OPINION: What Mike Martin Should Have Said About His DUI

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An Editorial by Jim Branson

Imagine how quickly and simply this fiasco might have been solved if Mike Martin had said the following:

“I would like to apologize to the citizens of Burien for my actions on the night of April 19th.

As anyone who read the news reports must know, I was clearly intoxicated, and the decision to drive that night put myself and others at risk. Drunk driving kills more than 200 people in Washington every year and ruins the lives of countless others, and it is not something to be taken lightly, ignored, or denied.

I want to take this opportunity to accept full responsibility for my actions, not only because the citizens of Burien deserve the truth, but also because admitting that I have a problem is the only way I will be able to work toward living a healthy life again. I have entered into counseling for alcoholism, and I am following the recommendations of experts on the best way to overcome this disease. I will immediately and voluntarily install an ignition lock on my car to prevent me from ever driving while intoxicated in the future.

If, in spite of these measures, I ever drive under the influence again, or if I am ever intoxicated at work or in public, I will immediately resign and forfeit any severance package I might have received.

I feel the best way to deal with a problem is openly, honestly, and quickly, and I want to assure the citizens of Burien that I am capable and willing to deal with this problem, put it behind me, and do the best job I can as City Manager of Burien.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.”

That’s what Mr. Martin should have said on the morning of April 20th.

If he were the pillar of society that some people claim he is, he would have taken responsibility right away. Instead, he resorted to legal weaseling to save his job and avoid telling the truth about what happened.

He has stated, in a legally binding contract (download/view the PDF here), which he signed:

“…[he] denies that he committed any wrongful or criminal act….”

It doesn’t matter what Mr. Martin says now. He has already shown that he refuses to tell the truth, and he cannot be trusted.

Further, he is willing to drag others into his deception. Mayor Joan McGilton’s signature is also on the document that denies the facts of April 19th.

The motto of Burien government, displayed prominently in conspicuous places, is:

I guess by “innovative” they mean they are willing to resort to lawyerly tricks to avoid telling the truth.

Very innovative indeed.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Jim Branson is a longtime area resident and activist.

Previously, he’s written editorials on Mike Martin, Earth Hour, and Burien’s claims of being a “Tree City”.

What do you think of his opinion on Mike Martin? Please Comment below…

If YOU have an opinion about a local issue and would like to share with our Readers, please email us.]

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12 Responses to “OPINION: What Mike Martin Should Have Said About His DUI”
  1. unclewoo says:

    You are absolutely right Jim. People who drink and drive, will eventually kill themselves and , or, some innocent person. This person has a history of this kind of behavior. What will the city's liability be next time. And there will be a next time. The Mayor is just an enabler, and should share any future jail cell.

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  2. Rob Johnson says:

    Right on Jim. I think now not only should Mr. Martin resign but so should Ms, McGilton, I disagree with "Unclewoo" That she should recieve any future jail time for being an enabler, but I do think that the citizens of Burien should imvestigate a recall on the mayor. This is the problem when the mayor is elected by the council and not by the citizens. The mayor obviously feels no responsibility to the people who elected her a council person

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    • Stephen says:

      Is there any real substantive difference between the acts of Port Commissioner Pat Davis and Burien's councilmembers? The recall claims against Davis got approval from the state Supreme Court. Is a precedent set for this case?

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  3. I agree with Jim… this smells like another bunch of politicians and bureaucrats practicing CYA instead of doing what's right. This whole thing could have been managed in a way that was palatable to Burien residents if Mike Martin or anyone else involved had been willing to accept personal responsibility and do something besides try to paper it over and hope it goes away.

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  4. Sal says:

    CYA is what entered my mind also when it was announced an attorney would be engaged for advice- to give the Council legal cover for what they were determined to do anyway. Who is paying that attorney's bill? How can the Council have confidence that the City Manager will accept responsibility about his role in city business ? I noticed there is quite a bit in the agreement about who will pay for the ignition monitor. What if his license is suspended? The agreement does not address who will be responsible for a driver's cost when he needs to attend meetings- will that be another employee on the city's payroll? Any employee who risks reporting suspicions does so at his own peril, it seems. When an employee risks discipline if the group that went to such lengths to enable Mr. Martin to brush off any responsibility for his actions is the same group that will decide if a report of alcohol abuse is frivilous, that should give an employee second thoughts.

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  5. Stephen says:

    This is Mike's 2nd incident involving alcohol and driving. First one was in Kent. That included hit and run. Do we need to wait for the next one to injure or kill someone? Is this the pride of Burien.

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  6. MIranda says:

    I read the Burien Auto Dealers Association letter to the editor in the Highline Times
    http://tinyurl.com/pga8vm Does anyone know why they are so supportive of Martin? Like, what specifically has he done to benefit the auto dealers? One would think, because they sell cars, they might be a little more concerned about a person who chooses to get into one and drive while under the influence.

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    • Stephen says:

      Stability is more important to the car dealers than good government. How many are left anyway: 3 or 4?

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  7. unclewoo says:

    Your right Rob, my disappointment in Burien caused me not to articulate my feelings very well. A recall of the mayor, and a hard look at any future council candidate would be in our best interest.

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  8. Bjoi says:

    I posted this on a earlier blog in response to Mr Martins amended contract :

    I'm so disappointed in Burien. YUK !!! I cant believe the city of Burien is selling it's residence this bill of crap. He's not remorseful in the genuine since. It's like talking to your kids when you catch them. If he was so sorry he would've stepped down "on his own"
    He has a problem and needs help. But if he doesnt want it for himself the disease will continue.
    When trust is lost it must be earned back, I believe showing grace & mercy but we're talking about a man in a position of authority. I believe Burien has stepped into the role of enabling Mr Martin. When you truly want to help someone there is a level in which you take a firm stand for what is right and wrong.
    Burien you were wrong this time and I'm sorry you've played this political game.

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  9. Matty Moe says:

    You folks are the same kind of complicit people that nailed Christ to the cross… You want blood! Let the legal system work and quit being so quick to judge. Let him seek the help he needs to keep his job and if he ever does it again… Fry Him!
    I would have stepped up and gone public… but most people realize what can possibly happen when you spill your guts. Wait it out and see what hppens.

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    • Jim Branson says:

      So you're saying he should be given a second chance. I agree. But he was given a second chance. He was drunk when he hit someone in Kent and left the scene. Being City Manager of Burien was his second chance. He was trying to leave the scene of this accident, but his tires were spinning in the gravel, so he was unable to get away. Perhaps the only reason he didn't kill someone is because it was the middle of the night and people were off the streets.

      As far as we know, he still hasn't admitted he has a problem, which is a key step to getting treatment. His only public statement is a line in the new contract where he denies any wrongdoing.

      I really don't know if Mike Martin is a good City Manager, but I'm pretty sure he isn't Christ.

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