Councilmember Refutes Seattle Times Columnist Over White Center Annexation

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Last week (Wed., Feb. 3rd), Seattle Times Columnist Jerry Large wrote an editorial explaining why he thinks White Center would be a “good fit” for Seattle, and vice versa (link here) – an issue that has reared its head ever since new Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said that he’d like to annex the area.

Of course, numerous folks around these parts think differently from both Large and McGinn (hey, weren’t they in a band together in the 60s?), including Burien City Councilmember Kathy Keene, who read Large’s column, then emailed us her response to him:

“Needless to say I do NOT agree and wrote the following letter to Mr. Large, to which he responded.”

Here’s the email dialogue she had with Mr. Large, which we print below with her permission:

From: Kathleen Keene
Sent: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 10:21 AM
To: Jerry Large
Subject: Article on White Center

Dear Jerry,

I want to comment on your article last week on White Center.

Before I go any farther, let me introduce myself: I am a 23 year resident of the area (a veritable newcomer by most standards), and a 19 year Commissioner at Water District 20. We provide water to a very large portion of North Highline, in fact, the remaining unincorporated area east of 509 down to the Seattle city limits in South Park is in our service area. I also am in my first term on the Burien City Council.

As a small local government, Burien offers the residents in North Highline something Seattle will NEVER be able to: POWER TO THEIR VOICES! In Burien they will be 18,000 of 45 000, in Seattle they’ll be 18,000 of what? 600,000? Tell me how much power that gives them. In Burien we hold our Council meetings Monday at 7 PM, Seattle’s are 3:00, how many working folks can make those meetings? As an added bonus we’re a hop, skip and a jump from White Center, two jumps for Blvd Park, and the parking is FREE.

I would love to invite you to Burien and show you around. A Burien annexation of this entire area is a reuniting of a neighborhood that was one neighborhood for many many years. These folks are our brothers and sisters, our moms and dads, our cousins, our best friends. They shop in Burien. Like Burien, they are home owners and shop keepers, many have lived here for generations. I grew up in the little fishing village of Ballard. This area reminds me of my childhood – stable neighborhoods, generational families, extended families, a deep pride of community.

An annexation to Burien also ensures a continuation of the same services they now enjoy:

Libraries-currently the people of NH are part of the KCLS. If they become Seattle residents they lose that. The county may close down the White Center and Blvd Park libraries due to loss of tax revenue. It took Seattle 100 years to build a library in South Park, how long before they will build a replacement library in this area??? There are 8-10,000 people a month that use the White Center Library. I don’t have the figures for Blvd Park, but I do know it is also is the heart of their community. These facilities are a vital part of the human infrastructure of the area.

Speaking of infrastructure, the water distribution system in Water District 20’s boundaries are heads and shoulders above Seattle’s. Our system is almost totally rebuilt. We don’t wait for a pipe to break 3 times before we replace it; we are proactive. We don’t have the accidents like the Ravenna area has had recently. Approx. 35 years ago old WD 61 became a direct service customer of Seattle water; this area includes White Center, North Shorewood, Salmon Creek and the NW corner of Burien. A majority of that systems has not been touched since. The rate payers have no say in their rates and they pay a 10% out of service fee. (You pay, a 14% utility tax on your bill I believe) WD 20 and Burien have no utility taxes. By reuniting the entire area we can hopefully give all these folks back control of their water system and rates.

Another cost savings for the unincorporated area is their sewers. The western area is served by SW Suburban Sewer District (SWSSD), which has its own sewer treatment plants. We do NOT have to pay for Brightwater… look at your sewer bill, there is most likely a charge of $40 + to pay off the county bonds, which, I believe are 40 year bonds. I have been told that will probably go up to around $50/month. If this area becomes part of Seattle, I believe they will have to pay those rates because of the bond covenants, even if they remain in SWSSD.

Fire – Fire District 11 will go away and the entire area will be served by FD 2. The existing fire fighters will become FD 2 personnel. They know the area, which is helpful when every minute counts. When Burien was deciding on the boundaries of Phase 1 we included the fire station on 112th which serves this area now. Seattle was adamant that they needed that station to serve the area and parts of south Seattle. In a spirit of cooperation we honored their request. When the Seattle City Council was getting their briefing they were told this station isn’t adequate and White Center will be covered by the station in West Seattle…. I wonder how that will affect the response time? I wonder why we gave it up.

