Edgar Suggests Conflict of Interest on Annexation Vote; Robison Says None Exists


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Burien Councilmember Jerry Robison

by Ralph Nichols

[This is the first of three reports involving City Councilman Gerald Robison, allegations of a conflict of interest, and the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council.]

Near the end of the April 16 Burien City Council meeting, Councilman Bob Edgar turned to City Manager Mike Martin and asked a question opponents of North Highline annexation have raised.

When, Edgar wanted to know, are council members legally required to recuse themselves from voting on an issue in which they have an apparent personal interest?

Conflicts of interest for elected local officials are addressed by Title 42 of the Revised Code of Washington, specifically Chapter 23 of that title, City Attorney Craig Knutsen replied at Martin’s request.

The RCW narrowly focuses on contracts in which a council member could benefit financially with their vote, and the appearance of fairness in quasi-judicial hearings such as land-use matters, Knutsen said.

He later told The B-Town Blog he knows of no case law – decisions by appellate courts – or regulatory actions that have amended these RCW provisions.

Robison has, on occasion, provided legal advice to the North Highline Area Unincorporated Council (NHUAC), annexation opponents have noted.

This, they claim, indicates he is the unincorporated area council’s attorney, meaning he has a conflict of interest should have recused himself from the city council’s recent annexation vote.

The city council voted 4-3 on April 2 to submit the annexation question to unincorporated North Highline voters in the November general election. Under state law, only legal residents of an area proposed for annexation are allowed to vote on the issue.

Robison voted with the majority while Edgar cast a no vote. Both spoke in support of their respective positions before casting their votes.

Councilman Edgar’s Concerns
“I do have some concerns about whether the issues of conflict of interest and recusal should have been considered by Jerry Robison as it relates to the annexation issue,” Edgar told The B-Town Blog Friday.

“Jerry was and quite possibly still is the attorney for the NHUAC. The public record shows this.”

But, Edgar noted, he was not the first to raise these questions, adding that Burien resident Debi Wagner publicly brought them to the council’s attention before their April 2 meeting. [Neither] the city attorney, Jerry, nor the city manager answered her.”

And NHUAC members “have claimed that Jerry has never been their attorney,” he said.

Burien Councilmember Bob Edgar

Edgar cited three NHUAC records to support his claim:

  1. Minutes from the Oct. 6, 2011, NHUAC meeting, in which members discussed whether to continue after King County funding for unincorporated area councils ended on last Dec. 31, state in part that council President Barbara Dobkin “had consulted lawyer Jerry Robison” on the matter.
  2. At their Dec. 2, 2010, meeting, NHUAC members, according to the minutes, were told by Jenn Ramirez-Robson, speaking in the absence of Martin, “that Jerry Robison – who has served as lawyer for the NHUAC … – is about to be appointed to an opening on the Burien City Council.”
  3. And in advance of the June 3, 2010, NHUAC meeting, listed on the agenda was “Jerry Robison, NHUAC attorney.”

Councilman Robison’s Response
Robison told The B-Town Blog Friday that while he has “given legal advice to the [North Highline] Unincorporated Area Council” – personal advice about what he thinks regarding by-laws and procedures – “but I have not been their attorney in the sense of representing them.”

And, Robison continued, “I have been paid no retainer or fee for doing this. I do the same thing for lots of local non-profits in helping them with their 501c3 applications, their incorporation and bylaws, and advice on issues” – all in a pro bono capacity.

“Just because I’m an attorney doesn’t mean there’s a conflict of interest every time the city hires an attorney,” Robison argued.

“Edgar should also apply his conflict of interest standard to himself,” he added. Edgar has been “involved with anti-annexation organizations. Maybe this should recuse himself.

“He’s also a member of the Shorewood Community Council. Should he recuse himself every time the city council votes on something involving Shorewood?”

There is one exception to this – that occurred 16 years ago, Robison noted. In 1996, not long after the first NHUAC members were elected, both the council and its first president, Glenn Weiss, were sued.

