LETTER: Anti-Annexation Protestor Removed from White Center Jubilee Days

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To the Editor –

Citizens in the White Center/Area Y annexation area were censored from hearing both sides of the annexation issue by the Committee Chairman of White Center Jubilee Days and the President of the North Highline Unincorporated Council (NHUAC for info see>>> http://b-townblog.com/2012/03/28/letter-nhuac-represents-views-of-very-very-few-people-who-live-in-area-y/).

On Saturday, July 21, 2012, the first day of White Center Jubilee Days, the festival chairman had a citizen “removed from the area” of White Center Jubilee Days for simply handing out a half-page flyer stating, “Vote No on Burien Annexation”.

The citizen was on public property, creating no public nuisance and simply handing out flyers sponsored by the “Independent White Center PAC“, a group of concerned local residents and business owners opposed to Burien annexation.

It is likely that the festival official was prompted by a NHUAC representative to have the citizen removed. The citizen was not breaking any laws or violating any King County ordinances according to the King County Sheriff’s Office. It also appears that based on all of the printed materials from the White Center Jubilee Days Committee, that the citizen was not violating any of the posted rules for people attending the festival.

The festival organizer told the citizen that he owned the street and for that reason, he insisted the police remove the citizen from “the area” which included removal from private property which the citizen had the owner’s permission to be on. While other people were handing out items on the street without having a booth, they were not removed from the festival. So the question is, when a public festival organizer gets a permit to close a street does he “own” the street or does he simply have the right to limit vehicular access to that street? Also at a public festival, does the organizer of the festival have the right to throw out peaceable citizens because he does not like their political views? Lastly, does the organizer of a public festival have the right to supplant the rights of private property and business owners because he is having a festival?

The “Yes on annexation” folks were present in numbers and handing out materials promoting annexation but apparently took great umbrage at this little flyer that contradicted their viewpoint.

Here are the simple words on the flyer which also had a festive candy stapled to each one for anyone that was interested in reading it.

Vote NO

on Burien Annexation:

  • No new property taxes
  • No new business taxes
  • No new utilities fees
  • No new ordinances or zoning changes

If you are a citizen of White Center/Area Y, I think it is important that you hear both points of view and not just one side of the issue.

At the last annexation outreach meeting a city representative refused to allow a citizen to ask a question that he did not want asked.
The city of Burien also failed to post notice to Burien & Area Y citizens that a public hearing on the annexation of Area Y was being held by the King County Council.

Last I checked, this is still the United States of America where anyone is supposed to be free to express their political viewpoints so voters can make an informed decision.

I think a fair question to ask is why are they afraid of a free and open dialogue on the issue of annexation?

Maybe because if people were fully informed there is a good chance that the majority of voters in area Y might decide leaving King County and incorporating into Burien is not such a good idea after all?

Best Regards,
John Poitras

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65 Responses to “LETTER: Anti-Annexation Protestor Removed from White Center Jubilee Days”
  1. Sherrie Hicks says:

    I hope to read the answers as to why the person handing out the fliers was removed. It doesn’t sound like he/she was treated equally.

  2. jubilee visitor says:

    I thnk I saw this person removed. I thought they were drunk. They were very agressive trying to bully people.

  3. Donna of Burien says:

    Why is the citizen unnamed? It seems like the citizen who was asked to leave the area should be able to speak for him or herself. It makes me wonder whether their behavior was actually peaceable and not confrontational, allowing fellow citizens the same opportunity for free and open dialogue about the annexation that’s advocated by the letter writer.

    • John Poitras says:

      I intentionally left all the names of the people involved in this incident out of this report including both the victims name and the names of the perpetrators to try and keep it as objective an account as possible.

      I would like to say that in no way could the behavior of this person be construed as drunk or acting in an aggressive fashion.

  4. Mari Hoiland says:

    The man they removed is a retired professional individual. Don’t besmeech his outstanding character by saying he was publicly drunk – he would never do such a thing! He is never pushy or obnoxious – mostly he sits back with a big smile and watches people pass by. This is your neighbor who has concerns & guestions about the annexation and he was merely passing out a short flyer related to that. Being tossed out by cops is his worst nightmare. Someone went way overboard here !

  5. Mike says:

    Sounds just like the meetings, if your not for annexation your sensored. The truth must hurt their chance at screwing er I mean annexing area y.

    Area Y Mike

  6. Al says:

    In your sentence “it was likely a representative of NHUAC” aren’t you making false accusations when you don’t know that for a fact.

    • Nathan says:

      There’s a difference between a biased statement and an educated guess.

    • John Poitras says:

      Al.. As I said I do not want to embarrass anyone specifically however I will confirm that there is no doubt whatsoever it was a representative of the Yes on incorporation folks. I do not know whether they were acting in that capacity or if it was an official response of the NHUAC or a combination of the two. Thats why I couched my remark and frankly I went out of my way to not accuse any specific individual by name of anything, I was just trying to report the facts as recounted by those who were subjected to this harassment.

