LETTER: ‘Annexation is not dead’


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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 Editor,

Annexation is not dead. Even though White Center voted 2 to 1 against Burien annexation, with an 84% county voter turnout (one of the highest voter turnouts in our history), the pro-annexation majority who run the Burien City Council still want to try to annex White Center again.  Here is how I know.

In the last three months, Burien signed a new garbage agreement that requires contractor CleanScapes to add “additional annexation areas” as they occur.  Some pro annexation members of the Burien City Council support a White Center petition drive to ask Burien to annex White Center without a vote of its residents. Here is what Burien voters need to know about Burien city council candidates and annexation before you vote.

Debi Wagner vs. Joan McGilton
Debi Wager has consistently stated that Burien cannot afford annexation and that annexation has shifted the city focus away from Burien neighborhoods. Joan McGilton strongly supports annexation and even supported an annexation election date that would lower White Center voter turnout. In her mind, a lower White Center voter turnout last August, instead of the larger voter turnout in November, would have increased the chance of a yes vote on annexation.

Jack Block vs. Lauren Berkowitz
Jack Block voted and campaigned against annexation. His opponent, Lauren Berkowitz stated that “the voters of White Center did not speak for the people of White Center” when we overwhelmingly rejected Burien annexation. Berkowitz believes that even with an extremely high voter turnout (84%), the voters don’t speak for the people. If she believes this about White Center, then she believes this about Burien too. In my view, Burien already has several city council members who do not respect Burien voters. You sure don’t need another one.    And only 13% of Berkowitz contributions are coming from Burien residents.  Outside forces are spending money to hold onto their pro annexation Burien city council.

Steve Armstrong vs. Joey Martinez
Steve Armstrong is against annexation due to a concern that Burien has spent three years delaying city investment to promote annexation, costing the city hundreds of thousands in staff costs. His opponent Joey Martinez strongly supports annexation. Also, voters should know that based on response times posted on Burien political web sites, Joey Martinez posted political comments during what appeared to be during work hours, while he was a public employee, thus being paid by tax payer dollars. Only 20% of Joey Martinez contributions are from Burien residents. Again, outside forces are trying to hold onto a pro annexation Burien city council.

Nancy Tosta vs. Rose Clark
Nancy Tosta has stated that she is against annexation. Even though annexation would cost Burien tax payers over $77 million in unfunded infrastructure costs, Rose Clark responded that she still supported annexation because she “has friends who live up there”.  Clark’s friends appear to be more important than Burien tax payers.

So in review;

Against Annexation:
Debi Wagner
Jack Block
Steve Armstrong
Nancy Tosta

Supports Another Annexation Attempt:
Joan McGilton
Rose Clark
Lauren Berkowitz
Joey Martinez

It’s Burien’s future. Vote accordingly.  Mail your ballot by November 5th.

– Mark Ufkes

White Center resident Mark Ufkes is a 3-year President of the White Center Chamber of Commerce, spent four years on the North Highline UAC and was an anti-third runway candidate for the Port of Seattle in 1999, because of the negative impacts it would have on our neighborhoods.

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Comments

29 Responses to “LETTER: ‘Annexation is not dead’”
  1. PropertyManager says:

    Am I the only one who finds it amusing that all of these anti-annexation candidates are putting their campaign signs in the recently annexed part of North Burien between 128th and 116th that they so badly didn’t want to annex. “I never wanted you to to be part of my city but I’m happy to litter your street corners with my advertising.” Hilarious!

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    • Lee Moyer says:

      How about an article trying to influence our voting and decrying outside influence because some candidates have support from outside the city? – Written by someone outside the city. Which means the candidates he supports have support from outside the city.

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      • For the record, this post is NOT an “article” – it’s a Letter to the Editor, and reflects the opinion of a Reader, NOT the blog.

        thanks,
        scott

      • Fedup says:

        Written by the president of the White Center Chamber of Commerce who probably has a clue about what White Center wants.

