Annexation is a complex issue. It is an issue that has been slightly divisive for Burien. When looking at the question of annexation there are many issues that must all be separately evaluated and studied. At the same time each issue affects the other. The issues include, but are not limited to, Policing, Zoning and Permitting, Land control and use, Water, Sewer, Parks, Human Services, Storm Water Management, Roads, revenues and expenditures, Capital Improvement Projects, and individual voter strength.
We can’t look at the costs and associated risks to annexation without also talking about the costs and associated risks of not annexing. We can’t talk about the risks of increasing our Policing into North Highline and the associated costs without also talking about the continuing cuts to policing with an unincorporated North Highline OR Seattle Police Department in the area. We can’t talk about the risks and costs to the Burien/Normandy Park Fire Department without also discussing the costs of losing North Highline to Seattle Fire.
There are risks to a Burien annexation. There are risks to an unincorporated North Highline. There are risks to a Seattle annexation.
I, for one, prefer to control my own future to the best of my ability. This community incorporated for that very reason. With a Burien annexation of North Highline we own and can control our own destiny instead of allowing the County or Seattle to determine our path.
As it stands now our lack of regulatory power over Seattle City Light (I am employed by City Light) allowed the utility to deteriorate. Now City Light wants to catch up. The strategic plan to do this, as presented to our Council, is going to be pricey to those Burien Residents serviced by City Light. Our “representative” in the strategic plan was the City of Shoreline. I am not arguing that we move away from SCL, simply using that as an example of what happens when others control our future.
I don’t pretend to have the answers to every issue; however, I hope to keep sharing what I’ve looked at when I chose to support annexation.
– Joey Martinez
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