At first King County said it wouldn’t provide legal representation for NHUAC or Weiss, Robison recalled, “So I filed notice of appearance to represent both the council and Weiss.”

“The county subsequently reversed itself and represented the council. I continued to represent Glenn Weiss to get the complaint against him dismissed, which I did….

“The Unincorporated Area Council never paid me anything for that but George might have paid me something. That was over 15 years ago and I got rid of those billing records some time ago.”

Although NHUAC “reimbursed me when I paid out of my pocket for filing fees a couple of times,” Robison restated that he never was paid by this council or other non-profits to which he gave legal advice.

Debi Wagner’s Complaint
The B-Town Blog was unable to reach Wagner by phone Friday afternoon, but following the April 16 city council meeting – where she was in the audience when Edgar asked his question about recusal – she submitted a letter to the blog: Concerns About Jerry Robison, Mike Martin and Area Y Annexation.

In her remarks, Wagner alleged that “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” – the remaining North Highline unincorporated area including White Center.

Robison was picked to replace Kathy Keene, who retired effective Dec. 31, 2010. He won election to a full term on the city council last November, defeating Wagner for that position.

“Mr. Robison has been the attorney for the NHUAC and the head organizer for the White Center Jubilee Days,” Wagner continued. “This could hardly have been missed as it is plastered all over Mr. Robison’s law firm windows.”

But, countered Robison, “if I own a business and vote for a contract that I benefit from financially, that is a conflict of interest.” Providing pro bono legal advice for an organization for which he isn’t paid isn’t a conflict, he emphasized.

A 2005 Court of Appeals decision – which held there was no conflict of interest with Pete’s Towing, owned by then-Des Moines City Councilman Gary Petersen, providing towing services for the City of Des Moines while he served on the city council – appears to back Robison.

“It would be an oddity for an elected official automatically to be placed in violation of the ethics code merely by being sworn into office,” that decision said. “Soon it would be difficult to find capable people willing to run for public office, particularly in small towns where virtually every proprietor in the village may at least occasionally do business with the town.”

[Note: This case – Citizens for Des Moines v. Gary W. Petersen – will be looked at in Part II.]?

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council comments
NHUAC President Barbara Dobkin said there is a unique oddity in claims that Robison has a conflict of interest in voting for North Highline annexation.

“If he was providing legal services to us on a contract and we were paying him a retainer, and North Highline voters approve annexation, then there would no longer be an unincorporated area council and he would no longer get a retainer. That would not benefit him in any way.”

But, Dobkin declared, Jerry was one of the founding members of the council. When we made changes to our by-laws we called him for advice. He’s a friend and he knows the council and who else better to call?”

“That does not in itself create an attorney-client relationship nor does that make him our attorney of record. He’s a friend of the council who offered to give us some advice … the council has no contract with him, and has never paid him a retainer or a fee for service.”

NHUAC member Liz Giba added, “We never paid him a penny.” This can be verified, she said, since the council must reimburse financial claims by submitting vouchers to King County, which then pays these claims.

And his listing on a meeting agenda “is not a regular circumstance,” Giba said. “In fact, it’s unusual to see him there.”

Dobkin said it is “unfortunate” that Robison is referred to as the NHUAC attorney since he has never worked in that capacity for the council “and we have never had an attorney … we’ve never had a budget for attorney services.”

While they have never had a contract with Robison, Giba said because of their long-standing friendship with him and his support of the council, “we use the term loosely that Jerry is the NHUAC attorney.”

But, Dobkin stated again, “all he has done is infrequently provide advice on organizational issues only. Never on legal issues. And he has never been compensated [by NHUAC]. There is nothing unusual about this.”

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Comments

68 Responses to “Edgar Suggests Conflict of Interest on Annexation Vote; Robison Says None Exists”
  1. fish says:

    Typical lies from the hysterical anti-annexation crowd… what will they say next, that Brian Bennett has a conflict because he’s eaten at the Salvadoran Bakery and therefore has a conflict if interest with a White Center business?

    Can’t wait to see the screechy freakout in the comments on this post.

