LETTER: ‘NHUAC Represents Views of Very Few People Who Live in Area Y’

Print This Post  Email This Post

At the City Council meeting on March 19, 2012, there were citizen presentations questioning some city staff and city council members’ association with the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council (NHUAC).

Who is the NHUAC? This group was set up and recognized by King County to represent the people of North Highline. It was supposed to create membership seats based on areas of neighborhoods. King County gave them $10,000 per year to run this group. However, so few people vote in the NHUAC elections-2 to 20 people per each seat elected (representing no more people than the council itself and some of their spouses)-that there is really no neighborhood representation, let alone representing Area Y. The NHUAC represents the views of very, very few people who live in Area Y- less than 1%.

What their purpose is as a group is also unclear. Their president spoke at the last Burien City Council meeting and implied that they are a public service group. However in a review of the minutes of their meetings, it appears that a good portion of their time has been spent in pursuing annexation to the City of Burien. If they are not a representative council but a public service group pushing annexation, then they are really a political action group (PAC). They don’t appear to be registered as such with the State Of Washington-why not?

Even more interesting is that the Burien City Manager has been presenting monthly at their meetings for years-even though they are not part of the City of Burien. He gives out information about the City of Burien to this group prior to that information being released to Burien citizens. He appoints members of this group to Burien City committees to make decisions about Burien when they are not even citizens of Burien. This appears to be a case of pandering to a very small, select group of people. Why is this small group of people being given such preferential treatment over Burien citizens or at all on decisions that relate to the City of Burien?

Lastly one of the Burien City Council members, Jerry Robison, has, for years and may still be serving as the attorney for NHUAC. As of January, 2012, he stated that his sole purpose/legacy that he plans to leave the City of Burien is the annexation of Area Y and he has pressed very hard for this to happen. He does not favor neighborhood representation or an advisory vote from Burien citizens on annexation. The majority of Burien citizens in informal media polls have opposed this annexation by 2 to 1. So who is this council member really representing?

Should he recuse himself from voting on this issue?

Is this annexation really being advanced by the majority of Burien Citizens and the Citizens of Area Y or is it the pet project of some Burien City Council members, the Burien City Manager and this small select (13 people) NHUAC? Every citizen stuck with this annexation and its very large unmitigated costs should be asking for some answers and accountability from the Burien City Manger and Council.

Debi Wagner

[Have something you’d like to share with our 50,000+ Readers? Please send us your Letter to the Editor via email. Include your full name, and, pending our review, we’ll most likely publish it.]

Print This Post  Email This Post


50 Responses to “LETTER: ‘NHUAC Represents Views of Very Few People Who Live in Area Y’”
  1. Erik Robbins says:

    I went to the NHUAC website to look at the minutes for the meetings to get a feel of what goes on there. The last documented meeting is Nov. 3rd 2011. Mike Martin was at the meeting and discussed annexation and the future Auto Mall at the Lora Lake site.

  2. J Lutz says:

    Debi Have you ever attended a NHUAC meeting? The definately represent the peopel of North Highline. I am not surprised that you are making comments again about something that you have no idea what you are talking about. For someone who was not selected by the city council to on the planning commision and then wrote to the blog how you are the best candidate and then ran for city counci totally unprpared to answer questions in the debate, you have a habit of making yourself look silly.
    Attend some NHUAC meeting and get the fact before you throw out “factoids” on the blog like they are true.

  3. Chris says:

    Blah, blah, blah….same ol’, same ol’….

  4. Coverofnight says:

    Thank you, Debi for this thought-provoking letter. As for J Lutz……let’s see, do I believe Debi who works diligently for the best interests of the Burien citizens or do I believe an attorney and city manager who, if the items in this letter are true, both seem to have ulterior self-serving motives behind their actions? I think I’ll err on the side of caution and press forward on the confirmation of Debi’s concerns. I’m sure she’s not the only one who raises these same questions.

    In exercising her freedom of expression, wanting to enlighten BTB readers on some possible conflict of interests that exist with the annexation, J Lutz chooses to distract and attack Debi in a very mean-spirited way – completely out of line as far as I’m concerned. It makes me wonder if J Lutz has his own motives and a part in this annexation saga.

    Oh, and one other item….learn to spell, you hillbilly, before you get after someone……!

  5. J Lutz says:

    I just read over what I wrote earlier. I got called away from the computer before I could proof read what I wrote. Too many spelling errors.
    I humbly apoligize.

