LETTER: ‘Costs Too High’ For Burien To Keep Moving Toward Annexation

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A Public hearing before the boundary review board is scheduled for January 9th and 10th.

Some issues to consider— include the budget reduction…$400,000 below last year with $100,000 allocated to annexation (b town blog 11/16):

Costs too high:

  1. Infrastructure support, capital improvements, human services, public safety concerns
  2. Items missing from budget
  3. State Sales tax credit in jeopardy
  4. Fire district costs (new aid car, retirement account service) plus previous agreement from 1st annexation

Violates the GMA:

1) RCW 36.70A.020(1) Encourage development in urban areas where adequate public facilities and services exist or can be provided in an efficient manner.

  • Due to Burien’s lowering their budget by several hundred thousand dollars and cutting costs for police services, without the sales tax credit, Burien would be unable to provide adequate police services to the area providing they would have to increase their contract with King County to $3 million dollars.
  • Fire district needs have not been budgeted into the Berk report as the need for a new aid car and servicing the retirement account wasn’t made apparent to the council until after completion of the Berk report. These items have not been budgeted and no public disclosure of documentation provided by the City showing how the city can budget these needs has been provided.
  • Again, budget cuts have been made and there is no evidence revenue will increase enough in the future or be collected beyond projected revenues from the area Y to cover these newly discovered costs.

2) RCW 36.70A.020(12) Public facilities and services. Ensure that those public facilities and services necessary to support development shall be adequate to serve the development at the time the development is available for occupancy and use without decreasing current service levels below locally established minimum standards.

  • For the above reasons, and the following indicate the established service levels cannot be maintained.
  • Fire and police services may not be affordable for Burien and potentially will not remain at current levels.
  • Street repair, surface water management, curbs, gutters represent 34 (Berk) to 77 (Seattle) million in infrastructure needs that have not been budgeted by the Berk report and are missing from the yearly budget of service needs.
  • Human service needs, court costs, prosecution, jail, etc., in this area with a higher crime rate and statistics than present Burien needs have not been properly considered. There is a gap of 1.5 million between the Seattle report on annexation and the Berk report. Additionally with the recent Burien budget cut made to police services, it is indicated the level will drop rather than increase as needed.
  • Without the sales tax credit there is no way Burien can afford to annex and even with the credit there are serious doubts.
  • Service levels for parks have been understated in Berk and one park is missing from their analysis.

The City of Burien does not have the right to make future promises for levels of services that currently do not exist in the city, issues that are not currently in city master plans and it cannot propagandize why residents in Area Y should vote to join the City of Burien. Also, the city does not have the right to hire PR firms do any of underlined and highlighted above mentioned items. Meetings in Area Y must strictly be limited to be only informational in nature. Additionally, the Burien City manager does not have the authority to go to the Unincorporated North Highline Council and promise items and services to the citizens of Area Y that are not publicly known to the current citizens of Burien.

Citizens have a right to speak for or against the application for annexation on Area Y but are encouraged to keep their presentations to factual issues and the requirements of the application process. The repetitive comments that “we are just nice people in Area Y” may make some people feel good but are not relevant to this process. Citizens opposed to annexation should make their comments based to why annexation is not feasible based on service levels, income sources of the city, requirements for increased services that are needed in Area Y but seem to have no funding source, lack of funds to sustain Area Y in the future, future sustainability of the City of Burien should this annexation occur, issues with funding and sustainability of the special districts, history of the area for growth and development to generate income or special considerations for services based on the historic and current population needs of the area.

Best Regards,
John and Linda Poitras

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47 Responses to “LETTER: ‘Costs Too High’ For Burien To Keep Moving Toward Annexation”
  1. TcB says:

    Costs high now. Costs to Seattle or King County or Burien (just not us! scream the nimby’s) in the future will be greater as that area continues to be the hot potato. King County won’t invest as they want to get rid of it. Seattle won’t want it. A whole lot of Burien oldies sure don’t want it. Sorry White Center looks like you’re screwed.

  2. Leslie Kasper, DVM says:

    What about Animal Control? We can’t even cover our current City, let alone expand to White Center!

    • If we annex there would be sufficent funding to use RASKC. Of this I am 99.9% sure. Assuming the tax credit is not eliminated.
      The latest buzz I’ve heard is that Kirkland reps are mobilizing everything they have to keep that in the budget.

