[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:]
Dear Council Members,
Fiscally responsible people set goals to get results. Your fiscally negligent Leaders offer excuses instead of results. Turning Burien around requires installing a responsive Council Leadership.
The Choice: Crime or Economic Vitality
Meeting Community needs as detailed in Our Biennial Survey must come first. Ignoring Community requested projects impacts Burienâ€™s livability, diminishing City revenue while increasing operational costs. This cycle is making it difficult to fund adequate Public Safety. Burienâ€™s competing Council factions fail to realize funding Our priorities is priority one.
Fiscally responsible Leaders fund projects to build value. Building value creates demand that generates even more revenue. Your Leaders have not increased economic activity to fund more Police, thus Burien languishes.
Raising money is the first step in addressing Burienâ€™s crime wave. The 6.85% rate of economic expansion is currently insufficient to adequately fund Our Public Safety needs. However, doubling the retail expansion rate raises another $5 million annually in revenue to fund:
- $.5 million annually for infrastructure improvements including the Peter Western bridge replacement in 2019.
- $.7 million annually to offset expiring Annexation State Sales Tax Credit monies in 2020.
- $3.2 million annually to bring Police presence back to pre-annexation levels by 2023.
- $.6 million annually for biennial Community projects to better Burien.
Doubling annual retail activity in Burien is straightforward: bring back the 53% of Burien Residents who are not shopping in Our City due to crime and gangs. Reducing criminality is accomplished by empowering City Staff with Ordinances to address and root out the problems creating crime. This is a cost effective way of dealing with criminals.
Money: the Common Denominator
The 7 differing perspectives on the Burien City Council should be viewed as a resource, not a problem. Your Leadership oftentimes encourages dissension instead of focusing You on substantive Council action. Your differing ideas could be used to build a new constructive solution.
Burien has been neglected by this Council Leadership for years. Your unwillingness to replace them means You must Stand Forth when they fail You, the Council and the Community. Standing Forth isnâ€™t about having all the answers, itâ€™s using Your native curiosity to encourage and inspire others. Building upon each others ideas and suggestions, You can collaboratively find solution.
Itâ€™s time to replace the Mayor and Deputy Mayor with people who can inspire Council Members with differing perspectives to come together to fund projects making Burien safe and prosperous.
Burien as an I.S.O. 9001 Quality City
Two key Leadership skills are curiosity and prioritization. Itâ€™s important to pick Leaders who have these abilities to solve problems and move Burien forward. Prioritization is deciding what is most important and doing it first. Had Your Leadership prioritized they likely would have encouraged You to raise monies for Your projects. The Council Leadership has dismissed Our priorities in the past, thus the Council has achieved little.
Curiosity is the vulnerable spot of understanding what the other person is saying and doing. Our current Leadership is quite righteous in their rejection of views not their own. This path leads to polarization and infighting.
Polarization of this Council is encouraged by Your Leadership when they donâ€™t actively stop it. Polarization deflects attention from Leadership inaction. Leadership inaction is a significant reason why Burien is unsafe.
Good news, numerous Council candidates have well developed Leadership skills. They are collaborators and they are curious. Letâ€™s begin the conversation on who should lead Our City Council and why.
â€“ Dick West
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