LETTER: ‘The Community has Spoken about Kids and Cops’

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The Community has spoken about Kids and Cops. Will Mike Martin and the City Council listen?

At the School Board Meeting of June 5, 2012, Mike Martin/Burien City Manager and Brian Bennett/Burien Mayor presented the proposed issue-which the Burien City Council has still not approved-Kids and Cops. Martin openly admitted that he, his staff and the Council knew very little about schools. And that was clear from the quality of the presentation he and Bennett gave and the content of the proposal that had been written. None of the public that commented at the meeting was in favor of this issue being put on the ballot for the upcoming election. The public that commented against Kids and Cops were; the Highline Citizens for Schools, the Highline Education Association, Tom Slaughtery/ex-school board member and Robert Howell on behalf of himself and some of his neighbors.

Additionally, Martin claimed that the City had been partnering with the schools already. This was questioned by a couple of school board members as this was the first time they had ever heard of this partnership. The things that were questioned about this issue were:

  1. Equity of education for all students in the Highline School District which this proposal does not address
  2. The process and research that had been used to select which group of students should benefit from a proposal like this
  3. Who knew public education best and was most capable of directing a proposal of this kind in the future. The City of Burien staff and Mr. Martin has been insistent that Mr. Martin will select and direct this project in the Burien schools.
  4. Whether the proposal, as it was currently designed, undermined the Highline School District and its mission and charge under the State.
  5. Whether work had been done to create a true partnership with all of the cities that the Highline School District serves. It appears this had not been done.
  6. Whether the name of the proposal suggested that the kids in the Burien schools needed to have cops supervising them in the schools. The title seemed to imply that.
  7. Whether this was ill timed for the ballot and might interfere with ballot issues that the Highline School District might be putting on the ballot in the near future.

All of the public speakers agreed that the best agency to run projects and proposals in Burien schools was the Highline School district and not the City of Burien. For those reasons, they were not in favor of supporting Kids and Cops.

Hopefully Mr. Martin and the Council will listen to what the community had to say and reconsider not placing this proposal on the ballot.

Best Regards,
John Poitras

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7 Responses to “LETTER: ‘The Community has Spoken about Kids and Cops’”
  1. Ghost of Maplewild says:


  2. Ghost of Maplewild says:

    Watch the City Council Study Session for March 26th 2012 for Mr. Martins presentation to the council for “Kids and Cops”.
    My first question would be, why is he using Burien’s 2010 crime stats to show how little crime we have compared to other local cities?The city should have more current stats than 2010.
    My second question would be, He states he has talked to educators. Were they from the Highline SD?

    • mike says:

      Just more smoke and mirrors from the manager. Let’s raise taxes because they failed to figure in enough money for KCSO since the real crime numbers match white center. I hope they listened but I suspect not.

      Area Y Mike

    • Joey Martinez says:

      Mike Martin talked to the principals of the schools that would benefit from this potential levy.

      According to what I heard at the BEDP meetings:

      Some principals would love to have longer after school hours – busses and snacks needed.

      Another Principal wanted to get dentist care for the kids because they couldn’t concentrate on school work.

      The point of the “kids” part of the levy is to directly suplement the the principals who each have different needs. That is the big challenge, more than any other, because the school district is worried about equity to all students (as pointed out in figure one above). Imagine the PR nightmare if Mar Vista Kids had better books than White Center Heights or something of that nature.

      The school district either can’t or won’t treat one area better than the others and this measure would allow that. I say, instead, that SeaTac, Des Moines, and Normandy Park pony up as well. It would directly benefit the kids in each area and give those principals the money to tackle each individual as needed.

      Joey Martinez

      • Burien Girl says:

        Joey, I realize this is WAY off the subject but I would be willing to bet that Marvista has a much better library and other resources for their kids – art supplies, etc – than White Center. These days so much of these materials are provided by the PTSA and Marvista being almost entirely a school that serves the Normandy Park area has a HUGE budget and raises thousands more dollars per year for their students than any other elementary school in the district.

  3. Erik Robbins says:

    Correct me if I am wrong but the 6 year “initiative” would break down as follows:
    For the first 2 YEARS it would pay for the surge in police and then the last 4 YEARS would focus on preK-3rd grade.
    It seems to me a lot of focus is being put on the “KIDS” part. But the first 2 YEARS say nothing about kids.

  4. Millie O'Hara says:

    I’d like see Mr Martin start doing the job he was hired to do, take care of the needs of the City of Burien. At the present time all he seems to be able to think about is acquiring North Highline, running the School District and exiling the auto dealerships to a desolate expensive clean up area under the flight path? When will the City Council fire this man who has no sense of true economic development and is destroying the city of Burien.

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