      Joey Martinez

  3. Bryan says:

    Look at the crime rates for that area…not to mention the HUGE multi agency drug & gun bust by the ATF Violent Gang Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigation, the Washington State Department of Corrections and State Liquor Control Board, the King County Sheriff’s Office, Metro Transit Police, the Seattle and Burien Police Departments, and the Eastside Narcotics Task Force.

    I sure don’t want this area part of Burien. We the people have already voted one city councilman out; the rest of them should take notice and put the brakes on or take the risk of losing their jobs next year.

    • Jim Lutz says:

      That really sounds like a scarry threat that you are going to vote out the people who are in favor of annexation. You might want to remember that if we annex North Highline, that will add about 17,000 people and if the candidate really works hard at getting the North Burien and North Highline voters to actually vote, maybe they will vote out all the people who were against annexation all along. Perhaps that is why the anti annexation peopke are so afraid to annex. They might lose their grip on the city.
      All you have to do is go North of 148th and East of Ambaum and suddenly one of the major issues is that they want access to Lake Burien. Spend some time talking to all the citizens and you will find out that the anti annexation crowd is not in the majority, they are just the loudest and (right now) they vote. That can all change with the right campaign.

      • TcB says:

        I will tell you that public access to the lake is a bad idea. There are not enough inflows of fresh water (how does it get water anyway, runoff?) and the outflow is too slow. Any pollution introduced into the lake will stay there until manually pulled out. You just can’t police public access enough to promise that it won’t be trashed.

      • William Forest says:

        Let me guess Mr Lutz.. you are either a developer or you live in Area Y or own property in area Y because otherwise what you say is off the wall!
        The fact that the current majority on the council along with the out of control city manager were trying to ram annexation down the throats of the residents who are more than 2 to ! against it flies in the face of your diatribe.. IN FACT the RESIDENTS of the city of Burien I suspect like me feel that NON-RESIDENTS and outside interests have way too much influence over the city council who is supposed to be representing US.
        I think the current election proves this correct and that you are just blowing smoke since Shaw a vocal pro-annexation incumbent was thrown out of office by a anti-annexation candidate and the only vocal anti-annexation member of the council blew away her pro-annexation opponent Greg Duff.. So go peddle your misinformation in white center because it sure doesn’t fly here.

    • atkmh says:

      Have you reviewed Crime Reports recently? The stats don’t substansiate all this dribble that White Center is the hot spot. And just because the “sting” happened in White Center does not in anyway indicate the same sting conducted in Burien would not have the same result. If you think we are a pristine community currently you are sorely uninformed. Maybe you should review the stats on the Washington Courts website to see how many criminal cases are filed in Burien every month. Burien is known to be one of the most “active” in the area. Funny no one is concerned about the drive by shooting that happened where, oh yeah, that was Burien.

  4. William Forest says:

    I would like to know if the $100K that is allocated to MISC expenses related to Annexation includes the position created by Mike Martin to co-ordinate an annexation that probably WON’T happen? Taking away $200K from police services so we can blow it on a pie in the sky annexation scheme amounts imo to fiscal malfiesance.

    • William, you’re not being honest and truthful. “Taking away $200K from police services…” That “taking away” is $200k that was budgeted to pay KCSO for anticipated services. That is $200k that was not spent on KCSO services because they were not needed.

      There was no “taking away” of services in the sense you’re using them.

      Joey Martinez

      • Forgot to mention, that position fills Jenn Ramierez-Robson’s old job. She left to join and direct New Futures.

        Sent from my smart phone while waiting for the next job applicant to show up.

        Joey Martinez

      • William Forest says:

        Yes it is Joey, budgets are supposed to look forword, the fact that we didn’t use that 200K on police services budgeted last year does not mean we won’t need them this year. There was a very good reason that 200k was in the budget and to take it out of the current budget is a very bad idea, and we may end up running a deficit if it turns out we need it in the current cycle.

        • Regardless of what you or I think here is what happened to it. King County charged $200k less than anticipated and budgeted.

          King County Tax assessors told Burien that since property values are down revenue will fall by $400k(?). That extra money was used to help plug the hole. Along with some accounting work the budget was balanced as required by law.

