LETTER: Concerns about Jerry Robison, Mike Martin and Area Y Annexation

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At the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting (NHUAC) in White Center on April 5, 2012, regular agenda presenter Mike Martin, Burien City Manager, launched a public attack against some of the citizens of both North Highline and Burien who have been opposed to the annexation of Area Y/ White Center (White Center Blog 4/6).

Martin stated, “That shifts the ball into the court of the local community” and that the city “stuck to the facts and on the high ground” unlike some foes of the proposed annexation.” He also said the process had been contentious. A number of my friends, neighbors, myself and good citizens are the people that he attacked and I believe these comments, although shocking, are telling. I believe that we have always taken the high ground on this issue and stuck to the facts. In contrast, Mr. Martin, some of the staff members of Berk, Jerry Robison and some of the City Council members have failed to give the public all the information on many occasions.

The Burien City Council members that appointed Jerry Robison knew that he had a conflict of interest on the issue of the annexation of Area Y. Mr. Robison has been the attorney for the NHUAC and the head organizer for the White Center Jubilee Days. This could hardly have been missed as it is plastered all over Mr. Robison’s law firm windows. Additionally, Mr. Martin had been a regular presenter at the NHUAC meetings for years and saw the agendas where Mr. Robison was listed as the NHUAC attorney and heard Mr. Robison give legal, financial and political advice to the NHUAC. When questioned about this close affiliation and apparent conflict of interest, the NHUAC denied in writing that Jerry Robison has ever served as their attorney. The question of Mr. Robison’s recusal on his vote on annexation at the last council meeting should be raised.

Even more interesting is that the Burien City Council has always been extremely cautious about who they appoint to the Council or to Advisory Board positions. Anyone with too extreme of a position historically has not been allowed an appointed position or has been removed from an Advisory Board Position as was the case with Doug Moreland being removed from the BEDP. In the past, anyone who has opposed annexation has not been allowed an appointment to any of the Council or Advisory Boards. So it is strange that Jerry Robison, who was the attorney of record for the NHUAC, head organizer for White Center Jubilee Days and an extreme political activist for the annexation of Area Y was appointed to the City Council. Jerry Robison has publicly stated that annexation of area Y is the legacy he wants to leave the city of Burien but he failed to disclose this and his close connections with the NHUAC during the election, at the forums, in his campaign materials, during Council meetings and at the testimony he gave before the Boundary Review Board.

Mike Martin and Jerry Robison have attempted to conceal the facts on a number of issues about the annexation of Area Y such as the validity of the details and financial projections that were shown in the Berk Report Draft. Mr. Robison has stated that these details are unimportant and Mr. Martin refused to have the draft revised and finalized before it went to the Boundary Review Board (BRB) because he implied it was too expensive to correct. Vital information such as the letter from the fire district was missing from the packet delivered to BRB which Burien citizens uncovered. BRB has never approved an application with this type of condition before now.

This issue of annexation has never been about what the majority of citizens of Burien or North Highline want or think is best for them. It has been about the political maneuvering for power, more land and the economic gain of a few politicians, land developers, some seemingly deluded members of the NHUAC and Burien City Council members. Honesty, ethics, the moral high ground and the facts have never been the arena that they operate in-related to this issue. Every voter in both Burien and North Highline should be asking who has allowed this miscarriage of truth and justice on this issue to go on for so long. Someone needs to answer from the City of Burien and the Burien City Council.

Lastly, I do not take lightly the attack by Mike Martin at a NHUAC meeting in White Center that anyone who opposes the issue of the annexation of Area Y White Center is not taking the moral high road and distorting facts. I have never heard him say anything negative about the people of North Highline even though some annexation proponents and supporters of NHUAC have called Burien citizens liars, racists and have made inappropriate and insulting accusations. I believe this behavior shows his ongoing disrespect for the Burien citizens who pay his salary and that he is supposed to represent and the hard work many have done to read all the reports, analyze, comment and present at various meetings. And why is he regularly going up to the NHUAC meetings and acting like the de facto City Manager for Area Y on the Burien taxpayers’ dime?

– Debi Wagner

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55 Responses to “LETTER: Concerns about Jerry Robison, Mike Martin and Area Y Annexation”
  1. Ed Dacy says:

    Didn’t you write the same letter last week?

