothing about, is as bad as voting for a national issue, I’m totally opposed to.  But in this rare local, election cycle not only do I know enough about the candidate to know why I don’t believe she should be elected to the Sammamish City Council, but I’m also her neighbor.

In short, Ryika moved next door to my wife and I about 4 years ago.  During that time, it’s been a roller coaster ride of needless arguments and confrontations and me having to call the police on them for assistance.  The unfortunate thing is that it’s simply over parking.  However, not a gray issue of parking, but rather a simple black and white issue, that also happens to be law.  Specifically, not blocking a driveway: my driveway. 

Now, while this might seem petty, because by all accounts it is, it actually creates a safety hazard on our narrow street because in the event of an emergency, an emergency unit would not be able to access my house. Worse yet, it isn't that she doesn't have a driveway, in fact, their driveway is actually longer than ours, but it too is narrow and only allows for passage of a single car at a time; but instead of dealing with that inconvenience on their property, they'd rather block my house. So for over three years, they’ve either ignored  or allowed (by way of not informing) this basic law every time they had parties, guests and even a garage sale.  And on top of being unlawful, there’s nothing worse than planning to leave your house for an appointment only to find someone blocking your driveway or worse yet, coming home from a long workday only to find a car blocking your house.  Initially, we started by politely asking them to move, explained the problem and hoped we could find a neighborly solution.  But that didn’t work.  They still persisted in allowing it to happen, requiring us to constantly go over and ask them to please move their cars.  Ironically enough though, instead of stopping, they began to get upset with my wife and I because we were constantly having to ask them to move their guests cars.  As a result, we stopped talking all together.  But, the problem didn’t stop.  In fact, I had to send her an email (click to read) explicitly stating the problem, and the legal solution I had available to me as  a resident, which was to paint a portion in front of our driveway yellow to signal it was a no parking area.  And while I’d assume that would be enough for most people to understand(especially an attorney, which Ryika constantly makes an effort to remind us of).  It wasn’t, because it continued to happen, ultimately resulting in me having to call the Sammamish Police Department for assistance.  In which, the first question he too asked was, "Why aren't they parked in their own driveway?", then going over to their house and explained to them the exact same thing as I had been explaining over the years.  At the point, I thought it would’ve been over.  But it wasn’t, in fact, it was escalated to her yelling out of the car window at me on several occasions, in addition to, what I can only consider as passive aggressive behavior.  For example, I had a delivery to my house, where I and the delivery driver were outside unloading several crates requiring the use of a rental forklift.  And the truck, while primarily in my driveway, was partially in front of hers.  Yet, we were outside watching it the entire time, ready to move if needed—and actually left space for them to leave in order to avoid a needless confrontation.  Nonetheless, Ryika found it necessary to hop in her car, proceed to aggressively back toward the delivery truck while yelling out her window something along the lindes of: Should I call the cops on you too?

Needless to say, we are neighbors, but only in title...and we do not talk, or even look at each other.  Which, is why I found it so shocking to come out of my house last week and find one of her election signs, posted directly on our property line, in front of my driveway(?), as if to show that I support her (shown in heading).  No, supporting her candidacy couldn’t be any further from the truth.  In the interest of time, there is no need to explain what ensued, as I’m sure you can imagine.  But, what I’ve experienced from this neighbor, and potential leader of our community as a City Council member is so reprehensible I would never want to see them in office; and the reason why I took the time and money to make sure others know as well, so you can make your own decision.  Like a lot of people I think we’ve grown tired of this type of behavior in our elected officials.