LETTER: ‘As a Burien resident, I encourage the annexation of the rest of North Highline’

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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:]

After having just read a number of the blogs about pro- and con- annexation, I’m wondering why the opportunity to improve life for everyone in North Highline, including Burien, seems to remain unexamined.

Being annexed to Burien means having a local governmental venue in which to participate. It may be true that some do not want any government at all. However, when it comes to safety and services, most want a responsible local entity to whom appeals may be made and responses may be solicited.

Having a competitive position for resources also comes to mind. With tax benefits from the State of Washington, the White Center/Top Hat/Boulevard areas could have more than 2 deputies per shift and would not have to call on Burien for necessary back-up. Diminishing resources from King County for unincorporated area roads means that snow plows will be available only for main thoroughfares this coming winter.

A larger footprint for Burien would give more advantage in making grant applications and would contribute to increased tax revenue as growth proceeds.

In my opinion, the most important reason for annexation is that of strengthening our entire community. As a Burien resident, I encourage the annexation of the rest of North Highline to help build a great future for this area.

– Rachael Levine

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17 Responses to “LETTER: ‘As a Burien resident, I encourage the annexation of the rest of North Highline’”
  1. Question Authority says:

    Where do you think the cops and snowplows to share with you will appear from? With King County budget cuts we here in Burien will also be affected in one way or the other, your tax base or lack thereof will simply not justify an immediate increase in services you desire and your addition to our population will just lessen our “Burien” civic needs, wishes and wants.

  2. Mark Ufkes says:

    Rachel Levine is incorrect. Actually, the state funding was not going to add additional officers, just provide funding to replace those already funded here by the county to provide temporary funding to help Burien pay some of White Center’s bills if annexation occurred. If Ms. Levine really wants more police for White Center, then she should be promoting annexation to Seattle, as Seattle would have almost doubled the number of officers and would have provided a separate gang unit just for White Center.

    This is the same Rachel Levine, who along with Burien city council members Rose Clark, Joan McGilton and Jerry Robison, demanded that our White Center library be moved further into Burien and away from our White Center grade schools and away from our business district. The reason they tried so hard to push their selfish view, even after dozens and dozens of White Center residents and businesses advocated for the finally-approved location across the street from our Mt View Elementary school (excellent decision King County Library System Trustees!) , was that they wanted Burien to control White Center’s library in hopes that this too would promote future annexation attempts. Please Burien voters, elect some new voices on your city council who have a broader perspective. We in White Center are getting tired of the same out drone from the same old droning crowd who shout down any one who disagrees with them. Remember, the pro-annexation campaigns for McGilton, Clark, Berkowitz and Martinez are all being run by the same small group who have been running Burien politics for years.

    • Lee Moyer says:

      I haven’t seen a pro annexation campaign since the annexation election, but it sure makes a great boogey man for candidates who exploit fear and ignorance.

  3. Thanks Rachel for help proving my point that annexation is still on the table and that some have great difficulty respecting the vote of the people so let me say this as delicately as I can. No means NO.

  4. Tom says:

    Nice try Rachel….. the issue is dead.

  5. Marianne says:

    Sorry, I live in North Highline and have no desire to be annexed by Burien.

  6. Btowner says:

    I never understood why you all took the residential part of North Highline first. Should have brought in the section with business revenues. Or went all in with whole thing. Annexation is the most divisive topic in my time in Burien.

  7. othersideofthetracks says:

    Just say NO, we got corralled into annexation a few years back by uninformed folks and and I`m still pissed..*lol*
    I would much rather have remained just a part of unincorporated K.C.

  8. Wanker says:

    Oh, Annexation…. Here is a new subject.

  9. Banker Bob says:

    No annexation. Voters No means no.

  10. [NOTE: We are posting the following Comment from Rachael Levine as a courtesy since she had technical problems doing so:]

    If my opinion blog seemed to elevate me to “a small group who has been running Burien for years”, perhaps I should feel flattered. However, since Mr. Ufkas chose to reply with false accusations, these must be answered.

    Every candidate running for Burien City Council has made public safety a priority. Every candidate has publicly acknowledged that the opportunity to annex the rest of North Highline is over. In my opinion, what is needed now is a Council who will act together to implement the decisions they make on behalf of all Burien residents. In doing this, the perception of fairness to all will be paramount.