Police – If the area becomes part of Burien they will have the same police officers they have now, there will be a seamless transition. Our Sheriffs have been very effective dealing with crime in this area. So what happens to these officers if Seattle annexes? I realize they have the option to hire those that currently work there but there are issues of seniority, pay, benefits etc.

Debt-Burien has no debt, Seattle has many levy and bond measures that have to be paid. The new residents will be responsible for helping to pay for this debt since they now “enjoy the benefits”.

The focus of your article was on the social services and how the non profits could “help the people”. As you can see from what I’ve written there are many other aspects to consider. It is true Burien does not have the deep pockets of Seattle, but we do work well with the various support and non profit groups that work in our city. We look forward to working with the non profits you mentioned as well. Since these folks are receiving grant money from private agencies that money can also continue to flow into the area.

We are a small and nimble city, it is in our combined best interests to see that this area thrives. By having a government close by I anticipate the downtown core of White Center begin to fill up with new business run by the residents. As you pointed out there is a vibrancy in the area you don’t often see. That needs to be nurtured. Check into the B&O taxes Seattle charges, as well as space taxes, head tax, business license fees etc. These are a burden to beginning/small businesses. Burien doesn’t charge as much in B&O nor do we have any of those other ancillary taxes. We are a business friendly city and value the leadership and ideas they contribute to our community.

Again, I invite you back to the area, come on down to Burien some Monday evening and see our Council in action, walk around our downtown core and see what we have done – it was not done in a vacuum – the residents of Burien were very actively involved. This is the way we do business here – with the involvement  and support of our residents. This is the power we offer to the remainder of the unincorporated area. Doubts? Come watch us as we begin this process with the area that will become part of Burien in April. I admit it will take some time; these folks have been ignored, neglected, abused, and dictated to for too many years. They aren’t quite sure of their voice yet, but given time they will gain confidence and bring a new vibrancy to our city…. we will all be a better place. I look forward to including the remainder of the area – what a great city we will be!

Thank you for your time,
Kathy Keene

—– Original Message —–
From: Jerry Large
To: Kathleen Keene
Sent: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 1:25 PM
Subject: RE: Article on White Center

Dear Kathy,

Thanks for the note. I’d love to visit with you about White Center and Burien. I’ll be away next week, but I can come down after that. I have deadlines on Wednesdays and Fridays. If you let me know a couple of times that would work with your schedule, we can find one that works.


Jerry Large
The Seattle Times

Also, Thursday morning Crosscut published another editorial about why White Center should join Seattle, this one penned by Jordan Royer. And yes, he’s the son of former Seattle Mayor Charlie Royer – read it here.

So…what do YOU think of this issue? Should Seattle be allowed to annex White Center? Or should Burien go for it? Please take our Poll below, or leave a Comment…

Who should be allowed to annex the rest of White Center?

View Results

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30 Responses to “Councilmember Refutes Seattle Times Columnist Over White Center Annexation”
  1. Jim Branson says:

    While much of what Councilmember Keene says isn’t exactly correct, I would particularly like to address her argument of “POWER TO THEIR VOICES!”

    First, and most obviously, the existing citizens of Burien were given no say whatsoever in whether they wanted to annex Southern North Highline. If I recall correctly, a poll on this web site showed that most people were against it. Another poll on this web site showed that most people thought Mike Martin should resign after his DUI arrest, his second, or possibly his third. The Council signed a special contract with him in which they agreed that he committed no wrongful or criminal act. I have personally written many emails to the Burien City Council, and they never respond. They may dispatch a staff member to reply, but they won’t tell you what they think.

    I know a woman who has lived in Burien since the 1930’s. She started to ask a council member if the City of Burien might not wish to start adopting some of the Dark Skies initiatives to reduce light pollution. These policy changes cost no money, and in many cases save money. The council member stopped her before hearing much about the program and replied that she couldn’t get city staff to do anything. Even if you can get a council member to listen to you, it will not result in any policy changes.

    For about seven years, I have been talking to the City about graffiti. I have talked to city managers, Parks staff, and council members. All have agreed that it is their job to take care of graffiti, and that it is in everyone’s best interests to take care of it quickly. Still, the City of Burien is not complying with its own laws regarding graffiti abatement. When I sent them an email about graffiti in the parks, the Parks Director responded with a letter saying he did not intend to comply with the law. The Council thanked him for doing a good job!

