LETTER: ‘The people of Burien and North Highline deserve the truth…’

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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:]

Public Information Confirms: Mark Ufkes Made False Comments

We, Liz Giba and Barbara Dobkin, are residents of White Center and were strong proponents of North Highline’s annexation to Burien. In light of the failure of the annexation vote last year, we have kept quiet about the Burien City Council races. We cannot, in good conscience, remain silent any longer.

Mark Ufkes’ recent letter published by The B-Town Blog (read it here) leads the readers to believe that Burien was involved in secret annexation meetings after the failed annexation vote of North Highline. In reality, the County’s records show that King County, Seattle, Tukwila, Burien, North Highline Fire District 11, Burien/ Normandy Park Fire District 2, and the King County Library System all met in an effort to decide on a plan for the future governance of North Highline. It did not take long before Seattle and King County decided to hold private meetings regarding the future of North Highline. The other cities (Tukwila and Burien), fire districts and library system were invited back for a closing session when Seattle and King County had completed their private meetings.

Contrary to what Mark Ufkes would have readers believe, Mike Martin, the former Burien City Manager, was the only Burien City official who attended the meetings. No sitting Burien City Council members or Burien City Council candidates attended any of the above-mentioned meetings.

We challenge Mark Ufkes to prove that the records produced by King County in response to his recent records request contain any of the quotes Ufkes attributes to Mr. Martin. We requested copies of all documents provided to Ufkes. His allegations are not supported by the records the county provided to us.

Mark Ufkes’ letter goes on to allege that we met with King County Executive Dow Constantine this past spring. According to Ufkes, we asked Executive Constantine to put pressure on Burien to move forward again with annexation of North Highline. That is a lie. No such meeting took place. However, Mark Ufkes’ deceit does not end there. He also alleges that Burien City Council Members Joan McGilton and Rose Clark knew about or encouraged such a meeting – a meeting that never took place. To set the record straight, we share a strong respect for Ms. Clark and Ms. McGilton and for the work they have done for the people of Burien. However, again contrary to what Ufkes wants people to believe, our paths do not cross often. We are not aware or part of any annexation conspiracy.

Shame on Mark Ufkes! The people of Burien and North Highline deserve the truth. Please try putting the people of our communities first for a change.

If Burien wants to build a better future, it should support people and businesses that demonstrate honesty and integrity – not those who spread half-truths and lies dressed up as “facts.” Integrity has value. Those working so hard to deceive our communities should try it, they might like it!

Barbara Dobkin and Liz Giba

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