[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by verified resident(s). It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The B-Town Blog, nor its staff:]
Over the past 18 months I and other business owners have been troubled with a constant thought – has my business been vandalized or broken into? This is a new feeling for me, after 30 plus years of business in Burien. I can no longer let my mother, who many of you know, arrive early to sweep the sidewalk. I no longer leave our back entrance open for deliveries. I second guess myself about the alarm being set. I tell my employees to leave the doors locked until we open and to be careful coming and going from the parking area, regardless of the time of day. My truck was broken into at 8 a.m. and I was nearly run over trying to stop the criminals. I have had to confront people trying to break into my business and even chased a person out of a neighbor’s restaurant after he walked through the employee entrance looking to steal. He terrified both women working there. Cars are stolen out of our parking lot. The church across the street was broken into. The back of our building has become a public toilet. I have two people on video trying to kick down our back entrance. I have another instance of two would-be thieves saying if they returned with a crowbar, they could probably get in. We have had the K-9 police unit on the roof of my building. I bought plywood thinking I had to board up my business. All of this in Olde Burien, the gem of our city, the town I love.
Many of you who are new to Burien may not realize that 15 years ago there was only one restaurant in Olde Burien, The Tin Room. There was no movie theater, no 909 Coffee and Wine, Classic Eats, 913, Pig Fish Café, Burien Pizzeria, Humble Vine, or Medzo Gelato. There was no Paper Delights or The Shoppe. You would not have found Frankies-Btown Bistro, Side Street Kitchen, Grand Central Bakery, Primo Osteria, Bakery Nouveau, Grand Central Bakery, Elliott Bay Brewery, Burien Fish House, El Rinconcito, Smarty Pants, Burien Press, The Point, the list goes on. These are all young businesses that have worked extremely hard to stay in business in normal times. With COVID-19 we will be fortunate not to lose many of them. We might be an old town but with an incredibly young, fragile business district. We should want success not just survival for our businesses.
Burien City Council what are you doing to make our city safer and helping our business community? I, as well as all the businesses signed below, are interested and would appreciate extremely specific answers. Do not say crime is down, Seattle used the same argument 2 years ago and look at them now. City Council you are not listening to us. Burien restaurants have been closed and instead of helping us get open and survive, your idea of help is to invite food trucks from outside of Burien to come in and operate, directly competing with who you are supposed to represent. How is that helping Burien? Most of you ran for City Council saying you wanted a safer and more business-friendly Burien. You have not delivered on the issue of crime and with that it is just one more example of how you are directly damaging our businesses. It is impossible to be a great city without great businesses, it is our soul.
Burien is lowest in officers per 1000 people in all South King County, we are lowest in cost per citizen in South King County and one of the busiest for volume of service calls in South King County. This was voiced in a public statement by our police chief and city manager.
A Seattle Times Editorial said it best on March 21, 2021:
“Council members should better recognize their fundamental duty to keep the city safe each day while building toward its worthy long-term goal of a less police-centric safety system, this means delaying further cuts to the police budget until community resources intended to take over more services are in place and ramped up.”
As of today, 95% of the businesses shown this letter agree (see below) the other 5% have not responded, not one has disagreed. It became apparent that the response would be the same regardless of how many businesses I contacted. If you are a citizen and you agree we ask that you contact Burien City Council and be relentless in demanding change before it is too late.
On behalf of all the businesses, thank you to all the citizens of Burien for allowing us the opportunity to serve you. You have kept us going through these strange times and truly show us how much you appreciate us over the years, hopefully we can continue to serve you deep into the future.
“It was disappointing and heartbreaking having to write this, to talk to fellow business owners and neighbors, to hear their frustration and events that are taking place in and around their businesses and homes daily with no help,” letter writer Danny House, owner of the Tin Room Bar & Theater, said. “Businesses are leaving, others are contemplating it. Being in businesses should not become more difficult each year, but it has in Burien. Crime being at the top of the list.
“A safe place to live and work should not be something we need to be asking for from our city council, it should be expected and delivered by our city council daily,” House added. “There is zero sense of urgency and it has become painfully obvious while talking to the businesses that our council is out of touch and have no idea about the crime or care little about it, both are equally unforgivable.”
Tin Room Bar and Tin Theater
Dan the Sausageman
Co-owner Burien Pizzeria
Merrill Gardens of Burien/Property Manager
The Maverick/Property Manager
Berkshire Hathaway, Olde Burien
Grand Central Bakery
Northwest Implants and Periodontics
909 Coffee and Wine
W. Tracy Codd, Inc. Attorney at Law
Iris & Peony
Creative Bros. Landscape
Burien Family Chiropractic
C & R Electric
Marc Gartin 152nd / Commercial Property Owner
Burien Auto Repair
Brown Management Company
Travelle Family Dentistry
Davis Dental Group
Sit n Stay Pet Sitting
Jay Lauris Jewelry
Lucky U Consignment
Pig Fish Café
Aace Auto Care
Todd Manola / Commercial Property Owner
Natural Pet Pantry
Auto Lock Doc
Frankie’s B-town Bistro
Summit Implants and Oral Surgery
Aussie Pie Company
Hi-Line Auto Repair
Sunrise Financial Services
Short Women Enterprises
Sunny Gardens Burien
Elizabeth Davis DMD
Northwest Implants and Periodontics
Jordan Pomeroy, Commercial Property Owner 152nd
Sound on Wheels
The Greek House
Emerald City Smoothie
Detail Below Retail
B & E Meats
Burien Fish House
K & J Accounting
Andy’s Handy Mart
Renascent CrossFit on 153rd
EDITOR’S NOTE: Do you have something you’d like to share with our highly engaged local Readers? If so, please email your Letter to the Editor to [email protected] and, pending review and verification that you’re a real human being, we may publish it. Letter writers must use their full names and cite sources – as well as provide an address and phone number (NOT for publication but for verification purposes).