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  2. Girthman says:

    Voters in White Center voted 2 to 1 against annexation, and now it is time for voters in Burien to vote out Joan McGilton and Rose Clark, the two incumbents who promoted this ill-conceived scheme. These two have become career politicians at the expense of Burien taxpayers, and the time has come for new representation that heeds the will of their constituents.

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  3. JJ Greive says:

    Why would we listen to Mike when he is not a resident of Burien anyway? I suggest before you get you nose in the politics of our city you become a resident.

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    • Linda says:

      JJ if memory serves me correctly you were a huge advocate of annexing white center. Apparently you are still on the annexation band wagon. The attempt to annex white center cost taxpayers of Burien hundreds of thousands of dollars that could have been spent on more police. So I think I am going to listen to Mark he is doing a service to our city by making it clear if you vote for Joan or Rose you are supporting another attempt at annexation and higher taxes.

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  4. SD says:

    Thank you, Mark. Understanding each of the candidates’ position on this topic is helpful.

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  5. cj says:

    When is election anyways?

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    • Mark says:

      Vote-by-mail ballots go out Oct. 16th. Election Day is November 5 (this is the last day to

      mail in your postmarked ballot). Dial 206-296-VOTE for more info.

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  6. jimmy says:

    yeah its not dead and the lies bit**ing and complaining from the tightwads of burien that tend not to like low income people (that’s means any one that doesn’t make over 50 grand a year and agrees with them completely) and love to to put words in people mouths and pull bs on this blog and other sites to try sway votes aren’t done screwing around ether it looks like

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  7. Mark Ufkes says:

    JJ Greive (comments above) is part of the family that helped get Burien City Council member Jerry Robison elected. Jerry Robison stated at an annual Burien City Council planning retreat that his only priority as a member of the Burien City Council was to annex White Center. His ONLY priority. Robison is up for re-election in two years folks.

    To call me an outsider is really about deflecting away from the issues that are being discussed. This is a tactic that this group has used before and will use again, as they try to reassure the Burien electorate that they should continue to be in control of Burien’s future.

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  8. DJ says:

    I find it very interesting that Jack Block and Debi Wagner put their signs in North Burien with “voted against annexation” on their signs. We voted for annexation in North Highline. Why would I possibly vote for Jack or Debi when they have stated on their signs they don’t want us. People voted against the annexation in area “Y” and they can’t vote. Jack and Debi made a big mistake putting their signs in North Highline when they both would have to have a map to find where North Highline is.
    As usual, Mark Ufkes comes out with his usual rant and conspiracy theories. Mark does not even live in Burien and yet he wants to try and influence our election. If Mark is in favor of a candidate, BEWARE. Be very afraid.

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    • SD says:

      My take on it is both Jack and Debi want all potential voters to know where they stand on this issue regardless of where they live in Burien.

      Given Mark Ufkes lives in the White Center (an area Burien had an interest in annexing), I think it’s completely appropriate that he would have an interest and an opinion on this topic. Just as I’m interested and have an opinion on what’s going on in Burien’s surrounding communities.

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    • John Poitras says:

      And that is the truth Girthman.

      The point I think Mark is trying to makeis that despite all the opposition to annexation and just plain common sense fiscal responsibility three of the candidates STILL have not given up on annexation.

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    • Marty says:

      DJ I think Mark U was crystal clear in his attempt to draw the lines for what is at stake in the next election. What I am afraid of is people that attempt to blur the lines and distract folks from keeping their eye on the ball.
      I found his letter very unemotional and factual in contrast to your post which I found somewhat hysterical.

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  9. TcB says:

    This annexation thing sure fires up emotions. I wish it fired up intellect.

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  10. Brian says:

    Thanks Mark.

    Please vote for change!!