    • Jennifer says:

      I was thinking the same thing.

    • Debi Wagner says:

      To answer Ed and Jennifer, this is a different letter. The previous letter was about the NHUAC, who they are, what they do and some questions about their promotion of annexation of area Y. The current letter is about Mike Martins involvement with the NHUAC, his recent negative comments about opponents of annexation and Jerry Robisons status as the attorney for NHUAC.

  2. Coverofnight says:

    Ed and Jennifer…….what pathetic, smarmy, disrespectful comebacks to Debi! I read legitimate unanswered inquiries from a crusader for truth and integrity. You’re the same type of unconcerned dismissive individuals that tried to stonewall the dogged pursuit of truth and integrity associated with Watergate.

    We have a local representative government that is seemingly non-representing their constituents with lack of total disclosure. I referenced Bell, California in another column – are we heading down that path with this group?

    Thank you Debi for your hard work and persistence with this issue; stay strong. I pray for your safety as you stand before this steamroller that is the Rat City Annexation Express.

    • Jennifer says:

      pathetic, smarmy, disrespectful….really? Why?? Because we both observed the letter was similar to last weeks? I guess it is ok for you to be disrespectful saying that we are “unconcerned dismissive individuals.” I am a concerned community member but you feel I am unconcerned why? Oh I guess you suspect I support annexation of white center (I do in fact). Often times when I read these letters to the editor I am annoyed because they are always commenting that they are the voice of the community. It is not my voice! I feel very safe btw in Burien and in White Center thanks for your concern though.

      • jimmy says:

        i find it funny or maybe not that if you look where the people that are asking these quistion that suposly speak for the peolpe they all live in about the same area middle of burien between 160th ant 148th i little far from north burien witch is from about 128th to border of white center iam also take a guss that mr Forest and the Poitras’s probley don’t have ride the bus or drive a car that is basicly a glob of bondo on 4 diffent tires with 1 brake pad just to get to work to keep there water and lights on they probly drive ether a lexus or bmw or somthing simliar thats brand new fully paid for not lease gets servirces when ever it need its so yea i don think these people speak for me or anyone in this area o no i feel the troll torches lighting up from this comment so i better go get a bucket of water i feel i am going to have few more dumb a** reply’s to this so editror you might want keep the bleep button on hand

      • William Forest says:

        Jennifer.. I feel annoyed when you and the other NHUAC supporters are always commenting like YOU are the voice of the community.. and the irony is that you never have anything to say addressing the substance of the posts.. Thats what a forum is for .. to share information and shed a light on Disinformation. Apparently you are not interested in educating yourself or debating the issues on the merits as your mind is already made up and you are crystalized in your views. Why do you even waste your time here?

        • Jennifer says:

          William, I have never acted as though I am the voice of my community, I am just my own voice. In previous posts I have provided information and the reason I read the blog is to get more information. That is also why I read the paper, check the city of Burien’s website so on and so forth. You are a bully. As I read through this blog on a regular basis I find that you often attack people that don’t agree with you. But you know that is what makes our country great we are able to voice our opinions (which doesn’t mean they are facts). My opinion is this (based on information and conversations I have had and researched) Annexing white Center is the right choice for many reasons. Both Burien & white center are vibrant communities, with wonderful resteraunts, community involvement and amazing people. I have lived in Burien nearly my entire life and I have seen it develope into a place that people want to visit and even live. The same can be said for White Center.

          • areyouserious says:

            The same cannot and will never be for White Center. Unless of course you change almost everything about it.

          • William Forest says:

            Jennifer.. Blah Blah Blah..

            Apparently someone is a bully if you don’t agree with them and they don’t give up despite the attack and distract efforts of folks like you and the NHUAC PAC for annexation.

            If someone does not agree with you then they are a bully… If someone EXPOSES the nonsensical rants of the NHUAC that lack any facts whatsoever but are full of innuendo then they are a bully..

            YOU don’t claim to be the voice of the community? Mmmm… I quote from your previous post I responded to..

            “Often times when I read these letters to the editor I am annoyed because they are always commenting that they are the voice of the community. It is not my voice! I feel very safe btw in Burien and in White Center thanks for your concern though.”

