Longtime resident Steve Armstrong declares candidacy for Burien City Council

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Longtime resident Steve Armstrong officially declared his intent to run for Burien City Council, Position #7 this week, one of nine who has officially filed before the Friday deadline.

Armstrong attended local schools, the University of Washington, works for Boeing and is raising two children here.

“I’m running for city council because I believe it’s time for a change and that I can help initiate this change,” Armstrong said. “It appears that some Council members and the City Manager have lost touch with the citizens of Burien. Recent evaluations from the City Council are mixed as to whether the City Manager is performing to expectations. Council members do not (or will not) work together. This condition must change.”

He joins these previously-filed candidates, for a total of nine running for four open seats:

  • Council Position No. 1: Lauren Berkowitz, Kip Walton, Jack Block Jr. (incumbent)
  • Council Position No. 3: Robert L. Richmond III, Joan McGilton (incumbent), Andrea Reay
  • Council Position No. 5: Rose Clark (incumbent)
  • Council Position No. 7: Joey Martinez, Armstrong

Not yet filed, but declared publicly to run are:

Here’s Armstrong’s full statement:

Hello my name is Steve Armstrong and I am running for Burien City Council / Position 7. I’ve lived in Burien for over 40 years. Attended Shorewood Elementary, Cascade Middle School, Evergreen High and the University of Washington. My children, Alex and Elena, attended local schools – St. Francis, Highline and JFK. I am currently employed by The Boeing Company (32 years) specializing in Contracts. My hobbies include: hiking, mountain climbing, fly fishing, tennis, volleyball and spending time with my family and friends.

I’m running for city council because I believe it’s time for a change and that I can help initiate this change. It appears that some Council members and the City Manager have lost touch with the citizens of Burien. Recent evaluations from the City Council are mixed as to whether the City Manager is performing to expectations. Council members do not (or will not) work together. This condition must change.

There has been a complete disregard for the voice of the people. An example is the attempt to annex Area Y. My aversion to annexation is based solely on economics and the best interests for all. Seattle, with a huge revenue / tax base, found it impractical to annex at the time. Why would our City Manager and some Council members believe that annexation was in the best interest and would enrich the lives of those living in Area Y as well as Burien?

Regarding the recent issue of instituting “Wards” (aka Gerrymandering). This practice attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party, group or individual by manipulating district boundaries to create partisan advantaged districts. Again, whose interests are being addressed here? I believe if you’re running for office or in office, you should be under the microscope of and represent the entire voting population, not just those in your backyard.

Together we can create a better form of government. A government that is (i) a friend of the people; (ii) works for the people; and (iii) accessible, responsible, accountable and transparent with emphasis on Burien First!

My first goal is to ensure the livelihood, health and welfare of the people of Burien. Listen to their opinions, needs and desires – acting on their behalf for the common good.

Support our schools! Providing for our children is vital to the growth and well being of our community. I will work with schools to find ways to engage our young adults in becoming a valued investment in the community. The Burien Parks and Recreation team has done an excellent job in providing opportunities for our children. I would encourage them to expand those programs and promote career paths for interested teens – initiating mentoring and internships in city government as well as business. Partnering is the key between the City, business and volunteers to make this a reality.

Support and retain existing business as well as attracting new business opportunities. Partnering with “Discover Burien”, let’s create a forum responsible for developing creative ideas and enhancing Burien’s appeal for business. We need to find a better way to support and retain existing business and attract new business. There are many people in our community with great ideas – let’s get them engaged!

Involved with Police and Fire personnel – listen and hear their voice. I will frequently meet with these partners ensuring that the necessary tools are available to help them achieve the challenges they face on a daily basis.

Taxes… Let’s question the need for raising taxes and continue to challenge that option. Government needs to be run like a business – period. Attempts to raise taxes must be transparent (not buried in some other referendum) and only after all other efforts to alleviate have been exhausted.

Engage with the under recognized areas of Burien. More attention needs to be placed on the neighborhoods that are not in the “hub” area. In addition, a better plan needs to be developed to complete Town Square – one that creates a vibrant core attracting more business, visitors and a landmark of which to be proud.

Burien is a fantastic place to live! I am excited to see it transcend from its current paralysis and emerge into the next stage of health, sustainability, vitality and intelligent growth. Together we can create a better form of government.