      • Mike says:

        Both sides should be represented. All I can think is the pro-annexation side doesn’t want the truth out there for public consumption. Vote NO on annexation.

        Area YMike

  7. VERY TIRED says:

    The Annexation is a bad idea during a near depression as it is. The city wants to do it, and so they will. Good luck stopping these idiots.

  8. Fred says:

    This was a law abiding citizen and people who try to make up stories to smear the citizen’s character, Shame on you.
    I have checked online and written materials for the festival and there is no where any written rules about about handing out materials at this event. If there are these rules in the White Center Julibee booklet that was passed out to the public, please post the page that it was on. A number of the sponsors of the events and long time participants in the event said they knew nothing about this rule. This is not a citizen who would have applied for a vendor’s license because the citizen wasn’t selling anything. The citizen was handing out information. That is still legal in the U.S.A. on public streets to pass out information.
    Remember that thing called the Constitution and the 1st Amendment. Had the Citizen been handing out a flyer that said something like, “Vote to join Burien.”, I suspect the citizen might have been told just to stop but would not have been thrown out of the festival and would have been allowed to stay. Mike McGrath/Chair of the festival was foolish enough tp over react and claim that he owned a public street. He does not own the street because he has a permit to close it or have a festival. Then he went to far as to claim he had the right to throw the citizen off of private property that was not his property, too.
    This festival needs to post its rules publically and it needs to stop being politically biased. Everyone needs to hear all of the facts on this annexation not just the ones that Mike Martin or the NHUAC wants them to hear.

  9. Joey Martinez says:

    The deputy knows the law. Someone peacibly assembled in a public setting wouldn’t be kicked out of a public place IF there wasn’t more to the story. Photography, also, is not a crime. Taking pictures in public for non-commercial gain is also not against the law. Being on the sidewalk of businesses in a public place is also not against the law. Screaming and hollaring can be against the law, if it disturbs the peace, especially when lawsuits are threatened (intimidation).

    I heard the other side of the story, however, I also wasn’t there – “I was just trying to report the facts as recounted by those who were subjected to this harassment” right Mr. Poitras? I’m also not one to sign my name to a letter someone else wrote.

    However, I didn’t witness anything so I won’t give someone else’s side of the story – It’s not mine to give.

    Joey Martinez

    • Joey Martinez says:

      I would agree that kicking someone out SOLELY for handing out information in a public place is a violation of the United States’ 1st amendment.

      If the deputy kicked you out SOLELY for that reason I would encourage you to file a complaint with KCSO. Make sure you give the full information however, otherwise it’s perjury.

      Joey Martinez

    • John Poitras says:

      Joey.. I think you are totally being used by those folks whose so called “other side of the story” is being totally fabricated in order to CY their A’s .
      Bottom line is the only one screaming , threatening and being rude was the Yes on Annexation individual who also happens to be the president of the NHUAC!

      If you are suggesting that someone else wrote the letter Joey you are incorrect.
      I wrote the letter.
      You might want to question the credulity of anyone that let you to believe otherwise.
      Its sounds more likely to me that the folks in the wrong in fact told you what to say in your rebuttal.
      Its interesting don’t you think Joey that you would supposedly form an opinion from third hand accounts of folks on the defensive who were obviously out of line and used the police for political purposes when their behavior was exposed to the general public on this blog. Although I can understand the behavior of these folks would prejudice your pro-annexation viewpoint and would in fact support suppression of the free flow of information.

      I would also like to report that a resident visiting jubilee days went by the Yes on annexation booth the next day on Sunday and was promptly interrogated by the same person as to what her name was, what she was doing there and insisted on taking her picture although I fail to understand what that would accomplish.
      Bottom line Joey unless you want to interview BOTH sides then I fail to see how you could be more objective than I was in MY letter! I doubt I would get a co-operative reaction from anyone representing the NHUAC , however on the other side of the coin I think anyone from the “Independent White Center” PAC would have no problem talking to you about the incident or anything else concerning incorporation.

      I do believe you may be incorrect about the law on privacy because my understanding is that unless you are a public figure you have the right to ask someone not to take your picture. I suggest you check the law on that Joey>> not that it has any relevance to the subject at hand.
      Also your statement that “the deputy knows the law” is pure conjecture on your part because if he did know and yet still took the actions he did then you are in fact accusing him of breaking the law, I was more charitable because I assumed that he was unaware that he was breaking the law (although you may be correct) I myself don’t know for sure, but that’s up to the folks directly involved to pursue.
      I am not encouraging them to file a complaint or not to file a complaint.. I suggest you do the same and leave it to them to resolve.

      • Joey Martinez says:

        Darnit…. read your comments William. Haven’t done that in a while…

        Like I said, I wasn’t there so I won’t speak for anyone. I do encourage them to give their side of what happened.