            Its not YOUR VOICE.. so I guess it can’t be correct even though you ignore all the statistics and are apparently oblivious to the current crime wave we are experiencing in this area.. Well Jennifer MANY people feel LESS SAFE now and anticipate feeling even LESS SAFER when white center siphons off the inadequate police coverage we have now.

            You apparently don’t want do discuss ANY of the details financial or otherwise of what annexing White Center will cost the residents of Burien.

            The kumbayah approach you have towards annexation is the macro equivalent to the same lack of oversight that resulted in a total crash of the real estate market and drove our economy off a cliff.

            You don’t like it when I champion REALITY and the FACTS and just dismiss me as a bully.. well so be it.. you are like water off a ducks back to me..

    • Ed Dacy says:

      I was very respectful last week, but two weeks in a row? The same information was in her lletter in the Highline Times.

      • William Forest says:

        Gee Ed..

        How about sharing your viewpoints and educate us. Don’t be afraid, we won’t bite.
        Debbie started the ball rolling .. come on and debate the issues under discussion. Sniping gets you no where because nothing changes..

  3. jimmy says:

    what this sounds like to me is a bunch high school gossup or bs from adults that should know better stop all trash talk its stupid and not need it on all sides ok we know the anexxstaion is most like going to happen know matter what anyone post on a town blog if the city wants it there going to do it why do people on here have to bicker back and forth every day every week grow the hell up the city does not care there probley not even reading any of comments on here and if you want to bicker between each other then exchange conact info with each other and bicker that way becuse all your doing is turning this site in to a troll zone this happen all the over the internet and its just not needed all your doing making your self look stupid and yea sorry for my typeing iam a human not machine i make i mistakes if you can’t deal with it then thats your own problem

    • jimmy says:

      and o yeah i not anyone buddy on here i might know one other person here that lives near me so don’t try connect me to any group iam not into poltics or d-bags that lie to get votes

  4. I’ve looked for and easily found the answers to many of these questions (this letter and other recent letters to the editor) by simply attending City Council meetings and searching on the city website or other governmental websites.

    A lot of these questions have been layed out and either they are being ignored or not listened to. I remember over the summer how some citizens were asking for North Burien (area x) annexation info during the public comments with similar claims of the info being hidden or covered up. That info was up on the website the whole time.

    I believe the big issue is the venu that these questions are being asked. First, don’t assume the city reads these posts or comments on this site. Second, When submitted for the record or read during public comments don’t assume any action will be taken.

    If the city took action over public comment then Burien would be petitioning the state to abolish the minimum wage or working to make English the single language, or looking into why the Governor is abusing some power at the state level (all recently brought up in public comment). While the City and our elected officials do listen to public comment they don’t have the time/resources/budget to respond to every single question, especially when that info is already published on the website and available at the front counter.

    Public comment/correspondence for the record is designed to have a say in government on the record. If you want answers you need to work to get those answers in different formats.

    My best suggestion to you is if you want your questions answered by the city is to type them up in question/ answer format. Send them to the city and ask for a 1 hour appointment with someone to have these questions answered. I did this very same thing when I wanted to learn about the “Cops” portion of the “Cops and Kids” initiative.

    Joey Martinez

    • William Forest says:

      Joey perhaps you missed it on this blog under “Martins Letter”there were about a dozen well articulated issues that have NOT been answered by the council or Mr Martin despite repeated requests..

      I will paste them here so as to refresh your memory:>>>

      1 Why the City of Burien only produced a Draft Report and not an updated report on annexation that included the new information on declining tax revenues for both Burien and Area Y-as this greatly affects the monies that will really be collected to fund Burien and Area Y/White Center?

      2 Lucy K. /Council person asked at several council meeting for a real math model demonstration of how the State Sales Tax Revenues will be generated to-in part -cover the revenue short falls of Area Y. Why was this model never shown to Lucy K. or Burien citizens? Five million dollars will not be collected every year from this annexation.

