LETTER: Jack Block Jr. Responds to Deputy Mayor Rose Clark

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following letter was read by Burien City Councilmember Jack Block Jr. at Monday night’s (Dec. 3) meeting:]

Response to Deputy Mayor Clark:

At the November 26th Deputy Mayor Clark read into the record a statement regarding her actions in terminating the November 19th City Council meeting. This is my response to her statement.

Recent actions by the majority of the Burien City Council and the City Manager over the issue of annexation have resulted in a divided and polarized community. At the November 19th meeting I made several motions off the floor with the intent of ending the problem, and putting the community on a positive path towards reconciliation. The third motion I was going to make, to add two new officers, was intended to demonstrate to the community that the focus of the council had returned to the needs of Burien.

Given that the November 19th meeting was the first following the vote and rejection by a near 2 to 1 margin of Burien’s annexation, I felt it was the appropriate time to address the issue and begin bringing the community back together. Bringing a motion off the floor is a regular action on the part of an elected body. In fact, a motion off the floor was taken to advance Burien’s designation of North Highline as a Potential Annexation Area. Bringing up the issue at the first meeting following the election was appropriate and timely. While consideration can and should be made for council members personal schedules, it is unrealistic to expect the business of the city to halt because of a Council Member’s absence.

The only underhanded and improper action that took place at the November 19th meeting was when Deputy Mayor Clark and Council Member Robison walked out of the meeting, ending the quorum and preventing the business before the body from being done.

In her statement, Deputy Mayor Clark has made several references questioning my actions. While the intent to withdraw, (moved per consultation with the King County elections department), PAA withdrawal, (following the form of Councilmember Robison’s motion off the floor), and change of government, (put the issue before the voters and if they affirm then move forward with citizen input rather than waste staff time on something that may or may happen), are important issues, I wish to address the last allegation, that of not bringing forward the issue of adding two new police officers during the budget debate, as it is the most damming.

Deputy Mayor Clark alleges that I did bring up the issue of adding two new officers during the budget debate. I would like to point to the matrix on page 98 of the October 15th agenda where this item is clearly included. I would also point to the video 1:53 of this meeting where when asked the question of adding two new officers, Deputy Mayor Clark clearly states, “I will be a no vote on this issue”. As I stated earlier, it was my intent to demonstrate to the citizens of Burien that the focus of the city had returned to Burien. Our city has been awarded a federal COPS grant that will pay a significant portion of providing 2 new officers to our city. During this financially challenging period, it would be shortsighted and unfortunate if we did not take advantage of this grant to help fund two new officers.

Recently, there was a home invasion in North Burien where a resident was pistol whipped and his wife was raped while their 18 month old baby lay in the next room. Burien needs more cops. Unfortunately, police protection isn’t free. My proposal to move the solid waste franchise fee back to the general fund and compensate for this by increasing the TBD fee by $10 dollars would have allowed Burien to hire two new officers to address the public safety needs of our city. Deputy Mayor Clark, you are in error, both in your accusations and in your vote on this issue.

– Jack Block Jr.

UPDATE 12/4/12 1:30 p.m.: Here’s video of Jack reading the letter, courtesy Pat Lemoine:

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33 Responses to “LETTER: Jack Block Jr. Responds to Deputy Mayor Rose Clark”
  1. Joe Wills says:

    Way to go Jack .Thank you for your response to clear the air. Many I have spoken to feel that Ms. Clark was way out of line by walking out of the meeting. Not addressing the issues at hand shows us that she doesn’t care about Burien. She really only has her personal agenda.

  2. John Poitras says:

    The council did not even address her violation of protocal at the meeting where she was clearly out of order and walked out in a huff in the middle of the meeting . Apparently its ok with the majority to attack Jack but not hold a member of their clique responsible for clearly aberrant behavior.

    I would like to ask Ms Clark why she responded to this the way she did and I quote>>>

    “when asked the question of adding two new officers, Deputy Mayor Clark clearly states, “I will be a no vote on this issue”.

