BREAKING: Burien Council Votes To Consider Annexing White Center

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by Ralph Nichols

Burien City Council members agreed on Monday night (March 8th) to consider a resolution expressing to residents of northern North Highline the city’s interest in eventually annexing this unincorporated area.

The formal resolution will include wording that declares “the Burien City Council intends to advance annexation in [north North Highline] as soon as reasonably possible after successfully completing the annexation [of south North Highline].”

The green "Area Y" section is what Burien might go after.

This is the initial draft wording for the “Now therefore” conclusion of the proposed resolution that City Manager Mike Martin and council members agreed on during Monday night’s discussion of Burien’s possible annexation of the remaining North Highline unincorporated area.

Only Councilwoman Lucy Krakowiak, who also opposed the annexation of south North Highline, demurred.

Burien council members will consider the resolution, which will be drafted by Martin, at their March 22 meeting.

Voters of south North Highline approved in August annexation by Burien. The annexation of that area becomes effective on April 1.

In the meantime, the city of Seattle has expressed renewed interest in annexing the north North Highline unincorporated area.

The proposed resolution is a response, in part, to requests by some north North Highline residents for a display of interest by Burien in their unincorporated area, to assure residents there that they have an alternative to annexation by Seattle.

Additional details will follow.

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21 Responses to “BREAKING: Burien Council Votes To Consider Annexing White Center”
  1. Christine says:

    Burien should not consider any further annexation until we have all our own functioning city services. What is the point if we are still renting our police force from King County?

  2. TcB says:

    We are “renting” because it’s cheaper than setting up a force. They perform well. I don’t have a complaint. This is fiscally smart. A lot of people who live here don’t understand or don’t choose to.

    • SD says:

      TcB, are you saying further annexation is fiscally smart or renting the police force is fiscally smart? If it’s annexation you’re referring to, for better understanding, will you please briefly highlight some of the benefits, as I’m one of the many who support Lucy’s decision.

      • Tcb says:

        I’m talking about the Police. I’m not an annexation booster but I’m not opposed to it. It isn’t up to me, it’s up to the people who live there. I’m FOR giving THEM a choice so I support Burien doing the research and getting this rolling for a VOTE. If you’re not for giving those people a choice then that’s cool too.

        • Christine says:

          I am for giving us a choice and then them a choice if our citizens support additional annexations. I am not be argumentative…I just want our needs met first.

          The police rental might be cheaper but they are not providing the services I feel are important like responding to home security alarms. I was shocked when I found out there is actually an ordinance against this. If you have a security system in Burien, it must be monitored and the response provided by your alarm company. If you alarm is audible from the outside of your home without paid response, then you are in violation….how backwards is that?

          I know nuisance alarms are costly. I support fines for them…even starting at call one. Them simply giving up and making us fend for ourselves is not protection. By the time a private security company gets to your home and they verify and call in the police, it is too late.

          Since we moved here, we have watched our favorite places be destroyed by gangs…sometimes over and over.

          I am sure the King County police we rent are just as frustrated with Burien as I am as a resident.

          My husband and I lived in a city of similar size surrounded by high crime rate areas in the Metro Atlanta, Georgia area. College Park, Georgia has its own police force and they are very proactive and responsive to the community though.

          They attend neighborhood association meetings, have neighborhood patrols all day and night. Citizens are encouraged to put in vacation notices and the police go out multiple times a day and check on the property. Alarm response is vigorous and fast. When a problem is located, they will go as far as close off through streets and do random license and registration checks. We knew our local police and they knew us.

          I feel this is because this police force was set up and was able to adapt to meet the needs of the specific community. I don’t want a police force to just be rented to arrest criminals…I want them to be our police force that is here to proactively protect me and my property.

          This isn’t meant to trash the current police force. I know they work hard and are probably equally frustrated. We just don’t have our own issues worked out enough to take on more.

