LETTER: Candidate for City Council shares ideas on energy & homelessness

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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:]

Hello Citizens of Burien!

My name is Robert Richmond. I would like to start a discussion on two issues. One is our energy independence and two, our homeless population. I feel these two issues although not simple can be dealt with.

There is technology available locally that will make it possible to turn our waste into power! We can adjust waste pick up contracts and set up others. We can use waste from what our hospitals through our auto industry produce and turn it into multiple forms of energy.

We will turn Burien into a utility, giving us our freedom from other power outlets. Now with those profits we can lend a “hand up” to our homeless veterans, providing shelter, security, and a sense of hopeful self worth!

Now please understand that there will be rules and regulations with working with many of the local non profits and the private sector as well.

Our environment is first and foremost a priority to me. And with an all hands on deck attitude and full focus of the City Council we can make this work! It’s my belief that with a “work for shelter” program that is on a timeline basis we can get this done. By helping those who want to help themselves our homeless veterans can get the support they deserve and need! With a real strong “work for shelter” program in place we all will benefit with a clean and productive city.

I will also be presenting a “waste tax reform” plan for our business and residential community’s as well.

Now is the time to do our part and step up and improve our city. I will be asking for your support and vote in November as I am running for a City of Burien Council Member seat this fall. Please feel free to reach out to me with any and all questions you may have.

I am on the “Take back Burien” & the “Take back Burien (Positive and Progressive)” group Facebook pages. I will respond to all questions in a timely manner. Together we can solve these two issues!

Robert L Richmond III
Candidate for Pos/ 1
[email protected]

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19 Responses to “LETTER: Candidate for City Council shares ideas on energy & homelessness”
  1. Question Authority says:

    No thanks, to build and operate such a complex facility from scratch would be cost prohibitive and the rate of return to pay it off decades long. In addition the VA needs to do it’s part for Veterans, not Burien. Your platform is a distraction from what ails Burien and your not getting my vote, sorry.

  2. Lee Moyer says:

    I like your priorities but question your unnamed technology. Most of the energy sources in our garbage are paper and plastic. Environmentally, we are better off using these resources to make more paper and plastic products. Most of our garbage is from households and some of it can be composted. Compostables can produce methane or be dried and incinerated to produce energy if you have the appropriate plant and large enough waste stream. Burien has neither.
    To be practical, waste has to be handled on a regional basis and we are making progress with our current system, we just need to make it better.
    The only energy source of significance in Burien is solar, which should be encouraged by the city as much as possible.

    • Robert Richmond says:

      Hello Lee,

      Thank you for taking the time to respond to my letter. With a private entity doing the construction in a part of town that isn’t very populated. We can house this facility. Nothing is in stone but we have spaces avail along the Des Moines Memorial drive area of Burien.
      Gasification is the future to waste collection. We need to be thinking forward when it comes to how we process our waste and produce healthy energy. I will be in the coming weeks be bringing on many non profits who fit with what I am proposing. The cost which is very important will be spread out over several non profits so that the direct city cost is minimal.
      I will be speaking at several Environmental events as the election draws closer. Maybe you can make it to one to hear the details from me?

      Robert Richmond
      Candidate Pos 1

      • Question Authority says:

        I’ll vote for candidates who support realistic efforts towards crime reduction, business growth, landlord accountability and maintaining infrastructure. I’m not really into a garbage belching smokestack in Burien with everything else needing more attention.

  3. Tom Taaffe says:

    Tell us about your background Robert, your qualifications, experience, education etc.

    • Robert Richmond says:

      Hello Tom

      I bring my two passions to this position. I’ve been finding technical people jobs as a technical recruiter for over 20 years. So I know what it takes to get jobs here. And I have been a real estate agent for over 15 years. I believe that we need people with a jobs background on the council. As a former US Marine, I feel for the hard fighting Americans who come back and suffer. We can fix our problems by doing our part. No one should sleep in the streets by choice.

      • Seahurst resident says:

        Sorry, with due respect to your qualifications and career, but a recruiter matches job seekers to job openings. That has nothing to do with creating jobs or attracting jobs to a city.

  4. Nancy Charpentier says:

    Didn’t you run a couple of years ago? I thought you were very practical, forward thinking, and creative in your approach to economic, educational and safety issues. I look forward to your helping shape actual discussion and debate centered on solutions for the many issues challenging our city.

    • Robert Richmond says:

      Hi Nancy,

      Yes I did! Thank you for remembering my name. I have grown to think about the future of our city in a big way. I will be speaking at a few environmental events soon, if you choose to hear me in person.


  5. Peter says:


    How would you have voted on the Burien Sanctuary city ordinance that declared Burien a sanctuary city?

    What percent of homeless in Burien do you think are military veterans?