  6. Jennifer says:

    I actually spent some time looking at past minutes from NHUAC. They haven’t posted recent minutes since November. But, what was a common theme through the minutes is there are a few standing reports that happen. Mike Martin, City of Burien, deputy Hodgson King County Police, Green Bridge & North Highline Fire Dept. And through the notes it appear that it is mainly updates. I don’t think there is anything underhanded happening. Considering Burien recently annexed part of White Center. I really feel that there is a small group in Burien that has, from the very begining, been obstructionists. It is really disappointing to me to hear all of these negative comments. If you feel you are more capable then run for office. As a resident of Burien (for 25 + years) I fully support annexing the remaining part of white Center!

  7. JJ Greive says:

    The assertion that Burien is 2 to 1 against is ridiculous. If this is true then then let there be a vote. Seems to me Debi’s is not so good at predicting the actual outcomes of a vote of the people.

    If the people are against it so be it.

    The truth is the vast majority of the people in our area are welcoming our neighbors, especially their closest neighbors. I live in north highline, now part of Burien. I would trade the lake Burien/ 3 tree point for the hard working familes and business in area Y.

    Amazing how concentrated these narrow minded people that object are. Really just look at the map.

    • Nabby says:

      JJ it seems to me that the narrow minded accusation you try to project externally is in fact a way of avoiding the reality of your own mental health.

    • Erik Robbins says:

      JJ – For you to assume that the 3TP and Lake Burien neighborhood residents are any less hard working that the residents of north Highline is just plain ignorant. You are just adding to the misconceptions that have been going on for too long in our area. What map are you referring to? Do you have a “map” that shows who is for and against annexation? I would live to see it. Debbie brings up very valid points. So instead of attacking your fellow Burien residents, lets have a civil and adult discussion.

  8. Rachael Levine says:

    As a 48 year resident of the portion of North Highline that was annexed to the CIty of Burien, I not only voted for this annexation, I now view the City of Burien as providing the
    governance that all communities need. I look forward to the annexation of the rest of North
    Highline, which includes the people, businesses and services that I view as belonging to the
    greater Burien community.
    During the time our area has not been part of the City of Burien, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, an entirely volunteer group with minimal funding from King
    County to carry on the costs of their activities, has regularly conducted open meetings and elections. Participation by local residents varies over time, depending on the issues that have emerged. However, NHUAC has provided that very important place for residents to hear about issues and be heard, Meanwhile, NHUAC was instrumental in
    calling attention to community safety, resulting in the store front deputy in White Center and the establishment of the Steve Cox Memorial Park and sculpture. Beyond that, when the loss of the Evergreen Pool seemed imminent, members of NUHUAC helped rally the support that eventually resulted in a partnership, keeping the Pool open to the public. Finally, NUHAC members have provided the foot work, including going to distant King County Library System Board meetings to testify and working with elected officials to help stop a plan to consolidate the White Center and Boulevard Park Libraries, This would have resulted in closing these two libraries and their vital access, especially for the children from nearby schools.
    I have personally attended NHUAC meetings, where the residents in attendance usually fill the North Highline Fire Station meeting room and where we have had the access to representation that I now enjoy as a Burien resident. NUHUAC continues to operate without any funding from King County because these volunteer citizens are still members of the community they serve and intend to help achieve the unified governance we all hope for our community,
    The City of Burien has served “area Y” well during this past two years of transition. This has been supported by the continuing presence of City Manager, Mike Martin.
    and frequently members of the City Council as well as updates from the Sheriff’s office.
    I know that Burien has the capacity to represent the interests of all of us who look to this
    municipality for access and response. As citizens, we have to be patient and prudent in helping our governments respond to our concerns.

    • William Forest says:


      If the NHUAC really represents the citizens of area Y like you claim then why have I not seen or heard any support whatsoever from your group advocating a November election when its patently obvious there would be greater voter participation from your area?

      In fact I have heard just the opposite argued by the very vocal members and supporters of annexation connected to your group.

      In order to talk the talk and be taken seriously you need to walk the walk.

      Why are you and your ally Mr Martin advocates of voter suppression if you as you claim the NHUAC really represents ALL the residents of area Y?

  9. Rita says:

    Burien has shown they could not take care of Burien before the North Highline annexation. Why in heck do they want White Center, Seattle is much bigger and they do not want White Center, Burien get your heads out of where the sun does not shine and quit taking on more areas. We have abandonded cars all over the place turning areas into slums, why doesn’t this get taken care of? We do not have sidewalks, we have ditches, try walking or riding a bike around here, do you feel safe?