    I have tried to speak to Burien City Government on many issues, and for the most part I have been ignored. Even if the changes I proposed were in everyone’s best interests (not a request for a favor for my own personal benefit), I couldn’t get the time of day from Council members or City staff.

    I don’t know how much of a voice the citizens of White Center would have if they annexed to Seattle. If they think they will be heard in Burien because it is a small town, experience shows otherwise.

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    • Heidi says:

      My family has lived here in what is now the City of Burien and in North Highline since the 1940’s, in fact they used to talk about how 1st Ave. So. used to be a two laned dirt road with forests on both sides from Myers Way all the way down to the Marina in DesMoines. The changes that have occured are amazing. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that people in this area for as long as I can remember have always genuinely cared about the community and it’s residents. We had no lines back then and today, even though lines are on a map, I still don’t feel a seperation in the community I grew up in. Today, I still see and hear how much genuine care there still is by people like Kathy speaking out for those who are not able to for various reasons.
      Even though I might not like some of the wording Kathy chose to you use as I am a little sensitive to how people percieve those of us who were not incorporated into the City of Burien when it formed as a city, I do agree with Kathy’s intent. There are many families like mine who have been in this community a very long time, many who have the same views as mine when it comes to genuinely caring about people.

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  2. chilly says:

    if it’s such a bad place to live in, Mr. Branson, why do you still call it home?

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    • Jim Branson says:

      I think Burien is a great place. The fact that the City’s government is unresponsive doesn’t diminish my enjoyment of all this town has to offer. An obstructive government doesn’t stop me from trying to make it a better place.

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  3. Gene says:

    Mr. Branson I don’t know where you got your information but the citizens of the southern half of North Highline voted last August to annex to Burien. We certainly had a choice and we chose to go to Burien.
    The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council had an independent company do a poll to see whether the citizens of North Highline would rather be annexed to Burien or Seattle and overwhelmingly the citizens chose Burien.
    As far as Mike Martin is concerned, he did get a DUI and the council addressed it. Mike admitted he has a problem and sought out treatment. Mr. Martin is a very good city manager and removing him from office over his DUI would be an over kill. Seems to me we had a president who lied to congress and kept his job.
    If you think you are not heard by the Burien City Council, try addressing the Seattle City Council and see how far you get. There is always two sides to every story and from the innacuracies I see in yours, I would like to see the other side of the story before I pass judgement.

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  4. Grover says:

    According to state law, only the people in the annexation areas get to vote on it. Burien or Seattle residence do not get to vote on the issue.

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    • Jim Branson says:

      State law may prohibit the existing citizens of a city from voting on annexation, but that’s why we have elected officials, theoretically, to convey the will of the people to our city managers. Does anyone, besides the City Council, think the majority of existing Burien residents were in favor of annexation?

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  5. Heidi says:

    I like your letter and the fact that you are excited and care about North HIghline residents. But this quote at the end doesn’t quite sit well with me…..

    ” I admit it will take some time; these folks have been ignored, neglected, abused, and dictated to for too many years.
    They aren’t quite sure of their voice yet, but given time they will gain confidence and bring a new vibrancy to our city…. we will all be a better place. I look forward to including the remainder of the area – what a great city we will be!”

    I HAVE CONFIDENCE, I AM SURE OF MY VOICE. Not sure why you think people in NH are insecure and have no opinion, and I’m not sure why you think that just because the southern half of NH annexed to Burien that this will allow them to gain that confidence to use their voice. Most people I know in North Highline are very opinionated and have no bones about speaking out.

    If I am mistaken regarding your intent of language, please elaborate.

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  6. jim clingan says:

    Jim –

    In 2007, Burien had a primary election for Position 4 on the City Council. Annexation was a very hot topic during that election cycle. One candidate ran on an anti annexation platform. The other two were pro annexation. My recollection is that the anti annexation candidate got 24% of the vote, while the two pro annexation candidates split the remaining 76%.

    Since we didn’t have a direct vote on annexation, I’d suggest these results may be more relevant than a couple of polls on a website.

    My two bits worth……..