        I am confused… who wrote this letter? John Poitras (signed by him) or you William Forest? If you wrote it William, why would John have signed it? Like I said, confused…

        If John Poitras did write this letter and he wasn’t there, which he said he wasn’t, aren’t you asking the readers to do the same thing you accuse me of? “Its interesting don’t you think Joey that you would supposedly form an opinion from third hand accounts”.

        I am up front in saying, again, that if the Anti-Annexation folk were asked to leave SOLEY based on the fact that they were handing out information that is not right. Legal precident, including in Washington State, bars anyone from denying another person peacably handing out information in a public location from doing so. If Adminission had been charged that is a different story (think Safeco field).

        The law is clear, except in Illinios, that the pubic has no right to privacy in a public setting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photography_and_the_law#United_States
        Now I am leary, in general, about Wikipedia but it is as I understand, very accurate in this case.

        Joey Martinez

    • NOTE: This Comment has been altered by the Editor. Two names have been removed.

    • elizabeth2 says:

      Maybe the deputy who “knows the law” and wouldn’t do ANYTHING against that has the same thought pattern as the Seattle Police, now under the microscope by the Department of Justice.

      Anyone who believes that a police officer would not do something wrong because he knows the law is naive!

      I actually am very supportive of our police but I also am grown up enough to know that they, like doctors, lawyers, and every other profession on this planet are capable of making mistakes.

      Let us not assume that the other side MUST be wrong because the deputy MUST know his job and can do no wrong.

  10. John Potras says:

    Hi Joey..

    I wrote the response Joey.. I used Williams computer and the default was set on that name which I did not notice. I emailed the blog to ask them to correct it. Btw William has had it with the blog so I doubt you see any more posts from William he is apparently tired of defending himself.
    Joey I spoke to the witnesses and participants at the event soon after the incident happened. There veracity is unassailable in my mind however you spoke with people who were accused days after the event when they were under scrutiny to explain their actions which seems to me much less reliable information.

    • Russel Newberry says:

      John, let me wrap my simple brain around your statement before it pases by without people picking up on what you said. Joey made a very interesting discovery that you wrote a letter on William Forest’s computer. William Forest, the man who is not registered to vote, who does not show up on any records in Burien, who is anti annexation, who writes a lot like you. Hmmmm I guess it makes perfect sense that you share a computer.
      I guess if I hadn’t hit my head when I fell off the turnip truck yesterday I might have been able to figure out that Willam and John are one and the same.
      Suddenly anything that John Potras says is tainted with the smell of William Forest.

      • John Potras says:

        Its people like you Russell that stand in the way of civil discourse and apparently your main purpose in posting here is to snipe at other people.. Yes as a matter of fact I am quite close to William Forest.. just like I am sure you are close to people on the pro annexation side of this issue.. Frankly its none of your business who William really is.. It isn’t me but believe what you want I could frankly care less what you think.

  11. Eaton B. Verz says:

    “Its interesting don’t you think Joey that you would supposedly form an opinion from third hand accounts of folks on the defensive who were obviously out of line and used the police for political purposes when their behavior was exposed to the general public on this blog.”

    I think he is just getting ready for another run for a council seat.I believe thats almost a prerequisite. Whoever he is. Joey, JJ Greive, Mike Martin, TcB, Debra George…….Who knows,Huh? I think I better start checking public records……. BWAHAHAHAHA, Eaton

  12. Ed Dacy says:

    I was not there, but I do know the policy of Jubliee Days has been for years if you want to hand out something on their site you must rent a booth and stay in your booth.

    I’ would think the policy is there so they can raise enough money to hold the community event.

    But the only person who should comment on why the group was asked to leave or stop handing out flyers is the organizer of the Fesistival.

    Also to say a certain person had requested to have the group throw out is ….. I just don’t think a person should be accused of something unless you know for sure.

    I did see the flyer, it was very nice with candy attached, I am sorry I did not have the chance to see the people handing them out.

    My bottom line is we all live in the community and a good discussion is one that stays civil, as opposed to what goes on in DC.

    • John Potras says:

      I agree with you Ed.. . Civil discussion usually will flesh out the facts which is what we need more of.. I just wanted to say that I spoke with people that were there in the morning and experienced this episode. I have no doubt they were telling the truth. I was there handing out flyers in the afternoon and I was told that considering what had happened in the morning to our PAC members to avoid the actual Jubilee days area so I did.
      I think the actual complaint is not that they were asked to stop handing out flyers.. which would have been acceptable .. Instead they were asked to leave the area which is not acceptable.

      I think it would help clarify matters if Mr McGrath clarified why he reacted the way he did and give a synopsis of his understanding of why they were asked to leave the area.

  13. Uh oh says:

    So sick of this crap. The whole process around annexation has a veil of suppression. Anything the government does whether federal, state, or local should not be attempting to suppress civil discourse. When will the citizens of burien wake up and decide that it is time to fire the city manager and have an elected mayor. In fact it’s past time.