  10. Bob Price says:

    In reading MS Wagner’s letter I have many comments to make to correct a lot of her statements.
    First of all she states that the NHUAC supports annexation to Burien and that the resident of area Y are not represented. This is false. King, country contracted and paid a 3rd party company to study both annexation to Seattle and Burien a few years back and to make recommendations to the NHUAC. That study was conducted and a great deal of time and work was done in interviewing the people of the area. Also a study was made of both Seattle and Burien as to services, taxes and how liveable they would be.. The people contracted, favored Burien in their report for many different reasons and the study of the 2 cities also favored Burien for annexation. Based on this study paid for and contracted by King county the NHUAC stated that the people wanted to be considered for annexation to Burien. When Burien annexed area X Mr Martin started attending NHUAC meetings to present on going facts to the public and the NHUAC. After area X was annexed Mr Martin has continued to give the people and the NHUAC up date information. His action was not and are not as I see them trying to get area Y annexed but to keep the people informed. A great deal of the area X and Y people shop and do business in Burien and in most cases has considered them a part of Burien due their neighbors and their shopping.. Mr Martin was asked to keep us up dated on Burien and he has done so. AT no time have i heard Mr Martin try to sell annexation of area Y to Burien., I have attended almost every NHUAC meeting for the past 14 years and have not heard anything to suggest this action on Mr Martin’s part. MS Wagner also states that only %1 of the people registered to vote voted in most of the elections. This is true. But how do you get the voters out? I have worked with the election committee for the past 12 years and in every case we have worked hard to get the voters out. Two Months prior to the vote we started attending many meetings in the area and voicing the election dates and what was happening. We contacted some of the PTA’s in the schools to help get the word out. We put articles in all the local papers and posted notices on billboards in the super markets and libraries in the area.. She states that there was not a majority of the people voting so it was not a good vote. Well if you want to apply that to any election including the Burien City Council election there was not a majority of the registered voters voting so the same thing could apply to that election. If she so good and knows how to get the voters out then why didn’t she do it the election where she was running? She also states that Mr Robinson is a paid NHUAC attorney.. In all the years I have attended meetings any time Mr Robinson was there was as a concerned citizen. I believe that one time a few years ago Mr Robinson was consulted about a legal problem the council was having. But as far as I know in the 14 or so years I have been attending meeting he has not acted nor been retained to represent the council. His interest in the Council seems to be as a concerned Citizen and as a prior member of the Council over 14 years a ago. MS Wagner makes a lot of statements about the NHUAC but as far as I know has never attended a meeting. She should at least get her facts straight before making claims. Thank You. Bob Price

    • Neil says:

      Bob, if Mr. Martin is such a neutral figure in the annexation debate then why did he hire a full time annexation co-ordinator on the city payroll?
      Also I am trying to understand Mike Martin’s comment about him being 90% certain that the state wont go back on the tax credit for area y. How does he know that, the state operates on a yearly budget and things could change in any coming year and that tax credit could be gone. And if he is wrong and we loose all or some of the tax credit after we have annexed, is his appology that he was wrong going to make up the millions in shortfall. Guess what, we the burien taxpayers would be left holding the bucket while mike martin moves on to another city to wreak havoc.

      • Joey Martinez says:

        Neil, the position you’re speaking of is the replacement to Jenn Ramierez Robson’s position. She is currently the interim director of New Furtures (and I hope she becomes permanent!)

        The replacement for that person is Nhan Nguyen and he works on more than just annexation. I know the council and city manager have addressed the issue on several occasions, but I would recommend e-mailing the city and asking for a job description as well as a summary of what Mr Nguyen does for the residents (us). I’ve seen him fill in for various roles at the meetings I’ve attended and most don’t deal with annexation.

        I understand the fear of being “stuck” with an unfair share should the credit go away. The state made a specific promise to fund the annexation with s sales tax credit. There are many cities, not just Burien, that would be affected should the credit go away. All of those cities and their representative legislators have lobbied and will continue to lobby for the continuation of that statute providing the credit.

        These cities are not small, they represent a signifcant portion of the voters in the state. If promises are broken there could be serious consequences to our representatives in the legislature and if there is one thing I have learned in my recent experiences is that elected officials like to get re-elected.

        So, could it happen? Sure, but I’d bet my paycheck on the credit NOT going away.

        Joey Martinez

    • Truthseeker says:

      Once again Bob Price and J. Lutz want only the facts. So let’s look at the facts on the 3 part study/the Nesbitt report that was done in 2005 and paid for by King County. It is online –take the time to read it.This report-under Ron Sims-found that;
      1. King County could no longer afford to pay the costs to run North Highline. It cost more to run than it brought in. King County insisted that it had to get rid of the area.
      2. North Highline could not afford to exist as a city of its own due to its revenue problems. It would be $6.6 million yearly short of what it needed to balance its budget.
      3. The majority of residents in North Highline were disinterested in whether they went to Burien or Seattle
      4. 40% of the infrastructure in North Highline was in need of serious repair
      5. Whether North Highline incorporated as a city or annexed to a city, it was going to lose some financial support from King County to its citizens for-senior and elderly services, recreation services, jobs services, immigrant services, neighborhood funding services, youth prevention services and de-tox services.
      6. The citizens of North Highline wanted more services than they could afford to pay for-day care services, dental services, health services, immigrant referral services and living classes.
      It was then that the North Highline Unicorporated Area Council (NHUAC)-that represents very few of the citizens in North Highline made its recommendation. These 13 people wanted to annex to Burien because;
      1. They wanted to maintain their political power and thought they had a better chance of doing it with Burien
      2. They thought that their property values would improve too much if they annexed to Seattle
      3. They thought their taxes would cost too much if they annexed to Seattle-bad mistake on their part because Seattle’s taxes are lower than Burien’s-and
      4. They were opposed to joining Seattle.
      Never in their recommendation consideration was their concern for the range of human services, jobs, legal support services, parks and recreation services and jobs that would be lost to the citizens of North Highline, if they annexed to a small city like Burien that had a very problematic tax revenue base. Since 2005, this small NHUAC group of-has continued to opposed annexation to Seattle and has actively worked to keep people who favored annexation to Seattle from being elected to their council of 13. The survey results of the Nesbitt report don’t appear to be a valid population sample as it excludes some groups from the sample.The results of the NHUAC elections are missing from their website-as are the follow up reports and minute summary/report of their meetings. The NHUAC has not openly opened it files for public inspection and it has acted as a political action group pushing for annexation only to Burien. In 2011, King County stopped funding and chartering these small council groups because it felt they represented too small of a representative group in unincorporated King County. They were not effective models.

      Since 2005-when Gary Long was still the Burien City Manager, the NHUAC has aggressively attended Burien City Council meetings pushing for annexation to Burien. Russ Prichard/Fire Chief for North Highline Fire District regularly brought his fire department to the meetings because claimed he did not want to have to retire from the Seattle Fire Department. Again his interest was about personal gain-his retirement salary- and not about how the citizens of both Burien and North Highline might be best served. When Gary Long was fired as the Burien City Manager, then the NHUAC and the North Highline Fire Department aggressively came after the attentions of Mike Martin to come to their meetings and he has done just that and become a monthly presenter who offers some special favors to this non-Burien citizen group also.
      However, the purpose of Debi’s article was to show that the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council does not represent the view of most of the people in North Highline-and they do not!
      The lack of records of their elections and the reasons for why they want to join Burien clearly show that they are not really interested in how the citizens of both Burien and North Highline can best be served or what citizens want to take care of human services, senior services, legal services, de-tox services, immigration services, health services, recreation services, employment services and financial stability for both areas. The NHUAC has no interest in the fact that what they want is not affordable and will reduce services to both groups of citizens. As several reports have stated over and over again-over the long term-Burien will be in financial trouble if it annexes Area Y/North Highline-then no one will be well served. Currently, there is no for certain available money from the State of Washington for this annexation.
      Lastly, all of the available records from King County and the NHUAC indicate that Jerry Robison has been providing service in the capacity as legal counsel/attorney for the NHUAC. Is this a conflict of interest; the Burien City Council needs to ask this question?
      Also-the new assistant to Mike Martin gives at least 75% of his time to annexation-according to Mr.Martin’s statement in a public presentation.

  11. Bob Price says:

    Neil! I did not say Mike was neutral, I said he had not tried to sell or push annexation at any of the NHUAC meetings that he has attended and briefed us on Burien. This goes to show you people change things to fit your thinking. Thanks. Bob

    • William Forest says:


      And pray tell, why would Martin preach to the choir?
      Your group is vocally pro annexation to Burien.. Both of your agendas coincide… >>that’s why he’s there in the first place!

  12. mike says:

    I would like to know about the $5M tax credit. Is it based on sales? Does the state just hand over $5M and let you do what you want? I’ve seen a few different ideas on how Burien would attain it and how they could use it. Please advise.

    Thank you

    • Joey Martinez says:

      Mike, the BERK report on the city website get’s into this pretty deeply. There are two annexation credits on the books. The first one applies to the annexation of North Burien(area x). This same credit applies to all of the current annexations in Washington state.

      The second annexation credit on the books is called the “Seattle rule” and only applies if the area to be annexed has over 14,000 (maybe only 10k?) people AND if at least one of the municipalities with a PAA designation on the area (Potential Annexation Area) has at least 600,000 people – Seattle. Burien qualifies for that money ($5 million) if Area Y is annexed thanks to Seattle’s PAA.

      Technically, that up to $5 million a year can only be used to pay for and improve the annexed area and only on operation expenses. Where it can be seen as a benefit to the current citizens of Burien is that as follows:

      We currently pay $200k per year for the “priviledge” of having a City Council. Ignoring inflation, that means that for those 10 years we will pay $2 million. The sales tax credit allows us to assign a representative (by population) portion of that cost toward the annexation credit. I think the percentage will be around 30%-40% however to be conservative let’s say that 25% can be billed to the credit. Over 10 years that saves current Burien residents $250k to to use for other things.