I respectfully ask for your support and vote in this upcoming election. Thank you.

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27 Responses to “Longtime resident Steve Armstrong declares candidacy for Burien City Council”
  1. elizabeth2 says:

    Sounds like an experienced family man with long time Burien ties and knoledge. Doesn’t come better than that, does it?

    And no, I do not know him nor does he know me. No connections, no conspiracy.

    • May says:

      When I grow up, I will buy myself a pound of ignorance just like Elisabeth2, This way I believe everything I read without doing research.

      BTW…have you donated cash for the Westmark lawyers so they can fight on your behalf and not cut down all the trees. They are fighting for your land ….Doesn’t come better than that, does it?

      • Ms. Weaver says:

        Who would make you happy? Anybody?

        • May says:

          Ms. Weaver

          Someone that would make me happy is a person that will speak up. I love Fred that posts on this blog. He is a smart individual. I would vote for him. People can say what they like but by their actions will you see who they really are.

          We live in such a corrupt time where everyone in office is out for themselves and their own aganda. I don’t know if the damage on the Burien council can be repaired by a few new individuals. The problem is deeper then that. It is all dirty politics that go all the way to Olympa. Let me tell you, Mike Martin would not hide financial records if I would be on the council. They would not hire their friends and pull dirty shananigans.

          I work alot and have no time. Its to bad. It is also to bad that people can not make an honest living but have to go out and become scammers. They are stealing from others because they are losers. They can not make an honest living but to scam. And people continue scamming because nobody wants to get involved and stop them. And in the end its almost to late to do anything about it.

          • Really? says:

            So why are you knocking someone who supports Mr. Armstrong when it seems that he fits your published list of desirable criteria? For crying out loud, give the canidate a chance to run for office so we can do our research, listen and make an informed decision before you give him your poison pen. Sheese!!!

  2. Burien Lover says:

    Go Joey!

  3. Flashdog says:

    Would it be inappropriate to HUG a candidate? Reading Mr. Armstrong’s plans for our city if he is elected is like waking up after a long, terrible nightmare. He has MY support!

  4. SD says:

    Thank you for participating in this election.

  5. Mike says:

    What a breath of fresh air. Joey should save himself some money and time and just drop out now. Mr. Armstrong, you seem to have all the things people have been trying to get the council to recognize. What is your position on CARES? A lot of residents are very upset that Martin and co. have forced this inadequate animal control on them, given cares another contract without even approaching King County A.C. to get a bid to provide services even though the citizens have repeatedly asked to have King County come back.

  6. TcB says:

    Anyone who says Government needs to be run like a Business is completely off base as to the function of Government and loses my vote.

    Business is in the “business” of making money. It must make a profit to stay a going concern. It must always balance the budget.

    Government is in the “business’ of serving people. A government that makes a profit is not doing it right. It must serve people first, whether balanced budget or not.

    Can you imagine if someone said Business should be run like Government?

    If you think that Government should run like a business and make a profit then you are completely ignorant and you need to learn how Government works through some civics lessons.

    • I Disagree says:

      TcB- I disagree with your statement. While I understand that Steve’s statement may be misleading, I think the point he is trying to get across is that Government should be transparent and ethically sound, like a good business is. Granted, we live in a world where many business organizations do what is best for their shareholders when making decisions.However, a morally sound business that is transparent when it comes to making decisions, and one that includes stakeholders in its decisions is a business that will succeed in the long term, and I think that is what Steve is trying to get across.

      • TcB says:

        When you make the statement “Government should be run like a business period” I tend to believe that you really think that Governments first order is to make a profit, not serve people.

        I believe in good governing, and part of that is to shake out the inevitable bad seeds, bad moves, that happen. They happen in every form of Government. Most of the people are good, they’re us serving each other.

        To think that all government is bad, is just idiotic and simple.

        To state that Government should be run like a business is ignorant. I wouldn’t want someone with this mindset to get within 100 feet of a government building.