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    • Gabby says:

      Dobkin flat out lied in her claim that Jerry did not give legal advice pro bono or otherwise to the NHUAC. That is proven out by the facts and Jerry’s own admissions.. Whether he should have recused himself is an open subject for debate but NOT whether he was in fact a legal consultent for the pro annexation NHUAC of which he was a founding member.

      I am really getting sick and tired of the white center gang trash talking the taxpayers of the city of Burien.. When and if they become part of Burien then they can go off all they want but in the meantime they should back off. They remind me of barking, snarling out of control dogs that need to be put on a leash.

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    • Debi Wagner says:

      If Brian helped start the bakery, set up the bakery, was close friends with the bakery workers, gave the bakery legal advice, represented members of the staff in legal matters, was listed as their attorney, and Burien with Brian as a decisive vote wanted to take over the bakery and support it financially for the rest of its life, yes, Brian would have a conflict of interest. State law on conflict of interest also focuses on the ability to be impartial. As a council member Jerry Robison must be objective and vote in a way that serves the best interest of those he represents in Burien. And pro-bono work is still legal counsel. The fact he never charges the NHUAC is another indication of his close connection to them. Can Jerry Robison while representing the residents of Burien truly be objective, impartial and consider all matters fairly when it comes to Burien financial health, fire department issues, etc., when his loyalty lies with the NHUAC and seeing annexation approved? That is the question.

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      • DrMcDreamy says:

        Sour Grapes. Lost to the man and now you’re going after him. This anti-annexation person is ashamed I wasted my vote on you. Had I known I would have left the race blank or voted in Homer Simpson.

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        • Debi Wagner says:

          Dr. McDreamy: Since that is what the women call him, I suggest you are a woman. And I also suggest you support Jerry Robison more than anti-annexation. You give no real arguments in the discussion at hand pro-or con but merely use the opportunity to snipe at me personally. I was clear about my position on annexation in the voters pamphlet and if you truly are anti-annexation, you voted for the person who best represented your views and continues to remain steadfast on that course. I suggest you are affiliated with the NHUAC who seem to be good at dodging questions, twisting answers and roughly treating the people they want so badly to be welcomed by.

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          • DrMcDreamy says:

            Debbie, Debbie, Debbie… don’t you ever quit? I am arm-chairing here like your buddy William who asked me that same question to another letter you wrote about.

            The reason I oppose annexation is because in the years since the Burien incorporation the communities have drifted apart, my voice will be diminished in this new city, and I have no trust in the city leadership, elected and otherwise.

            Having said that and after re-reading your comment I can now see that only IF I agree with you that Robinson is in bed with North highline and all the other jibberish you wrote that I worthy of standing by you against annexation. If someone doesn’t agree with you they MUST be aligned with North Highline. No thanks

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          • Debi Wagner says:

            Dr. McDreamy: Won’t both reasons you oppose annexation be made better BY annexation? If not, why do proponents use these as their main reasons FOR annexation?

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          • DrMcDreamy says:

            What? Your argument literally made no sense. So you’re urging me to support annexation?

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        • [email protected] says:

          Bwahahahahahah!!!! Awesome–I love it!

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          • Debi Wagner says:

            Dr. McDreamy,,,twisting my comment again! Proponents of annexation typically use the argument that the communities have much in common, schools, proximity, shopping, etc. and therefore should join together formalizing something that nearly already exists. They don’t seem to care that this means a huge deficit for Burien’s budget. So you like the drifting apart or think it should be fixed as proponents envision? You are either a seperationist or pro annexation. You say your voice will be diminished in the revised area. You really believe you will have less control in Burien than with the giant King County Bureaucracy? Again, you are either mixed up or pro-annexation. In my opinion your arguments against annexation are weak and lack justification.

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          • DrMcDreamy says:

            OH MY GOD! Debbie, you don’t read so good do you? Remember when I said that I wasted my vote on you? That would mean I am ALREADY a Burien resident. One of the reasons I am against annexation is because my voting power will be diminished with the additon of more voters into Burien. I guess in your opinion I am just not worthy of standing next to you against annexation unless I back you and your obstructionist claims and supporters. Obstructionist – please google the term, because that is what you are.

