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BREAKING: 11th-Hour Challenge to Remove Annexation from Ballot Fails

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Marga Newcomb, left, and Don Malo protest Burien’s proposed annexation of North Highline outside City Hall Monday night (Aug. 6). Photo by Scott Schaefer. Click image to see larger version.

by Ralph Nichols [2]

An eleventh-hour challenge to remove annexation of unincorporated North Highline from the November ballot was defeated Monday night (Aug. 6).

Council members voted 3-3 on a motion by Councilman Jack Block Jr. to withdraw annexation for years – a proposal that Councilwoman Joan McGilton called an attempt to suppress voters.

A motion is defeated when the vote is a tie.

Joining Block in the attempt to scuttle North Highline annexation were Council members Bob Edgar and Lucy Krakowiak.

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The Burien City Council took a roll call for the vote to remove annexation from the Nov. ballot. Unlike base-running in baseball, the 3-3 tie defeated the attempt.

Mayor Brian Bennett, Councilman Gerald Robison and McGilton voted to reject the proposal.

Absent was Deputy Mayor Rose Clark, long a supporter of annexing all of North Highline.

August 7 is the last day that under state law the annexation issue can be removed from the general election ballot.

Earlier in the meeting almost 20 speakers, all but one from Burien, urged council members to cancel the annexation vote.

Their common theme was that Burien can’t afford annexation at this time, that the city still has unfinished projects.

Some council members, however, said this is a one-time opportunity that Burien can’t afford to let slip away.

By law, only residents of unincorporated North Highline may vote on whether to become part of Burien.

A full report on the annexation discussion and the council’s review of the projected 2013-14 budget and city revenues will be posted Tuesday and Wednesday.

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