      3 Why hasn’t the City of Burien produced the interlocal agreement that is supposed to have been in place before this issue was to be voted on to be put on the ballot? This interlocal agreement is to cover the North Highline Fire Department revenue shortfall for the emergency services and vehicle, retirements and the section of the fire district that will not be annexed. Burien citizens and Council members have asked several times to see the agreement, how much money is involved and who will pay for it? There are millions of dollars involved in this issue.

      4 Where is the business Plan for Area Y – or for any part of Burien? Prior to annexation of Area Y being put up for a vote, the Burien Comprehensive Plan states that a business plan should be developed for the area. Even more interesting is that when citizens have asked to see the plan for Area X, none is ever provided to them either and the area has been annexed for over two years now. Why are there no plans or why are the plans being withheld from the public and the Council?

      5 Where is there an explanation of the services that will be lost to Area Y/White Center when it leaves King County and how will Burien fund those services? Some of those services include Senior Services, Youth Services, Legal Services, Job Support Services, Immigration Service Support, Elderly Housing Assistance, Parks and Rec. Services for some sites and the White Center Community Development Association (CDA). Burien citizens have asked for an explanation for how those services will be funded or will they just cease to exist in Area Y? King County will not be providing monies to continue these services-it’s broke.

      6 Where is the money going to come from for issues/services that The Berk Draft Report completely failed to mention, such as the 44 homeless living on the streets of White Center, Substance Treatment Services, Neighborhood Planning Support, some of the Parks missing from the Berk Draft Report, and water quality issues?

      7 What will happen if the annexation of Area Y passes and then the State faces still more budget cuts? Area Y costs millions more to run than it takes in annually. It will even cost more than what can be collected from the Sales Tax Revenues by millions. How will this short fall in funding be made up? When Area Y is annexed, the City of Burien must at least leave the services at the level they existed at prior to annexation. Who is going to pay for keeping the services at that level if Area Y does not bring in enough money?

      8 Why was there not a more accurate financial estimate of what it will cost Burien to inherit the infrastructure debt-streets, drainage, sidewalks, streetlights, parks and plantings, etc. in the Berk Draft Report? It now appears that the City of Burien had much of this data from King County and chose not to include it in its presentations on annexation.

      9 Why was the report on what it will cost to run police services to Area Y so different from what citizens are seeing now as the rationale for why monies are now needed for further police services in the proposal called Kids and Cops? The police need millions more to operate than was shown in the annexation presentations. This proposal has not even been voted on by the Council and it proposes a significant increase in Utility Tax Rates for all residents? And why will the citizens be funding human services from Kids and Cops if the projections on annexation were correct?

      10 Why have the citizens and the Council never seen the true figures on the cost of annexing Area X/Blvd. Park? What are the real costs? And how much have businesses in Area X seen their taxes increase since annexation?

      11 Who and what money source will cover the money short fall when the Sales Tax Revenues run out- in year 11-the city will be short many millions of dollars?

      12 Why wasn’t the issue of recusal opening discussed at the Council meeting prior to the vote on the annexation issue? Burien claims to have an open transparent government but the citizens never seem to get their questions answered-even ones asked at the Council meetings.

      • 15 minute break started at 1:50pm – Go!

        1) It’s updated and stamped with Final – On Website.
        3) Being held up by Liz Giba’s absence. Should be done by June or sooner.
        4) Not on the website but available at the counter. I’ve been reading the Comprehsive plan (for some reason) and learning the details. (next is zoning – for some reason).
        5) Again on website in minutes as well. Most already handled by King County anyway. King County handles human services for most of the cities already (except Seattle). Funding doesn’t change except Burien will be able to go after bigger grants directly (over 50k population can go for federal grants directly) and turn over to the county to administer.
        6) BERK FINAL report – Services don’t change. County still does Human Services for Burien and North Highline.
        7) Too many ifs to get to
        9) After attending many BEDP meetings I can tell you that the police part is ONLY meant to help with the perception of the crime issue. Will it help some? Sure, but it’s mainly meant to help us FELL safer. As Eaton B Vers has said “when seconds count, police are minutes away”. We have the same or lower rates many of our neighbors but everything thinks Burien is a Ghetto (even 3 tree point). The extra cops are meant to help with that. This is viewed as economic development, especially with the kids part of it.
        10) On web site and also in budget. It’s even been covered in Council meetings.
        11)BERK final report says wheter we annex or don’t annex we will be 22% in the red looking at things staticlly. The BERK report can’t take into account Economic Development plans that bring in new revenue to the city.
        12) Recusal could have been brought up by the Council Members who voted against annexation as well. Good question for them.

