Mike Martin ‘Starting…Undeclared Cold War’ Against BEDP – Doug Moreland

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Doug Moreland returns to his seat after reading a letter at Monday night's Burien City Council meeting. Photo by Scott Schaefer.

by Scott Schaefer

Doug Moreland, one of the founding members of the City of Burien’s Economic Development Partnership (BEDP), as well as a longtime resident and practicing attorney, read a letter to the City Council Monday night (see below), accusing City Manager Mike Martin of “starting an undeclared cold war against the Partnership” and much more.

For the first time since he joined as a founding member in 1994, Moreland was not re-appointed to the BEDP. He also quit from the board of Discover Burien last week.

The BEDP was formed a year after Burien was incorporated, and was meant to serve as a public/private advisory committee. Some of the accomplishments the BEDP has done include:

Doug Moreland

  • Burien’s annual Clean Sweep Event
  • Business License Fee structure
  • Workable sign code
  • Annexation analysis with a revenue-neutral goal

In addition, “BEDP has helped procure more than $300 million of outside and/or new investment over the last 10 years for projects like Town Square, the new King County Library, Transit Center, new Sound Transit/Metro Garage and new City Hall,” according to Moreland.

According to the city’s website:

The Burien Business and Economic Development Partnership is a group of Burien residents, business owners and operators, appointed by the Burien City Council to study and promote economic growth for the City of Burien. This 14-member board, which advises the City Council, has been instrumental in enhancing business communications and identifying economic possibilities.

Recent activity included:

  • Advising the Council on important changes in the City sign code
  • Land-use changes in Northeast Burien
  • Strategies for downtown revitalization

Here’s Moreland’s full letter (download PDF of it here – includes BEDP Bylaws):

We’ll be conducting a more extensive, sit-down ‘exit interview’ with Moreland soon, to get more of his thoughts on this and other issues, so be sure to check back to The B-Town Blog often.

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14 Responses to “Mike Martin ‘Starting…Undeclared Cold War’ Against BEDP – Doug Moreland”
  1. Barbara Levich says:

    Burien has never favored business and it is too bad because businesses are what makes a city an attractive place to live. People do not long for more regulations and high taxes and uncooperative government. They want convenient places to shop, and a good variety of places to buy what they need and want.

  2. Get a clue burien city council says:

    God bless you Doug Moreland.

    No way Mike Martin hasnt been going to the meetings and listening to people who disagree with him?

    Time for new leadership at city hall.

  3. Wheels says:

    To those candidates for city council: you would get my vote if you had a plan for getting rid of Martin.

  4. Eaton B. Verz says:

    This council loves Martin. They took him in after Kent had enough. He continued to endanger the community by driving drunk (again) and the council chose to give him another pass. As long as he pushes their agenda he is here to stay. He is sneaky,shifty and dishonest! Blame the council!!! They keep him. VOTE THE BUMS OUT!!

  5. Marie White says:

    I just reviewed online last night’s meeting and found a rather surprising outburst from the mayor, which began at 2:21:24 in the recording. She said, “I am so unhappy that the citizens who come here to complain about the things that they don’t like don’t stay to hear the council’s business. I think it’s important that we as a community are active in all areas of our community and to see the folks who walked out after annexation really disappoints me in a lot of ways and sitting here listening to the vitriol that came forward – I can’t put it any other way but that – I find personally upsetting. I have had many people in the community say, ‘Well we’re just saying what we believe, don’t take it personally.’ I think all seven of us who sit here and listen to citizen comment take every single comment personally. We go home and think about it, we try to do our very, very best as representatives of the Burien community that we make thoughtful, careful decisions, so sorry folks for editorializing. I pretty much never do it but this is starting to be over the top with a very few people being very, very angry in our community. I would much rather have had them be involved in the vision in a much more positive way, so for those of you who are still with me, thank you for your understanding.

    I spoke last night, and requested that the annexation issue be tabled until the fall because I don’t believe that the council can adequately address the issue and live up to the governance vision Burien will be adopting for the next 15 to 20 years. Specifically, I am concerned that the Council’s process is not responsive (operating in an open and accountable manner). I also do not see the council’s process as collaborative (fostering partnerships with others in pursuit of common objectives). I just reviewed my testimony online, and I don’t see anger, vitriol or an over-the-top tone. I stayed for everyone else’s comments and though some were quite direct and pointed, I cannot say that I thought any were over the top. I confess to leaving even before the annexation discussion began, intending to view it online later. What’s the problem with that? How have I offended the mayor by choosing to involve myself in the process through other avenues than sitting through the entire council meeting? The mayor’s outburst struck me as an attempt to distract us from the real issues with her hurt feelings. And I’m concerned that the testimony I heard hurt her feelings, because it seemed pretty tame to me.