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          • Debi Wagner says:

            Dr. Yes I know what you said. So are you going to explain what is behind the drifting apart and how that is resolved by not merging with area Y? Just curious. I’d also like to know what you think I am obstructing? It isn’t annexation is it, the thing you are against?

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          • DrMcDreamy says:

            Debbie, does your cluelessness never end? According to what you write I should support Annexation. Nice, Debbie Downer wants me to support annexation. I’ll be sure to remind people of that when you run for office next year.

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          • Debi Wagner says:

            Good luck on finding someone who believes anything you say is true.

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          • DrMcDreamy says:

            Don’t worry Debbie, I’ll pull something from your playbook and just keep repeating it until people believe it!

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  2. Lee Moyer says:

    My experience with Jerry Robison at committee meetings is that he frequently offers advise in his areas of expertise. That is what committee members do. This series of articles is a good example of why people are reluctant to volunteer for such committees.
    And, of course, when it comes to a public access on Lake Burien or issues involving the Shoreline Master Program, Bob Edgar will recuse himself since he lives on the lake and is so worried about an appearance of conflict of interest.
    I guess with two more articles we will see how to make an issue out of a non-issue.

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    • Ed Dacy says:

      Since everytime Mr Edgar addressed the Council he gave his address in Shorewood I asumed he lived at the address which he gave on the record.

      Why did he give a FALSE address….

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      • William says:

        Ed Dacy… Finally showing his true colors I see. Well you will never get my vote Ed … Did you even consider that Bob might own more than one property in Burien?? Look before you leap Ed and do some research before you slander!

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        • Joey Martinez says:

          In my campaign preparation back in 2011 I requested a Precinct Committe Officer (pco) listing. I checked the newest list just a little while ago and still see it. Bob Edgar is currently the Democratic pco for the precinct around lake Burien. That is an elected position and if he is living in the Shorewood property he must immediately resign as pco.

          I didn’t bring it up previously out of respect, but since we’re talking conflicts of interest…

          Joey Martinez

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          • william forest says:

            Hey Joey.. If you want to know where Bob lives why don’t you hire a private investigator.. Or you could just canvas the neighborhood or hang out in your car and see what driveway he comes out of in the morning..

            Oh and btw.. Joey… if you want to bring up conflict of interest.. You were heavily involved in the failed Gordon Shaw bid for re-election. So we know where your conflicts of interests are.
            Joey word to the wise.. a very smart man once told me that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

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          • Coverofnight says:

            Careful Joey………I always found it interesting that someone who lives within spitting distance of the Des Moines city boundary (as I gathered from some of your previous posts) would lay claim to know what’s best for the downtrodden of White Center – talk about being at opposite ends of the spectrum!

            “I didn’t bring it up previously out of respect, but since we’re talking conflicts of interest…;)”

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          • truthseeker says:

            Joey,

            Wrong again as you have been about many things, the Public Disclosure Commission, the Burien Business Plan and not how PCOs work. A PCO does not have to live in the neighborhood that he/she is a PCO in. Joey, your facts are not always quite what the real facts are. By the way, this blog editorial was about whether Jerry R. was the attorney for the NHUAC and it appears he was and perhaps still is. Read the agenda from their meeting that states that he is their attorney.

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          • Truthseeker, you MUST live in the precinct you’re elected to. You MUST also live in the precinct you are appointed to. You DO NOT have to live in a precinct if you’re acting PCO. That’s Washington State law. RCW 29A.80.041.

            Joey Martinez

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          • Big Nate says:

            Thank you for trying to put some fact into this conversation. Rrigt or wrong you are and have always been a gentleman. I look forward to you bringing some civility to these arguments, without name calling and composed facts..

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        • Ed Dacy says:

          My true colors? My question is why did Mr Edgar give his residenance as in Shorewood, if he did not live there? I am only asking, why?

          I like Bob we have had very pleasant conversations, just curious why the Shorewood address as his residenace?