        Time with seconds to spare! Couldn’t get to some – maybe after work.

        Joey Martinez

        • Smiley face should be 8 )

          • Al says:

            Nice job Joey! I sure wouldn’t spend my break at work responding to these people who will always twist it their way. They should know they are actually pushing people away not convincing them of anything. If I wasn’t for Annexation before, I am now!

          • Eaton B. Verz says:

            It’s O.K. Al….Joey gets lots of breaks ….. He works for the city

        • Joey Martinez says:

          I just learned that my information on the fire dept is old/inaccurate. I invite those with the newest information to post!


          Joey Martinez

        • William Forest says:

          Joey sorry you did not address any of the points anywhere near to what is needed..

          I suggest you stay away from anything to do with details..

          Oh and btw Al.. You were always an annexation proponent … so stop being silly…

          1 I don’t see any new information on declining tax revenues or find it addressed any of the omissions that have been repeated pointed out..

          2 I guess you missed this one. It appears you skipped it.

          3 Who told you that Joey.. I am very skeptical .. lets see how that works out and revisit it again it June although it should have been done BEFORE the Boundary Board Meeting.

          4 Let me get this straight.. Joey you are saying the Business plan for Area Y is available at the counter but not posted on the city we’ve site? Why am I so skeptical.. I will have to check this out for myself..

          5 No Joey .. What is available is NOT a tally of the costs.. It would have had to be done in a study because King County stonewalls you and tells you they don’t have the costs of managing area Y / White Center .. so how could the city have it?

          6 Joey did you read this item.. NOWHERE does it list where Burien is going to get money to pay for these services.. or does it give a comprehensive list of what services Martin has promised to NHUAC in order to get their support.

          7 Yep I am not surprised you had no response to this one because its the one that could bankrupt the city of Burien because of inadequate contingency planning .

          8 I guess you skipped this one too? Potentially the costs are in the tens of millions depending on what Martin has promised behind closed doors.

          9 Is this a capitulation Joey on my continual harping on the fact that 15 cops is NOT nearly enough to cover the annexation of Area Y.. I think 50 would be the bare minimum..
          I wonder when there are multiple crimes occurring who is going to get serviced first and how long it will take to respond since there won’t be enough cops to go around. I guess they will have to call on Seattle..
          Kids and Cops is an underhanded way of Martin trying to add police and tax us more because his deal with the NHUAC is not going to satisfy them as crime is the issue they spend most of their meetings talking about.

          10 Joey.. even giving you leeway.. that’s a flat out falsehood.. NO we have NEVER SEEN THE TRUE COSTS because no one knows what they are.. The Berk report was supposed to provide that… IT DIDN’T … The Business plan for Area Y should have provided it but guess what … IT DOES NOT EXIST!

          • William Forest says:

            11 New revenue from economic development in White Center? In this economy.. ? I don’t think so Joey.. in fact I would forecast that revenues are going to decline in 2012, where will that leave us. Even deeper in the annexation fiscal hole …

            12 Yes recusal by Jerry conflict of interest Robison is a good question for the council. It only goes to show the intense cronyism that exists among the majority on the council.. Joan Jerry and Rose are as thick as thieves with the NHUAC and apparently the rest of Burien can go to the dogs for all they care.

          • I was going to take the time to give you more details until I read your answer to my answer to number 12. I don’t feel answers from Jesus himself would satisfy you so why bother.

            Also, like you ask everyone you disagree with William: Do you even live in Burien? There is no registered voter by the name of “William Forest” anywhere in South King County. I suggest you take your concerns to the City Council either in a letter or at the podium because I’m done with you. Checked the minutes for the last year and so far I haven’t seen anything from you, either.

            If, like CON, you’re using a pseudonym that is fine.. just choose one that is obvious.

            Good day sir…. I said GOOD DAY.

            Joey Martinez

    • mike says:

      Mr. Martinez,

      If you have “answers” to the questions that the Poitras’s presented (and William) then by all means share the FACTS to dispute what they wrote.
      Thank you

  5. Chris says:

    Blah, blah, blah…..

