[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a verified resident. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The B-Town Blog, nor its staff:]

Hi Mayor & Burien City Councilmembers,

Wondering how you are reacting to the massive increase in your budget costs for tearing down the Annex building?

It is outrageous that it is $260,000 above what you were originally told (see agenda bill here). Even an increase of $50,000 was awful but this is truly embarrassing.

Embarrassing for who? You… all of you. Why? Because I’m assuming the BCC depended on the staff budget bid of $350,000 & believed it was a fixed price. Or was it? Did anyone read the fine print? Did the City Manager explain the details to you and the what ifs? Were you accurately informed about total costs? I have no idea but you surely must. That’s your responsibility and yours alone. The community relies on all of you fulfilling your responsibilities & doing your homework, especially now. Our city budget is in dire free fall, staff is being laid off and people are suffering. Now this huge increase request is blowing another hole in our strained budget. Is anyone managing this city? Is anyone paying attention to contracts and contract details?

I’m embarrassed for my city and for those of you who are supposed to be providing leadership and stewardship right now.

Now comes this second budget increase. Why? I’m wondering and the community is too. We are disappointed that we have been misled. The community believed that the agreed upon bid was $350,000. I assumed the BCC did, too. We’re all apparently wrong. Apparently only the CM & the staff who wrote the contract know the REAL costs for a tear down.

A lot of questions should be asked of your CM. A lot of questions should be asked of the budget director and the parks director. Until you are totally satisfied with the complete answers, including all details, I hope you will vote NO on this budget request increase. I’m speaking for many others in the community who feel the pain of this grievous lack of due diligence on the part of staff and the BCC.

– Sally Nelson
Former Mayor City of Burien and Councilmember

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