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    • Jim Branson says:

      That’s one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it is that Fulop, an unknown, took 24% of the vote from Lamphear and Shaw, the former and current council members, solely on the basis of the anti-annexation vote.

      Do you, or does anyone, think that the majority of Burien Citizens in the existing boundaries of Burien were in favor of annexation?

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  7. Grover says:

    Jim If you want the citizens of Burien or Seattle to be able to vote on the North Highline Annexation, you need to talk to the law makers in Olympia. That is who made the law. That law cannot be over ridden by a local jurisdiction.
    The existing North Highline residents showed in the poll that was done that they prefer Burien over Seattle.

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  8. Liz says:

    Mr. Bransom, Jay Fulop would be sitting on Burien’s City Council if the people of Burien opposed annexation of North Highline. Instead, he came in a poor 3rd in the primary. Please don’t try to tell us that there wasn’t a considerable amount of money behind him to help make his name and view point known. His problem was his position – not his lack of name familiarity. Anyone who reads the papers saw him on a regular basis. Not sure why he didn’t associate himself with Burien in those ads, but that’s another issue.

    If Burien is going to continue to be a healthy and sustainable city, it needs room to grow – geographically, economically, and culturally. North Highline brings all that to the table. In the meantime, we serve as a buffer between Burien and Seattle. If Burien’s boundary is extended to Roxbury, we’ll continue to do that for you – you will be sure of it because (y)our city will be in control. That is the most likely path to a more healthy community for all of us.

    Ms. Keene voices a concern about North Highline residents being unsure of our voice. That likely comes from her experiences in public forums. As Heidi points out, we do have a lot to say. Unfortunately, most of it is spoken in private as most of us know that King County hasn’t been listening anyway.

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    • Jim Branson says:

      I wouldn’t try to tell you anything, but the Wsahington State Public Disclosure Commission says that J. Fulop raised and spent zero dollars while Lamphear spent $10,000 and Shaw spent $13,000. Look it up for yourself. Don’t take my word for it.

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      • Facts please says:

        This is what is good about small local politics. Everyone can make themselves heard, although we often remember the same event differently. I agree that 24% is good for a newcomer, but in small election populations, 24% is easier to get with less $$.

        As for who was for / against annexation, the official KC voters pamphlet statements would not give much credence to the vote being an indication of annexation sentiment. In the offical position statements, Mr. Fulop did not mention annexation at all, Mr. Shaw was the only one who used the term, and his statement indicates ambivalence (or political caution?). So how many voters made decisions without carefully reading yard signs, political ads, or media coverage, and why should anyone believe that the race was really a referendum on annexation?

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  9. HoBo says:

    So, what does OUR King County Council person, Ms. Drago, say about
    North Highline’s annexation?

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  10. Rob says:

    IMHO- The Burien City Council rammed the town square down our throats, and it sits vacant. Why would the citizens of White Center want a city council that doesn’t listen to the citizens, elects a mayor from city council, not by the vote of the citizens?
    I must agree with Mr. Branson to some degree,that the city council does not hear the citizens.

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    • Chris says:

      Rob, how did the Town Square get rammed down out collective throats??? I remember a ridiculously slow and overly-analyzed process regarding the planning and concept of Town Square. Quite honestly, I didn’t think it would ever get built, due to all the numerous meetings and discussion over it.

      And that fact that it is largely vacant has NOTHING to do with the planning or the design of the project. The planning of this project was way back when the economy was doing very well. Unfortunately, the economy went south near the end of the first phase.

      I’m certain it’ll turn around, and you’ll see those residential units fill up, and have the retail space leased out.

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      • Rob says:

        Yes and now they are scrambling to get something else (MultiPlex Movie Theater) in there. I do not know why they had to get rid of the Bells (gottschalks) building) It owuld have made an excellent meeting place. But the city council didn’t want to think or even consider alternate options. They were “damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead” on phase one of the town square, and anyone who had different thoughts on town square planning was just wrong. I will back track and say the town square park is the one bright spot to come out of this.

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  11. Jimmy Vee says:

    Some questions after a recent meeting with Burien’s city manager: 1.] Is this guy always a jerk or was it just my lucky day? 2.] Is he the guy who has had [uhh] some legal “issues”, including with driving and alcohol? 3.] Why and how is he still employed by Burien?