          • TcB says:

            This “Rented” police force is the same King County Sheriff offices that are set up in downtown Burien, have been here for years and years. I know because I’m a longtime resident, moved away after my 20’s but now back. Always lived in the city (of Seattle)and returned often (to Burien), not someone who came in from another city and doesn’t really know what’s going on. Just because they’re getting paid by the city to act for Burien instead of getting paid by the County doesn’t really change anything. Do your research and understand the history. Incidentally, almost everyone else who’s ever commented on this Blog loves the Sheriffs Office and the response time and attention to the City has been awesome. I think we should be prepared to take on the community of White Center if they choose to belong to our city, it’s part of our History as a neighboring community. I think it’s telling that you moved here from somewhere else, and now want to dictate who “belongs” to the city of Burien. I do, however, understand from the people who don’t want annexation primarily for fiscal reasons. I know you don’t want to pay. I know you want more for yourself. It’s cool, it’s a free country.

  3. TcB says:

    Ok People this is the basic argument. We shouldn’t allow the city to review the possibility of annexation because we have problems of our own. We should take care of our own problems and not try to grow the city. What are the problems? Gangs? Fiscal troubles at City Hall? Finishing Projects? Shoreline issues? What? All of these “problems” will not go away, or get worse, or change at all really, if the city takes on some more residents. The’re will still be “problems” that have to be managed. I think the ultimate argument against this, and I ask for the opponents of the POSSIBILITY of annexation (remember, I want to let them vote, I don’t care if they go to Seattle or Burien) to admit it plain and simple, is that it will cost them money. That’s it. Please say: I don’t want to annex White Center because it will cost me more money. I don’t care about shared History, I don’t care about the City growing, I don’t care about my Neighbours, I don’t care about anything but MONEY!

    • TcB says:

      That being said I’d like to add an addendum: If you’re elderly and on a fixed income then you get a pass. Anyone who is concerned about annexation adding cost to their fixed income should be heard. I’d still like to have the debate rather than kill it.

    • Christine says:

      TcB…Wow thank you for making me feel so welcome in my new home of 2 years…gosh I didn’t know you had to live here forever to have a right to an opinion. Sometimes a fresh perspective is a good thing….guess mine wasn’t welcome here.

      • SD says:

        Christine: I welcome your opinion! Not everyone in Burien shares TcB’s opinion, not even those who have lived here their whole life, like me.

        • Christine says:

          Thanks SD! Your attitude seems much more consistent with that of the majority of the people I have met since my husband and I moved here. TcB is the first person to make me feel that I had no right to take part in community decisions because we are new here….hope he doesn’t head up the welcome wagon!

    • SD says:

      TcB: While you may value history and neighborly gestures over money, our city has a fiscal responsibility to make sound business decisions that reflect its current citizens’ vision of what our city is/will be. And I do agree…annexing White Center will not solve our city’s current problems, but it will surely bring its own unique “problems” to the mix.

  4. Tcb says:

    Instead of taking the opportunity to learn about this town you’ve obviously decided that your money is more important. The Ballot box will decide. If it decides against you then I guess you will be just a movin on.

    • Tcb says:

      And now that I’ve had time to think about it, I do welcome new residents. I’m not about to start asking to kick out any people who come here to live and celebrate this City. But I am not celebrating if you come here and choose to disregard this areas’ history and of the wants and needs of the people in general. Look at what’s happening in Normandy Park, a Historic house is going to be leveled in a couple of days because some people who blew in to town want a better view, then they’ll be outta here in a few years. Their actions will live on. It’s like that with the annexation. This is a HUGE deal that will affect this city long after I’m dead. I think it needs a real debate and real thought. It’s not just some argument about what to do with a block of land ( like the theater) which I would happily cede because it’s not THAT important. The annexation issue is a huge deal to a lot of people on both sides. I made a jab at Mark Ufkes but in the end if the people and Mark decide that White Center should be with Seattle then that’s great! I don’t want this issue decided by people who just got here, don’t care about the town, and want to avoid (a small) tax increase before they decide to go back to wherever. If you’re really here for the long term then I think you’d appreciate the real passion I have for this issue. I want the people to make the decision. I want them to have a choice. I think the city is doing the RIGHT thing because they are looking down the road 50 years, not next month.

      • Christine says:

        Money has nothing to do with my reasoning. I might be open to listening to your point of view TcB if you weren’t so darn obnoxious. Being mean spirited isn’t helpful.