    What are your ideas for reducing crime / making Burien safer?

    Thanks –

    • Robert Richmond says:

      Hi Peter,

      Thank you for questions:

      1. I believe I would have voted yes on that. Profiling someone isn’t the way to police a community. We can’t just assume that someone is doing wrong. Now if an undocumented person commits a major felony, they should be deported. Also, IF someone is undocumented and the employer is hiring someone they too should be punished.

      2. Hard to say without hard numbers, and I’m not tackling the problem based on Burien only numbers. Because the homeless come from all over the region. So if the answer is 1 it’s 1 to many. But we will work with many veteran non profits to accomplish zero Verrans sleeping on the street.

      3. To reduce crime you first have to identify the type of crimes you want to stop first. We can hire 200 officers and it won’t stop crime 100%. But i would say the short answer is jobs! If someone has a job they are most likely not out committing crimes as often as someone without a job. We can’t say all the crimes committed are because people are homeless. I don’t want to say if we fix the homeless issue we fix all crimes. It’s not gonna happen. But the short answer is jobs, giving someone a “hand up” not a hand out!

      Hopefully I have answered your questions in full. If not we can definitely continue the dialogue.

      Candidate Pos 1

      • Clean it up! says:

        Robert, Thank you for thoughtfully answering Peter’s question. I just want to reply to your 3rd point on’ the answer to crime is jobs’. I wish this were the case, but in many cases it is not.
        In my personal experience of dealing with an on going case of property vandalism, the several vandals involved are well known by the local law enforcement. These creeps do all the classic types of theft, haul it over to our property, sort it out and leave the debris for us to deal with, they steal cars, metal, electronics, collectables etc. they are of varying ages and back grounds. Some are female. Their is some evidence now that they are also venturing into identity fraud. The crazy making thing for me, is that the current laws do little to inhibit these creeps from continuing as they do. If they get caught, they are supposed to reimburse us for the damage, but I am left with the task of collecting from them. Neither the court nor law enforcement is tasked with that part of the ‘correction’. This is to say little of the cost of things like lawyers fees, higher insurance costs and having to pay for disconnecting utilities for fear of the vandals using our power, or stealing such devices. BTW – when they aren’t stealing stuff they are simply trashing anything they feel like. Guess who has to clean up after that, time and time again.
        So to get back to your point about jobs, I am all for better paying jobs, but the people I have just described are not. They seem quite ‘into’ the lives they have chosen for themselves with little reason to change. If anything, they simply move on.

        • Robert Richmond says:

          Hi there,

          Unfortunately we won’t be able to help everyone. We will only help those who want to help themselves. Which means some will fall through the cracks. But those that we help, will have most likely come from those very folks you are speaking about. Maybe/hopefully change their behavior to be more productive rather than destructive…

      • Peter says:

        Thank you for the candid reply, Robert. I appreciate it.

  6. leroy says:

    You say the short answer is jobs. Sounds good in theory. The problem is most of the homeless folks are not so much unemployed, as they are unemployable. Big difference.
    They suffer from drug and alcohol addiction and mental health issues. Which pretty much makes them unemployable. Just don’t see them getting gainfully employed

    What do you say to me, as a business owner in Burien who is getting a little tired, of being ripped off, broken into and cleaning up after these folks.

    What are you offering for us, and what is your plan to give us relief?

    • Robert Richmond says:

      Hello Leroy,

      Thank you for your question. The jobs I’m speaking about are simply put, waste collection. We first start with building housing, then like I’ve said, we will help those who choose to get help themselves! In exchange for the positions we will offer they must get help, that will be provided on site. What ever their “ail” is it will be fixed. But a “work for shelter” program is a best of both worlds idea. We will offer a “hand up” not a hand out! You come to Burien as homeless you will have a job beautifuying the city. Now this is a long term temp program. Hopefully turning a homeless person into someone you will want to hire!


      • Question Authority says:

        Your grandiose dreams do not add up at all.

        1. Build homeless housing – with what money?
        2. Nullify utility and waste contracts, how?
        3. Provide housing and jobs to any homeless, that is the job of the Salvation Army etc. Burien needs leadership, not a pipe dream.

  7. Michael says:

    Gassification? My first question would be is it methane or NG? Are you talking solid watste? Doesn’t Burien have those bases covered by City Light hydro?
    Yes, we need more than a one trick pony. What else?

    • Robert Richmond says:

      Hello Micheal,

      We are talking about several forms of energy being produced from multiple forms of waste. Think taking highline medical waste and turning it into Natural Gas, Jet Fuel, Electric. We will re work contracts to direct waste trucks. We will power our neighbors in close cities. We will make money so that we can have lower taxes overall as a city. But all good forms of energy will be produced. This can be done!


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