  14. Fred says:

    To Joey-

    I suggest that you check this law or your statement again, “The law is clear, except in Illinios, that the pubic has no right to privacy in a public setting.” I know for sure that this is wrong. If it is true, watch out for your shorts.
    It never pays to be to hasty in what you say, think and write, especially when you were not there, haven’t used spell check and are biased to only one side-pro-annexation. Both sides of the annexation issue need to be heard. The bully pulpit should not be allowed to shout down or remove peaceable citizens from the public arena or use the police to do it. Additionally, individual citizens/non-public figures do have the right to state that they do not want their pictures or their children’s pictures taken. The person attempting to take the picture has the social responsibility to respect that.

  15. On looker says:

    In reading all the statements and accusations, one thing comes to mind: the anti-annexation people would have been more than welcomed and accepted if they had gotten a booth like the pro-annexation people did. The fair official was, and is, trying to conduct a community celebration which costs money to have. Therefore, sponsors are used and booth space is sold. As far as I know, there was, nor is, no attempt to control what people wish to say and do in their booths. However, if someone attempts to compete with the people that have purchased space, then he was correct in asking them to leave. If everyone was able to just do their own thing, then such a nice program or fair could not be accomplished. The anti- annexation people had the same opportunity to rent booth space, but did not do so, and therefore were asked to stop. If I was a space renter and someone got away with doing what I was doing without paying the same way I was, I would be very unhappy. The rules are there for both sides and if followed, there would not be any so called one-sided views. Wake Up and follow the rules. I was in the food area when the questionable person approached me and did not ask me anything, but pushed one of his flyers in my face and then handed it to me when I held up my hand. The big differences were that the person in question did not rent a booth and that he did not wait for the people to come to him. He pushed his way to the people. That is considerably different than sitting or standing at a booth and answering questions of the people that stop by.

    • John Poitras says:

      On looker:
      You raise a good point on the other hand it makes you wonder what the source of the funding was for the NHUAC’s “Yes on annexation” booth . We know that the taxpayers of Burien funded Burien’s “information” booth but since the NHUAC is not registered as a PAC I hope they did not use county funds to pay for their space. Also you have to wonder if the “No on Annexation: PAC had rented a booth (or had been allowed to) how that would have turned out.. Not well I would guess.

      • Joey Martinez says:

        Mr Poitras, Due to Budget cuts ALL Unincorporated Area Councils (I think there are 5 or 6) were defunded by King County last year. So any money they spend, for lets say Public Disclosure requests or booths, comes from volunteers.

        I believe NHUAC had a booth at Jubilee day. So did the “Yes” on annexation PAC.

        Joey Martinez

        • John Potras says:

          Joey.. As far as I know there is no Yes on Annexation PAC at least one that has registered as a PAC.
          Where did you get the information that they are a PAC ? Or is that just wishful thinking on your part?
          As far as I know there is no difference between the NHUAC and the Yes on annexation folks, the are in effect the same people. Neither of which is registered as a PAC.

          Do you have information that conflicts with that impression?

  16. Millie O'Hara says:

    Poor Burien is becoming an angry two headed monster. Wake up citizens of Burien and let your city council know you are fed up with the city using your money to acquire White Center. The people running White Center intimidate their own people, and now they are using their hate tactics on you. Believe this or not, your city manager is in charge of and encouraging their behavior. This angry monster will become even worse when Mike Martin gets his way.

    • Debi Wagner says:

      It is legal to hand out information at a public gathering. There is no law against doing so. It is protected by the constitution as part of free speech and the only rule on being in a public place is you cannot block the egress of individuals moving about. If the group had been soliciting donations it might have made sense to buy a booth but there was no intention to collect money, only to inform. People wrote the information as a public service, paid for their own copies, transportation etc., and were treated uncivilly by uninformed and angry individuals who were most upset by the fact they have no credible rebuttal to the details. Funny Joey how you and Barbara Dobkin knew about a King County Council vote on annexation and were present but nobody else in Burien knew about it. Funny also Joey how you sat by her when she told me I stink at a council meeting and you said nothing. Even though you try to act like you are objective, and give some kind of pretense of considering both sides your associations speak volumes.

      • John Potras says:

        Debbie I think you are correct … Joey portrays himself as objective when in reality he is a strong proponent of the Pro-annexation incorporation agenda and I frankly find it very disingenuous of him to pretend otherwise
        . He unfailingly ignores commenting on anything that could get him into hot water with the NHUAC aka Barbara Dobkin… Even those times when they are clearly in the wrong or misinforming people he just seems to overlook it.
        He is clearly in the NHUAC Yes on Annexation camp and I wish he would just man up and admit it.

  17. Joey Martinez says:

    I’ve said time and time again that I am in favor of annexation. I believe it’s even on (digital) tape at the BTB Primary candidates forum saying I am for annexation.

