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Burien Council Votes To Consider Voting On Annexation At Next Meeting

by Ralph Nichols [1]

Burien City Council members voted 4-3 at Monday night’s (Sept. 26) meeting to consider next week a draft resolution to annex unincorporated North Highline.

Their action directed City Manager Mike Martin to draft the resolution and place it on the agenda for discussion at the Oct. 3 council meeting.

Councilman Gerald Robison introduced the motion to bring forward the annexation resolution near the end of another lengthy council discussion on the issue, which included comments and questions from the public.

Mayor Joan McGilton, Councilwoman Rose Clark, and Councilman Gordon Shaw also supported the motion.

Deputy Mayor Brian Bennett, Councilman Jack Block Jr., and Councilwoman Lucy Krakowiak voted no.

Although council members will finally have a formal annexation resolution before them, it is unlikely they will vote to proceed with the process next week.

Shaw said he supported the motion since the discussion of annexation issues will continue after introduction of the resolution.

Earlier in the meeting he restated his support for annexation, but only if there is an “ironclad guarantee” that Burien will receive the full sales tax credit of $5 million a year for 10 years to help offset costs, which was authorized by the 2009 Legislature.

In making the motion, Robison said “the longer the city delays, the longer we lose the ability to influence” King County not to overload North Highline with low-income housing.

“This isn’t annexation. There will be another vote to approve the annexation resolution … and then proceed” with submitting it to the Boundary Review Board.

At any step along the way, Martin told the council, they could vote to pull back until such time as the issue was voted on by North Highline residents.

But Block disagreed. While he “would love to see that area be part of Burien,” Block said it is “too soon to move forward” because “there are too many unanswered questions…. I have real concerns about moving forward. My first and foremost duty is to the current citizens of Burien.”

Bennett agreed the motion for an annexation resolution “is timely … but I am not yet prepared to move forward.”

A full report on Monday night’s Burien City Council meeting is coming soon.

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