      The above example is just a single line item example of the budget. It gives us 10 years to make improvements to the annexation area(Area X and Y) and current Burien so that we can sustain ourselves come year 11.

      Joey Martinez

      • William Forest says:

        Joey the BERK report was an incomplete fudged and fuzzy attempt to justify Mike Martins annexation agenda and his extravagant salary.
        The BERK report would not pass even a cursory cost accounting audit.
        Martin has not even produced a business plan of how the annexation costs and revenues would balance out.. because they don’t . Its a net negative that will inevitably result in even higher taxes for everyone in Burien.

        • Chris says:

          Hmm, “incomplete and fudged?” Here we go again with the conspiracy theorists.

          PLEASE provide evidence that the Berk report and all of the data in it is wrong, false, doctored, manipulated, exagerated, or whatever you think.

          You throw out this red herring about the Birk report and then include a jab a Mike Martin and his salary. How exactly do they relate?

          Really it’s just your confirmation bias against annexation that is driving your over-emotional and unsubstantiated claims about the Birk report. Your logic: I’m against annexation, therefor the report is wrong. Nice….

        • William, I will agree with you that the BERK report is incomplete. The BERK report is a static report in regards to money “in” versus money “out” as the city spends it today. The report projects approximate additional costs of the area and factors in the tax credit and additonal revenue. It shows us what we get if we annex and do nothing to improve the new Burien after annexation.

          It can’t show any of the Economic development possible (or planned) with the money freed up as well as additonal revenue in the General Fund. I’ve been attending one Burien BEDP meeting a month since October and have learned quite a bit. I’d definitely recommend attending. We’ve got a sharp Economic Development manager in Dan Trimble and with his and staff guidance I believe that we will be “better off” soon enough.

          Joey Martinez

      • Coverofnight says:

        Just when I thought it was safe to go to bed – along comes more posts from Joey Moretaxes! Oh, where to begin…..

        In every catastrophe, there seems to be someone who inevitably will say that everything’s going to be OK, and you have nothing to worry about. Annexation will be our catastrophe and there’s Joey telling us we should welcome it – and then he states that we should be thankful because it will actually save us money to use elsewhere. But then he tops it off by assuring us that politicians won’t break their promises, either. You’ve learned well Joey, from Professor Clinton and Professor Obama and their course, How to Placate the Electorate Through Lies and Misdirection.

        The positions you take never fail to amaze me. I guess I’ll sign off and comment that I think it’s a bit irresponsible to put your family at risk and bet your paycheck on something left to politicians; oh, but wait – correct me if I’m wrong – don’t you work for a public entitiy and get paid with public monies? Gambling with tax dollars – typical socialist Democrat……!

  13. ATKMH says:

    The ballot would read, ” do you want to annex to Burien?” Not do you believe the BERK report, or Mr. Martin, or does NHUAC represent the majority of residents. At least the people on the board of NHUAC care about trying to get the information out to the residents. If residents don’t want to listen, or vote, or attend meetings that’s their choice and they are entitled to that.

  14. Al says:

    I think Ms Wagner is really hitting a low when she criticizes a group who volunteer their time for their community. Maybe if she devouted some of this anger energy into her own community she could do something that could become a positive.

    • Gabby says:

      Like some members of the NHUAC, whenever you can’t counter an editorial or a topic with a logic argument or rebuttal then you go into an attack on a personal level. The strategy to say mean, ugly things about the person you disagree with or their familes- as you have just tried to do against Debi Wagner.

      A number of the citizens from the North Highline area are well aware of this as a strategy this group uses to maintain power. It is the strategy they have continued to use to keep some people in North Highline from getting seats on the NHUAC. It is the reason the people of color have been kept off the Council. Strangely in elections when people of color have run for seats, at the last minutes there will be these new mystery members that file at the last minute, slide mystery envelopes under the door and bring in just enough votes to keep people with different opinions or skin color from getting a seat. This is well known in the North Highline Community. Bob. it may be one of the reasons for why people are not real interested in voting in your elections or have dropped away from your group.

      However back to the personal attack on Debi because she dared to mention a few important facts about the NHUAC. Debi Wagner is a very long time, committed volunteer to the Burien community. She has a large family, works full time and has managed to run for political office and run a clean campaign, volunteered at her neighbor schools, was an active volunteer opposed to Sea Tac expansion, works endlessly to improve the air and water quality standards in the area and internationally, recently wrote a book on the history of the Port of Seattle and the battle of the Third Runway and plays as a volunteer musician in a community Symphony Orchestra. This is not an angry woman but a very knowledgable and committed woman who does her research and homework before she writes. You are just angry and want to get even because she gored your sacred cow-even though it may have a dirty under belly.
      Btw: what have you ever done to contribute to make this area a better community?