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  3. Coverofnight says:

    Great post, Ralph; thanks for more detailed information regarding this issue – I’m looking forward to the other upcoming reports.

    My question is, “What happens in the case of a tie, if Robison had recused himself?” Would Martin have had any say, in which case this whole item becomes a non-issue as we know which way he votes?

    Voters should have followed my lead when I endorsed Debi – see what happens when you get attorneys involved in any issue…..it all goes to he!! and ends up smelling like rotten fish (oh, sorry fish – was that a screechy freakout toward you?).

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    • Ed Dacy says:

      Mike martin as a City employee does not hve a vote on Council matters. A 3 – 3 vote would have meant the measure would not pass.

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    • William says:

      Thanks for standing up for the real citizens of Burien C-O-Night! You are like a fresh breeze blowing away the all the smoke the white center gang is fanning all over our town.

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  4. Ralph Nichols says:

    Whenever the vote on a motion ends in a tie – be it for an ordinance or a resolution, and only a simple majority is required to pass, and there is no elected member of that body to cast a tie- breaking vote (City Manager Mike Martin, who is not a city council member, would have had no say in the matter in that event), the motion in question fails.

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  5. Bob Price says:

    In reading the comments above I find it rather strange that the White Center people can be called trash and that is acceptable to the Burien crowd name calling all they want? But if the white Center people question the things that the Burien crowd does even respectfully its unacceptable and called trashing them? Also William says Mr Edger has 2 pieces of property in Burien and therefore does not lie. I have noticed that Mr Edger and his wife seem to use either address depending on what they want to do or say. I have heard several times the different addresses used and therefor have no real idea where they live. It does seem that they want to keep most of the Burien voters confused? What is their formal address for Burien? Thanks. Bob Price

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    • william forest says:

      Thanks for your comments Bob Price.. But if I were the Edger’s I wouldn’t want my address bandied around with nuts like you always gunning for anyone against the fiscal insanity that you call anti annexation … I would want to keep my residence free from the kind of harassment that you seem to find quite acceptable.. I think people have a right to privacy.. Btw Bob.. Where do you live? I guess it would not be that hard to figure out… not that I really give a hoot… Its probably white center because you have the same pack mentality as the majority of these bottom feeders.. What I gather from your post Bob is you are the one that is the most confused and you have a penchant for spreading that confusion. I for one am glad for the Egar’s that you have no real idea of where they live.. and I hope it stays that way.

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      • Jennifer says:

        William,
        Why are you such a bully? Every comment I read from you is an attack! I imagine if Robison supported your belief’s with regard to annexation you would have nothing but positive things to say about him. And because people question your pal Edgar you attack and name call. So interesting! Please remember there are those of us in Burien that support annexation. I would appreciate your comments if you were more repspectful.

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        • Elizabeth says:

          I agree with you Jennifer. Why do you feel the need to refer to bottom feeders William? Your arguments would have more credibility if it had more facts and less attacks.

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          • William Forest says:

            Elizabeth …I only attack after I have been attacked.. I have presented the facts time and time again and all I get from the bottom feeders is attack and distract.. I am not going to wilt away and back down because all you got is smoke and distract.. so I suggest you take your own advice and present some FACTS that can be debated… not whined about..

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        • William Forest says:

          Jennifer.. as I have chastened you before.. You need to debate on the merits.. not on the thinness of your skin.. If you can’t stand the heat then stay out of the kitchen.. If you really do live in Burien and you really understood the financial chicanery that Martin is up too then you too would be against annexation at this time.. Stop whining its annoying..

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    • Ghost Of Maplewild says:

      Mr. Price,

      At the last council meeting you spoke in length during the public comment period defending Mr . Robison/NHUAC. However I was curious about your “threat’ at the end of your statements that if you had to you would/could “strike” Burien businesses. What exactly does this mean?
      Many of us in Burien frequent White Center Businesses as well should we do the same?

