In 2012 the City participated in the Economic Development Self Assessment Tool (EDSAT). The EDSAT is an academic exercise from Northeastern University’s Dukakis School in partnership with the National League of Cities that allows cities to assess strengths and weaknesses for attracting business investment.
The results of the EDSAT were presented to the City Council on June 18, 2012. Recommended next steps included developing an EDSP, with engagement of citizens and local businesses, that encompasses a long-term approach with consistency over time.
During the 2013-2014 Budget development process, the City Council directed staff to include development of the EDSP in the 2013 Work Plan. $65,000 was added to the General Fund budget which was adopted on December 4, 2012.
An outline of the process to develop the EDSP was presented at the City Council retreat in January. At that time the City Council discussed the need for public involvement, establishing a long-term vision, and to develop a plan that not only addresses the Town Center but focuses on the entire City. The City Council affirmed their direction to proceed with development of the EDSP and to hire a consulting firm to lead the process.
A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was issued on January 2, 2013. Ten firms responded with proposals and three finalists were chosen to move forward in the selection process.
On February 11, 2013 the finalists were interviewed by three separate panels composed of City Councilmembers from the Community & Economic Development Committee, Town Center property owners, members of the Sammamish Chamber of Commerce, economic development professionals from other jurisdictions, and city staff.
Using ratings and input from the panels, Community Attributes Inc. (CAI) was selected by the City Manager to develop the EDSP due in part to their proven track record, stakeholder engagement plan, and their proposal to include several touch points with the City Council throughout the process.