LETTER: Councilmember Debi Wagner concedes, thanks, warns Burien residents


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[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It is their opinion only, and it does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]

Dear Neighbors, friends and residents of Burien:

My opponent in this election appears to have won the seat for Council Position #3. I am therefore, conceding the election to Jimmy Matta. Congratulations and I wish him well.

I want to thank all those who contributed to my campaign and to many great long-term residents and businesses who supported me. The volunteers who gave of their time and energy in door-belling, calling and encouraging our group of candidates are great and wonderful people who care deeply about our community and I want to thank you all very much.

I am thankful for the opportunity to have served and am very pleased at the number of accomplishments I helped achieve, many of which I had pledged in 2013. I have been able to add police officers to the Burien Police Department without raising taxes. We have finished Town Square and filled many store fronts that had stood empty since 2008. We found an effective and inexpensive road repair program that continues to preserve our roads to help deter much more costly replacement. We have operated carefully with the budget constraint and managed to build a small reserve to offset a significant pending budget deficit in 2020. I pushed for and approved of more after school sports activities for youth, re-started youth Police Explorers and passed an ordinance to help make our library and parks safer for families. I had pledged to halt the financially infeasible annexation of Area Y/White Center and with a majority of council was able to remove it from further consideration. I am most thankful I could be a part of the Quiet Skies Coalition and help stop a new flight path through the heart of Burien. I am hopeful the new council will pick up where we left off with seeking environmental justice for our community, holding the Port of Seattle and FAA accountable for the damage the airport and flight path does to our health and welfare of all citizens of Burien and continue to stand strong against the impacts of the expansion program.

Campaign smear tactics, negative Facebook postings and media stories severely damaged my reputation during this election and I want to again correct the record. I was reported to be taking direction from President Trump. This is completely false. This is a non-partisan race and I have refrained from seeking partisan support for that reason. I have been falsely reported to be a racist, anti-immigrant, white nationalist, white supremacist and nazi. Maybe people are not aware that the word Nazi is short for national socialism. I am not only anti nazi, I’m anti socialist which I consider the enemy of democracy and freedom. The underlying theory of socialism is using the power of the state to undermine and control its citizens. I am opposed to all forms of socialism including Italian Fascism, communism, Marxism, Socialist Alternative Party because their purpose is to overthrow our form of government. These fabricated ties to extreme groups were used by opponents in this election to damage my reputation making it easier for my opponent to win this seat.

This election was unlike any other in Burien’s history. Massive amounts of money poured in to support Tosta, Marx, Matta and Olguin. Nearly 100,000 dollars was collected from mainly outside sources to pay for professional campaign consultants, managers, advisors and to bring in teams of workers to doorbell, GOTV. These outside dollars helped to send numerous mailers from unions, individuals and PAC’s, helped to make professional videos and websites that included translation, brought in the power and support of volunteers from the Washington State Democrats to provide manpower to phone bank. Elected officials further orchestrated a press conference/campaign stumping in Burien under the guise of stopping hate while promoting the candidates they wanted elected in Burien. The local media and one local Facebook page “Take Back Burien” was used as a weapon against good citizens, local employees and business owners to continuously publish hit and smear pieces against them. This was a very sophisticated and professional power play to take over Burien and not just defeat opposing candidates but to also destroy their reputations. This frenzy was started by sitting council members over a vote of the people on Sanctuary City status in Burien for the sole purpose of dividing and conquering. This sent a negative message to prospective developers and will be a strong deterrent to any future candidate whose good standing in the community would be destroyed in like manner. With the small local citizen effort and modest donations primarily from local citizens, locally funded candidates never stood a chance against this powerful Democrat and union machinery. The truth is that I and my companions were never aligned with Trump and had no help or financial backing whatsoever from groups labeled as anti-immigrant. The real partisan effort was from the Democrats and Democrat leaning unions who injected themselves into this small city race for a takeover.

My hope is that in the future voters will judge the candidate not by what the opposing candidate or their supporters say about them but instead by their history in the community, skills, knowledge of the job, experience, qualifications and commitment as any potential employer would.

I strongly encourage citizens to be watchful of these things that detract from the safety of our community and budget sustainability that the newly elected council members may want to implement:

  • Homeless tent encampments in our parks and RV encampments on right of ways
  • Increased density, dramatically increasing affordable housing units (Burien already meets PSRC requirements for affordable housing units well into the future)
  • Allowing zoning to bring in a heroin injection site (SIS)
  • Reducing the police force, focus on police accountability and increasing social services as an alternate to policing
  • Building a low or no barrier homeless shelter near our Downtown Business Core
  • Annexation of White Center
  • Increasing taxes for Council Member pet projects
  • Weakening our strong stand against the Port of Seattle and FAA on new flight paths/expansion
  • Mandatory minimum wage and other union agenda items
  • Rent increase control and source of income discrimination

I hope that you will become involved if any of the above concerns you. I hope that you will get informed about the new council members and what their plans for Burien might be and hold them accountable to keep Burien safe and prosperous. Lets all work to make Burien the best city it can be.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you,

– Debi Wagner

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