Sunday morning (Oct. 11th) we posted a Guest Editorial by Jim Branson that scolded the City of Burien for not following its own anti-graffiti ordinance on the “Welcome to Burien” sign in Olde Burien, which still had graffiti on it since being tagged nearly three months ago:

Well, it seems like someone at the city’s been reading The B-Town Blog (shame on you!) –“ on Monday afternoon (Oct. 12th), BTB Reader Catherine Dupre alerted us that the once-tagged sign was now the recipient of a fresh coat of gray primer paint, obviously in preparation for being re-painted:

Not to toot our own horn too much, but we find the timing of this sudden anti-graffiti fixing a bit more than coincidental.

With that in mind, what else in Burien needs repairing? Please email us suggestions, or Comment below and let’s see what else we can get fixed…

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.

18 replies on “If You Want Something Done In Burien, Just Email Us – Here’s Proof…”

  1. “Not to toot our own horn too much, but we find the timing of this sudden anti-graffiti fixing a bit more than coincidental.”

    i agree! 😉

    good work guys. happy to see some governmental change/growth happen w/out a lot of political red tape bs!!

    in other news: i’m always done to help with community related issues. let me know if anything else should need painting or fixing. 🙂

  2. I appreciate all the efforts to fix our roads but where oh where was the measurement tape for the barrier and left turn from 1st to 148th? There is no way to make that turn (and I have a rather small Camry) without either hitting the divider or going over into the lane to the right.

    Help! Scary!

  3. Cool!

    Yes, kudos to the BTB for posting this story,Jim B. for the excellent write up that obviously got someone’s attention, and the city for taking action.

    The timing here was no coincidence for sure.

  4. My question is, did anybody call the City of Burien to complain about this? For a community to thrive it requires the involvement of its citizens. Citzens are the eyes and ears our city. If something is wrong, pothole, graffiti, zoning problems, etc., call the city or one of your elected officials, that’s what they’re there for. City employees can’t be everywhere, they need YOU to let them know if something is wrong.
    On the other hand, IF the city had been contacted previously AND they failed to act then the individual who failed to follow through should be taken to task.

    1. Hey Jack, you’re kidding, right? Three months and not a single employee from the city drove by, nor did one of them notice the sign had been tagged. Spoken like a true politician. It HAS to be the citizens of Burien not doing their civic duty, as opposed to city employees,(who are too busy annexing more land), doing the jobs WE taxpayers are paying them to do. Comments like this have just cost you one more vote come election day.

      1. I agree with Jack. City employees should have noticed the sign, and potholes, etc. but if citizens don’t contact the city about a problem, they are not seeking a solution, just looking for something to bitch about. If, after the contact, nothing is done, they have a legitimate bnitch.

      1. Mac and Jay,
        You’ve identified a shortcoming in how the city delivers services, the question I have for the two of you, what are YOU going to do to fix it?
        This hits a hot button for me. What has made Burien such a great place to live is that the people who live here get involved in their community. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, this type of involvement is on the wane. A good example of this is the upcoming City Council election where only one race is being contested. Are the citizens of Burien THAT happy with the way services are being delivered or is this the onset of apathy?
        Does failure to act excuse city staff failing to enforce its own ordinance? No, but it also doesn’t excuse someone who sees a problem, notices that it isn’t being fixed, and fails to take action to address it. Jim Branson taking action is exactly what I am talking about, Thank You Jim! My question for Jim is, when did you contact the city about this and how long after did you post your editorial?
        BTW, when I was on the council previously the thing that made me most angry was when citizens felt that the city failed in its job and had no other recourse but to go to a City Council meeting to deal with their problem. I felt that these issues should never have reached this point. I spent plenty of porch time, unfortunately after the fact, dealing with problems.
        Sniping feels good but doesn’t get things fixed. hope this ticks the two of you off enough to get involved.

        1. Mr. Block, I have been contacting the City about graffiti for about 8 or 10 years now. I have spoken to previous City Manager Gary Long, David Klein, Parks Director Larry Fetter, Scott Thomas, Myron Clinton, Parks Director Michael Lafreniere, Parks Director Darryl Faber, several council members, and code enforcement officer Jim Bibby. The answer is always, “Of course we’ll take care of it. It’s our job, it’s the most cost-effective course of action, and we are happy to do it.” In most cases, action never followed these words.

          There is graffiti on a sign at Seahurst Park that has been there for over a year since I first notified the parks department. When I told them about the educational signs that used to be near the restrooms, which had been vandalized for years, they finally took them down a year ago and never replaced them, giving the taggers a victory.

          When the Welcome to Burien sign was tagged in July, I submitted a picture to the B-Town Blog, in connection with some pictures of the vandalized trees in Olde Burien, I assumed someone in the city of burien might see it. I also assumed that, since the City Manager and the Mayor both live at around 165th and Maplewild and would normally drive by that sign on their way to work every day, they would be able to see a five foot sign covered in graffiti without my having to point it out to them.