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  6. Joey Martinez says:

    No need to hire an investigator. Anyone can request a copy of bob or my or any candidates data from the public disclosure commission. I fail to understand how my involvement with shaws campaign is a conflict of interest? I felt Shaw was the better candidate. By that logic, if I understand yours correctly, then you should apply it to the Robison-Wagner contest. Applying your logic, which I don’t agree with, should lead you to question the Losing candidate bringing up allegations against the winning candidate. Again I don’t agree with that logic, simply applying yours to that situation.

    Con, I have always been up front about that even mentioning it in public comment for the record. I also live 3 blocks from SeaTac and 4 blocks from Normandy park. My lot even has lot A beach rights in Normandy park.

    Joey Martinez

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    • Coverofnight says:

      Beach rights…..!!!! Joey Moretaxes – 1 percenter!

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      • More like: the neighbor who platted this area in the 50’s-60’s (and recently died) thought and fought to include this area in the Lot-A formation. More like several hundred Burien residents have beach rights to the cove.

        I’m kind of glad Con thinks I am a 1%er… means he is going to be REALLY nice to me now! Republicans like him think the rich can do no wrong! 😉

        Joey Martinez

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    • william forest says:

      Joey… Your involvement with Gordon Shaw’s campaign who at least was upfront about his pro annexation commitment was also strongly linked to the NHUAC and Jerry Robison. You are also a strong annexation proponent although you like to portray yourself as impartial.. Should I go on or can you connect the dots…..?

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      • William, please connect the dots!

        I ran against Edgar and Shaw. I lost to both gentlemen.
        I looked at the facts on annexation and felt (and still feel) that it’s the best option for both Burien and North Highline. I’ve always been up front about that.

        I’ve never seen any report that after reading and studying it AS A WHOLE left me to think annexation was wrong for Burien. I prefer to weight the entire document and look at why it was written not simply pick pieces that fit my agenda.

        If I can see something that as a whole leads me to believe annexation isn’t right for Burien first and North Highline second please show pass it on.

        Joey Martinez

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        • William Forest says:

          Joey its all about the numbers.. Obviously math is not a strong suit of yours.. but I assume you can balance your books.. In order to do that you need to know what ALL of your expenses are to determine if you have the money to pay for it.. Its really quite simple.. WE DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH IT WILL COST.. thats the reality… We don’t know what Martin has promised the NHUAC in order to use them as a PAC for his annexation empire building plan.. We don’t know what it costs King County to run Area Y.. because they refuse to provide those numbers by stonewalling us when we ask them to provide them. We do know that White Center cannot support itself and additional funding via tax credit will definitely be needed or the deal is off… How long with that tax credit last? No one knows or will say .. its uncertain.. We don’t know what the drain on police services that policing white center will result in as far as reduction of protection in Burien as it currently exists .. all we know is Seattle said they would need 45 or 50 cops and Martin says he only needs 15 more.. Of course he realizes thats hooey so he comes up with this kids and cops initiative which if passed will increase our taxes which I know you have no problem with but I do… I could go on but if you have not got it by now you never will….

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          • William, you raise a good point or two but it’s too easy to ignore what you say when you start off by insulting me. The insults don’t bother me, but to a neutral person they make you seem petty. Thats not my opinion but the words of fine citizens who told me they read B-town but don’t post!

            Giving away a point in my forthcoming letter but… remember the shooting at Sylvester or the Pawn shop? How many Seattle Police Cars did we see? I don’t believe we saw any (but I could be wrong as I was only able to look from a distance).

            I do know that cop cars from SeaTac and North Highline were there, and even a Normandy Park PD car was there. We’d lose those officers from North Highline if that area goes to Seattle. We’d have less officer response immediately available for those types of incidences. Comparing Seattle PD services to the Burien KCSO contract is apples to oranges. Please talk to the Burien PD chief and learn about it please.

            Heck, Seattle is so stingey with their services that they won’t contract the “Sliver by the river” which has a chance of being annexed into Seattle in 2013 (by inter-local agreement). They’d show up in a fire but they’re about 15 down in the call list according to the fire chief.

