Burien City Council rejects contract extension, increased funding for CARES

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[REPORTER’S NOTE: This story has been corrected for accuracy by deleting two earlier references to an outdated estimated cost to Burien if the city went with King County’s animal control program.]

by Ralph Nichols

If CARES – Burien’s privately run animal control program – gets any additional money to improve its services, the non-profit agency now must earn it through increased license sales and fund raising.

Those are the apparent options for CARES after Burien City Council members defeated on May 20 a proposal to increase program funding from $120,000 to $170,000 annually.

The proposal would also have extended by two years the agency’s contract with the city, which is scheduled to expire next year.

It died on a 3-3 vote with Deputy Mayor Lucy Krakowiak and Council members Jack Block Jr. and Bob Edgar voting against the motion to increase funding and extend the contract.

Mayor Brian Bennett, Councilwoman Rose Clark, and Councilman Gerald Robison voted yes.

Councilwoman Joan McGilton, who had to leave the meeting earlier in the evening, was absent when the vote was taken. No one voting for the motion later changed their vote, which would have permitted them to move for a re-vote at the next meeting.

The proposal, which previously had been put on the council’s consent agenda, was removed at the request of Block with agreement from Krakowiak and Edgar.

Block objected to spending an additional $50,000 a year for animal control when “we have people that are still losing their houses, still having trouble making ends meet.”

He said that while his dogs “are very dear to me,” he was “concerned that we’re increasing funding for pet care rather than taking care of the basic needs of our citizens.”

Block favors a self-supporting city animal control program.

Krakowiak, who said little before the council’s vote, opposes the CARES contract for a different reason. She is an advocate for the city joining King County’s regional animal control program.

Robison countered that “self-supporting animal control is just not realistic in any scenario I’ve ever seen.”

He said CARES is “a pretty good pet care model” with “some wrinkles that came up in [a recent] audit” that can be corrected with adequate funding.

CARES – the Burien Community Animal Resource and Education Society – has been the source of controversy since it was organized three years ago, and the proposal to extend its contract with the city and increase funding by $50,000 a year proved to be equally controversial.

Some citizens have criticized CARES for not providing services for feral cats.

Others have agreed with Krakowiak that Burien should contract with Regional Animal Service of King County.

The county regional animal control district, of which Burien would be a part under such a contract, includes SeaTac, North Highline, Tukwila, Skyway, Kent, Covington, Maple Valley, Black Diamond, Enumclaw and Vashon.

The county program includes an animal shelter in Kent, a veterinary clinic, and a licensing division. The county keeps licensing fee receipts, while in Burien this money goes to CARES.

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45 Responses to “Burien City Council rejects contract extension, increased funding for CARES”
  1. May says:

    Mayor Brian Bennett, Councilwoman Rose Clark, and Councilman Gerald Robison voted yes………….

    Of course they voted yes! Would you expect any different of them?

  2. Marty says:

    I question the numbers being used in this article. We really don’t know how much it would now cost to be part of the consortium.. I know Sea Tac negotiated a really good deal with King County which was less expensive than what we pay now for CARES!

    Also the $120,000 a year would now be $170,000 a year plus if this proposal had passed.

    Thank you Jack, Lucy and Bob for opposing a NO BID CONTRACT that Mike Martin was ready to hand to CARES without at least getting a current quote from King County.

    Shame on Rose, Jerry and Brian for condoning a no bid contract for a provider whose track record by any standards leaves a lot to be desired. Its part and parcel of the same cronyism we need to fix in November by voting in new council members that are not part of the old Mike Martin scratch my back and I’ll scratch your back cabal.

    • watching says:

      SeaTac negotiated their price based on the fact that their population is about half that of Burien’s. Burien isn’t going to get a “special” price from KC Animal Control. It’s going to be at least twice what CARES would cost with the added funds.

  3. Mike says:

    This is a perfect example of Robison, Clark and Bennett not caring about what the citizens of Burien say about cares doing a poor job. Voting to hand over a $50k no bid contract is down right disrespectful to their positions on the council. You council members represent the citizens of Burien. Get it thru your heads. I can’t wait until those three stooges are voted off the council and Martin is run out of Burien on a rail.

  4. Feralcat says:

    again the citizens of Burien don’t want to step up.

    No matter what the subject.

    I went to the “kick off” for Lauren and Joey.

    Did you know BOTH ARE PRO ANNEXATION????

    Well people educate yourself.

