LETTER: ‘I’m Pat LeMoine and I am Against Being Annexed by Burien’

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Hi, I’m Pat LeMoine and I am against being annexed by the city of Burien.

What helped solidify my opinion are the dozen or so newly annexed Burien residents of Area X that I have talked to. I have heard complaints ranging from higher taxes, no improvements in services, to a city hall hostile to its own citizens. A recent favorite of mine was walking into a local beauty salon to let the owner know about changes she will have to make to her signage under Burien Municipal Code if annexed. As the owner gazed in perplexed astonishment I notice a waiting customer whose eyes began to light with fire “YOU DO NOT WANT TO JOIN BURIEN!” She exclaimed then with blood boiling she went on to talk about all the taxes (http://www.burienwa.gov/DocumentView.aspx?DID=1118) that she now has to pay as a result of being annexed to Burien. She reminded me of Kathy Parker who under oath testified before the Boundary Review Board on 1/9/12 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9zn2lOyJpg) (51 minutes in) and presented the board with a petition signed by 2000 residents of the newly annexed Area X who where so unhappy that they wanted to leave Burien. Keep in mind that only 1,380 voted for annexation from a population of over 14,000. At that same meeting I estimate 80% of the audience where residents of Burien warning the rest of us not to join.

I’ve tried my best to step away from my personal feelings and look at what the pro annexation side has to say and all I see is an argument based on fear and fantasy. Fear that we will loose our fire dept. Fear that we will loose our police. Fear that we will loose any number of other services. I see no reason why I should believe the fear mongers and am reminded of a speech from a great president “All we have to fear is fear itself.” Then there is the fantasy in the belief that Burien can afford taking on White Center. The BERK Report (http://www.burienwa.gov/DocumentView.aspx?DID=1961) is packed full of questionable financial expectations. Examples include Burien’s Human Services annual estimate of only $100,000 which becomes laughable when compared to the more experienced Seattle’s estimate of $1.7 to $1.9 million. For police Burien estimates a cost of $3.1 million where the once again more experienced Seattle estimates between $6.9 to $8.7 million. Also keep in mind that Burien has been running a deficit for some time now just to meet its own needs as stated by concerned White Center resident Mark Ufkes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpNn5EGFimU). So how can it meet the needs of the poorer White Center Gregory Heights area? It is almost as if the City of Burien is living in a world of unicorns and fairies.

The only positive argument for annexation that I have heard is that since Burien is smaller then either Seattle or King County our voice would be more easily heard. Honestly I find this argument null and void when compared to all the negative stories I have heard about dealing with city hall, which tends to boil down to adjectives like unfriendly, uncooperative, and in one extreme hostile. As an example Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/buriencitizen_media) has some complaints regarding Burien’s inability to enforce its own code in regards to Bank owned abandoned homes that are falling into disrepair helping to lower property values. Then there is Lee Rabie who was so incensed by what Burien did to his property that he did a mass mailing at great expense to warn us why we should not join. A speech he gave on this can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BlIxYFEN8A (30 minutes in). Ultimately what good is city hall other then just another layer of bureaucracy that demands more taxes, does nothing to make our lives better, and just gets in the way.

I have lived at my home for over 16 years. I am happy with both the King County Sheriffs and our Fire Dept. Both seem to show up when you need them. All the services I need from power, water, sewer, and phone work just fine. Roads in my neighborhood are adequately maintained. I live in a neighborhood that loves to celebrate its nations birthday through fireworks and looking across the horizon we are not the only ones who do. I am an environmentalist and I like trees but some times they have to come down and I like the fact that I can cut down a tree on my property without having to ask permission or pay an exorbitant fee for some stupid permit. Frankly I see absolutely no viable argument on why we should join Burien.

– Pat LeMoine

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9 Responses to “LETTER: ‘I’m Pat LeMoine and I am Against Being Annexed by Burien’”
  1. Hotrodgal says:

    Great, well thought out post Pat.
    I hope we can get many undecided folks to read your opinion.

    • Coverofnight says:

      Pat, please post this on the White Center blog…..you have us all convinced here in Burien, but we can’t vote on the issue.

      Take your message where it’ll be most effective – to the White Center blog (but be careful that you don’t step in any Joey Moretaxes on the way!).

  2. VERY TIRED says:

    Keep your independence. I hope your fellow Area X residents vote no. We don’t need let King County completely off the hook for maintenance. You also have a right to light your fireworks. We never voted on the ban here, it’s just another local government overreach.

  3. Joe Wills says:

    YOU should be scared about white center being annexed to Burien; So much will change for the bad!!! Please tell your friends and Neighbors to vote NO… your animals will thank you.

  4. John Poitras says:

    Excellent letter Pat… Thank you for exposing a lot of the pro annexation propaganda for what it really is … a bunch of hooey… I hope every resident of area Y gets to read it.

  5. Mike says:

    Great letter Pat. I noticed as my wife and I went to the store this afternoon that someone had cut my “Vote Against Annexation” sign down with a saw. There are 4 of the “for” signs within a block or so and about twice as many “against” signs. Mine was the only one I saw that was vandalized. It is disappointing that someone feels the need to try to infringe on my right of free speech. I’ve always felt like the “for” people are trying to supress anything that they don’t agree with. This is just another example of how screwed up their thinking is.

    Area Y Mike

    • Signage has been an issue. About 25% of the Vote No signs have gone missing. To be fair I have also noticed a few of the pro annexation signs have also disappeared. It is IndependentWhiteCenter’s policy to leave the opposition signs alone and I believe the pro annexations policies are the same. What we have here are some rogues operating independently.

      In this country we value free speech. Free speech only exists when you allow the views you are against to be expressed. I urge anyone who is thinking of removing these signs to stop. This is both a privilege and the price we pay each election season for living in a free country. Both sappy and innocent I know but don’t you think that rising to the top is preferred over racing to the bottom.

      Also, many thanks for the positive comments.

  6. John Poitras says:

    Good Observation Mike >>>

    These are the same folks that tried to ramrod an annexation vote thru in August when there would be minimal turnout.. The independent white center pac folks shone a light on that fact and pressured the city council into holding the vote in November to maximize voter turn out.. These folks are not about sharing the facts on annexation they are about hiding them and ripping down our signs is part and parcel of their undemocratic agenda.

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