Jack Block Jr. declared victory late Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 4th) in his race for election to the Burien City Council.
Block, who served on the City Council from 2003 to 2007 and then made an unsuccessful bid for election to the Port of Seattle Commission, challenged first-term incumbent Councilwoman Sue Blazak for her Position 1 seat.
After WednesdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s update was posted by King County Elections (with Block at 55% and Blazak at 45%), she said of her chances to overcome his lead of almost 10 percent, Ã¢â‚¬Å“It doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t look good.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Blazak, who has served as deputy mayor for the past two years, indicated that she would call Block later in the day to congratulate him.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I want to thank the voters of Burien for their confidence in me, and I will work hard to fulfill their expectations,Ã¢â‚¬Â Block said.
With WednesdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s update, Block now has 2,413 votes (54.61%). Blazak has 1,981 votes (44.83%). There was virtually no change in the gap between them from TuesdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s initial vote.
Mayor Joan McGilton and Councilwoman Rose Clark, along with Brian Bennett, who will replace retiring long-time Councilwoman Sally Nelson, were not opposed in their election bids.
Soundly defeated was Proposition 1 on BurienÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ballot to create Transportation Benefit District No. 1, which would have funded sidewalks, curbs, bike paths and trails with a $25 motor vehicle license tab fee.
With TuesdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s update, the transportation district proposal was going down to defeat by a 76.23 percent margin (3,647 votes) to 23.77 percent (1,137 votes).
Blazak was also a leading advocate for the transportation district.
Block said he Ã¢â‚¬Å“worked hard on the campaign and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reflective of what IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll do in office.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The city, he continued, needs Ã¢â‚¬Å“to refocus energy on being more active. We need to re-energize our community. There is a growing apathy and we need to engage our citizens to become more involved.Ã¢â‚¬Â
As an example, Block noted that only one City Council race in Burien was contested this year, adding that more citizens need to run for office and work on city programs.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Without that, we wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t grow and prosper as a community,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Block also wants the city to do more to Ã¢â‚¬Å“involve all of our citizensÃ¢â‚¬Â in the community. The Nov. 1 Ã¢â‚¬Å“Day of the Dead celebration shows what can be doneÃ¢â‚¬Â to get various ethnic groups involved. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We need to do more of this.Ã¢â‚¬Â
On the question of annexation, he said the city Ã¢â‚¬Å“botched the jobÃ¢â‚¬Â when it failed to take advantage of Ã¢â‚¬Å“an excellent bargaining positionÃ¢â‚¬Â to get funding from King County for capital projects in North Highline as part of the process.
Block said he will insist on this if there is any move by Burien to annex the rest of the North Highline unincorporated area.
Blazak attributed her loss to the fact that Ã¢â‚¬Å“he sent out three mailers and I sent out one. And he had a lot more yard signs out there.Ã¢â‚¬Â [EDITOR’S NOTE: Jack Block Jr. also advertised on The B-Town Blog; Blazak did not.]
The proposition for a transportation district was defeated because Ã¢â‚¬Å“we didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t inform the public well enough,Ã¢â‚¬Â she added. I think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a great idea Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ when I talked to people they were usually pretty supportive. I hope we try again.Ã¢â‚¬Â