  5. Joe Wills says:

    I favor the Model for animal control that Des Moines has… Let put that to a vote to the good citizens of Burien.

  6. Maxine says:

    Did you know that Seattle City Councilmembers are planning to annex North Highline, and that they already have the Council votes lined up to do it?

    • hotrodgal says:

      Please provide links. I have not heard this and, frankly, doubt it’s true.

    • Marty says:


      Who told you that?
      I think I can guess though.

    • Sounds like scar tactics to me. Seattle had the wisdom to say no last time and nothing has changed. I don’t think after Burien has poisoned the waters of annexation and got a 2 to 1 NO vote as a result that Seattle is stupid enough to waste their time on annexation any time soon. In my neighborhood the word “annexation” makes peoples blood boil.

      • Burienite says:

        Pat, a very honest question for you: Why do you even bother posting on the BTB? You don’t live in Burien, were obviously against annexation (and I respect that), and pretty-much have nothing good to say about the City of Burien.

        So why do you feel compelled to involve yourself in what goes on in Burien?


        • As long as the subject of annexation keeps coming up I’ll keep posting on the BTB. Furthermore I have every right to express my opinion’s in an attempt to make Burien a better place because I like Burien and I want to help my neighbors. This is my duty as an American citizen and just the right thing to do. Like it or not, I’m hear to stay!

        • Marty says:


          I don’t see you complaining about people that live in Area Y and Vashon island who support your pro-annexation position. Your complaint against Pat is the same type of undemocratic underhanded tactics the NUHAC and the pro-annexation pushers used against their opposition.

          • Burienite says:


            What on heavens are you talking about?!? My “pro-annexation position…” What?!?!

            First, that’s patently false, and further, what does that have to do with the topic at hand?

  7. Flashdog says:

    YES!! Good work, Jack, Lucy, and Bob! It is very, very encouraging to see one of Mike Martin’s tricky deals go down in flames. Hopefully after November, you will have three wonderful new fellow council members who care about the people and animals of Burien to assist you in rescuing our city. In the meantime, how wonderful that such a good start has been made to rid our city of CARES!
    Incidentally, B-town Blog, your last sentence is misleading: “The county keeps licensing fee receipts, while in Burien this money goes to CARES.” Yes, if we contract with RASKC, they keep the money from licensing fees and subtract them from the amount Burien owes them for their services. SO, if CARES gets the money from licensing fees, does that mean they will likewise subtract that amount from the $120,000 they get from the city? (I know the answer to that, I just want to be sure everyone else does, too.)

    • watching says:

      Yes – the fees help make up the dollars paid to CARES. No – King County doesn’t offset their charges to cities with licensing fees.

      • Flashdog says:

        Check that again, please, Watching. I’m pretty sure you have that turned around. CARES gets $120,000 from the city PLUS whatever comes in in license fees while King County deducts licensing fee money from what a contracting city owes them. At least that was the way it worked when King County Animal Control got out from under the rule of the King County Council and became the Regional Animal Services of King County, which is more of a co-op of the cities that contract with it.

  8. PanderBear Jack says:

    King county told us exactly how much it would cost in an April meeting. $370k plus license fees.

    Right now the current cares contract costs $120k to the general fund. License fees reimburse the general fund. The proposal would have been $120k plus license fees.

    And Lucy saying little? That’s a shocker! She never speaks up for ANYTHING! The only thing more shocking would be Jackie-boy understanding the issue!

    • Marty says:

      What April meeting?

      • Mike says:

        Probably in some secret back room closed door April meeting where Martin and company told PBJ we can’t afford raskc with nothing to back it up. I haven’t heard of any meeting with king county. Why would they meet with them since martin had already made up their minds to give cares more cash and extend the contract? By all means, tell us where and who told you this martin er I mean panderer.

    • ATKMH says:

      Thanks for sharing Pander, watched that meeting also. Not much of an alternative from King County.

    • pamela says:

      The hell she(lucy) doesn’t but she is backed into a corner, with mike and the cronies THIS includes the people at cares.

      No matter how she votes she out voted AGAIN citizens of burien god ask these candidate what there position is.

      Oh Joey is PRO annexation and Lauren is too.

      As for cares i got the typical crap from any politician when I went to the “kick off” which was full of friends and family.

      I know there are other issues but from what I can tell these are the 2 most important.