          Without annexation, begining in the 2013-2014, there will be no additonal revenue or accounting moves to plug holes. That will result in gaps and cuts in services. The police contract takes up a large part of Burien’s budget. Cuts will definitely happen there. I’m not advocating cuts to the police budget.

          Joey Martinez

  5. lori says:

    Hey Joey,

    Just an aside – are you using a city computer and the taxpayer’s dime for your ongoing rants? Just asking…

  6. Burienite says:

    I venture to say that even if annexation financially penciled-out, and–dare I say–actually resulted in a positive revenue flow due to improved AV, that many would still dismiss the endeavor simply from a standpoint of stigma.

    I think everyone (even WC residents) agree that the area is grossly underserved and has the prevailing feeling of being “depressed.” This is a hard rap to shake–even if good businesses move in and try to make a go at it. White Center has improved in many regards, however it’s “Rat City” moniker and the perceived traits that go along with it obviously prevail with many in the area/region. Again, it’s a tough thing to overcome, when it’s been continually perpetuated over decades.

    So what is the answer for this area? Should it just be left alone to fend for itself, with the hopes that it’ll improve and eventually become some sort of destination that all will flock to? Do people really think that without an annexation it somehow is going to be all that it can be? I think it’s obvious that without some investement by a neighboring city, the area will likely continue down a path that results in more and more cuts in urban type services and which will render it even less appealing to anyone.

    King County is adamant that the area must be absorbed by a municipality, and the statewide (along with countywide) planning policies identify these areas as needing services that can only be provided by cities.

    King County is in the regional government biz, and likely will not invest much (if any) in the area in questions.

    At the end of the day, we can all pretend that nothing will change and this “problem” will simply go away. Of course it will not. As a former Seattle resident (now current Burien resident), I have seen how Seattle has addressed zoning and land use. Anyone with gobs of spare time on their hands (or a case of insomnia), should read Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan, where topics such as density, zoning and all things “land management” are stipulated. You would find that dense, dense, dense is the theme, and multi-family is the preferred type of structure.

    How many of you remember why Burien became a city? There were two major things: Stopping/controlling the 3rd runway, and the massive abuse by King County to dump tons of multifamily structures in the area.

    It is no surprise that Seattle’s goal is to go dense. This is what is spelled-out in various statewide and countywide planning policies. Keep urban areas dense, in the name of preventing sprawl.

    My take on all this, is that there is an oportunity to establish control of the WC area and get the zoning correct and do in a way that serves as a effective buffer for Burien. Now, this may not happen anytime soon. The economy continues to suffer and now the very incentive for cities to annex unincorporated areas (also defined by statewide planning policies) is in jeopardy of going away.

    Burien can simply sit back and see what happens and hope for the best. Or, they can continue to evaluate the area and determine when will be a good time to POTENTIALLY annex all or part of the area. To simply sit back and doing nothing is foolhardy and limits anyones ability to have a stake in the future of that area.

    • TcB says:

      From a historical perspective, I have read that a possible explanation of “rat city” has more to do with the availability of alcohol in the area during wartime…Restricted Alcohol Territory or RAT for the areas of Seattle city proper for service members, but not in White Center which was unicorporated. Unfortunately RAT became “rat” as in the rodent through the telephone game that is time and different generations. Except for “stigma” there seems to be no basis for calling it “Rat City” because there are no concentrations of rodents in the Burien/White Center/West Seattle area. Right now I feel that even if White Center were a prosperous area, there are a lot of people in the Burien area who would oppose White Center becoming part of the city due to the extra minority population that annexation would bring. That’s right I said it.

      • Jim Lutz says:

        Thank you for saying that TcB. Unfortunately I have to agree with you. The only candidate to say anything like that was Greg Duff in the first dabate when Lucy failed to show up. He said that he had talked to many many people while campaigning and people would hint at it. After hearing from one very racist voter, Mr Duff told the indivicual that race should have nothing to do with annexation. The gentleman went home and put up a “Lucy” campaign sign and a homemade sign that said “No White Center Annexation”
        We do have a lot of closet racists in Burien that will use a lot of other excuses but we can see right through them.

