LETTER: ‘I am committed to bringing about positive change in Burien…’


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[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]

Dear Council Members,

I am forwarding you my letter to Jim Griggs of the Washington State Auditors Office (download PDF here). This document has a variety of attachments and assertions that pertain to the questions surrounding the house located at 11416 26th Ave. S. The letter was written prior to the latest information found in last night’s Council Packet.

I apologize for not including the file Hoeun Tun Order Approving Amended Plan. When you open this PDF file (download it here) you will note that it bears Judge Samuel J. Steiner’s signature ordering this plan into effect on March 25, 2010. I have also included the Chapter 13 Amended plan. The pivotal passage can be found on Page 3 Section V called Secured Property Surrendered.

I believe the City Manager is correct in the assertion that the Council will have to beef up the Code Compliance Department to proactively deal with these enforcement issues that the City is facing. I believe RCW 35A.33.140 (Quarterly Report of Status) will facilitate the City being able to determine the exact cost vs price for this endeavor. Additionally, it will answer definitively what Burien’s actual losses due to these houses are versus the FDIC report indicating $34,000 per house for abandoned bank repos.

Additionally. I believe the implementation of Quarterly Report of Status will fundamentally change the structure of the way Burien conducts business. Specifically:

  • Council and the public will be fully informed at each quarterly report.
  • Information will be easy to understand. Please see Mercer Island’s Quarterly Report of Status. Page 3 is a good place to start: http://www.mercergov.org/files/AB4788.pdf.
  • Budgeting can become an ongoing endeavor instead of an every two year ordeal.
  • Projects you wish to undertake will have a higher level of success due to having all the facts before committing City funds.

Over the next six months I will be speaking to the Council on a variety of issues that confront both the City and residents. I am committed to bringing about positive change in Burien.

I believe the $200 million dollars Burien is losing in homeowners net worth annually above and beyond our surrounding municipalities is a staggering problem that effects almost every aspect of our lives. It not only shows up in our neighborhoods that are in decline, but also decimates the business community as well as crippling the City’s finances.

My presentations from this point forward will show what is going on as well as a solution that is within the current capability of Burien to actually implement. While at times you may be agitated with my presentations, I would invite direct dialogue on these issues so that both sides can see each others perspective and fix the problem.

Fixing this problem will not only eliminate the $200 million dollar problem the residents are experiencing, but will actually add over 1 billion dollars to our net worth. For every 50 houses that are cleaned up the City will generate $1.7 million dollars in new revenue each year.

I believe the Council has done an extraordinary job with the BMC. It is crisp and to the point and the descriptors such as will, shall and must eliminate the ambiguity I see in many of the documents that cross my desk. What I am committed to seeing is the full implementation of the BMC and the City flourishing.

The choice before us is a $200 million dollar problem or a 1 billion dollar solution. I choose solution. What is your choice?

– Dick West

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Comments

8 Responses to “LETTER: ‘I am committed to bringing about positive change in Burien…’”
  1. Coverofnight says:

    Admirable, Dick; don’t be surprised if the council addresses you as “Mr. Quixote”, though.

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  2. May says:

    Mr.West—thank you

    ((((My presentations from this point forward will show what is going on as well as a solution that is within the current capability of Burien to actually implement.))))

    What if I tell you that the city of Burien do not work for the citizens of Burien but for themselves and their friends. They have no interest in Implementing anything. This is not in their interest. City Money is being spent on cleaning up a property (especially on expensive paint) and then have them file for bankruptcy.

    And then have lawyers fight it out in court (Davis Wright Tremeine) friends and former empoyeer of Brian Bennett and we are paying for it?
    Here again, these lawyers are not working on the citizens behalf but their friends that sit on this council. Why did they clean this persons property? ….other properties in Burien do not get the same treatment.

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  3. Marty says:

    Dick can you elaborate further on the BMC?
    I definitely think this issue should be at the forefront of business that needs to be taken care of asap by our city government. Abandoned houses hurt everyone and we don’t have enough tax money for beefing up police enforcement or maintaining our roads and side walks so a debilitating deficit of $34K per abandoned house or more is just unacceptable.
    Whatever we need to do to the municipal code to make the land owners responsible should be top priority for our city government.

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    • Dick West says:

      Marty,

      The good news is that the Burien Municipal Code provides all the teeth necessary to deal with these problem houses. What is lacking, is implementation of the BMC on the part of the City Manager.

      The Council is the only avenue available to changing the direction of the City. Since they choose to allow this problem to go unchallenged, it is our responsibility to hold them responsible by removing them.

      Dick West

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      • Marty says:

        Jim you have my support and I suspect the support (if they knew about this) of 98% of the residents of Burien. This council for once needs stand up and insist the city manager do his job and deal with this as you have suggested..

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  4. May says:

    Marty—((((-$34K per abandoned house or more is just unacceptable)))))

    Who told you that?.

    Marty—-((( (Whatever we need to do to the municipal code to make the land owners responsible should be top priority for our city government.

    Here I am saying again—-this is not part of their plan. The lawyers that are fighting for it are Davis Wright Tremain (former empoyeer of Brian Bennett) and friends. They are there to be paid by our money. This is how they work. And alot more money goes out this way for their friends.

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  5. May says:

    Additionally, it will answer definitively what Burien’s actual losses due to these houses are versus the FDIC report indicating $34,000 per house for abandoned bank repos’

    I found it Marty
    This must be the $34.000 that was paid for Davis Wright Tremaine and believe me —this will continue. I told you guys that these problems are just like a spider web (comming from all directions) . This will never end untill the majority of this council is removed.

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  6. Fred says:

    At least 4 of the Council members(Clark, McGilton, Bennett,Robison) refuse to hold Mike Martin responsible for doing his job. Implementation of the BMC is the responsibility of the City Manager. This has been discussed numerous times and Mike Martin still does not follow through on this part of his job. There are many parts of his job that he is not doing adequately. Yet these four council members gave him 4s and 5s on perfomanace of his job. That’s why we are still stuck with him. And where is the rest of his evaluation that one citizen was never able to get in a Public Information request? Something is seriously wrong with some of the members of the Council and they need to be changed out in the next election.

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