LETTER: ‘Concerned About How This Annexation Is Being Approached…’
On January 9th I attended a Boundary Review Board meeting at Cascade Middle School to listen to people make their cases either for or against a Burien annexation of what is known as “Unincorporated King County Area Y.” Only one thing was really clear when I left this meeting: I am concerned about how this annexation is being approached.
To be clear right off the bat, I have not decided if I am for or against annexation of North Highline yet and I had hoped that these meetings would help me decide. What I experienced at this meeting was a lot of noise and what I am starting to believe is willful ignorance towards the facts.
Person after person got up at the meeting and talked about how the City of Burien was trying to pull a fast one on everyone or how the BERK report was a scam or incomplete or how we don’t want “those people” or “all that crime” in Burien. What stood out to me was how many of these people had no factual evidence to support their claims and most had no background in what they talking about. I was amazed at how many people spoke with such authority on matters such as finances, city planning, urban development, crime, and the morality of Burien City Council Members when most, if not all of the speakers had no platform or experience from which to speak from with such expertise.
A number of speakers were allowed to speak for longer than 3 minutes because they claimed to represent groups of citizens concerned about annexation. In these extended speeches I heard a number of outright factual errors about finances, education, and crime. The City of Burien and the King County Sheriffs Department have provided plenty of information about these topics on their website but for some reason these speakers “facts” and figures were no where close to what the City of Burien and the King County Sheriffs Department have provided. That tells me that these speakers are either patriotic Americans who are standing up against our deceptive local government or people who don’t care about facts, only care about what they want to be true, and don’t care how much they have to stretch the truth to get what they want. I think the latter is probably the most likely.
One of these speakers, the wife of newly elected Burien City Council Member Bob Edgar, Chestine Edgar, went as far as to claim that the region (Burien and White Center) are “over saturated with libraries.” Mrs. Edgar, I want you to know that I disagree with your support of the two Burien libraries being closed and believe that you are stretching the truth if not outright lying* when speak against annexation.
*EDITOR’S NOTE: We spoke with Ms. Edgar shortly after this letter was published, and she states that she did not make the statement Mr. McCumber quoted her as saying. Also, we encourage future Letter Writers to defer using accusatory, slanderous language.
I was also extremely concerned about Burien City Council Member Lucy Krakowiak’s actions at the meeting last night. When it came to speaking about Burien libraries being closed, she chose to not speak her opinion about the issue as it may be a conflict of interest because she is both a City Council Member and a member of the King County Library Board. Last night Krakowiak showed no hesitation to speak her opinion about annexation. I perceived her actions at the meeting last night to be very hypocritical and again made me wonder if she understands her elected role.
I still do not know if I will support or oppose the annexation of the unincorporated area, but I do know that the decision should be made out of reasonableness and factual evidence.
- Mike McCumber – Burien
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