            Annexation credit has been set for 10 years. All Burien can do is go by what the law says. Could it be eliminated? Sure. Could it be doubled? Just as likely. Should I argue WHAT IF they increase the time period allowed? Don’t worry, I wont.

            Costs are an issue and are like nailing Jello to the wall. The county is continually cutting services to that area. The latest I’ve read is that the County may begin allowing some of the roads to turn to gravel?

            However, We do have a pretty close estimate on costs, but they are not yet finalized. The county does not want or need to finalize the cost until we have a passing Yes vote on annexation. They dont’ have the staff time or resources to pay for it for an “inquery”. If the numbers are WAY off and annexation does prove to be not feasible Burien can still walk away from the vote.

            William, I am curious, why have I not seen you at council speaking about this?

            Joey Martinez

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  7. SD says:

    If I recall (this is from memory so please don’t blast me), the concern regarding Gary Peterson owning a towing company the City of Des Moines awarded a contract to wasn’t the “conflict of interest.” The “conflict of interest” was Gary voting on whether the City Manager appropriately awarded the contract.

    With that said, it appears Robison is the tie breaker in an important decision. As in the Peterson case, I think it’s prudent to pursue a legal answer to the question. Debi, if you’re up for it, I’m willing to contribute to hire an attorney.

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  8. Bob Price says:

    In answer to Ghost Mapewild’s Statement
    I did not threaten anyone I just made the comment that a lot of Highline people do shop a lot in Burien. Which they do. And I also shop in Burien a lot as well as use the shops in White Center I stated that Burien needed the Highline people as much as the Highline people needed Burien. And if a strike were called it would serve no useful purpose but to hurt shop owners. It would not effect the people complaining Both are needed to help each other Thank you. Bob Price.

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    • William Forest says:

      Bob do you shop in Tukwila or Seattle or Des Moines or do you shop exclusively in white center and Burien? What the heck does that have to do with whether Burien can afford to annex White Center or not?

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  9. Lee Moyer says:

    Conflict of interest would be directing a public policy for persona gain. No one has shown that Jerry Robison will have any personal gain with the incorporation of area Y. No one has shown that the four story Robison Office Complex on the White Center Strip will appreciate significantly by incorporation into Burien.
    On the other hand, some of the above writers seen to consider it to be a conflict of interest simply to disagree with them, be involved with the local community, support annexation and work toward that end.
    How sad.

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    • Jennifer says:

      That is exactly what it is. If Robison supported their side this wouldn’t be a discussion. I find that there are many who would prefer to to be obstructionists. I imagine that once this issue goes away they will find another platform to oppose.

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      • DrMcDreamy says:

        Both of you are exactly right. I oppose annexation but feel ashamed that the obstructionist are grabbing all the headlines. They should learn that there is a difference between opposing something and obsructing something. All of these last gasp ploys only hurts their credability in the end (Debbie Wagner). The message should have been consistently the same thing. Instead the reasoning to oppose annexation has changed over time leading to this last gasp hail mary. I am sure there will be more of them.

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      • William Forest says:

        Jennifer your right if Robison was against annexation it would be a mute point except that there would NOT be a vote scheduled for area X.. It would have been quashed in council.

        Then you would be whining that the white center folks were not being given preferential treatment..

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        • [email protected] says:

          Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah….AD NAUSEUM!!!! ***Root work being “Nausea.”

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        • Jennifer says:

          No actually I wouldn’t whine (I’m not whining now)…I leave the whining to you William. You do it so well and as McDreamy says angrily.

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          • William Forest says:

            Whines like a duck usually means its a duck sorry Jennifer.. Again what’s your point.. Do you actually have a point pertinent to whether Burien can afford this or not?

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    • William Forest says:

      The 4 story Robinson Office Complex in white Center.. Mmmmm…. Me thinks if I owned it that I would benefit from it being a Burien address instead of a white center addresss…

      Just thinkin out loud

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      • Lee Moyer says:

        Sorry William,
        I thought it was abvious that the 4 story office complex was a ficticious example of what would be a conflict of interest. Since the business district is mostly single story with a few two story buildings, it would be twice as tall as anything that actually exists.
        I made the erroneous presumption that those writing about White Center actually knew about White Center.