      • Al says:


        Don’t you think attending a meeting would be part of someone’s research? When true facts are given the positive facts should be given as well as the negative.
        Maybe Ms. Wagner has done things for her community but so have I seen for the people that serve on the NHUAC council. Just because everyone does not agree with someone beliefs does not make what they do wrong.
        People choose to get involved or not get involved, I said she should not condemn people who get involved and volunteer their time, you lavished on the what you read into what I said. Are you not defending Ms. Wagner, and do I not have the right to comment what I read into the letter. Gabby, attacking me for what I said is exactly what you are doing. You are stating what you believe and I am stating what I believe. I do believe I have that right no matter what is said. Many times I read on this blog, you believe what I say or I will take you apart. Open up your mind to all and you will be able to sort the facts for the truth.

        • elizabeth2 says:

          What – do you keep attendance lists of everybody who attends or drops in on every meeting for every date back in history? Relax here a bit, all.

  15. Bob Price says:

    In reading Truthseekers comments, I am somewhat concerned that such an expert in all the happenings does not even have the integrity to sign his real name. This is the standard practice of cowards and questionable people. They hide behind other people or behind a fake face. Therefore, I hope the honest people of the area will at least question some of his thinking and statements. Thanks, Bob Price

    • Coverofnight says:

      Hey, I resemble that remark…………..!

      While I thought Debi’s letter was great, I REALLY enjoyed reading Truthseeker’s post. I thought it was a good response to your post, Bob Price; and that we quite possibly heard…the rest of the story. It amazes me that you, Bob Price, can only come back and attack his use of a pseudonym in a typical socialist scare-tactic attempt to dismiss any and all of his points as untrue. Liberals like to play the race card as a last resort when their argument is lost – guess attacking the messenger is the second-to-the-last resort now when their argument is lost.

      Face it, Bob Price, our voices of dissent will NOT be silenced by you and your fellow brown-shirt leftist pro-annexation thugs. As Thomas Paine had to first publish “Common Sense” anonymously, we also have families to protect and wish to remain anonymous while questioning the abuse of power that seems to pervade our governments. I don’t put it past any liberal, Occupy-type to look us up and do us harm if our identities were known. It must be a nice feeling, Bob Price, knowing that conservatives and Tea Party followers don’t act in this hateful manner.

      Bob Price, you’ve raised the hackles on this Tiger….rock on, Debi and rock on, Truthseeker!

      • Dr McDreamy says:

        coverofnight, regarding your rant about liberals. Debbie was endorsed by the 34th district Democrats.

        They support Jim and Joe McDermott. They also support Debbie Wagner. Maybe you do have more in common with liberals that you thought?

    • William Forest says:

      Hey Bob .. how about refuting some of Truthseekers TRUTHS instead of making disparaging remarks and crying in your beer about it?

  16. Greg Duff says:

    Every time I hear someone say that NHUAC has discouraged people of color to apply I have to laugh. I served as president of NHUAC and I know from first hand experience that statement is an outright lie. Anybody in the community is encouraged to apply to be a member of NHUACand I can’t recall off hand if anybody has been turned down when there is a spot available.

    • Greg Duff says:

      Sorry for part 2 (the above post did it by itself)

      NHUAC operates completely open to the public. It was under the guidance of King County and thus said, is not permitted to discriminate. The people on NHUAC are volunteers who love the community they live in and want to see it improved. People who attack NHUAC without even attending a meeting or at least talking to members should be ashamed of themselves.
      Whether you agree or not with NHUAC is your choice but please don’t tell lies about NHUAC or the fine volunteers that work very hard to improve the North Highline Area.

      • William Forest says:


        I think we all know where NHUAC stands as their very vocal special interest group has monopolized a considerable amount of the Burien City Councils citizen comment floor time. Of course you support NUHAC right or wrong since they are your power base .. what it is anyway because you got blown away in the council election. Primarily because of your association with Shaw and your gung-ho dam the torpedoes full speed ahead approach to annexation of area Y even though you know very well Burien cannot afford it.
        In my mind you are a hypocrite because on the one hand you are all about reducing crime in White Center but on the other hand you reject the city of Seattle’s proposal to add 3X as many police to the area than Burien can afford to provide. You in my mind have zero credibility.

        • Greg Duff says:

          William, I normally don’t address anything you write because all you do is a lot of name calling if someone does not agree with you or you make up facts. I think someone called them “factoids”. I do love when you write, however, because it gives so many people a good laugh at how ignorant your are.
          With that said, William, have a great day.