    As far as commenting – I am agreeing with YOUR side that IF the person or persons were kicked off SOLELY because they were peacefully handing out information that was not right. I’ve heard from several people that there was more to that and I won’t comment for any of them.

    I COULD tell you what the name of the PAC is but….. here is a hint: It was filed 5 days after the “Independent White Center” PAC was created.

    I found out about the King County meeting because I pay attention to things affecting Burien at the State, Regional, and County levels. That’s just a part of the work ethic I bring. Not sure how Mrs Dobkin found out about it…. that’s a question for her.

    Joey Martinez

    • John Potras says:

      Thank you Joey for your response.. and your final clarification.

      Are you at all concerned from a fiscal standpoint now that Burien has a budgetary shortfall for 2012 and 2013 and the original projections of property tax revenue from Area Y are going to be about 20% less than the Berk report forecast?

      Are you so gung ho for annexation that you would push for it even if its shown it would require raising MORE taxes and reducing current levels of surface? I am just asking…

      I would like to see your comments on the current blog that brings this issue to everyone’s attention.. So far I have not seen any comments whatsoever from the Pro annexation group.. Are they just content to bury their heads in the sand?



      • Joey Martinez says:

        Mr Poitras, firstly I love your quoting of your own letter in your comment.

        It is my belief that the city is planning for the next 2 years budget in a responsible, factual way laying out the future as it currently exists today. The city can’t or won’t plan for a future where annexation and incorporation haven’t happened yet. That would be irresponsible.

        I’ve said this before but: An added bonus to the current residents of Burien is that some of our current costs can be billed to the “Area Y” tax credit through cost allocation. I believe the percentage is closer to 30%-35% but let’s go with 25% to be conservative.

        For the privilege of a city council we pay $200k per year. Ignoring inflation and going with 25% cost allocation gives the general fund $50,000 back per year or $500,000 over 10 years. That’s a single line item.

        It is my argument that any tax increase imposed to maintain our services will be lessened with annexation. Like I have said in the past, not the reason i support annexation…. But a nice bonus.

        Joey Martinez

        • John Poitras says:

          Joey .. It is totally IRRESPONSIBLE for the Council to not include the costs of annexation in the budgetary forecast , at least a downwards revision of what the revenue shortfall is now versus what it was when the Berk Report forecasted a modest increase in property tax revenue vs the actual 17% reduction in revenue.

          The bonus’s you cite in fact have no basis in reality whatsoever ,in fact I believe the opposite to be the case.. Sorry Joey but your math is really fuzzy on this and I think it demonstrates the lengths you will go to put lipstick on a pig… the reality is in the end its still a pig.

          • John Poitras says:

            Joey btw allocating tax credit money from area Y to my understanding violates the statute and also is in conflict with Mike Martins statement that all that money would be applied to the additional police services for area Y if it became incorporated..
            Isn’t that kind of like the spending the same revenue twice.. and that kind of accounting only ends up in deficit spending that eventually the residents would have to pay for by increasing taxes.

          • Joey Martinez says:

            Mr Poitras, please do your homework. On this post alone I’ve had to explain several things to you including the fact that there IS a PAC for annexation. Most of your questions can be answered by doing just a little searching and a lot less guessing.

            Joey Martinez

          • Joey Martinez says:

            Mr Poitras, I am also certain that IF the city had done as you sugges (calculate for annexation) you’d chew their hide in a letter complaining about how they are wasting money planning for something that isn’t a sure thing – that being that annexation isn’t a lock.

            Lose/Lose for the city in regards to you.

            Joey Martinez

        • Linda C says:

          Joey I have to ask if your phrasing of the residents having the “Privilege” of a city council that costs them $200,000 a year was a Freudian slip?
          Isn’t it actually the opposite in that in “they have the privilege” of serving as representatives on the council for the city of Burien?
          Also since you seem to know a lot about it, what is that $200,000.00 paying for besides salaries and benefits for the council members?

          • Joey Martinez says:

            Linda, that was directed to Mr Poitras and someone he pals around with who said something similar to that. I don’t actually mean it… sarcasm doesn’t translate too well on a blog.

            The budget is online and available on the city of Burien’s website. The salary comes to $600 a month ($725 for Mayor) plus $400 a month into a VEBA account (can only be used for medical).Other expenses are in the budget. It’s a good read and something I suggest you look at if you can.

            Joey Martinez

    • Mike says:

      So you campaigned as a yes vote for annexation. No wonder you weren’t elected. Too bad Jerry Robinson wasn’t as honest as you, he wouldn’t have made it in either. You guys dont get that the people dont want annexation (obviously robinson did since he lied) otherwise you wouldnt try to suppress the nay sayers at the meetings and now at the jubilee. You think these actions will stop people from finding out the truth? It will only get them really P.O.’d that y’all lied. Furthermore, you all would be providing rebuttal to the nay sayers who bring out the down side to the foolishness that is annexation.