  5. Tcb says:

    Think about what you’re saying and what you’ve said. You say we can’t go forward with the research of the possibility of annexation because we “have to meet our needs first” . You complain about the Police but inexplicably use a City ordinance to point out the Police faults. You feel that you could have supported my point of view, but because you feel I’ve been mean spirited you cannot support Democracy. These are all things you’ve argued in this thread. I’ve only argued for the City to do the research, for the possibility, for the future vote of people to join this City. I haven’t argued that they should join this City. I haven’t argued that they shouldn’t. I have argued for Democracy. You have argued for your pocket book. Is pointing this out mean spirited?

    • Gorfsnopple says:

      Here is the problem with your assessment.

      Burien is not in the financial shape to take on another annexation. It wasn’t in sound financial shape before the election, but people voted based on “Hey, that would be nice…” politics, rather that looking at the situation. Burien doesn’t have the tax base at this time with the economic downturn to support these kinds of measures in the first place.

      Yes, we are renting our police force from the King County Sheriff, and they are the same people that have patrolled the area since before Burien was a city. That’s fine. I just think that we need to assert ourselves as a city that is fully reliant upon itself for it’s own security.

  6. Tcb says:

    i’m done trying

  7. Dena says:

    Stop, stop this madness….one thing at a time…and lets do that one thing well first!

  8. Brad says:

    So if what I am reading is correct the people of Burien are not ready to offer any of these services I am listing???
    more police officers
    stronger fire department
    more fire fighters
    lower property taxes
    more park space
    more programs for children
    more services for at risk families
    more first time home buyer programs
    more park investments
    grants for neighborhood safety circles
    stronger school zone speed monitoring
    stronger tenant rights protection
    more investments in food banks
    keep our seattle address
    city council members are more professional
    more community centers
    more city service centers in neighborhoods
    lower electricity rates for Seattle residents
    More pea patch programs
    Now so nobody gets the wrong Idea, these are not a given BUT they are at least offered in Seattle. Yes I am not fo annexation with Burien. I like most of you, DONT want more taxes and the only way they will be able to help White Center will be to increase taxes period. I think the vanity of the Burien council even thinking they can take on the special needs of White Center is a joke. Who do you think will pay for this? YOU ALL WILL and small family companies like ours and yours will suffer the most! For Seattle to supply White Center with even just a few options on that list is a drop in the bucket, not easy but it can be done. Same scenario fo Burien will be a much larger strain on your local economy, what about the lake issues? what about all the people who need special services or even transulators etc? That kind of help is not even avalible in Burien right now! It cost money to set that stuff up by the way its much more than just money to run them. All I see is blame from Burien council from the South Park bridge to how Seattle wont help White Center and they base alot of that on a 2004 document. By the way that document only discussed Burien not Seattle so how is that even considered a fair and accurate document. What about the Comunity Sumits organized by the CDA/Casey Foundation from 06 to 09 they focused mostly on the ethnic minority population and had interpreters and information about annexation services, people spoke from both Seattle and Burien. the results are from electronic polling, the results were well over 60% prefering Seattle every year! What more do the people of White Center and Burien have to do to convince the one adgenda council we dont want to be part of Burien. I think that if the people ofBurien want to take on White Center then you all should be ready for the bill that will come along with it. Dont let them waste your money be out spoken and loud and demand a fair survey! make it deplict the actual costs and the actual benefits of annexing White Center, have them show you how small businesses wont be footing the bill till they have to close the door for good. Thanks for your ear and your time.

  9. Tcb says:

    I know I said I was done trying but I just can’t stand misinformation. Here’s a quote from the West Seattle Herald. It’s from the State Legislature. ‘The State Legislature has approved legislation to give the city” that “incorporates the area part of the States portion of sales tax to offset the extra cost of services.” I think the previous poster has shown a great concern for the city providing “transulators” and services like ‘More pea patch programs”. Once again this is the 50 year question. The vote should happen so that in 50 years the residents can look back and say “They had a fair vote”. I know the residents of Georgetown were annexed to Seattle because of financial reasons,but there was a vote on it, The annexation proposition passed with 389 votes in favor and 238 opposed, so fair and square it was turned into a great freeway entrance!

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