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        • William Forest says:

          Its still a good example and a good question .. does Mr Robison own commercial property in White Center.. I don’t know.. You did raise the question though.

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          • Lee Moyer says:

            Yes, and there is about as much substance to Jerry’s office building and other supposedly conflicts of interest as there is to the annual farm subsidy you receive on your vacant lot in Burien for not raising cotton.

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  10. Bob Price says:

    Also in response to Ghost of Maplewild.
    He stated that I was defending Mr Robison in my comments at the council meeting. This is in error. I was making a statement that I have never heard Mr Robison referred to as the NHUAC’s attorney. And over the 14 years that I have attended nearly all of the meetings I have only seen Mr Robison there a few times, and always as a concerned citizen. He does talk with the council members as well as people of the audience which is normal at these meetings. The fact that he is an attorney seems to make anything he does, a job related function. Well, the same could be said of doctors, and public figures such as council people. Does this mean that every time a person speaks to someone he is always speaking as a representative of his status or office? I for one do not believe so! Also I notice that most of the loudest complainers and questionable writers use phoney names. This tells me that they are either cowards or ashamed of what they are doing and saying? Thanks. Bob Price

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  11. Ghost of Maplewild says:

    Mr. Price,
    My only question was the “strike” mentioned. Thank you for clearing that up for me. I would hope no one would not frequent a certain neighborhood business because of a disagreement about an issue. I am neither a coward of ashamed of my questions or statements on this Blog. I just recently changed my screen name to a “phony name” because of some questionable phone calls received at my home. I believe one of them was someone falsely claiming to be a pollster asking questions about annexation and why I was against it and becoming agitated at my answers. They finally hung up. And since then have been receiving numerous hang ups. So this is done for the safety of my family.

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  12. Bob Price says:

    Thank you Ghost of Maple wild
    You are indeed a gentleman and I respect your reasoning. You have your opinion and i have mine and both are acceptable. And we should be able to express them without a lot of name calling and heart burn, I always try and work up front and try and always express the truth as I see it. That does not mean that I don’t make mistakes. I don’t make mistakes just corrections? That’s the way most people operate. Thank you again for understanding my comments. Good Luck. Bob Price

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  13. DrMcDreamy says:

    Man, that William Forest guy sure loves to comment…. angrily.

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    • William Forest says:

      Dr Mac Dreamy?? (maybe you need to wake up?)

      And you like to stir the pot.. .don’t you.. ?

      None of your arguments against Debbie make any sense .. Everytime she asks you a question you obsfucate, distract and avoid answering the question..

      Yes disingenuous people like you make me angry….

      I doubt very much you are against annexation either.. you are like a wolf in sheeps clothing.

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  14. Marie F says:

    Wow, Debi, you sure have your hands full with this guy. Why don’t you politely ask him to educate himself a tad before you even waste your time arguing. He obviously lacks basic logic. I don’t hink you could be any more clear and correct. However good luck!

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  15. For Burien says:

    The tax credits have not been set for 10 years. It is only good ,until the end of 2013. It is all about building a resume. I am so glad I didn’t vote for Joey. I also know who I will vote against in the next election, 4 of the 7.

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  16. Big Nate says:

    This debate seems to center around whether Jerry Robirson meets the test of a conflict of interest, with his him having a vote on annexation while having some kind of connection with the (NHUAC) North Highline Unincooperated Area Council. Any points made pro or con has been trumped by name calling and ignorant ranting. I wonder if anyone even knows what a conflict of interest is. I know what I thought it was, so I looked it up. (see below)

    A term used to describe the situation in which a public official or fiduciary who, contrary to the obligation and absolute duty to act for the benefit of the public or a designated individual, exploits the relationship for personal benefit, typically pecuniary

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    • Joey Martinez says:

      Thanks for your posts Big Nate. I agree that we should have started with a definition and worked from that.

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