LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘WOW…Who Writes This Stuff For The City?’

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WOW who writes this stuff for the City of Burien website. Currently on the website under annexation of north Highline this statement is made in the last paragraph, “…Financially feasible, and even provide additional resources to the City above the costs of annexation, since Burien would receive up to $5 million a year for ten years …”.

Amazing how wrong our City staff can be! Let me quote Washington state law RCW 82.14.415(6), “All revenues collected under this section SHALL be used SOLELY to provide, maintain, and operate municipal services FOR THE ANNEXATION AREA.”

How does the above quoted state law allow Burien (or any other City) to “provide additional resources to the City ABOVE the costs of annexation”? If the City writer cared to learn more he/she might try reading RCW 82.14.415(7) which further details what the annexing City MUST do with these Sales Tax Credits and what to do if the Credits actually exceed the costs of providing services in the area.

Okay now to give the City staffer a math lesson. It is NOT POSSIBLE for the City of Burien to receive anything near $5 million. Not even possible to receive near $1 million. Why? Because the above state law specifically details the formula upon which any City receives this Tax credit. The credit is based upon the state’s Sales Tax collected in the annexing City not as reported in the BERK Report based upon the City Sales tax.

Manager Mike Martin has already stated that Burien, “has received a total of $584,000 to date to help the city provide services in the NORTH Burien annexed area” referring to the Area X north highline. That amount is nowhere near $5 million as referred to in the website. Even if Burien annexes Area Y and again based upon sales tax formula the City MIGHT be able to get an additional $200,000 since the sales tax would then include those collected in Burien to INCLUDE Area Y (White Center business area). Burien does not have a snowballs chance to collected “up to $5 million” EVER. Note the City of Auburn received its first annexation check in 2008 for $1.25 million. Auburn has a enormous retail and commercial sales tax base compared to Burien. How could anyone speak of getting “up to $5 million” when it not even a remote possibility? Unless it is written to purposefully deceive, such a statement is grossly incompetent.

Who writes this stuff for the City? How could these significant errors get past the City Manager and the Council?

– Chuck Rangel

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7 Responses to “LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘WOW…Who Writes This Stuff For The City?’”
  1. Truth Seeker says:

    Chuck consider with you will who is responsible for this stuff.. NOTHING happens in the City of Burien’s government without the mark of Mike Martin on it somewhere.

    The dysfunctional Burien City Council has failed to oversee this failure of a manager who resigned as Chief Administrative Officer for the city of Kent after a 2005 hit-and-run incident and then was again convicted for a DUI in 2009 in Burien where he refused to take a breathalyzer or field sobriety test. The city manager doesn’t have a track record for delivering major projects at the costs they were originally projected. As Project 911 director for the city of San Francisco, Project 911 was supposed to cost the citizens $63 million. On completion, it cost $166+ million—not to mention the labor issues and legal costs that came from the project. The tax rate that was supposed to finance the project had to be doubled to pay for the project—Oct. 7. 1997, San Francisco Chronicle.

    Recently, two major road projects in Burien were not delivered on time or at projected costs. The city had to pay a legal settlement of $2.75 million for First Avenue, which it could not afford.

    A new bond had to be put out for the city to pay off these settlement costs. This means increased costs to the citizens.

    The Ambaum project had cost overruns of $500,000. According to Martin’s figures, the annexation of Area X—14,000 people, cost the city almost nothing in new staff. Area X got service, so who paid for the staff? —Strange math.

    The Town Square project is an economic bust. The city manager refuses to listen to the business community. Instead, he’s given away all of the park land, open space and public facilities rights that belonged to the citizens of Burien—in the Northeast development Area, NERA—to the Port of Seattle in exchange for exactly nothing.

    So finding misleading propaganda on the city website is just par for the course.

  2. Truth Seeker says:

    Point of order:

    Some of the information in the above comment was quoted from a post on the white center now blog..


  3. Coverofnight says:

    Thanks to Chuck Rangel (a friend and a great citizen advocate for Burien) and to Truth Seeker for these items. It blows me away that we can have continued misrepresentations by this manager and he still has a job! What does it take to get him off the payroll?

    Would sure be nice to hear explanations straight from the horse’s mouth, but I doubt his arrogance will ever permit him to post on this blog. Instead, the rhetoric / fuzzy math that we get from Joey Moretaxes leads me to believe that he truly is, as another reader pointed out, just a shill for this council and the city manager.

    You’re up, Martin for an explanation….wait; no, looks like we’ll have a designated hitter instead, Joey Moretaxes….let’s hear your take on these items from Chuck and the Seeker!

  4. Erik Robbins says:

    Super fun read:


    The city is starting Phase 2 while phase 1 isn’t even close to being complete.

    • Ian Gunsul says:

      where in that legal document does it say that phase 1 is not complete?

      • Erik Robbins says:

        Well I invite you to drive down 1st Ave from 160th to 148th and tell me that phase 1 is complete (Look at the list of improvements promised by the city at the onset of this project). Plus, at the time of this “document” the phase was NOT complete due to the law suit. So I guess it implies that phase 1 was not complete. Unless the contractors have done something between then and now I am not seeing it. Old light standards still up,wires to nowhere and unfinished landscaping. Please tell me the grand total for this so called “complete” phase with cost overruns so far. But I guess that the bond measure will pay for it. Does anyone know if Comcast or any of the other mentioned utilities have paid their part?

  5. Erik Robbins says:

    Ian, I am in no way trying start an argument here. It is my opinion that we as Burien residents should have received a better looking project than we have for what was paid. If you are satisfied with the outcome that is your prerogative.

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