  6. PJ says:

    GIVE IT A REST!!!!!

  7. mike says:

    William, Debi Wagner and the Poitras’s,
    Thank you for putting out the argument against annexation. I truly believe Seattle is the better choice. If the city council wants to convince the citizens of Area Y, then start by being transparent and come out with truth and honesty. And Joey, Come On Man! Really Joe? You were going to answer the questions with more detail? The response is exactly as everyone expects from you and the council, just more excuses. Joey, why not try to build up your credibility and take Debi and the Poitras’s questions to the council and publish what their response is to each question? Take someone with you that opposes annexation for a witness. That will be a good start.
    Thank you,
    Area Y Mike

    • Ok Mike I will bite. I will write a letter to the editor IF you, William, Debbie and the Poitras’s answer this simple question(s).

      Would you still be opposed to the annexation of North Highline by Burien IF all of the questions were fully answered to your satisfaction? Would you even believe what I wrote? What if I wrote were verifiable, would you still oppose annexation?

      Joey Martinez

      • Debi Wagner says:

        Joey: I am not opposed to annexation because of anything other than the financial problems predicted in both Berk reports, and the huge financial disparities that exist between the Seattle financial feasibility study and Berk’s data, The fire district has brought issues of servicing retirement contracts and the need for a new aid car to the council and Boundary Review BRB. The BRB has ordered them to work out an agreement that at the maximum can only provide a small percentage of that shortfall. There are dozens of issues just like this one that, if you can provide verifiable data on how these can be funded without raising taxes I would change my position. I would hope however that you refrain from writing more than is necessary and give straight figures, facts and sources. You might start with capital improvements and SWM from the business plan you have read.

        • Debi, you’re off-base on the fire department issue. The two fire districts have had a LONG-STANDING contract for services that establish which department covers what area. Fire District 2 has historically contracted BACK with the North Highline Fire District to provide service delivery to the north Burien areas. This contract was modified after the first annexation due to the change in the boundaries of Fire District 2. This is because the City of Burien is ANNEXED into Fire District 2’s boundaries. So, as Burien’s boundaries change–so do the fire districts.

          Now, what you are attempting to talk about, is the issue of the areas of unincorporated north Highline that will NOT be included in the second annexation by Burien (as proposed). These areas are the “Sliver By The River” and the South Park Marina area. This is issue that still needs to be worked out between the two fire districts. Also keep in mind that the “two” fire districts are almost functionally consolidated. Fire Chief Mike Marrs is the chief for both departments, and operational and support functions are shared between the two departments. So really you’re talking about two fire departments that on paper are separate, but work CLOSELY together.

          That being said, the issue at hand is the lack of agreement about what to do about the two areas that are NOT potentially going to be annexed by Burien. The City of Seattle and the Seattle Fire Department will not agree to cover the south Park Marina area, but they possibly might cover the “slver” if that area is annexed by Seattle. There’s a chance that the property owners on the “sliver” might initiate an annexation to Seattle by petition. There is no new info on this, so it remains to be seen.

          But as far as emergency services delivery goes, Seattle Fire will NOT agree to a contract for services to cover these areas. Even if Burien annexes the bulk of the remaining area, the two non-annexed areas will still be covered by what remains of the North Highline Fire Department. Yes, there will not be much left, but they will likely just contract with the newly extended Fire District 2 to cover the two remaining unincorporated areas.

          So, the drum you’re beating about the lack of contract between the two fire districts really amonts to a mountain out of a mole hill. It’s simply not that big of deal, and will be worked out be a contract for services. Yes, it hasn’t been ironed-out yet, but it’s really not the huge deal you’re making out of it.

          • Debi Wagner says:

            Burienite: You passed on addressing the funding issues I talked about. Why? But you agree there is no agreement yet which was the other point. There is more going on than whether North Highline, District 2, or an uninitiated annexation petition for Seattle will cover the two unincorporated areas. Maybe Liz Giba can give a presentation to the city of Burien on the status of the agreement and it would be great to have her followed by Chief Marrs.