      If Area Y is annexed (God forbid) the rest of the council will be out along with snake oil salesman mike Martin. I hope they read John P.’s letter and take action to stop annexation. I dont think they want to be on the track when the people of burien take the control back of the train.

      Area Y Mike

      • Ivan Weiss says:

        Uh, Mike, if Area Y is annexed, it will be because a majority of the Area Y residents voted to become part of Burien. Once they were eligible to vote for the Burien City Council, which would be by the 2013 election, doesn’t it stand to reason that having wanted to join Burien in the first place, they would reward the Council members who enabled that, and decline to reward those who opposed it?

        • John Poitras says:

          Ivan doesn’t it also stand to reason if people are gullible enough to vote against their best interests when they discover they have been sold a bill of goods they will vote out the people that pushed them into it?
          Also I am not assuming that people of area Y are that gullible and if the many negatives about annexation get out to enough people I think they will vote it down. Again then they will most likely vote out the people that tried to pull the wool over their eyes?

          Also Ivan even if area Y is annexed the majority of the population still resides in the current city of Burien and they will have a larger say in who is voted in and who is voted out.. Also there are many other issues that disqualify certain council members from being re-elected and there are much more able people out there ready to take their place regardless of what the gung ho annexation propagandists would have you believe.

          • Ivan Weiss says:

            Well John, I’m sure you’ll have the opportunity to educate the voters before the 2012 and 2013 elections.

  18. Fred says:

    To On looker –
    You are a shill or someone who is seriously confused. The food area/Beer Garden area was not even opened when this event occurred. So you must have encountered someone else handing out flyers than the citzen discussed in this letter.The citizen that was involved in this letter is not a pusher, aggressive, rude or drunk as many of the bloggers to this blog letter have falsely stated. I strongly suggest that you go back and read the comments by Mari Hoiland about this citizen. Once again, if this rule existed about handing out things at the festival, let the chair of the festival produce the written document stating that rule and where it was in clear view to the public before and during the festival. Getting a permit to close a street to traffic does not mean you own the street-you only have use of it.
    To Joey-
    This phoney bonus you speak of runs out in 10 years at which point the city will be even in greater debt than it is now-funny money like the mortgage meltdown swindle to the public. Re-read the Berk report for what happens at year eleven. Burien will be many millions of dollars short.

  19. Mike says:

    Uh Ivan,
    Doesnt it stand to reason that if the people of Area Y are tricked into voting for annexation and come to realize all we were saying about higher taxes, lousy animal control, mismanagement that leads to huge cost overruns on road projects, higher utility costs and oh did I mention higher taxes? that they along with the rest of the disgruntled citizens of burien, would run the pro annexation part of the council out on a rail? Seems to make sense to me. Annexation is a lousy idea. It’s a train wreck in the making. The citizens will find out either now or later. Unfortunately Martin and his cronies aren’t listening. Suppression will only work for a short while. Then the sad reality will be there for all to see. Sticking your neck out for someone like Martin is career suicide. I’m very surprised Martin even has a job with his well known track record of mismanagement and being investigated by the FBI. It’s a sad state of affairs in lil old burien.

    Area Y Mike

  20. John Potras says:

    Joey.. I have questioned the misconceptions you are attempting to state as facts and asked questions you have either ignored , diverted or failed to answer since they are inconvenient to the supporters of annexation like yourself.

    You mentioned that the NHUAC folks have recently formed a pro-annexation PAC.
    I assume to counter the “Independent White Center” PAC that was formed a few weeks ago.
    I was not aware of this thanks for letting us know..

    However you did not mention the NAME of this PAC.
    Why all the secrecy? Why not announce the name of it?

    No Joey.. In fact since I have a background in finance I would not make the rookie assumption you are attempting to put on me that I would have a problem if they took potential annexation into account.. especially since according to Jerry Robison, Mike Martin and yourself its a “slam dunk”. Its IRRESPONSIBLE NOT TO!
    If you had read the blog post I referred you too you would not be making such a ridiculous claim. I have still not seen any comments from you or anyone else on the Pro annexation team on that thread.

    Your lose lose scenario is really just the product of a very dualistic simplistic approach to the problem and does not make fiscal sense, as is becoming usual for you, it serves as a diversion from accepting the reality of the situation, because dealing with the reality of it negatively impacts your annexation goals.
    Frankly it gives me pause to think that potentially you have a chance of being elected to the city council in 2013 where this kind of naivete could be even more damaging.

    Lets get real Joey ok.. How about commenting on the current revenue shortfall and how it impacts the budget for 2012 and 2013 especially since the revenue forecast from the annexation area is going to be about 20% less than the Berk report used in their feasibility study.. I know you don’t like the nick name you have here>> “Joey More Taxes” but really Joey if we go with the plan you are supporting I don’t see any other realistic way to make up the revenue shortfall.

