[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:]
Annexation is not dead. Even though White Center voted 2 to 1 against Burien annexation, with an 84% county voter turnout (one of the highest voter turnouts in our history), the pro-annexation majority who run the Burien City Council still want to try to annex White Center again.Â Here is how I know.
In the last three months, Burien signed a new garbage agreement that requires contractor CleanScapes to add “additional annexation areas” as they occur.Â Some pro annexation members of the Burien City Council support a White Center petition drive to ask Burien to annex White Center without a vote of its residents. Here is what Burien voters need to know about Burien city council candidates and annexation before you vote.
Debi Wagner vs. Joan McGilton
Debi Wager has consistently stated that Burien cannot afford annexation and that annexation has shifted the city focus away from Burien neighborhoods. Joan McGilton strongly supports annexation and even supported an annexation election date that would lower White Center voter turnout. In her mind, a lower White Center voter turnout last August, instead of the larger voter turnout in November, would have increased the chance of a yes vote on annexation.
Jack Block vs. Lauren Berkowitz
Jack Block voted and campaigned against annexation. His opponent, Lauren Berkowitz stated that “the voters of White Center did not speak for the people of White Center” when we overwhelmingly rejected Burien annexation. Berkowitz believes that even with an extremely high voter turnout (84%), the voters don’t speak for the people. If she believes this about White Center, then she believes this about Burien too. In my view, Burien already has several city council members who do not respect Burien voters. You sure don’t need another one.Â Â Â And only 13% of Berkowitz contributions are coming from Burien residents.Â Outside forces are spending money to hold onto their pro annexation Burien city council.
Steve Armstrong vs. Joey Martinez
Steve Armstrong is against annexation due to a concern that Burien has spent three years delaying city investment to promote annexation, costing the city hundreds of thousands in staff costs. His opponent Joey Martinez strongly supports annexation. Also, voters should know that based on response times posted on Burien political web sites, Joey Martinez posted political comments during what appeared to be during work hours, while he was a public employee, thus being paid by tax payer dollars. Only 20% of Joey Martinez contributions are from Burien residents. Again, outside forces are trying to hold onto a pro annexation Burien city council.
Nancy Tosta vs. Rose Clark
Nancy Tosta has stated that she is against annexation. Even though annexation would cost Burien tax payers over $77 million in unfunded infrastructure costs, Rose Clark responded that she still supported annexation because she “has friends who live up there”.Â Clark’s friends appear to be more important than Burien tax payers.
So in review;
Supports Another Annexation Attempt:
It’s Burien’s future. Vote accordingly.Â Mail your ballot by November 5th.
– Mark Ufkes
White Center resident Mark Ufkes is a 3-year President of the White Center Chamber of Commerce, spent four years on the North Highline UAC and was an anti-third runway candidate for the Port of Seattle in 1999, because of the negative impacts it would have on our neighborhoods.
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