    For someone that admonished Jack for being preemptive and making decisions without due consideration this seems a blatant example of her doing exactly what she accused Jack of.

    It goes without saying we need more police, I wonder why she responded the way she did? Was it solely because it was Jack that proposed it?

    • PanderBear Jack says:

      Why didn’t Lucy or Bob raise this as an issue? They could have started the process.

      Also, about those cops… Council Member Edgar did not support the cops resolution proposed by Council Member Block.

  3. Kellie B says:

    A definite no vote on more police? Perhaps Rose Clark herself can go apprehend the two thugs who hit my husband and I as we were driving home back in February (they were in a stolen car. Yes, they ran off.) I say this because the police suspended the case due to lack of staff able to investigate. I’m sure I’m not the only one waiting for the justice my tax dollars should give my family.

  4. umm! says:

    Jack – check your facts – the home invasion that you speak of occurred in the unincorporated area – not North Burien. You know the unincorporated area that you do not care about, the area you want to make sure that Burien and no one else annexes – you know the area that you said had nothing to offer to Burien. Just wait Jack – if you think things are bad in North Highline now – you aint seen nothing yet!

    • TcB says:

      To be fair, it was the people of White Center, and only those people, who got to vote, and they voted not to join, which would mean those services were rejected as well. Now if you think they were propagandized into voting against their own interests that’s a different thing, but for the foreseeable future, White Center will remain unincorporated and here in Burien we will move on to other things.

  5. By Stander says:

    There are a lot of issues that must be addressed in the change of your government and MS Clark seems to be one of the few that is addressing this issue. All you arm chair specialists seem ti think you know best about everything and you speak for the people of Burien. Well there are a lot of voters in Burien and it was noted that very few voted in the last election. It is also noted that if a new form of government is made are you sure your choice will win the election. Just because change is made does not make sure you will win. If you don’t get your way then what are you going to bitch about?

    • John Poitras says:

      Hey By Stander you were one of the rabid pro-annexation faction so its obvious you are making excuses and ignoring the facts concerning Rose Clark who imo is unfit to sit on our council. Do you live in Burien? You apparently have a very tenuous grasp of the issue and from your comment really don’t understand the motion Jack made.

      • Ivan Weiss says:

        If he’s “rabid,” what does that make you?

        • John Poitras says:

          People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones Ivan.. Word to the wise.. Your political clout is not what it used to be if you are wasting your time on a city blog where you don’t even live.. Sounds like you need to get out more..

          • otherisdeofthetracks says:

            I didn`t see a stone thrown,
            I think it`s a fair question. If he was “rabid” what does that make you?
            You still pipe up about it even though its over and done.

        • TcB says:

          Don’t worry, I’m sure certain residents will scurry off back to Mountain View, CA soon enough.

  6. Dr says:

    Jack I appreciate your response and keep up the good work. We need to vote in a Mayor and make a change for our cities sake. The coucil is divided for what ever reasons and it is obvious and as long as this continues, our city will suffer. Rose was not professional in her actions nor her words and shame on Jerry too!

  7. For video of Jack Block’s response to Rose Clark.

  8. Dr says:

    Where’s our Mayor…have not seen for awhile?

  9. By Stander says:

    Most of you can only bitch about what your elected officials try to do to run a city and keep things going with a large shortage of money. You bitch about any tax raise but then bitch because you are getting the service that you want. You cannot have it both ways. Your city officials have tried to give you what you want without any large tax increases. But neither satisfies you. Most of you are great Sunday morning quarterbacks and second guessers. As for you John you are always bitching about where I live. Well I don,t live in Burien nor North High line. But I enjoy watching the Burien City Council operate and try to run a good show. But most of you second guessers make for a lot of entertainment. I enjoy watching you making A– es out of your selves to support your great misguided thinking. Most of you are so good you could go to our National Congress and government and be very successful. After all most of our Congress are brain dead too. Good Luck you will need it as you don;t have enough brains to take care of the problem. If you used half as much energy trying to help solve the problems ILO trying to get your own way maybe your town would become more successful?