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  12. Jim Branson says:

    To give Councilmember Keene the benefit of the doubt, I would like her to give an example of a time when a citizen came to the the City, the City listened, and City policy changed as a result. If she is saying that Burien government is responsive, it should be easy to provide some examples.

    If that is the way our government works–where citizens talk to their elected representatives, they listen, and changes are made–then why, after seven years of talking about graffiti, has the city still not come into compliance with its own laws? I can go out today and find graffiti that is over a year old on City property, when the law requires they remove it within 5 days.

    Also, when her own post to a Burien news outlet receives 20 replies with comments and questions, she chooses to remain silent. I am curious about this communication technique and how it improves our City.

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  13. Jim Branson says:

    Clearly Councilmember Keene is a busy person, serving on the Council and the water district board. In order to save her time and effort, I have written up some possible replies below, and she can just check the one that best fits her thinking.

    A. Mr. Branson, it is obvious to anyone that is paying attention that we have not lived up to our word regarding graffiti in Burien. We thank you for bringing it to our attention. As our own law states, taking care of graffiti immediately saves time and money by reducing recurrences and reducing crime in general. There is no earthly reason why we wouldn’t comply with our own codes for the benefit of all Burien’s citizens and visitors. Starting today, we are appointing Mr. ________ in our Public Works Department to ensure that all instances of graffiti are eradicated in five days or less. If he needs more resources to do that job, we will provide them, knowing that money spent now saves money later. If he fails to obtain the desired result, we will find someone who can do the job. Again, we appreciate concerned citizens like you bringing these problems to our attention. City staff and your elected officials do make mistakes from time to time, and we rely on our citizens to help us set things right.

    B. Mr. Branson, no one cares what you think. If you criticize Burien government, that means you are a Burien Hater and you are part of the problem. We have declared, publicly and openly, that we are good people doing the good work of the good citizens of our good city. If anyone suggests we are wrong about anything, our policy is to ignore that person. Any response we might make would only encourage that person to keep bothering us. Instead, we like to portray any complainers as being the problem, rather than just fixing the underlying problem that generated the complaint. We only like to hear from citizens who think we are wonderful.

    C. Mr. Branson, the public input process is complicated, and we like it that way. Rather than listening to individuals, what we prefer to do is to decide on a course of action first. Then we like to hold what we call “Public Meetings.” We dispatch a staff person to hold a meeting on a topic, like the Shoreline Master Program. We get a bunch of citizens in a room, and they all state their NIMBY preferences for one option or another. One citizen cancels out the opinion of another citizen, and then we say, “We have chosen a path where no one is happy because a middle-road compromise is the best solution.” Concerning the annexation of North Highline, it was too difficult to determine whether the majority of our citizens preferred annexation or not, so we just made up our minds and moved forward knowing that we could later simply declare our actions to be successful, regardless of reality. Please feel free to give us all the input you want. We are happy to ignore it.

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  14. Julie D. says:

    Hey Jim, I like option C. Alternate reality disguised as the common good, our specialty here at Burien City Hall. Smiling while ignoring you, well, that is your happy meal toy, dispensed by non elected staff and even volunteers from special interest groups. Take it and get used to it; surely you are too simple to know what is good good for you, the watershed or North HIghline, or maybe you are an NIMBY’er, so what could you possibly know?

    The councilmember’s arguments about being counted among the many might actually bear out for those of us in south-south- Burien (as opposed to South-North Highline soon to be an indifferent part of Burien) to annex to Normandy Park. Then we might actually be listened to…

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    • Jim Branson says:

      Julie, I’m sure the mood is right, if you wanted to circulate a petition for Three Tree Point to secede from Burien. But that raises a good point. If Ms. Keene thinks it’s in the best interests of North Highline to have their votes counted as 1/60,000 instead of 1/600,000, then that is an equally good reason for the existing citizens of Burien to not want their votes diluted from 1/30,000 to 1/60,000. (or 1/45,000 to 1/60,000)

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      • Jim Branson says:

        Better yet, if White Center incorporated as its own city, they could have their votes counted as 1/15,000 and they could do whatever they please.

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        • Julie D. says:

          Jim Here’s how I think they look at it: “Why even count the votes unless they get us increased pork from the state/feds. If we can increase the headcount with people who are not highly educated (even better, English not thier first language) then we really want them as they might bring higher social service dollars and most of all they don’t complain or expect us to listen to them. We can tell everyone we are serving the underserved that no one else wants……therefore anyone who ask questions is mean spirted and selfish.