          • Gabby says:

            Mr Duff

            Speaking of hypocritical.. I was at the candidates debate where you emphatically stated you were against all neighborhood interest groups..
            Yet here you are, not only a member of one, but stridently advocating for them.
            Don’t you see how that could be viewed as hypocritical?

          • William Forest says:


            Its easy for someone who is not able to debate the merits of the case to just dismiss the FACTS as factoids instead of presenting an alternative viewpoint.
            Its not only lazy to pursue this line of attack frankly it shows that you really don’t care to consider any point of view that exposes yours for the folly that it may be.
            I would certainly not find that a redeeming quality in anyone running for public office as you have. Its called stonewalling or attack and distract so you don’t have to deal with the reality of the situation. Obviously transparency in governance is not an idea you support.

          • William, I’ve shown time and time again how when applied on a single line item this annexation saves current Burien money, $250k plus at a minimum. You say, and I copy/paste “the BERK report was an incomplete fudged and fuzzy” yet you’ve never shown or proven that fact with substantive speech.

            I also recommend you speak with the Chief and learn the KCSO contracted Police model. It took quite a bit of explanation but comparing 15 KCSO versus 40 SPD for the area is apples to oranges in this argument in my opinion.

            Joey Martinez

  17. Debi Wagner says:

    Tonight, at the Burien City Council meeting the council will be voting on annexation and whether to hold the election in August or November. As one blog commentator has admitted, it is very difficult to get people out to vote in North Highline. There will be very few people in area Y voting in August and the danger in pushing for an August vote is the amount needed for voter representation is small compared to a November election. A vote in November assures the best representation of the views of the people in the area and more time for everyone to learn about the issues, especially the costs which will negatively impact all citizens. In the past annexation election held in August, petitions with well over 2,000 signatures of Burien citizens opposed to annexation were turned into the city while the vote brought out less than half that number in favor. This is where I question the role of the NHUAC, who they are and what they do. They will most likely be a major player in getting people out to vote. As a public service group, they can address the issues in their community, but should they advocate for annexation, they must register as a PAC. There has also been questions raised about councilmember Robison’s relationship with the NHUAC. Anyone concerned about these issues should bring in written and/or oral comments for the council meeting tonight.
    As for Joey’s breakdown of savings, keep in mind that for every dollar saved, there are tens of millions missing from the Berk budget for capital improvements, SWM, human services, fire protection, animal control, parks, public safety, etc. After 13 studies over the course of nearly a decade, not one has come up with a plan to meet the financial needs of area Y and every one predicts a deficit. The only solution should Burien move to approve annexation will be to reduce services, raise taxes or both. Neither is a favorable option for either Burien citizens or citizens of area Y.

  18. Bob Price says:

    Wow my comment sure did get a lot of attention. I think this is great even the people that disagree with me. But I still say that anyone who makes drastic name calling and colored remarks should at lest have the integrity to put their real name on their comments. The one thing that stands out in all the comments that i have seen is this. The bulk of the people that had some facts and honest opinions signed their real names. The people that in most cases presented false facts and name calling did not have the integrity to address the issue with their reals names. Again I think this is a cowards way of doing business and should at the very least be suspect. And I cannot see where the difference in voting in August or November will have much effect on the voting. Most of the people who use their voting rights will always vote when a election is scheduled Thank you..

  19. Mrs Wagner, there are studies that show November elections are no cake walk either. Voters tend to tune out after a while with long ballots. This will be a long ballot with the presidential race as well as many legislative and state wide races. There will also (probably) be an initiative over gay marriage. Honestly, I am fine with an election on either date, as long as we have an election. My only worry is the library board and if they’re fine with a November election then so am I.

    There are expenditures not counted in the BERK report related to what you’ve mentioned. Here is how I might respond:

    1) Captiol Improvement Projects (CIP) – These can range from as complex as replacing a bridge (usually replaced with Federal Money) to sidewalks on all streets (can be done with LID). These CIP lists can be as long or short as the council(s) want them to be. Burien’s list, and I can’t remember which meeting the council spoke about it, showed figured that the North Highline and Burien combined list were within range of our Highline neighbors.

    2) Surface Water Management (SWM) – Is a concern for the area. One area of leverage we have with the county is that they’ve neglected the area for a long time. If they want Burien to incorporate North Highline that could be a part of the final deal. King County is broke but they have a dedicated funding source in the flood district.

    3) Human Services – The funding doesn’t change for this. Except for Seattle, this is already a King County function that the cities have delegated to the county. The City gets grants and tax revenue that gets redirected to the County for these matters. I could even counter that they would see a boost because Burien directs about 1% to human services to augment the area.

    4) Fire Services – This is ignoring the fact that we, fire district 2 residents, would need to build at least one more fire station in North Burien to service the area vacated by an absorbed (into Seattle Fire) Fire District 11 (North Highline Fire). Seattle would help us out in a fire situation BUT the Fire Chief already said they’re about number 15 on the call list.