          I suppose I could have reported it to code enforcement, but from first-hand experience, I have learned that Mr. Bibby only enforces the code selectively. For just one example, there is a large boat in a yard in Burien that has been there for about a decade or more. You can see it on satellite photos from the King County iMap images dating back to 2002. The boat is about 30 feet long, standing at least 20 feet high, and has not ever been worked on or restored. Mr. Bibby’s response was that this does not meet the definition of a junk vehicle. (I would point you toward the ordinance, but Burien’s web site has a broken link or the page is missing.) That is just one example of at least half a dozen instances where Mr. Bibby has chosen his own interpretation of the code, based on personal whim, as far as I can tell. From my experience, I would have no reason to expect that reporting graffiti to the code enforcement officer would ever result in any action.

          As I said previously, I just go ahead and remove graffiti in my own neighborhood to the extent that I can. From comments on this blog, and from my experience elsewhere, I know that many other citizens also remove graffiti in their neighborhoods. With all these citizens pitching in and helping, why can’t they City do what it said it would do? You can’t say it’s because of a lack of resources, time, or money, because their own ordinance states that cleaning it up quickly saves resources, time, and money. The reason they don’t do their job is because the citizens aren’t holding them accountable. My editorial to the B-Town Blog is an attempt to hold them accountable.

          1. Mr. Branson,
            This ticks me off that you received no response or insufficient follow through. I’ve had issues with code enforcement not following through too. Sounds like that ought to be the first thing I deal with if I return to the council. You’ll be hearing from me on November 4 if I win.

        2. Wow… Jack, you really want me to get “ticked off” and get involved. Your a funny little man and you don’t know the first thing about me and what I have done for this community and yet you want me to get “ticked off” and get involved. I don’t even want to spend any more energy with you on this as I clearly understand you see me only in one light.

          For all you readers please understand that this blog is also a form of community involvement. We discuss issues and the commings and goings on right here in our little community. Some may think it’s bitching and complaining, but I find it informative and involving.

  5. What tickles me about this, is the fact they passed a policy and they were in violation of said policy themselves. LOL. If you wont toot your own horns then I will do it for you!

  6. Burien City Hall makes the rules, then conveniently skirts them when it serves their purpose – always has, always will. Like ad sandwich boards: businesses are quickly warned to take them off their property because “it’s against the law in Burien!” Then, wherever you go since early in condo construction, you see sandwich boards on every corner advertising the condo sales. Not so much lately, so maybe someone else yelled about it already?

    Now, has anyone noticed what has been sooo quietly added to our ballot for November? The City of Burien (read the fine print under the headline “Transportation Benefit District #1” on page 109 of your new election pamphlet) wants us to vote FOR raising our auto license fees $25 annually so they can build sidewalks and bike paths.
    They’ve created this “transportation benefit district #1” for the state to forward those extra dollars back into Burien’s coffers.

    Why has this been so quiet? Probably (insidiously) hoping we won’t notice – no votes means it’s a hands-down shoo-in – by keeping CITY OF BURIEN away from the ballot title? Just slide it somewhere in the back of the pamphlet with a newly created district with a #1 that doesn’t associate with anything we’re familiar with?

    If you do nothing else, catch this bugger on the ballot and vote NO to TRANSPORTATION DISTRICT #1. Burien created it, we can kill it.

  7. Jack, spoken like a true politician. First it’s the citizens who are at fault by not bringing this to the city’s attention. Now it’s seems you have had issues with code enforcement, so it’s the city’s fault. Ask anyone who has had dealings with complaints with the city and you will find the same frustration. We have a city employee who wears a badge that can’t seem to do the job he has been paid to do(Jim Bibby). It’s time for him to step down or be fired and replaced with someone who has ethics and acts with professionalism. If Bibby worked in the private sector he would have been fired years ago. Only in government does this kind of incompetence go unchecked.

  8. I won’t try to defend Jack, he can do that himself. However, just expecting the city officials (or police or fire officials) to spend their time driving around looking for issues to fix is not being realistic. As citizens, we need to step up and contact the city officials to get things done (as an aside, the B-Town Blog does not qualify as a reasonable method to notify city officials of outstanding issues). After they are notified, then it is very reasonable to expect the issues to be addressed and to complain (to the city, not just to each other) if they are not addressed in a reasonable time. We need hold the city accountable, but can’t expect solutions to problems that we have not brought to their attention. If things, that we notified the city about do not get fixed, then we need to bring it to their attention again and again until it is fixed.

    Maybe it is time for some of us to get involved in improving our own neighborhood by stepping up? I know I have complained about the city and its council management for some time, but never seem to have the time to get involved for long. Take a look at the city council meetings and count the citizens who attend and/or speak. Sure seems like everyone has time to complain, but no one has time to attend a meeting, let their voice be heard, or run for office to implement change (myself included)!! If we do not like the way our city administration or council operate, but do nothing to get involved to make it change (make calls, send letters, attend council meetings, or run for office), then we really do not have much right to complain.

    Just a thought…

  9. Sadly, Jim Bibby doesn’t do his job or his homework before harassing the business owners of Burien. He has wasted a good deal of the taxpayer’s time and money arguing with me about my LEGAL business sign operated by my LEGAL business. The guy needs to retire or be fired and the City of Burien needs to become much more business friendly if they want to get out of this economic depression in one piece.

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