          We like to pass laws we can’t fund. Graffit, well, that was just a test case. We like to add parts of the city that pay no taxes and have limited infrastructure so we can do more of this on a grand scale. And we don’t like to take care of ballfields and pools in annexed areas, even if they already there and really needed, as we would like to build our own momuments to our compassionate greatness, its a technicality that we could never afford them and if we could it would be years from now. So let’s just close those services to enitrely to our new area(s) – did we promise them a rose garden? – and spend our money instead on consultants to write dozens of new regulations we could never afford to actually enforce.”

          Jim, you didn’t ask for my advice but if you ever want to win the Burien Outstanding Citizen Award, you’re going to need to pipe down.

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  15. Ed Dacy says:

    Mr Branson,

    The City council has listened to your family very favorablity in the past. When it was raised that your family wished to sell the land that became Eagle landing psrk. The council lisatened and responsed by buying it from your family.

    In fact the first proposal on that sale was that it would cost the city nothing (being paid for by grants), when that plan did not work out the City still went ahead and purchased your land..

    This was a very geneous offer by your family and the City listened.

    As a candidate in the 2007 race I was very much aware of Jay Fulops’s campaign. I watched it very closely as I did not have a primary race. His one and only issue was no annexation.

    During the primary campaign I thought long and hard on this issue. After Jay’s loss I decided not to address it in my liturature. But, I expected a lot of questions on it in my doorbelling, but I had only 2 residents ask me about it.

    I also was very much surprised that NO ONE askeed about annexation during any of the public forums,

    I took this to mean that it did not matter to most of the voters.

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    • Jim Branson says:

      Mr. Dacy, cooperation and communication ended abruptly once the property changed hands. Although I currently spend many volunteer hours improving Eagle Landing Park and I have maintained a web site on the park for about 4 years–if I had a time machine, I would go back and prevent this property from being sold to the city. I would much rather have seen it developed into 200 condominiums.

      Shortly after the property was sold to the city, the Parks Department invited park neighbors to a “brainstorming session” to find the best ways of managing everyone’s interests. I came to the meeting with an idea and some drawings to solve many problems at the parking area, and to avoid cutting down one of the three giant Douglas-firs at the park entrance. I was interrupted before I could finish explaining, and I was told it was a waste of time to discuss it. At a brainstorming session. The parks department proceeded with the plan they had before any public input. And they cut down the tree.

      If you would like, I can take you on a tour of the park and show you at least half a dozen examples of how the contractors did not follow the blueprints when building the park. Their failure to follow the agreed plan benefited no one–not the contractors, not the city, not the citizens. These actions wasted money and created problems lasting many years In each instance, I told the parks department of the deviations from the plan while they could have been reversed, and I got no reply at all. The city would rather waste money on an inferior project than receive input from a citizen.

      You should know this from your service on the Parks Board. You attend meetings. You view presentations. You make a comment or you ask a question. Has the Parks Department done one single thing differently because of input from Mr. Dacy?

      Regarding graffiti, I have been removing it my neighborhood for many years. I learned long ago not to wait for the City. What has that got to do with the City not complying with its own laws? The City says it is in everyone’s best interests for city contractors to remove graffiti promptly It saves money when they clean it sooner, according to their own document. They simply fail to follow their own laws, and no one is holding them accountable. Are you saying, Mr. Dacy, the best solution is for the citizens to ignore it?

      I understand the underlying difficulty: if you tell someone they are wrong about something, they usually stop listening. The trouble is, that leaves no mechanism for error correction in Burien City government. The number one rule at City Hall is: never admit you were wrong. Mr. Martin gets caught driving drunk for the second or third time, his new contract implies that he was driving drunk, and it only makes sense to write such a contract if he was driving drunk. Yet, right there, in black and white, above the Mayor’s signature, it says, “Mr. Martin denies he committed any wrongful or criminal act.” Deny, diminish, ignore. That’s the trademark of Burien City Hall.

      I don’t understand why that is acceptable to the citizens of Burien.

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  16. Ed Dacy says:

    On graffit. When my group signed up to adopt a park the city gave us some removal stuff for small areas. Perhaps parks would give you some to remove small areas when you see it.

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