      • Coverofnight says:

        TcB said, “…That’s right I said it.” That made me laugh – now get off the computer, ya big dummy!….;)

        For me, race is a non-issue; it’s all about the economics of the situation. White Center is not a prosperous area, maybe it’s never really been one, maybe it’ll be sometime in the future. But for now, supporting it means additional economic “sacrifice” (Joey’s favorite term) by the citizens of Burien. We just want this local government to stay out of our pocketbooks. The reality is that this isn’t the time to look at annexation. My gut feeling is that it will proceed though, with total disregard to the public’s wishes. It’s amazing how similar the fiscal and policy mismanagement by this Council and the City Manager’s actions mirror that which is happening at the federal level.

        For a guy who didn’t win the election, Joey is sounding more and more like a paid shill for the City of Burien. And quite frankly, some of his responses border on David Axelrod-arrogance. So “boo-hoo” to Joey’s feeling that the public sector is continually cutting costs and making sacrifices. Remember, you guys work for us to provide public service; to do your best with what you have to work with – if that means a smaller budget, so be it! Welcome to the real world.

        Finally, Joey, you state, “…In government we’ve learned to be on time and in budget. We do that by over estimating…” This reasoning and your subsequent paragraph regarding project estimating just blows me away (I’ve estimated projects for over 30 years) with such an incompetent way of thinking!

        You really should be fired (or just move to Oregon).

        • C.O.N. I never said sacrific for Burien.

          I’ve stated the exact opposite. If you reread these posts you will see that I am advocating that this will allow Burien to continue on in economic growth during the projected continuation of this down economy (5-7 years estimated).

          I am not a paid “shill” like you say. The exact opposite is true. I never take a politician or beurocrat at his word. That is a hard learned lesson working for the tax payer. I am very good at research and dig through what the evidence says.

          In arguments of substance, like annexation, I always dig into what everyone says.Get down to the truth. The fear and scare tactics that you and others portray is something I really don’t like. That is why I comment.

          You scream the sky is falling, yet you never point to the star. I’ve dug into and laid out the evidence. At that point you stop arguing evidence and start attacking me personally. Step two in the Tea Party playbook is to attack the man if you can’t attack the evidence.

          And to your “finally”. That is government in every part of this country. Government hires consultants so that if something goes wrong they can blame that consultant. Or they blame the engineer, of which I’ve been on the receiving end before. That’s government from Burien, to Seattle, Olympia, California, even the red states.

          Joey Martinez

  7. I wrote a comment on another post (About the budget) but I will summarize: We as citizens have really hamstrung local government. Since the passing of I-747 Burien has been, in effecting cutting and trimming.

    How is this? We’ve limited them to 1% increases a year statutorally. Inflation has gone up more than that most years. Council knows they will be voted out of office (even Lucy) if they even talk about raising taxes. This most recent 1% potential increase lit up a firestorm on the blog and it wasn’t even on the table. The cost to the median property tax payer’s bill? 73 cents a month. We just voted in $150 per month levy to Highline schools.

    Instead, Burien has been trimming and cutting as much as possible. For the last several years there was no 1% increase. In fact, due to property devaluation the median property bill (that affects Burien’s portion only) is going down about $15 this year.

    They have been keeping the books in the black (as required by law) by moving funds around and providing compromise services. Want proof? CARES is one. They have a $120k budget. The cost for RASKC (Regional Animal Services – King County) is projected to cost $280k or more. More proof? The council is changing the distribution of property taxes from 80% general fund – 20% CIP (Capital Improvement Projects). The new distribution will be 90% general fund and 10% CIP. That means less money to pay for roads and other infrastructure.

    All of this will balance the budget for 2012. Looking at 2013-2014 there is very little in accounting magic to be done.

    Assuming there is no tax credit (no tax credit equals no annexation says the council), or we don’t annex before 2014 the anti-annexation group’s worst fears will be realized. Only, they won’t be able to blame the North Highline annexation.

    They will blame the council and staff and say they were incompetent. It won’t be them, it will be us tax payers who didn’t want to pay for what we wanted. I’m talking the potential for NO animal Control, no parks maintenance, no street repairs. The list goes on.

    Everything you fear about annexation will begin in 2014 if we don’t annex.

