POLITICS: Joey Martinez Throws His Hat Into Ring For Burien City Council
Filing closed last Friday (June 10) for candidates running for three open seats on the Burien City Council, and the latest one to send us info is Joey Martinez, who has filed to run for Position No. 4, which is currently held by Gordon Shaw.
Eight other candidates have filed (read our previous coverage here), and the primary (and special) election is set for Tuesday, Aug. 16th.
“I bring over 8 years of working (as an employee) in City Government, first for the City of Auburn and currently for the City of Seattle – City Light,” Martinez said. “I believe my employment experience of the inner workings of city government will be an asset on the Burien City Council, and especially to the great citizens of Burien.”
Martinez is against annexing White Center, wants to bring “business in from Tukwila,” and wants to increase activities for young adults in an effort to reduce crime.
Here’s more from an email he sent us:
Thank you and I ask for you vote so we work together and continue to make Burien a truly successful and special place.
While I feel that White Center is a vibrant community with lots to offer, I find it difficult financially to support annexation at this time. I do believe that whoever annexes White Center, in 10-20 years, will be glad they did.
There is just so much that the residents of White Center need and deserve that it is asking a lot, maybe even too much, for Burien to pay for. King County has really done a disservice to White Center in neglecting so much of its infrastructure and more importantly its people. I do believe that adding White Center to Burien is the right thing to do, both in long term revenue to the City as well as increasing the quality of life to our neighbors to the north. However, unless we got serious concessions from the King County Council I am not willing or able to support annexation.
The short term drain on our city finances to give White Center what they rightfully deserve is asking too much of Burien in this Great Recession. The short term drain on this community, I feel, would dig us into a hole so deep that we may never be able to get out. Asking our citizens to pay for what King County should have been paying the whole time is giving them a pass on the disservice to White Center. Let’s not give King County a pass.
I feel that having a strong business presence is vital for making Burien successful. These businesses help pay for many of the services we Burien citizens expect and deserve. I feel that we need to work on getting the business we want and putting them where we want and need them. We need to get sustainable businesses that are interested in more than a quick buck. We need businesses that are proud to join our successful community, that want to take an active role, and that look forward to giving back to those who give so much to them. We also need businesses that bring people from other areas into Burien. I would not mind getting some business in from Tukwila. We do need to manage that carefully, and I would work to make sure we don’t become just another Mall.
I believe that prevention is key. The numbers are hard to quantify, however, if we get and keep our youth occupied and interested in activities such as the Arts, sports, and other learning activities such as reading they are less likely to become law breakers. If they, instead, become productive members of our community its both one less person to feed in jail and one more person that contributes to this community.
I would work to improve our partnership with the Highline School district to offer our kids the right activities at the right time of day and year. Doing so keeps the kids and young adults occupied so there is less time for law breaking. We could easily keep 4-5 kids out of trouble for the cost of locking one up.
There will always be those who choose to violate the law. Some even become repeat customers to the judicial system. For those violent offenders I would not change a thing. However, for those who are non-violent or commit property crimes I would push for alternative solutions. Locking up someone has a cost per person of about $20 to $40 per day. I would look to increase home detention with alcohol and drug testing paid for, in part, by the offender. For those who cannot pay there are always alternatives like community service. I would actually push for more community service targeted to and correcting the law broken. If you like to vandalize property, you get to scrub the wall clean.
Only, if after given this chance to make it up to our community, the offender does not learn from past mistakes would I support time in jail. If they behave themselves in prison, I would be for early release with community service as listed above. Continue to break the law and your time increases.
Some people feel this is soft on crime. However, I feel this approach is more effective because I have seen the effect of those locked up first hand. First, they usually come out a smarter more dedicated criminal that will eventually go back for a more serious crime. Secondly, those left behind are also punished by the absence of there loved one. Those also punished are your neighbors, your co-workers, your church members, even some of you reading this. The current system of locking them up and throwing away the key has only lead to more prisons being built. The current system has only become effective in turning the United States into housing the largest prison population in the world per capita. This title in the land of the free is not something I am proud of and would be something I work against.
I am not saying to let rapists and murderers go free. What I am saying is let’s catch them before they break the law, and failing that, let’s help them learn from their early mistakes. Let’s not send them to Criminal University 101 and make a more dangerous criminal.
Early on we will be paying for both crime punishment as well as crime prevention/deterrence. I would work to setup a crime prevention/deterrence levy to pay for some of this. As our prisoner responsibility goes down I would work to transfer that money to lower the levy.
I am not for taxes in this tough economy, however, I am hopeful that giving the citizens of Burien the opportunity to reduce crime and increase community participation in the development of our youth and young adults will be seen as the right thing to do. We would need to work through many of the details to make this happen the right way. But it is something I believe everyone would benefit from.
– Joey Martinez
Martinez for Burien City Council
We’ll not only be featuring the other candidates on the blog, we’ll also be sponsoring forums soon, so be sure to check back often.