      Stay informed :)))


  9. Robert Richmond says:

    I would like to applaud the city counsels’ decision to vote down the increase of funding of $50,000.00 to the CARES project. However, I noticed that it seemed convenient for the incumbent council woman, in Pos #3, to choose to leave prior to the vote and not have a chance to voice her own opinion. Why not ask for a delay in the vote, if one was needed? I intend to attend every vote that impacts the citizens of Burien. I also believe that every vote is important in order to “grow a better Burien”

    I ask for your vote on Aug 6th and Nov 5th.

    Robert L Richmond III
    Candidate Pos #3

    • Mary says:

      The good news is that she would have voted for the $50K increase Robert. She did everyone a favor by leaving and not voting which enabled the responsible council members to vote it down.

    • Joe Wills says:

      Robert Would you have voted for more funding for CARES,, do you support or this Mike Martin fish smelling org ?? The good citizens of Burien DO want change,, A real Animal Control service is s start…many voters have animals…

      • Robert Richmond says:

        @ Joe Willis,

        I would have voted NO, for 2 reasons: One from what I understand, this was a “No Bid” process?? First of all that WILL never happen under my watch!! Second, we should be looking at making Burien a self sufficient city! If we can not partner with another city or county we should have our own Animal Control Agency. One were we can take control of the budget. And give money when need be and reduce funds as needed. We should NOT be outsourcing jobs that can be done buy a citizen of Burien.

        I am asking for your vote on Aug 6th and Nov 5th, together we will “grow a better Burien”

        Robert Richmond
        Candidate Pos #3

        • Mike says:

          Robert, do you feel Mike Martin has done a good job as city manager and would you vote to keep him as city manager?

        • Flashdog says:

          Robert, first let me say that I appreciate your sincerity and your passion for Burien. Since animal control is a very big issue in this election, I hope you will take time to visit the Regional Animal Services of King County shelter in the Kent Valley. I’m sure that, if you tell them who you are and what your interest is, Gene Mueller, the shelter manager will arrange for you to have a comprehensive tour of the facility. When you see all the amazing things that RASKC does and understand how it works on a co-op system with member cities paying only for the amount of service they need, you will understand what an awful joke CARES is. I think you will immediately realize that having CARES (or some other Animal Cops wannabe) play at animal control for our city is like having your neighbor’s car crazy teenage son fix your brakes instead of taking your car to a qualified repair place.
          RASKC has served King County for more than 30 years. They take in all sorts of animals in all sorts of conditions — very young, very old, adoptable, dangerously vicious, healthy, sick, cute, and ugly. Yet their euthanasia rate is less than 14% — one of the very best in the entire country. The only animals euthanized are the ones that are truly beyond help. All others are reunited with owners or re-homed. The officers have not only completed extensive training, but have many, many years of experience. One of them served as the president of the Washington animal control officers’ organization. It would take years and many hundreds of thousands of dollars to build a similar animal control agency from the ground up. Why should we go to that vast amount of time and expense to create an animal control agency when there is such an excellent one immediately available? Contracting with RASKC is not out sourcing, it is making wise use of the city’s money by hiring the best available contractor to do a vital job for our city.

          • jim clingan says:

            RASKC quoted Burien $432,000 per year (less license fee collections) at a recent City Council meeting. Burien pays CARES $120,000 annually and collects the license fees. Total cost to Burien is approximately $60,000, as license fee collections are about $60,000. So we have the option of paying $432,000 to RASKC (less license fees) or $60,000 (net) to CARES. As a taxpayer in Burien, I appreciate the City Council’s decision to separate from King County and contract with CARES.

  10. Debbie says:

    Robert If you were elected, would you vote to deny the public access to Lake Burien?
    What a lot of people are not saying one here is that Debi, Chuck, Jack and Nancy would vote for no public access to Lake Burien. I think this needs to come out very loudly to all the citizens of Burien. We all would like to have our own private lake but that just is not how the system works.

    • Robert Richmond says:

      @ Mary,

      In my professional real estate opinion. Two things need to happen if the residents there want it privatized: First, ALL of the residents of the lake need to increase their property tax parcels. So that they all pay their proper share taxes for their property. Just like every citizen who owns property in Burien does. Second, the residents need to tell the State of Washington that “they” own that prop, and not the State. Basically put, not all residents who live on the lake or may move to the lake may want it privatized.

      I would like to see 4H/WSU take our youth to the lake for Ecological adventures without it being an issue. They could conduct algae experiments, see tad poles grow, and honestly, put a youth in charge of “reporting” to the council on their take of the condition of the lake. Make science fun and yes hope that some or all take an interest in science, which are the jobs of the future!