    I’m not for Annexation because of the tax credit, but it is a nice bonus. It will allow Burien to provide enhanced police services without costing current Burien any extra. Kick the crap out of crime without extra cost to current Burien. It would allow us to contract with RASKC without extra cost to current Burien. It would allow us to tackle issues with our youth and get them to be more successful in school without extra cost. There is a direct link between success in k-3rd grades and graduation rates.

    This will allow Burien and North Highline the revenue needed to improve our services to our citizens while other cities struggle to make ends meet. It will allow us to work on our infrastructure while other cities fall into dis-repair. If we go into a double dip recession or if the predictions are true of the recovery (another 5-7 years out) this annexation will allow us to be ready for the recovery. It set us up to prosper.

    Without it, we will be just another broke city trying to catch up in 5-7 years. Again, I am not for annexation because of the tax credit (but it’s a nice bonus).

    Joey Martinez

    • Neil says:

      Joey, we as residents of Burien want a responsible local government that has oversight and better management. We could have had all the services you are talking about if the City Manager with his poor oversight of the Ambaum project hadn’t blown $500,000 of our money.
      You lost the election due to your pro-annexation agenda. Your campaign for the next election is going to end the same way with your pro-tax agenda.
      By the way, you haven’t answered Lori’s question about if you are doing your rants on tax payers time and money since you are are city employee.

      • Neil I want the same thing. This will be hard to explain but…

        In government we’ve learned to be on time and in budget. We do that by over estimating. How many times have you heard a wsdot project finish way ahead of schedule?

        Unfortunately the great recession has forced me to give as accurate a prediction as possible on a project that is a year away. The only way to do that is to do a best guestimate. Since budgets are tight we try and give a number small enough so it gets approved. Stuff happens with estimates and unforseen issues. I am sure the budget would have been about $1 million higher 5 years ago and he would have reported 500k under budget.

        As far as elections, I could run for the next 20 years (win or lose) and still be younger than most of our current council. I’ve got time…

        And I did answer before you posted 🙂

        On the light rail and on the way to Burien bearcat football to shape tomorrow’s minds.

        Joey Martinez

        • Bryan says:

          Joey…Didnt the Viaduct mile get done early??? I think so and that was a WSDOT project. Please use professional and factual examples.

          • Bryan, exactly my point. They scheduled a 9(?) day closure. They were done, I think 1 or two days early. Digging into the project material, it appears they expected about 5-6 days to complete the work. Imagine they scheduled a 5 day closure, and it took 7. We’d be in an uproar. Instead they get praise for being done a couple days early.

            Sent While on a break.

            Joey martinez

  8. William Forest says:

    Joey.. No tax credit>> then that ends the annexation story that’s the reality. Please don’t try and spin it anywhere else without acknowledging that fact.

    I urge anyone that is concerned about state services like monitoring sex offenders that are going to be cut from this years budget to contact your state legislators and put in your two cents on whether the state can afford allow the tax credit offer to continue at this time. Their are much bigger more important areas the money should be applied.

    I think when you give even a cursory glance at what is being cut from state services that answer is a big NO.

    When the economy picks up and the state has revenue in excess of what it needs to maintain really needed services we can revisit the issue then. But Then is not Now.

    • William, agreed. No tax credit no annexation. That is the reality. Pro and anti camp can agree on something! Even the council agrees on that.

      I’ve already contacted my reps in the 33rd asking them to not cut annexation funding. Cutting monitoring is a “red pen” item and “easy” to do. Cutting annexation requires law changes. For our sake I hope both stay.

      At home on personal PC, soaking wet and shivering from Bearcat practice.

      Joey Martinez

      • William Forest says:

        Joey I will be contacting my state reps and urging them to cut the annexation sales tax credit and use the money where it is needed more.. LIKE MONITORING SEX OFFENDERS plus a lot of other areas which are being cut that are MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than supporting annexation agendas!

        I don’t care if its a red pen issue a green pen issue or a law modification.. Its MUCH MORE IMPORTANT to keep a watch on criminals that are likely to commit the same crimes again than fuel annexation dreams of the blinder wearing supporters of annexation like Mr Martin who is looking for support in area Y and is more concerned about his job security than the citizens of Burien.

