LETTER: ‘See What New Tricks Are Unfolding’ With 4 City Councilmembers
The Burien City Council had a retreat on January 28, 2012 at the Environmental Science Center. These retreats are open to the public but most citizens do not know about them and the retreats are not broadcast or videotaped. However, it is important to know what is going on at them. For example at this last retreat, Jack Block put forth the idea that the City Council meetings should be changed from Monday to Tuesday or some other night of the week. The reason for the change that was given by Jack was that the City Staff needed more time to prepare for meetings. However, Mike Martin/City Manager told the Councilmembers that there was no need to change the meeting night and his staff could be ready on Mondays just as they have been ready for more than 11 years. Councilmember Lucy K. made it clear the she could not change the night of the meetings from Monday on her calendar due to other professional, business, community and personal commitments. One of the councilmembers attacked her for daring to say this.
So what is the change of the Monday night meeting really about? Well one of the councilmembers – maybe jokingly –said that it was so that some councilmembers could watch Monday night football. However, it is important to remember what happened in the last election cycle, Nov. 2011. Five of the city councilmembers joined together and held a fund raiser to defeat Lucy K. Why? Because she dared to question or voted against their pet projects-the annexation of Area Y, the problematic, badly run animal control program in Burien and against renewing the City Manager’s contract. She won the election by 64% of the vote. Citizens like her because she represents their vote on many issues. The four remaining Councilmembers who wanted her gone are still looking for ways to get rid of her voice and the citizens she represents. Changing the meeting night so that she can’t attend seems to be one way to eliminate her voice and vote. This Council is desperate to silence anyone who questions or speaks out against the annexation of Area Y. They forced Doug Moreland off of the Economic Development Partnership Advisory Board -because he and members of that group presented a report to the Council that stated the annexation of Area Y did not make good economic sense for the City of Burien in the long term. This is exactly what the Berk Report and what some members of the Boundary Review Board have also noted.
So if you are concerned that your citizen elected representative voice, Lucy K., will be silenced by this squeeze play of four Councilmembers, now is the time to email your new mayor. Brian Bennett-the man who ran on the ticket that he believes in quality animal control and animal rights. Email Brian Bennettbrianb@burienwa.gov about this issue. Better still write to Joan M., Rose C., Jack B. or Jerry R. who are pushing to have the meeting night changed for no apparent or emergency reason. Oh Jerry R. mentioned at this retreat that the only legacy that he wished to leave Burien is the annexation of Area Y. Interestingly, he failed to put that on his campaign flyers this last fall. because he was afraid that posting that statement might cost him the election to Debi Wagner. Stay tuned to TV tonight to see what new tricks are unfolding with these four councilmembers. But speak out or email, if you want your vote and voice represented on this Council.
– Roger DeLorm
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