  10. John Poitras says:

    By Stander >> You really have no clue as to what is going on here in Burien behind the scenes or at our city council but you continually critique our struggles to make our city better by backing the wrong horse like you did with annexation.
    You don’t live here , don’t vote in our city elections or contribute to our community .You can live here vicariously all you like but don’t pretend to know what is going on in Burien or anything about the performance of our city government.. You are misinformed and out of touch with what is happening here. Unlike you, I live here and have a real stake in what is happening here now and in the future. I suggest you curtail your voyeurism and mind your own garden first before messing with other peoples… Go to your own city council meetings and write to the blogs or papers where you live. Or move here and become part the solution rather than part of the problem.
    Why you want to butt into our business here is beyond me but don’t expect to get away with your myopic view of reality and try and pontificate it here as if you are in the know. We will solve our problems here in Burien no thanks to you despite our dysfunctional city government which I suspect has someone on it that is one of your pro-annexation buddies and part of the problem which would explain why you are such a buttinski.. I have news for you>>> Things going to change here next November but since you will have no part in it I ask myself why bother responding to your posts because as a misinformed outsider to anything that happens in our city you are in fact irrelevant.

  11. TcB says:

    I ask this so I can understand you better, are you a tea party member? Are you a staunch conservative? I only ask to try to get a better understanding of your thoughts.

  12. John Poitras says:

    I am pretty much as progressive as you can get TcB.. My only conservative (if you can call the tea baggers that, because they are not conservative by any objective measurement) view is that we spend way too much money using tax payer money to provide services to illegals.

    How about you?

    • TcB says:

      I am heartened to hear that you are a progressive, as I believe myself to be as well. I believe we should put down the swords and shields and find common ground where we can. We probably won’t agree on everything, but I now feel that we have a better understanding the dialog can calm down. I retain the right to use my own brand of humor. Also, there’s a looming crisis coming in the new year, we are headed for the “all caps” cliff. As this blog has been shown to use up an outsize proportion of “all caps” and if we want to continue to have access to capital letters in the future we should be more careful.

      • John Poitras says:


        I am from the Bay Area and we are over 70% progressive voters down there and I am with the majority. The fiscal curve is no cliff and I am hoping the new congress will be more receptive to the fact that the tea baggers 15 min of fame is over.. Recent Poll in SC found only 10% of voters consider themselves tea partiers down from over 30% in 2010.
        We would and should control congress anyway and would except for GOP gerrymandering. The house is supposed to be a representative body and Obama won the popular vote so whats up with that.. Also if we want legislation in the senate to pass they need to change the filibuster rule where currently the tyranny of the majority rules. For example in a worst case scenario senators representing less than 15% of the population can obstruct any vote from coming to the floor.. I don’t think that was what the founders had in mind do you?

        • Ivan Weiss says:

          If you are from the Bay Area, which I believe because there is no one named John Poitras registered to vote in Burien, then just where do you get off demanding that people who don’t live in Burien quit posting on this blog, as if these comment threads were your property or something? I live a hell of a lot closer to Burien than you do.

          • John Poitras says:

            Ivan I live here in Burien.. .You don’t… As I said before your posting here is pathetic.. You used to have a lot of clout in democratic circles.. You abused that power and you lost it.. Now you are reduced to making comments on a city blog where you don’t even live.. Maybe you need to find a hobby or update your facebook page.. either would be more productive and effective for bolstering your self image than anything you post here..

  13. John Poitras says:

    Correction.. I meant to say that currently the Tyranny of the Minority rules in the senate.