        I’m sure he’s a great businessman. He should stick with business. He should never be in Government, or anyone who thinks that Government should “run like a business period”

        • TbC says:

          TcB, Mike martin sez dinner is at 7:00 pm! Joey will be there to pass out his campaign signs and buttons to you. Come early, have a drink! Have a good day,brother in law. See ya tonight. TbC

        • Steve Armstrong says:

          To “TcB” (with a thank you to “I Disagree”)

          I see that I’ve stirred some controversy with my statement regarding “government should be run like a business” and feel the need to clarify.

          As written in my press release, this statement is related to the subject of taxes. In the event of potential tax increases, I believe government should first consider all options to lessen the burden on tax payers. We are, or know people who are suffering one way or another through these difficult economic times. People have lost jobs, taken on lower paying jobs and are struggling to keep their families afloat and make ends meet. Under these circumstances, everyone must tighten up their belts – including government, which must look at all options to reduce spending and should not rely on raising taxes when times are tough. If you’re not running your business right, you don’t raise the price of your goods or you may find you’re out of business…

          You are right, government is in the business of serving people – however I believe that it also has the responsibility to balance its budget – as in business.

          And a thank you to “I Disagree”. Business organizations do what’s best for their shareholders – the same way government should be with its citizens. Accountability, transparency, listening to the voice of the people and working together are essential elements for a successful government.

          • TcB says:

            No No NO. Stop putting Business and Government in the same bag.

            What potential tax increase are you talking about? Any possible future tax increase? Ever?

            So you realize that our “difficult economic times” has King County unemployment at 5.1% which is considered pretty much full employment? Our U.S. Stock markets are going crazy. Even my own prospects are looking up compared to 2008. I’m not saying that there aren’t people in need, actually that’s why I wouldn’t want to cut government right now! How can you say we are in dire straights and then say cut government programs?


            It’s not time to do the austerity thing. Austerity is killing Europe because they listened to people who’s economic dire straights warnings turned out to be a hoax! Not gonna let it happen here.


            You’re probably great at business, but keep far far away from Government buddy. You don’t know what the heck you’re talking about.

            Our Government… Our council…what do they do anyway? They set zoning, the control city infrastructure, they contract with the King County Sheriff (cheaper than having our own force..hey..smart!) they do simple things.

            No Fire, No Water, No Highway, Don’t control if there’s an empty storefront! No schools…They don’t do a lot of the things I have heard most of these candidates talk about their pie in the sky ideas. About the only one that seems to have a grip on the reality of what government actually does that I’ve read so far is Chuck Rangel.

            I’m sure you’re a nice guy but I am just not gonna fall for it.

  7. Thanks for running Steve! Your experience is fantastic. With your Boeing contract knowledge maybe you could help out the Water District too. Incidentally 2 candidates just filed with King County for the Commissioner Position.

    Best wishes!!!!


  8. Teri Ensley says:

    I have worked with Steve Armstrong (during my 25 years at Boeing). He is smart; level-headed; a good listener; respectful; trained in Quality Improvement; professional; works to deadlines; takes in information from many sources, analyzes the data, and teams to find the best way to move forward.

    Burien would be lucky to have a person of Steve’s caliber on the City Council. You been asking for such a person…now you have him.

  9. Mary says:

    Steve already has my vote. I just hope that other candidates will be running against two of the worst council members currently taking up space.. ie Joan McGilton and Rose Clark.

  10. May says:

    TcB….and friends…

    Ok you Mike Martin, Brian Bennett Joey Martinez lover you made your point.
    Thank you for having the best interest at heart for the City of Burien.

    BTW…the Westmark lawyers need your cash support. Lots of trees are expected to be cut down and we all know you care for our environment. I hope you don’t let thick wallets come before the land we love.

  11. Mary says:

    I truly believe that Joey who was strong annexation supporter and Gordon Shaw protege would just continue the current culture of cronyism we have now on city council.. We would just get more of the same with Joey who is part and parcel of the rampant cronyism and self promotion we currently have on council that Robison, Clark, Bennett and McGilton epitomize.
    So if you want more of the same old bs then vote for Joey if not then vote in someone new like Chuck Rangel who is actually running to make our city a better to live; not to further his own political career.

    • LB21 says:


      I am confused about your last sentence, “vote in someone new like Chuck Rangel who is actually running to make our city a better to live; not to further his own political career”. Who are you referring to when you state “to further his own political career”?