      So to answer your question, unless both of those two things happen I would have to vote that since they, the residents of the lake, choose to NOT own all of the lake. And that we are all citizens of the state of WA. I would vote to make it public. Now there would be obvious restrictions as to boat and motor size, fishing restrictions as well.

      But I say we remove all barriers now so we call all enjoy the lake.

      What does the incumbent think? Or should we not question our civic leaders?

      Robert L Richmond
      Candidate Pos #3

  11. Mary says:

    And just how does the system work Debbie? Please educate us as to your ignorance of the law and how the world should work according to Debbie? How does protecting the eco system of a very small lake and providing security that costs Seatac over a million dollars a year to police at Angle Lake fit into your rhetoric? There are many other areas of neglect like simple sidewalk and road maintenance where we need to allocate funds. Unless of course you are pushing Lee Moyer’s private agenda and want to rent boats and profit from ruining a very eco sensitive ,very small lake.

  12. Debbie says:

    Mary, or should I say John (we all know Mary is one of your aliases). Don’t give me your crap about you are trying to protect the environment. The Lake Burien people have been trying to keep the lake private for as long as I can remember. If you are so pro environment, maybe you should take a look at a couple of your own leaders who had a restraining order against them for cutting their neighbors tree so they could improve their view of the sound. I guess environmental concerns only work when it doesn’t bother you.
    I say we have an independent source figure out how much the lake is worth and we will sell it to the lake people. Why should the people of Burien pay a dime for a lake that they cannot even see?

    • Mary says:

      Debbie or should I say Lee Moyers doppleganger, you are out of your depth. You have no idea what you are talking about. The city of Burien pays nothing for the lake the cost is borne by the Lake Burien home owners association which are the folks that live on the lake.. Check with Brian Bennett before going off half cocked.

      Take me to your leader Debbie/Lee ?? 🙂 My leaders lol. I have no leaders. Since you are maligning people with no proof whatsoever except your hysteria. Please make a connection between views of the sound, restraining orders and Lake Burien.

      As a matter of fact I am pro–environment I find it sad you are not.

      What a tangled web you have woven Debbie. Its sad really.

  13. John Poitras says:

    Debbie or whomever you are or represent, I find your post nonsensical, nasty, hypocritical and uninformed.

    I suggest you read my post and attempt to comprehend what I wrote because you got it wrong. I said I think people should be banned from the blog if they post using someone else’s user name. NOT posting anonymously. Most blogs have user names that are password protected.

    You hypocritically state that you yourself would like to ban anyone that posts anonymously when you yourself are posting anonymously like all the other members of your cabal who are afraid to post under their real names. Apparently you are the designated attack dog flavor of the moment.
    I assume the WE you keep referring to yourself as is the sore loser, out for revenge, pro-annexation, pro-cronyism , mike martin supporters cabal that is getting desperate because they can see the writing on the wall.
    You falsely accuse me of being May who I definitely am not , Mary who I am not and William Forest who I am not. You offer as proof that people that maintain the blog can see ip addresses and apparently you have that information at your beck and call which is ludicrous even taking into account the computer illiteracy that does not understand the difference between a static ip address and a dynamic one.
    You go on to state that the blog took down several of my writings.. This is also false and only exists as reality in the twilight zone of your imagination.
    I assume the WE that you keep referring to yourself as is connected to the NHUAC who are full of nasty folks that are still fuming annexation was defeated and they were exposed for being the unrepresentative body that I and others accused them of. So I understand why they are looking for payback and maligning me is easy. Your personal attack and referring to MY Lake people reminds me of Lutz a former attack dog for the North Highline Unincorporated Council before he was banned from the blog so I suspect you are just another anonymous reincarnation of him and others that post here from that very small, uber pro-annexation, special interest group.
    As far as your insidious comment about me attacking people in wheelchairs, I have no idea what you are talking about but I suggest you provide some proof before spewing that kind of garbage.

    • John, I applaud your insightful comment. As one of those they tried to annex I saw first hand the political games the Pro-Annexation side liked to play and found the entire experience to be extremely distasteful, a microcosm of what is wrong with American politics in general.

  14. pamela says:

    FYI the cares extension is BACK ON THE TABLE because rose had to leave the meeting where it was a split so what she decides she just wants to vote on it on a whim. Ok am I just not getting some thing here. this is stinky politics.

    God please everyone get active on the annexation issue which is also back on the table and the cares extension.


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