    • Pat Dooley says:

      The Mayor is always up set with people who don’t think her way, she got up set when we quewstioned the running of water district lines across her property so her neighbor would not pay the water district he was in the correct fees, this finally resulted in a Commissioner resigning and a manager not getting a renewed contract, she was up set when someone asked her to move her car out oif the street where it was blocking the road during a parade, when there were five empty spaces on the side of the road, she called the police on the guy who asked her nicely to please move her car. The sign code is not helpful to business people, no A frames have put a lot of people out of business since you can advertized your business at eye level, many business’s set back from the road, and can’t be seen, A Frames were being stolen by a code enforcement officer who does not understand the leagal way to take them, This city needs help and maybe some council people who don’t let STAFF decide everything would be a help. Make this city more effective for business people to make a living and stop pointing at TOWN SQUAREm it was a mistake and a diaster, stop talking about it, how about making it into a Hotel?? Just saying

  6. John Rizzardi says:

    Here is the meeting from last night:

    http://www.burienmedia.org/default.aspx Go to 2:21-2:23
    The Mayor was more than a bit upset at certain public comment – she was “disappointed” and categorizes comments as “vitriol”, which is simply a synonym for anger. Burien citizens cannot show their anger?

    It would be good to get clarification from the Mayor as to what type of acceptable decorum she expects of us. I will sleep better knowing this.

  7. Tom Taaffe says:

    The BEDP has lost a truly outstanding member with the failure to reappoint Doug Moreland. Doug is intelligent, thoughtful, insightful and articulate. Further he has always held the intrest of the citizens of Burien first and foremost.
    Because of these character traits and Doug’s penchant for asking difficult questions, I fear his continued presence on the Partnership board was doomed.
    At this time I don’t know who Doug’s replacement will be, but he or she will have some big shoes to fill. If anyone knows anything about this person, please let us know.

  8. Coverofnight says:

    Maybe everyone’s rush to judgment is correct, but after reading the article, I was left wondering:

    01) The article stated that Moreland, “…also quit from the board of Discover Burien last week.” Did he quit the BEDP or just not re-appointed? And if not re-appointed, what were the reasons? Is his quitting at Discover Burien related to the BEDP?
    02) Did anyone take minutes at the meetings where the Managers were supposed to attend and record them?
    03) What is the explanation given for the non-attendance by the City Manager and staff?

    Sounds like there’s a lot more to the story than the one side presented here. Would hope that there’s an unbiased reporting (by the Blog, perhaps?) of the issues/conflicts with the Council and the BEDP so the citizens can be truly fully informed. Maybe this rush to judgment is premature; maybe not (I don’t personally trust this Council’s actions myself). It also appears that GetaClue’s concerns over annexation weren’t so unfounded, were they?

    I’m anxious to hear the arguments from both sides and see where this is going.

    • skeptical says:

      All your questions could be answered easily if Martin would write a response to the B-town Blog. Judging by his past behavior, he will never respond to critics in public. He has control of the council, and he knows Burien voters won’t get themselves organized to vote the current council members out of office, so he is safe. He doesn’t need to answer the charges against him.

  9. Get a clue burien city council says:

    An unelected city manager is in charge. One who got a raise in his contract for this year and has the city council in his pocket.

  10. Thom Grey says:

    Rah, Rah, Dude Mooreland;
    Thanks for being bodacious and brave and speaking out about what is going on in the inner working of the city and the advisory boards. You did a stand up thing. Each time the business community has tried to get the city to pay attention to the poor economy in the city, the City Council has said that it will look at it in 2012. Man, that is just a put off. Mike Martin, the City Council and the City Staff know the picture is not pretty. And their only solution out is to keep raising taxes but not look at business or the economy. This city is no Mercer Island-tax levy rate 8.57-,Medina-tax levy rate- 8.59, Hunts point –tax levy rate- 7.37, Bellevue-tax levy rate-10.7 or even Seattle-tax levy rate- 9.65. Burien’s tax levy rate is 12.92 and that does not include the tacked on vehicle tax. Living in Burien ain’t no bargain and there are no high quality services from the city here. Dudes, if we had more business, more sales tax bucks coming, more taxable properties that were not low housing tax exempt properties-the property taxes wouldn’t be so high to live here. But what does Dude Mooreland and the other business dudes know? According to Mike Martin, nothing and Mike doesn’t even go to their meeting to see what they might know. Woof, Woof, to you Doug Mooreland for having the guts to speak out. City Council dudes sit up and listen to what is going on here. We know you read this Blog even though you pretend you don’t know what we/Citizen dudes are saying on it.

  11. 3TPRes says:

    It has seemed clear to me for quite some time that Mike Martin is only interested in padding his resume so he can move on to “bigger and better” things. He (and perhaps some of the Councl members too) wants to be able to say that he turned a lovely small town community into a crime-ridden metropolis by annexing everything that is annexable. I suppose that makes him eligable to “manage” a much larger and obnoxious city. Maybe we can nominate him for some place far far away that is looking for a city manager?? The sooner the better!

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