      • Coverofnight says:

        Again, I want to reiterate that there have been great questions/concerns raised by the citizens for the local government yet it seems that none of them have come forward with legitimate answers. While Martin has craftily dodged any direct response, it does appear that the anti-annexation rhetoric has gotten under his skin (I only hope it doesn’t drive him to drink) – yet the process continues and appears headed for a vote.

        In a political sense, I feel like I’m watching “The Apprenticeship of Joey Moretaxes” with the incomplete, the non-answers and/or no answers to William and Debi’s inquiries. Putting himself on the front line and taking the hits for the council can only help to build his political chops. Interesting that he was rewarded(?) for his ambition with a spot on the Planning Commission. He’s a big-government guy with big-government power aspirations and, if successful, this typically translates to higher taxes.

        Reading between the lines, the vagueness of the pro-annexation response can only mean that we can expect higher and new taxes to pay for the White Center annexation. As we’re helpless in the short term to stop the build-up of deficits on a national level, we too will be helpless to stop the upcoming increased costs to Burien taxpayers because of the actions/management of this council. Remember the phrase, “No taxation without representation”? It’s time to elect representatives who don’t feel that Burien is their own kingdom. I hope someone will keep tally on who was for and who was against annexation anytime we have an election for a vacant council seat in the future. We know where Joey stands on the issue – right behind me ready to pick my pocketbook!

        • Sorry, CON we have been short staffed at work for the last few weeks (actually years) with people on vacation as well as a major project I’m working on. It’s caused the perfect storm of long days and fried brains.

          I am working on my own “letter(s) to the editor” that I hope will answer some of these questions and present my point of view. Next week on those, probably.

          In other news, you do make some good points. You should know that after having working in government for over 9 years I am probably more distrustful of government than you are. I’ve learned to trust a politician about 90% and wait until what they say actually happens. As a staffer I’ve learned that nothing is final until it’s final.

          I used to think that politicians were idiots and just didn’t get it (sound familar CON?), whatever “IT” was. Since my run for office I’ve learned that most are NOT idiots (except maybe Romney?) but deeply care for the community they serve. They may simply see things differently (for whatever reason). I stand behind this statement for Washington Politicians at the local, special districts, county and legislative levels wether their name is followed by a (D) or an (R) officially or not.

          Lastly, Love that picking pocket line!

          Joey Martinez

        • mike says:

          Great post. I’m picking up what your putting down. I’m being patient with Joey because I can’t see him standing us all up right here in front of everyone. I think he will come thru with honest transparent answers from the council to Debi & Williams questions. It will be a good start to win over at least one vote from an Area Y Guy. I have a big mouth and have lived here my whole 50+ years. I run into people I know wherever I go. I would love to tell everyone how great it would be to be part of Burien. So far I can’t. Come on Joey, I’m pulling for you Man. Joey! Joey! Joey!

          • You (hopefully) won’t be disappointed! I’ve got some other things keeping me busy right now (fam damily and work stuff) but should have some letters to the editor next week. If nothing else, the comments section will be entertaining.

            Joey Martinez

  8. mike says:

    People want the truth, the whole truth. Not just someone answering questions as they see fit. I haven’t been convinced by anyone (so far) that annexation of Area Y by Burien is a good thing. So if you are willing to go to the council with an opponent of annexation and have the council answer the questions presented above by William, then I will keep an open mind. Convince me its a good thing Joey.
    Area Y Mike

    • Area Y Mike, I’ve both provided feedback in the form of comments and letters to the editor. I also regularly attend the Burien City Council meetings and provide comments and feedback at those meetings.

      I started off last year as a candidate for Burien City Council against annexation. I pulled a “Mit Romney” on this one issue because after reading and analyzing every single report, looking past all the hype, and speaking with many people on both sides I came to the conclusion that Burien annexing North Highline was in Burien’s best interests. (I also feel it’s in the best interests of North Highline as well).

      Are there risks? Sure, there are risks both for and against annexing the area. I feel the biggest risk is if Burien does not annex and the economy takes off again.

      Joey Martinez

      • elizabeth2 says:

        Joey = “BIGGEST RISK” if we do not annex? I have never heard anyone refer to choosing not to grab for more territory spo we can be bigger and more powerful as a risk.