    • Joey Martinez says:

      Mr Poitras, I didn’t mention it because I wanted you to do a little research – for once. You’ve made so many suppositions and guesses throught this post alone, let alone the rest of your anti-annexation arguement that it gets quite old. Would you like me to serve it up to you on a silver platter? I myself found the PAC on the very secretive PUBLIC DISCLOSURE COMMISSION’s website. http://www.pdc.wa.gov

      Furthermore, I choose to look at the entire picture taking EVERYTHING into account. Are there issues with annexation? Sure. Are there risks? Definitely. OVERALL however, it is my belief that the benefits for both communities FAR OUTWEIGH the risks. Totality of the situation sir.

      Lastly, I don’t comment on much of what you say because it’s your opionion and interpretation. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion!. AMERICA!

      When you say, “Joey.. I have questioned the misconceptions you are attempting to state as facts …” that is your opinion. I know that I have done my research to the best of my ability and our opinions differ on the facts. I don’t bad mouth you nor question your motives because I believe that in your heart you are doing what you believe is best for Burien. I too am working toward what I believe is best for Burien. They just happen to not be the same thing.

      Oh, and one more thing. I in fact LOVE the “Joey MoreTaxes” moniker. IF I do run for office again and IF I am blessed enough to be elected I will work to attract more Federal, State, and County taxes to Burien. And that’s just for starters! IF I run…. IF.

      Joey Martinez

      • Eaton B. Verz says:

        HAHAHAHA, “If I run”…..That’s funny,joey. Thanx, I needed a good laugh. You crack me up!!Eaton

      • John Potras says:

        Joey… I deal in facts.. Just like the revenue figures which I quoted to you which oddly you did not respond to. Its not rocket science Joey.. There is revenue and there are expenditures.. The property tax revenue Burien expected is now projected to be 8% less this year and shrinks an additional 4% next year.. Thats not a ‘bonus” thats a fiscal reality that has impact on annexation plans.
        Area Y’s property tax revenues are going to be about 20% less that expected.. Do the math.. The previous plan (The Berk report) is using data so out of date its not only moldy its unusable for forecasting a realistic budget. These figures need to be reworked into the present reality. That,s all I am saying and you have yet to respond to which was the main thrust of my post.

        As far as the Anti-Fiscal Reality PAC or as you call it the Pro Annexation PAC .. how were we supposed to take it when you said and I quote you Joey >>>

        “I COULD tell you what the name of the PAC is but….. here is a hint: It was filed 5 days after the “Independent White Center” PAC was created.”

        Well my question was if you COULD … they WHY DON’T YOU? Its a simple question. What is the name of their PAC.?
        Yes I could research it and find out but I already told you the name of the Pro Fiscal Sanity PAC or the anti-incorporation “Independent white center” PAC.

        I don’t understand your reluctance to disclose the name of the opposing PAC.?

        • Joey Martinez says:

          Mr Poitras I could tell you the name but I want you to do your own research for once. That and I enjoying watching you spin the foil on your head into another “conspiracy theory” yarn of a tale.

          As for the finance stuff you speak of. Its very easy to regurgitate the meeting information you heard and twist into another reason to not annex. You said you’re in accounting or finance just a few days ago? Please…. Work the numbers!

          As for my interpretation of the meeting you write about: We need to band together, now MORE than ever and pool our resources with North Highline so that both Burien and North Highline can stay solvent and continue to provide services to our residents. The ADDITIONAL $5 million for 10 years will help the bigger Burien create a synergy where a joined Burien and North Highline are worth more than the sum of our individual parts.

          As for year Eleven the Berk final report shows that the cost to CURRENT Burien is the same at 22% regardless. The costs it cannot go into is what would happen if we don’t annex. The costs to police, fire, and other services including schools is much higher, i believe, than annexing could ever cost. I too have also gone into those previously in articles and are published on this blog.

          Joey Martinez

          • John Poitras says:

            Ok fine Joey.. I do my own research believe me because the figures that you often use are what I would call fuzzy math. So I have to do my own analysis.
            I know what the name of the PAC is I just wanted to see if you would man up and state it here publicly. I assume you won’t because that would violate the secrecy that is prevalent in the NHUAC’s way of doing things so you would not want to offend them by announcing the name here. Thats fairly easy to deduce.

            Joey its more than finance “STUFF” . As a wise man once said “the devil is in the details” and if the numbers being used in a calculation are incorrect then the equation or budget in this case is also in error. Thats how companies (and cities) go bankrupt.

            There is no twisting of the numbers on my part here.. they are clear as day.. and the only twisting going on is on your part in trying to avoid the actual issue here which is the revenue numbers need to be adjusted downwards.