    I did speculate about how additional funding for increasing police protection might have contributed to the safety of all North Highline, including Burien. Besides talking with one of the only two deputies who serve at any one time in the unincorporated area, I also learned about staffing disparities from testimony given by Sheriff Urquart to the King County Council. Contract cities are staffed at the rate of 1.25-1.5 per thousand residents as compared with unincorporated areas at .7-.8 . per thousand. This is a significant difference, which may contribute to the disparity seen in fatalities between these areas. I am concerned about these facts.

    Yes, in the 53 years my family has lived at our same address, I have come to know some of the leaders of our community. I began by volunteering with Shirley Farley to make public kindergartens a part of the Highline School District. More recently, I came to know Joan McGilton when we went together to ask Senator Margarita Prentice for the 3mil appropriation to establish the Environmental Science Center. I came to know Rose Clark and Jerry Robison as they resisted the King County Library System’s plan to close both the White Center and Boulevard Park Libraries and build a consolidated library on property that belonged to Burien for a park.

    I did give leadership to the residents of North Highline who wanted to maintain and expand the White Center Library and maintain the Boulevard Park library as promised to voters in 2004. Our goal was to keep these libraries under the umbrella of the KCLS with its designated stream of revenue and not having to compete for municipal general funds.

    The effort to “save our libraries” began in 2009. In the bottom of my coat closet I have two cartons of this history. For the over 2000 residents who signed a petition to KCLS and those who continue to insist on public participation in the process of building the new White Center Library, it is my opinion that we kept the trust of those pioneers who saw the many benefits of having an easily accessible, vigorously supported, library.

  11. John Poitras says:

    The writer of this letter was a huge supporter of the prior attempt at annexation and used the resources of the NHUAC to promote it in support of Mike Martin who so famously said he would try it again even if it was doomed to failure. Apparently wasting hundreds of thousands of city tax dollars to push his agenda was not a problem for him.
    The same goes for Rachael Levine who does not understand the fiscal reality that the annexation of white center would bankrupt Burien unless our taxes were increased substantially . Needless to say our police protection would suffer also
    However the pro-annexation folks never let these inconvenient facts get in the way of their political agenda.
    Annexation of white center by Burien is and was a terrible idea. The net result would be a disaster for Burien. Also the fact that it was turned down two to one by the residents of white center despite all the misleading propaganda put out by the NHUAC and Mr Martins allies is not even mentioned in her letter. To the contrary the annexation of white center would fracture our city even more than is already is over this issue. We have enough on our plate taking care of all the things that need doing in Burien without taking on the huge liability of white center.

    Whether you disagree or disagree with me , you know who to vote for, as the lines have been drawn.
    As this letter illustrates quite well, annexation, as an issue, is NOT dead yet.

  12. DJ says:

    The only reason the issue is not dead is due to the fact that the Lake Burien people want it to stay alive so no one notices that they are trying to keep the issue of public access to the lake low key. As long as Annexation is in the forefront no one talks about anything else.

    • Question Authority says:

      So it has come down to this, a lake surrounded by private residences bought in a free market society or taking on a notoriously under achieving area whose costs would far outweighs it’s additional benefit to Burien. I am sorry for breaking it down to such a simple level but I would rather have a lake on the map that I will never use than an area I will never benefit from. I would like to mention for the record that I am a fan of Zippy’s Burgers, White Center Pizza and Mclendon’s so all is not lost when it comes to White”Rat City”Center. P.S. Vote for Debi, Steve, Jack and Nancy – if you live in Burien, of course.

  13. jimmy says:

    I wonder why it is all ways this one group of people that don’t like annexation it’s the same group that if you don’t completely agree with them they try to discredit you and act like your some evil no good piece of trash no matter who you are they will say thing like DO even live burien or why do hate burien or they try to connect you to groups that you have no connection to it seems to be that most of these people are from the upper class part of burien that just seem to have a plan to get what they want by using dumb tactics and money instead of honesty and votes

  14. Anti-government says:

    You will never get the White center business district and last few residents to agree on Burien or Seattle annexation. They have no regulation right now and do as they please. This is a double edged sword though. They complain when no cops show up, their fire department is drowning in budget problems, and the infrastructure is falling apart.

    What will continue to happen is cities like SeaTac and Tukwila will sneak in and take areas like Delta Marine with large tax bases. It will all come to a headway sooner rather than later.

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