        Maybe you mean a risk for all those people whi have carefully lined up all sorts of economic land grabs and deals to line their own pockets? Development projects that support them as much as any reluctant citizen?

        Seriously, without reference to old hackneyed lines from the Berk Report (been there, done that), please explain BIGGEST RISK to us all.

        • Biggest risk in that when the economy rebounds developers will once again begin building housing units. If Burien does not annex and either Seattle or King County control zoning in the area we will have high density projects all through North Highline. I’ve got nothing against high density, I just feel the Highline area has more than its fair share and the next stick of High density projects should be built on the East or North end.

          Developers will build no matter who has control of the area. Having local control of the area gives Burien residents a say in what goes in there. And yes, those permit fees will go into the Burien General (and other) funds that can/will be used on Burien instead of Marymoor Park (If King County) or South Lake Unions (if Seattle) as some potential uses of impact fees and permit fees.

          Joey Martinez

          Joey Martinez

          • Debi Wagner says:

            Joey: I called the city and they don’t have a business plan. Can you tell me what counter you got that from? Oh and by the way, what if the economy doesn’t recover soon and we have several more years of property depreciation, empty store fronts, more foreclosures? Your “what if’s” prospects of the future is like the city financial director’s answers to the BRB…”best guesses” and she was already wrong because the positive percentage inflation used on property value was actually far into the negative. I would still love to see your breakdown of answers to the questions and I hope you include a best case/worst case projection for your revenue vs costs including cost of money with a reduced or no tax credit scenario as so far we only have best case from Berk which I like to call wishful thinking case.

          • DrMcDreamy says:

            You do realize that you followed his what-if with your own what-if right? In medicine that’s like wondering which treatment will kill the patient the least! And wow, talk about being a “Debbie Downer” on your pessimistice view of this country’s future.

      • mike says:

        Is that how you are going to convince me its a good idea to annex? I’m hoping you will follow thru with going to the council and getting answers to all the questions posed by William as we discussed. I hope your not pulling a “Mit” on me.

        Area Y Mike

  9. heidi says:

    Just an FYI people Seattle cant afford to annex……Burien is the better choice……Seattle can not even fix the streets, nor fix other things that are wrong with the city…..What makes you think that Seattle is the better choice…..Burien is a “growing city”…..It is always rough in the beginning….. And Burien will get that tax credit……

    • mike says:

      So far, the arguments against annexation are more convincing than anything I’ve read about it being a good thing. Please answer the posed questions. I welcome you to convince me that Burien is a better choice.
      Area Y Mike

    • Feisty1 says:

      Try driving on 1st ave in Burien…..4-5 years in the works …with 3-4 more years for phase 3. 7-10 years to fix 1 darn road. Burien City wants your land…the roads are secondary.

  10. Hellpig says:

    As a 42 year resident and home owner in White Center ..”we the people” will NEVER vote for Seattle ….we will never pay the high taxes of the progressive commies and their agenda ….NEVER

  11. TcB says:

    When this issue is over I fear that this blog will not be fun anymore. :
    ok just kidding!

  12. Debi Wagner says:

    Not so McDreamy…you are confusing pessimistic with realistic. I did not follow his what-ifs, I used the now is and carried it over into the future…and I wouldn’t rely on Joey’s crystal ball if I were you, even though he bets paychecks on it’s accuracy, Joey might be the only one who understands it…

    • DrMcDreamy says:

      Jeez Debbie, not too classy of a comment/attack/reply from a lady or previous candidate for public office.

      I oppose annexation but am leary of you and other representing my views. You definitely subscribe to the “(s)he who screams the loudest wins” theorum and I for one am sorry I wasted my vote on you. I still oppose annexation but find your and similar letters annoying.

      • William Forest says:

        Hey Doc.. Care to share why you oppose annexation?

        • DrMcDreamy says:

          Hey William, you were asked a similar question. Here is why I oppose annexation. In the years since annexation the communities have drifted apart. My voice will be diminished in this new city. No confidence the city can manage this. No confidence in our elected officials. No confidence in our elected officials. No confidence in our elected officals. Yes I wrote it three times.

  13. mike says:


    We’re not done with this post. Could you please top post it?

    Thank you,
    Area Y Mike

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