    5) Animal Control gets a boost because some of the costs could go to the tax credit. Maybe we could afford RASKC if we wanted?

    6) Parks – Our current Parks system is maintained mostly by grants and user fees. Very little comes out of the General compared to how we currently fund parks.

    7) With the KCSO model we would have more police to patrol all of Burien. If SPD is in North Highline they won’t help us out at all. Remember that the latest crime wave to hit the area would be on us and Seattle won’t help out with Patrol units.

    If and when annexation does occur we will have the financial means to make annexation work. We will all need to come together to guide the Council in the most effective use of that money. The BERK report assumes that the city won’t grow economically. That is where the extra money comes in. We use that money to grow our Economic viability and be the next up and coming community that people want to live, invest, and build.

    Joey Martinez
    (on my lunch break)

    • William Forest says:

      Joey.. Have you looked at the Nesbitt report.. I refer you to Truthseekers post on this thread. From what you have just said it appears you missed reading it because it contradicts many of the points you are trying to make..

      And sorry, but we are going to have to agree to disagree on the police coverage offered by Seattle versus that being offered by Mr Martin..

      45 new officers in the area works much better for me than only 15 new officers..

      Also have you considered that if annexation goes thru I am sure Mr Martin is going to give himself a big fat pay raise? He is not quite the impartial party he tries to make out he is.

  20. William, I have read the reports Truthseeker referenced. They were written at a time that North Highline was actively trying to become a City. The area was not big enough to become a city – too much low income housing and not enough revenue streams. I agree with that. Annexation offers perks because much of the overhead (us gov’t workers, the overall infrastructure to run a city) are already in place. There’s more but times limited…

    It’s ok to disagree as long as we both remember that we’re doing what we think is right for Burien!

    If Mr Martin does give himself a raise we have 7 souls that, if we don’t agree with the raise, can hold accountable.

    Joey Martinez

    • Coverofnight says:

      When I read Joey Moretaxes’ comment, “….If Mr Martin does give himself a raise we have 7 souls that, if we don’t agree with the raise, can hold accountable…”, I thought to myself, “Geez Louise, Joey! What planet do you live on?” They don’t listen to us now, what makes you think they’ll listen to us in the future?

      And then you stated, “…It’s ok to disagree as long as we both remember that we’re doing what we think is right for Burien!” Actually, I think you’re doing what you think is right for Joey. You always take the side of government and always side with this Council and their actions. You never seem to cede a point to the opposition – it’s as though our voices mean nothing in any argument – yet, we are a significant voting block in this area. That you truly believe in government, especially in this local government, and that more taxes and regulations are the answer for effective government is a bit scary. This Council is moving as a juggernaut toward annexation and I suspect you’re tying your future political wagon to it. Before you go too far over to the dark side, I urge you to be an employer, not an employee – be a sole proprietor struggling to pay the bills rather than a company man with a steady paycheck – be a member of the private sector instead of feeding off the public teat; then you may gain sincerity with us that your cause is our cause.

      To Dr. McDreamy: As Democrats, Ms. Wagner and Ms. Toledo earned my respect and my vote from the sincerity of their campaigns. I’ve actually supported another Democrat, too – unfortunately, she was on the other side of the State, so I couldn’t vote for her. For all other Democrats – I’m surprised they can even dress themselves in the morning; they’re so incompetent. Joey, can you take them all back to your solar system?

  21. Ian Gunsul says:

    Don’t get baited by “William Forest”. There is no one under that name registered to vote in Burien or even in the Highline area. His only interest is to stir the pot, a “troll” on issues in Burien. If he was really a concerned local he wouldn’t hide behind a fake name.

  22. Debi Wagner says:

    I am not a liberal democrat. I like to vote for a person rather than a party. I interview candidates and try to find out where they stand on issues that are important to me and my family. Although I am a fiscal conservative I am also an environmentalist. I have learned over the years that many democrats, although they claim to be environmentalists, are not really. And many republicans who claim to be conservative still vote for bailouts. While one is plowing up the planet to make a buck, the other is spending us into unbearable debt. I don’t want to be affiliated closely with either party at this time. The council position I was running for was non-partisan and since the district is mainly democratic, my campaign manager thought it would be a good idea to get the 34th democrat endorsement. And although the mailer they intended to send out might have helped me, when this didn’t happen and I didn’t send one out myself while all other candidates did.I was possibly disadvantaged. Who knows. But I am happy to be able to say what I want and advocate for responsible, representative and responsive government without being a sitting target.

Share Your Opinion

By participating in our online comment system, you are agreeing to abide by the terms of our comment policy.

...and oh, if you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!