  9. Debi Wagner says:

    People tend to believe that money going to the schools helps students to learn. That is why people vote for the levy. They care about children and their future. People don’t like tax increases by local, state and federal government because people believe there is a lot of unnecessary government spending. I think it is more natural and practical when low on money to cut spending rather than looking for new sources of revenue. And these are tough times for many people. You make the argument that annexation will somehow save Burien in the future. To the contrary, the Berk report predicts a future deficit once the sales tax credit runs out. Now the sales tax credit isn’t secure. You could lobby for it now but it still could be done away with in two years. And there still will be millions in capital improvements needs that are never addressed in the 10 year financial plan.
    Tax is not keeping up with inflation but neither are wages. While property values go down and cities collect less, should we take on another area with needs higher than our own? Even the thought of higher taxes to support this in the future if that is the case is abhorrent to most residents who are barely making it now. While we cut capital improvement investment should we take on additional capital improvement projects way outside of our means to support? So why lobby to keep the tax credit and not lobby to wait on annexation? Because I perceive an imbalance in your approach to this issue, I suspect there is another agenda going on.

    • Mrs Wagner, I do agree with you aout the levy and why we vote the way we do. As far as annexation and what happens with the credit ends, well all of your “fears” begin to happen in the next budget cycle (2013-2014). All of the issues anti-annexation folk bring up will be realized, only we won’t have North Highline to blame.

      The Sales tax credit removal is a proposal and is a big process to get rid of. Not easy to say the least. The all cuts budget recommended by the Governor is political theater. As an example, she just said we need to cut funding to education to balance the budget. She said that so we would all get riled up and “beg” for a tax increase to fund education.

      Why do you think Public Safey and Education are not a part of that “protected” funding she speaks about. So Government can get us to beg for a tax increase.

      Like your opponent Mr Robison said. Much of that infrastructure is “wish list” stuff. Burien itself has a list a mile long. We’ll get to it when we can. It all doesn’t need to get fixed right now. The stuff that does will be addressed with the County.

      What agenda to you speak of? I like how you try and plant a seed of doubt in my intentions but not back them up. That is simply dirty politics on your part Mrs Wagner and I thought you were above that. Shame on you.

      I’ve got no “rich developer” friends to make happy. I’ve got no funds to invest in some “venture”. There is no special interest I owe anyting to. In fact, in additon to the restrictions I placed on myself by running (with the PDC) there are a myriad of restrictions I have due to being a City of Seattle employee. Research those and get back to me. http://www.seattle.gov/ethics. Ethics is something, I feel you, are lacking with your last comment.

      Joey Martinez

      • William Forest says:

        Joey your gung ho support of Gordon Shaw and including your picture on his campaign literature, while you get on your soapbox here and pretend you are impartial is imo unethical. No special Interests Joey? Come on .. get real… >>supporting Gordon Shaw was in effect supporting Shaw and his Big Developer funders. So stop trying to make out you are the victim, when in reality you are a wolf in sheeps clothing. If you think attacking someone like Debbie who is so ethical she actually turned down money that she could have used to defeat Robision is beyond the pale.
        Also, if you have said you are a city of Seattle employee once, you have said it a hundred times and its getting REALLY OLD! Why do you keep repeating it?.. Do you think it adds to your already dubious credibility? I got news for you Joey.. IT DOESN”T. The only one in these posts lacking ethics is you Joey, as you proved in your last post.

        • I am impartial in that I look at the entire picture and entirely dig into what the facts are. I do not rely on hyperbole or perception.

          Yes, I did support Gordon Shaw over Bob Edgar. I stand by what i said on his campaign material and personally feel he’d be better for Burien than Mr Edgar. If you look beyond the perception and into the reality of Gordon you will see that he was the cheapest, most penny pinching SOB on that council. He always got bottom dollar for Burien and you can love him or hate him for that but that is something you have to give him.

          Except for one mistake (which was rectified) I didn’t take any money from anyone either. I also turned down money. Running and getting my message out with me and my two boys was not an easy task.

          To say I am a wolf in sheeps clothing has no basis in reality. My finances are open to the public record both at the PDC and by google searching for City of Seattle Employee Pay. I’m a thirty-two year old who is only interested in the truth.

          I want to be, and will be, involved in local politics because I care about this community. Even if I am never elected I will be infusing my opinion to those who partake in local affairs. We all have a lense and view the same thing differently. I don’t try and shout over you saying that you’re wrong about annexation. I want to hear what you say about it. I don’t try and discredit you by trying to plant seeds of doubt into others minds.