  14. By Stander says:

    John you are nothing but a big mouthed bully. Now with your narrow minds and your tunnel vision you have decided that your neighbors should not take an interest in your city nor have an opinion about things that are happening there and will effect the communities around you. Bullies like you always think they are right and anyone that does not think the same as you are out casts. Well I do watch the Burien City council on TV and some times in person so I can at least think and have an open mind I can see what the good people of your council are trying to do. MS Clark forgot more about honest government than you ever knew. Lucy and Edgar are pro nothing. All they want is to take care of their lake Burien friends and keep every advance stopped in any other field. And Mr Block’s problem is he wants to be reelected and will say and do anything that he thinks will work to that end. He jumps around like a Jack Rabbit.. One thing that I am sure of if you narrow minded tunnel vision people have your way Burien will be come a second class city.. If not completely failed. Your present city council has done some great things and if they are able to continue Burien will become a better place to live and survive. Its not their fault that the economy has gone to H–. . But then all you Sunday morning quarterbacks have all the answers without getting your hands dirty. Just your brains. If you get your way and the economy stays the way it it is I doubt that Burien will ever recover. Because you people will not let it and your self centered choices will cause it to die. Good Luck you are going to need it. And I by the way I did not know I had to have your approval to take an interest in your city even if I don’t live there.

    • TcB says:

      I basically grew up on the lake, so I actually know a lot of these “lake Burien people”. I understand the concern of opening up the lake to the public and I actually know some history of when this was done before. Yes, the lake used to be open, and the experiment failed even back then.
      Maybe a lot of the lake people remember the history of this city more than others, and maybe some of them are using their position of influence to make things go their way, I’m sure both good and bad things are happening. I can understand where someone who has lived in Burien for 50 years might feel a little more entitled to “ownership” of the city than people who moved here just a few years ago, even if they are quite vociferous. Of course everyone who lives here has a right to the table, no matter how long they’ve been here. In Seattle, I think it is more than just a little bit common to have feelings of distrust to outsiders, Californians, etc, this has regularly been written about in the Times, PI, Stranger, etc.
      I think we should all cool down because we are probably a lot closer to common ground than we understand, and we are letting small things stand in our way. Possibly, instead of all sides calling for revolution every November, we should be building coalitions and working toward compromise. We can not all get everything we want.
      We should all encourage our council to start working together rather than continue this divide.

    • John Poitras says:

      By Stander.. Your comments are prejudicial, biased and erroneous..You live in a Rose Clark is a saint and I am right because I say I am, blinderwearing looney land.
      You cannot bully me into condoning your buttinski rants..If you are so civic minded then tend to your own cities problems where you live and get off your soap box about our city.

      Rose Clark from what I can see is an intellectually challenged rubber stamp for her coherts on the council. She does not serve the people she serves her and their personal agendas.. To anyone with eyes to hear ears to hear and has any discrimination that is blatantly obvious.. She is not earning the substantial salary and benefits she is being paid by the taxpayers to represent them.
      Again I don’t need your patronizing wishes of tainted good luck ,keep them, you can wallow in them.. You sound a lot like JJ Grieve btw..

  15. Ivan Weiss says:

    I used to have a lot of clout in Democratic circles? I abused that power and lost it? Dude, I was elected unopposed for two two-year terms, and at the end of the second term, I gave it up so that someone else could run. Explain to me how I “abused my power.”

    I’ll post here as long as the truth needs telling, and as long as some of the “fertilizer” I read here needs to be corrected. I’d like to see you try to stop me. If you live here why are you not registered to vote here? Or is “John Poitras” an alias?

  16. TcB says:

    I think it’s time to start calling for calm and true dialog. Everyone: I can’t stop you from insulting each other, but I can say, I feel better about it when I try to stay to the High Line vs the Military road. That way you won’t end up in a Marginal Way. Lets work it out together.

  17. John Poitras says:

    TcB.. I agree with you .. I think I will ignore those trolls that are all about insulting don’t even live in Burien and are just here to rabble rouse.
    We may disagree on some things TcB in this case I am in 110% agreement with you.

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