      As far as I’m concerned, this accusatory statement of, I’m assuming, Mr. Armstrong, has no substantial backing.

      It’s apparent to me you have not read his goals for burien because everything he wants to change and work on is to make Burien a better place for everyone to call home.

      • Mary says:

        LB21 I have nothing against Mr Armstrong and in fact I should have said vote in someone new like Chuck Rangel OR Steve Armstrong. Please re-read what I wrote.. My comments about getting away from the current cronyism on our council were specifically directed at Joey Martinez who is up to his neck , part and parcel of the current cronyism at city hall and on the council.

  12. By Stander says:

    In reading Mr Armstrong’s letter it sounds like he is going to do a great job for Burien if elected. How ever he seems to reside in an area that the 2 city council members that are the do nothing members of the council and the anti everything approach to things that do not benefit the Lake Burien crowd. They have managed with their great government support to steal Lake Burien from the State and the other people of Burien who should have the right and access to the lake.. I have followed the Burien City Council for many years and the one thing that I have noticed is that the council members that are always being called names and put down are the only ones that think ahead very far. You voters be sure and elect all the complainers and big speakers that are running if you want a council that reacts to problems ILO planing ahead and acting on problems before they become a big problem.. I notice that all the complainers quot that they represent what the people want. and seem to have appointed themselves spokesmen for the people of Burien.. All the people of Burien had better take a close look at some of the new experts before they vote for them. Burien seems to have became a nice little community under the present council which seems to be over looked by the present self appointed experts. Good Luck.

    • John Poitras says:

      Bystander I disagree with your comments as they are a complete distortion of the facts.. Aren’t you Barbara Dobkins husband? You give it away by your denigration of anyone that lives near Lake Burien and your nonsensical sign off of “good luck” . Were you aware that Brian Bennett who supported your comrades in the NHUAC also lives near Lake Burien?

  13. Fred says:

    To By Stander-

    You spend your time roaming between 4 or 5 blogs in our area and are by no means a By Stander. You have attacked Mark Ufkes for taking money from the White Center Chamber of Commerce, claimed that the White Center Chamber of Commerce has been denied the right to belong to an oganization that does not really exist, claimed that the White Center Library was stolen by the King County Library System from Burien and the list goes on. However, you never provide any factual evidence to support you claims. They are just mean spirited accusations. And your comments here about Steve Armstrong, in which you try to detract from his announcement to run in this election, appear to be much of the same. Steve Armstrong appears to be a good, solid candidate in this election.

    Also. I suggest you go back and read the Supreme Court decision in the 1930’s related to secondary shorelands in Washington State. This was when the state actually attempted to steal back shorelines from residents that it had sold them to. It actually appears that the state may have taken back part of lake lands from the residents who bought them without paying them for them. Humm, I wonder who really is the thief in the case you are trying to make against Steve Armstrong on this blog announcement? Why don’t you take some real time to research the history surrounding that instead of trying to attack constantly.

    Good Luck, Steve Armstrong in this next election.

  14. TcB says:

    I forgot to mention that, of course, our council sets B&O taxes.

    Here’s more proof that tightening Governments belt when the economy is bad is backwards, and fronted by a hoax.



    So no, tightening the belt, in bad times, is dumb.

    I am not saying, not saying, not saying, not saying……

    I am not saying that Government should have a free hand in raising taxes to whatever they want.

    I am not saying that Government should get away with whatever they want.

    I am not saying that I am for us to look the other way when something is going wrong.

    I am not saying that I support Mike Martin, or any other person you would put those words in my mouth for

    I am not saying that Government should not be kept tidy and running smoothly.

    Our Government has historically been kept small, and run pretty smoothly through the recession.

    I am not saying there haven’t been problems.

    I am saying

    Now is not the time to let the Right wing Tea Party “know nothing about economics got tricked by some hoaxers about austerity” types run things.

  15. Rebecca says:

    To Mary;
    You nailed one or our main problems; council members going for annexation. It’s scary that the rational/intelligent people of Burien have to put up with that constant threat. VOTER BEWARE, be very selective in your voting. Do not let Joey get anywhere near a council seat. It’s obvious that Steve Armstrong is the most qualified and all around best candidate for Position #7.

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