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  11. Burien Fan says:

    In the fantasy world that Mark Ufkes occupies, North Highline will be annexed by Seattle. In the real world, Seattle will NEVER annex North Highline, because voters in Seattle’s other neighborhoods won’t permit it. They are still waiting for the sidewalks that they were promised 50 years ago, and haven’t gotten yet. Among the present Seattle City Council members, only Richard Conlin lives on Ufkes’ imaginary planet.

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    • SD says:

      I’m not sure how Seattle City Council’s position on the annexation of White Center is relevant to Burien City Council candidates’ position. If Seattle doesn’t want to annex White Center, Burien should?

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  12. Pat LeMoine says:

    I put together a video of the candidates speaking on this subject, its effects, and how they think contentious issues should be dealt with in the future.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QocQOix3_LM

    If annexation isn’t an issue anymore then why was it so prominently mentioned in the recent contract with Cleanscapes, was the second thing mentioned under Scope of Work with 440 words dedicated to it.

    Two of the Candidates Joey Martinez and Lauren Berkowitz have both stated that they want to annex the White Center North Highline area.

    One of the key people on the Pro-Annexation side started her campaign to start annexation up all over again at the last Burien Council Meeting.

    The State sales tax incentive will shortly end making annexation all the more important for the Pro-Annexation side to act now despite the fact that it will not even come close to covering the costs of Annexation.

    Both Joan McGilton and Rose Clark are laying low on this subject just as they did last year on tax increases. Remember both of them voted to increase taxes on the very eve of election day after most of us had already voted even though we (citizens of North Highline Area Y) where told that Burien’s taxes were not going to go up. This is a tactic used by used car salesman known as Bait And Switch. Be assured that they will both be pro-annexation right after the election.

    Annexation is still alive and well. Since Burien citizens did not get an advisory vote on this subject this election is the best way to tell the Pro-Annexation side whether you agree with them or not.

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  13. Tom Taaffe says:

    We should thank Mark and Pat for their thoughtful and well researched presentations. And thanks again for for using your real names. Nothing builds false courage and the encourages the use of vitriol like anonymity.

    .

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    • Eaton B. Verz says:

      ” Nothing builds false courage and the encourages the use of vitriol like anonymity.”

      I couldn’t agree more!

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  14. Mark Ufkes says:

    Thank you Tom Taaffe. So well said. Excellent quote; “Nothing builds false courage and encourages the use of vitriol like anonymity” The loudest of the pro-annexation voices in Burien have been proving your quote right for several years now. I can understand why some people do not use their real name when they post, if their observations are thoughtful and informative. Unfortunately, the most caustic and hateful never use their real name.

    And speaking of being afraid; note who surely is reading this discussion but not posting – the four pro-annexation candidates. They just want annexation to go away until AFTER the election.

    From 7-8,000 Burien residents tap into the B-town Blog. If Burien voters want more information about Burien city council candidates, go to You Tube and search Pat LaMoine or Burien candidates. Pat is doing a great job using video to help keep the information flowing.

    And finally, Burien leaders spent three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in staff time, studies, printed information, community meetings, and legal review, trying to convince White Center to accept annexation. And their effort was soundly defeated. This is a municipal failure of epic proportions and distracted Burien from its own priorities. Who is responsible for this failure? The leaders who brought it to us or who will bring it to us again. Their names are listed in my letter above. Burien taxpayers should not have to solve King County’s annexation problem.

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    • Question Authority says:

      Well put, my definitive addition to all this will be my vote clearly against any and all canidates who exhale any thoughts of annexation. As someone who works for a local
      city and spends a fair amout of time in the proposed annexation area, I can assure any
      of you that from my interactions in that region I want nothing to do with that drag on society.

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      • Pat LeMoine says:

        Now now there, we are just another good working class community that has an independent streak and just don’t like it when someone tries to force something down our throats that is purely self serving and has no redeeming qualities. I like where I live.

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        • Question Authority says:

          I like Zippy’s Burgers and White Center House Pizza so there! The rest you can keep.

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