North Highline Residents Hear Details About Proposed Burien Annexation

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Karen Freeman, a policy analyst with the King County Executive’s office, explains that the county can no longer afford to provide many services to urbanized unincorporated areas. Burien City Manager Mike Martin is seated at her right.

Story & Photos by Ralph Nichols

An overflow audience crowded into the meeting room at the North Highline Fire Department headquarters station Thursday evening (Oct. 4) to hear details about the proposed unincorporated area annexation by Burien.

The event presented by the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council was “not a debate,” council President Barbara Dobkin said at the outset.”People are here to give us the facts about the Burien annexation.”

State Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-34, said North Highline is “unique … with special needs,” which is why the Legislature in 2009 approved a $5 million annual sales tax credit for 10 years to help offset the initial costs of annexation if either Burien or Seattle annexes the area.

The Legislature did this “as a carrot to the cities.” But, Nelson noted, the state sales tax credit offer will expire on Jan. 1, 2015, if neither city annexes North Highline before then. “What [the Legislature] is attempting to do is to say it’s time to do something, it’s time to annex.”

Responding later to Burien resident Chestine Edgar, an annexation opponent who charged that the city can’t afford it and will end up broke, Burien City Manager Mike Martin asked, “Why in the world would we overestimate revenues” for the 10 years after annexation?

“It just doesn’t make sense. It would put us in jeopardy,” he said. “But there is nothing we can say to satisfy the conspiracy theorists.”

Earlier he said that “when it’s all said and done” North Highline residents will see their taxes and fees “increase about $140 a year – or less.”

Martin added that claims by annexation opponents of tax increases of $400 to $600 or more if North Highline becomes part of Burien are simply untrue.

King County Councilman Joe McDermott reads a letter to North Highline residents from King County Executive Dow Constantine encouraging them to vote for annexation by Burien on Nov. 6.

Here is the letter Constantine wrote (click image to see larger version, or download PDF here):

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4 Responses to “North Highline Residents Hear Details About Proposed Burien Annexation”
  1. John Poitras says:

    Of course he supports it.. Its a liability that the County would love to remove from their balance sheet.. Bottom line however is that he cannot force Area Y to leave King County and frankly he has not provided anywhere near the incentives that could be negotiated if this attempt at annexation fails..

  2. John Poitras says:

    Martin is lying behind semantics as far as the increase in taxes goes because year one is only half a year and in year two all bets are off and the city can increase fees as much as they want.
    Since area Y will have already signed off on it the poor saps will be able to do nothing about it.
    Of course in ten years or if the tax incentives are taken away or reduced in a year or two there will also be nothing any Burien resident can do about it. By that time Martin will have retired and will be able to just say sayonara to the fiscal mess he will have encumbered the city of Burien with.

  3. Brent Nordman says:

    John You were not even at the meeting and yet you still have a comment. We heard from a State Senator, A person from the King County Execs office, the Sheriff, the fire chief and our King County Council and they all said it was a good deal, and yet you still are not convinced. I believe that if God came down and assured your whole group that the annexaton would be a success you would still spread your negativity.
    Give it a break, John (aka Forest) we are certainly tired of the same negative crap your group has been throwing around since before the last annexation (that was a success). You have reached the point where you are only preaching to the same small group that supports your ideas. Its like the old saying “You lie and I’ll swear to it”.

    • John Poitras says:

      Brent.. You are clueless .. I heard about the propaganda session from people that did attend and its also on line in case you are computer illiterate. Apparently negativity is anything that disagrees with the dull ignorance brought on by the kool aid you and your buddies on the NHUAC have been slurping..
      Obviously your inability to comprehend the salient points of what the Independent white center pac has been attempting to communicate to you low information folks has not penetrated those tin foil hats you all wear that insulate you from the real world.

      WE ARE FRANKLY TIRED of the ignorance that you and your pack continue to foster. OBVIOUSLY to anyone with half a clue the King County Folks are going to promote annexation because area Y is a huge drain on their budget and Dow Constantine has put political pressure on everyone he can to push this poison pill with a sugar coating on it and wrapped it in a shiny package ..
      Problem is that in reality its a trick not a treat and to take it without a shaker full of salt is just plain naivety.

      Of course the fire chief is interested because they have a 2 million dollar unfunded liability they need solving.. The Police Chief reports to Mike Martin so it is frankly not politically feasible for him to disagree with his agenda. If you had been listening you would have heard that Senator Nelson stated that no one can force you to into annexation.. contrary to the BS and fear tactics that you have been sucked in by. Joey McDermott is Dow’s stalking horse and he has roped his horse to Dow’s wagon so of course he is going to push the KC executives agenda.

      To use your inappropriate analogy , I think if God came down and assured you tin foilers that annexation was a bad idea you would still ignore the advice and call him a false God… I will quote you another phrase that is more appropriate here..
      “There’s a sucker born every minute”…

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