          I will continue to say that I am a city of seattle employee because it is the truth. It gives me an inside view behind how government operates, which I feel, is relevent. As one example: The perception that government workers are lazy is accurate, yet at the same time totally and completely inaccurate. It’d take me a long essay to explain, but I’ll meet you anywhere you’d like and I can explain that reasoning or anything else for that matter.

          I have no ulterior motives other than to have Burien, and the Highline area, get the respect it deserves and needs to strive.

          Another subject that irks me? The Sound Transit Sub-Area Equity. It means that the money Sound Transit raises in one area is only spent in that area. The rest of the county stacked the deck against South King County. It’s stacking the deck against against us and wondering why we can’t raise as much money as other areas.

          (Ok, that last part was a rant)
          Joey Martinez

  10. Debi Wagner says:

    Joey: I am not a politician and neither are you so your claim I am planting a seed of doubt and playing dirty politics is ridiculous. This isn’t some kind of game either where you bounce the ball back in my court to defend myself by claiming I am unethical and uninformed. I never actually attacked you in any way. I have merely pointed out many times where figures don’t add up favorably for Burien. And in the end, it will be area Y that is hurt because many of the projected human and social service, housing, legal, fire, infrastructure needs cannot be budgeted now or in the near future.
    There are two problems with your arguments as I see it. CIP are necessary, they aren’t some imaginary wish list ideas someone has. They were real to Seattle when they estimated 77 million. They were real to Berk when they estimated 34 million. But they are tabled in the yearly budget figures. You keep ignoring that fact and if these are ignored for 10 years, there will be even less money once the tax credit runs out (should it survive state cuts) which doesn’t even begin to cover it because they are never budgeted. The second problem with your argument is that despite the financial shortfall of Burien to budget true Burien and Area Y needs into the future, there is the question of why do it? That is the mystery of the hidden agenda that is apparent in your statements, along with Gordon Shaw’s and Jerry Robison’s adamant defense of their pro annexation agenda. There is no real good sound reason to move forward on this with all the real (non wish list) financial problems including the newsly disclosed fire district needs. Both Robison and Shaw did not favor a Burien resident advisory vote on the issue. Do you?

  11. Ian Gunsul says:

    Don’t you mean a West of Ambaum resident advisory vote?

  12. Mrs Wagner, as one example, I beleive, the Seattle CIP included sidewalks on all streets. Sure they are “needed”, and I would love one, but we’ve all gone this long with out them. They were not left out of anything. The will be added to the list and be dealt with as funding occurs. King County has no plans to address those needs. Seattle’s list is incredibly long and if North Highline waits their turn it will be waiting generations. South Park only recently got a library and they annexed in the early 1900’s.

    No Tax credit, no annexation. We all agree with that. If it survives this round it will survive for the next 10 years.

    Why do it? On the selfish reason (which I think is a bonus but not why I am for annexation) it will keep Burien solvent for the next 10 years. I am for it because I want to reunite a community. I am for it for Schools. I am for it for zoning. I am for it because they deserve a voice. I am for it because we deserve a bigger voice. I am for it because I am tired of the Highline area in general being crapped on. The list goes on.

    It is projected that the economy will persist for the next 5-7 years, as is. That will cause Burien to provide even more compromise services. Think RASKC versus CARES, as one example.

    Normandy Park and Des Moines are already having layoffs, service reductions, and budget cuts. SeaTac is staying afloat through service reductions, at this time. Our pain is being balanced by accounting fixes. Those fixes end for the 2013-2014 budget.

    If we don’t have an means of increasing revenue (and we citizens are not up, nor can afford a tax hike) then all of those things the anti-annexation group is preaching will begin happening in the 2013-2014 budget.

    We will fall behind and be stuck, like Detroit is, in a catch-22. We’ll need an investment to get out of the duldrums but no one will invest – like no one wants to invest in White Center.

    If, instead, we use that tax credit to lower our portion of what it takes to run the city and re-invest into Burien we will be ready to roll when the economy gets going again. We could be ready to be the next Bothell in whatever is the next great thing.