            North Highline is funded by King County so its not a matter of them remaining solvent.. King County is solvent and they have deep pockets.. Its actually all about the current City of BURIEN remaining solvent as I have stated repeatedly over and over again.
            Its not about synergy Joey its about coming up with a realistic budget and business plan, not going on a wing and a prayer like you and the rest of the pro annexation folks are banking on. Burien and North Highline together are on a much shakier financial footing than Burien remaining as it is and North Highline remaining independent unincorporated and governed by King County and the quasi-governmental group the NHUAC

            As to your concluding paragraph .. again lets face reality as it exists now.. I am not so much concerned about 11 years from now as I am two to four years from now. How you arrive at the conclusion that police fire schools will go up if we do not annex North Highline is beyond my comprehension. That’s just ridiculous. You yourself said that you think it would be irresponsible for the city to consider annexation costs in the 2013 2014 budget for Burien, I strongly disagree but now you seem to be arguing that they should.. I really can’t figure out how you arrive at the conclusions that you do so all I can do is try and point out how fallacious they are. I don’t want to see Burien proceed with annexation and drive the city off a cliff and go bankrupt.
            I don’t want my taxes to go up and my property value sink any lower and see services reduced to cover the shortfall. That is what I am opposing when I challenge you Joey not because I think you are a bad person but because I think you are really misguided and not being realistic about what the numbers are telling us.

    • Debi Wagner says:

      At the BRB meeting one of the board asked Burien’s finance director how she arrived at the 2% revenue increase per year from property tax. She said; “we used best guesses” apparently hoping for inflation. Figures recently released had found a 17% decrease in property values which translates into less revenue. They had guessed wrong even before the guess had been presented but were not required and did not propose to re-calculate based on current data. Declining property values, businesses closing, taxes rising, projections worsening, should demand a re-write otherwise the presentation to citizens of area Y is severely flawed and they are being misled. At both annexation meetings I have attended, Mike Martin and Jerry Robison were making claims that Burien can offer a good amount of resources and opportunities King County either cannot offer or will not offer to citizens and communities in area Y. If these are based upon the flawed draft Berk report projections this is completely irresponsible. With King County wanting so badly to rid itself of the area and responsibility, council and Burien staff having committed themselves to false promises and NHUAC emotionally and personally invested in seeing their plans and work fulfilled, it is impossible to gain objectivity from these parties and likely they will go all out to crush any effort that gets in their way.

  21. LS says:

    John Poitra, While you are on the subject, did you get clarification on the annexation tax credit from Joe Fitzgibbon??

    • John Poitras says:

      LS We are still waiting for a response to our response and a contact with whomever actually provided the figures. The basic question is the latest gross sales tax revenues for the area in question are approx. $5 Million … Burien is entitled to about 1% of that as a kick back for annexation from the state.. That figure works out to about $500,000 in additional revenue as a result of annexation.. How that has been turned into a $5 million dollar kick back is a real puzzle. I will be sure to pass it on when Mr Fitzgibbon gets back to us with a contact or the full equation. He is a politician not an accountant so I suspect he will just pass this question onto a state official that we can compare figures with. I hope we can gather this information before the Aug 6th Budget meeting in Burien. if we do you can be sure we will post it either way.

      • mike says:


        I was sent this figure by the City Clerk: The dollar amount of sales taxes collected for 2011 for the City of Burien in 2011 was $4,913.649.

        I was also sent this link on how to calculate the sales taxes collected from the Burien Management Analyst: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=82.14.415.

        I’m no mathematician, but they way I calculate it is very close to your amount of $500K, much less than what they are touting. If someone has a better knowledge of math, please let us know what the correct amount burien can receive based on these latest figures.

  22. Fred says:

    In Summary-
    This blog editorial was about the violation of 1st amendment rights. Yes, it happened. A lot of birdwalks have occurred in the bloggings but what happened at this local event should not be allowed to happen again and our sheriff’s officers should not be be used to remove citizens who are doing nothing illegal. It is a mis-use of power and White Center Jubilee Days needs to clean up its act.
    1.The White Center Jubileee Days committee clearly had no written public rules for handing out flyers on a public street.
    2. A permit to use the street does not mean a group or a chairperson owns the public street-as the chair of the committee claimed.
    3. Other people handed out things in the street and were not thrown out of the event.
    4.This was clearly a violation of 1st Amendment rights for this citizen and this group and was most probably politically motivated.
    5. It was a mis-use of the King County sheriff’s deputy to remove someone who was in no way behaving illegally.
    6.People on this blog attempted to give false information about this citizen rather than face the facts that what happened was wrong and should not happen again. This was an effort to intimidate someone who was handing out legal political information. This is still the U.S.A.
    Joe F. does not have a clue about what he is talking about when it comes to finances. He clearly has no training in this area. Mike Martin and the City of Burien have failed to give out accurate information on this topic which has led to citizen and council members confusion. Shame on the city.

  23. john Marken says:

    Fred, wrong on #2. They can regulate the vendors at the location and event. Fees were paid to host a spot. Handing out fliers qualified as an authorized vendor. The folks looking for conspiracies are crazy.

    BTW I am very happy to be annexed with Burien. Its great. I look forward to seeing the rest of my community with me and can say it will be a good thing for all.

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