    Small example: Current Burien pays $200k per year for the priviledge of having a City Council. The likely percentage of that split that goes to annexation is 25% (not sure exactly what it will be honestly, 35%?40%?). With annexation, that allows $25k per year to go back into the general fund for other services. $250k over 10 years. That is a single line item.

    Mrs Wagner, I will support and push for an advisory vote of annexation on one condition. We also have, and you support, an advisory vote on public access to Lake Burien. Let’s get both questions out of the way if we want to vote on things.

    Joey Martinez

    • William Forest says:

      Joey you just made a Freudian slip by linking annexation to public access to Lake Burien which frankly has no link whatsoever except in the mind of developers.
      i think its pretty obvious that the vast majority of Burien residents OPPOSE the annexation of white center regardless of your ad hoc survey.. I did my own and found 90% opposed to annexation if the facts about it were explained. Also I believe the poll on this blog was more than 2 to 1 against annexation. The only folks harping on about changing the zoning to Lake Burien that has been in place for decades are the developers (outside interests) and their co-conspirators like you Joey and like your buddy Gordon Shaw. Gordon Shaw .. Gordon Shaw you know the guy who was heavily funded by developers and whom you hype as a fiscal conservative.. but who was more than happy to lead Burien down the road to fiscal disaster if it benefited his developer friends.
      As far as your claim that North Highline is getting a bad rap.. well Joey they do and for darn good reason, because its an area that does not take in enough money to support itself. To continually blame the other residents of Burien and call them bigots or whatever, especially those that live west of Ambaum for pointing that out is a typical right wing bait and switch attack and distract ploy.

      Yeah Joey.. I agree with Debbie .. something doesn’t add up in your argument.
      It smells really fishy to me.

      • I linked them in the sense that if we want to have, and pay, for advisory votes then lets get them all out of the way. I’ve got no one I’m indebted to. I am not friends with any developers or even friends of friends of developers.

        I truly believe annexation is the right thing for all of Burien. I’ve given you evidence in my posts. I’m arguing facts and figures. I offer info on the pros of annexation to the readers.

        You say it’s not financially do-able and I’ve offered you facts and figures that suggest otherwise.

        Mr Poitras made an argument against annexation, to which I respectfully disagreed. I commend Mr Poitras for posting this letter and especially for engaging the council both in email and at the microphone. The more people that get involved in politics the better.

        AND…. two more things: you say that I’m using right wing bait and switch. CON compares me to left wing “Joe McTaxman” (McDermott). This words.

        Also, I’ve never called anyone “west of Ambaum” a bigot or anything of the sort. I respect their opinions. I respect everyones opinion.

        Joey Martinez

  13. Debi Wagner says:

    No I don’t.

  14. Debi Wagner says:

    Joey: I don’t live on Lake Burien. I have never stated an opinion about Lake access. Why do you think those two are related to me somehow?

    • Mrs Wagner, all I said is that if we want to have an advisory vote on annexation that we should also have an advisory vote on public access to Lake Burien. Neither means anything, legally, but it does state what the people want.

      It wasn’t directed to you, per se, but to anyone who wants to have an advisory vote on annexation.

      Let’s let the citizens decide!(?)

      Joey Martinez

  15. Coverofnight says:


    “Bloviate” – look it up and you’ve GOT to see a picture of Joey Martinez next to it!

    He truly is a politician; in the most unflattering of terms.

    For all the other readers; boy, I get worn out reading his posts….he’s all over the place! You get nowhere trying to engage this guy – don’t encourage him.

    I’m on to something else….(though I’m sure Joey will respond so he’ll have to have the last word, like an ol’ fishwife).

  16. CON, here is a quick one.

    If you can’t attack the message attack the messenger.

    Joey Martinez

  17. elizabeth2 says:

    Often the message and the messenger go hand in hand. I will not go into arguing that but simply say that if Mr. Martinez desires at some point to run again for a political office, he might want to consider toning down, cleaning up, and refraining from nasty and snarky personal attacks.

    This is not an approach that is going to make a voter think this is a rational and calm open minded person.

    Advise from an old lady who has seen much – rise above it all and maintain your dignity and composure. When stuff is flung at you from low places (and I am not referring to anything specific in anything on the Blog), do not lower yourself to that same level.

    It is hard for me to take the time to know whether I like your stance on affairs on not because you are spending many many too many words being low and mean.

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