[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,
If Burien were a Nation-State, the U.N. would likely declare Burien a Failed-State: Your Leadership is allowing criminal activities to hold 50,000 Residents hostage. Burien Residents want you to encourage economic growth to fund increased Police presence to reduce crime.
An Immutable Law: Survival of the Species
People are genetically hardwired to avoid the dangerous situations found in downtown Burien. Shoppers tend to avoid:
- Drug dealers and Junkies
Gang warfare is deterring Burien shoppers, denying the City monies to fund Police.
Panhandlers are another aggressive in your face problem discouraging shoppers.
Do you believe shoppers like seeing drug dealers selling meth and heroin? How many shoppers want to be stuck by a dirty sharp?
Your Leadership routinely works on personal agendas. Residents want effective action on crime, economic development, and policing. Whose side are you on?
The 700K Dollar Question
Our Leaders lemming like behavior is leading Us to the financial cliffs. Their business as usual agenda doesnâ€™t account for major changes in income in the immediate future.
Burienâ€™s 700K dollar per year State Sales Tax Credit runs out in 2 years. We must choose to either:
- Cut services
- Grow Burien
- Cutting services will likely reduce Police presence. I see this scenario ending badly.
- Growing Burien requires the Council to focus on Burien. Your 2016 survey shows our priorities:
- 47% Want crime reduction
- 34% Want education and schools focused on
- 26% Want more police and enforcement
- 24% Want economic growth enhanced
- 14% Want sidewalks and bike lanes
- 13% Want road maintenance improved
- 11% Want traffic congestion dealt with
- 10% Want population growth addressed
- 10% Want Real estate values improved
C.A.R.E.S. and Homelessness are not mentioned. I want You to table further discussion on these topics to focus on Our priorities.
Burien as an I.S.O. 9001 Quality City
A Quality City creates safety and prosperity by meeting constituent needs.
Maslow posits that human safety is a fundamental requirement including:
- Personal security
- Financial security
- Health and well being.
Adding Police and judiciously applying code will improve Personal security. Code is the tool the City Manager uses to abate problems, making Burien safer and financially stronger.
Ending businesses activities that damage neighborhoods will increase Our personal net worth. Positive net worth is an economic driver. Shoppers returning to Burien will increase City revenues enabling more Police presence.
Health and well being will increase as on-site criminal activities in Apartment complexes are countered through the Chronic Nuisance Property Ordinance #572.
Burien has growth potential to fund additional Police. According to a recent mobility study: there is a 43% vacancy rate on City provided parking in the various business corridors.
Most vacancies are located outside 152nd Street, meaning the Council is going to have to understand the differing needs of the various commercial nodes to prosper. Each node has impediments, requiring effective action to enhance economic activities.
Quality leaders create prosperity through active problem solving. Time has arrived to fund extra Police by increasing business activity in Burien.
â€“ Dick West
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I’m not sure what gang-infested part of town Mr. West has in mind, but it’s odd that he complains about problems with panhandlers yet doesn’t think homelessness is worth discussing. Let’s just put it all on the police, huh?
In his mind Burien is the Wild, Wild West….His claims are so outlandish and exagerated. He really is trying to play on the fears of people. I have never feared for my life because of “gang warfare” on the streets of Burien. And it is easy for him to complain about homeless people and yet he offers no solution or resources! I could go on….
What’s odd in the 30 years or so I have lived in the area. I rarely seen open drug dealing I have noticed left over little baggies one time at a park and a syringe in a drainage ditch one time ( not sure if the syringe was drug related) same park different time different parts of the park. The drainage ditch runs all the way from the duwamish river baggies where on the side of the road at the other end of the park.
Now gang activity has been in burien for decades. We don’t have to many that sit on corners yelling out there gang name. But we do have ones that will dress in what color there gang affiliation is. Most are fine with each other we should glad for that. But now we have one gang in burien and one in South Park fighting with each other.
So yes we could go and hire a bunch gang experts or make a gang task force with the police and take care of this problem. For the cost to go on the tax payers or the police could ask for some help from the ATF,DEA,ice,dshs,and other agencies. To get the bad guys out and make sure the good guys are getting the assistance they need.
No need to revamp the city council with this I.s.o 9001 stuff
Dick, very well said. Leadership looks like telling the truth and that’s what you’ve done. Some people (comments above, and certain council members) insist on burying their heads deeper in order to avoid addressing the issues at hand. We have violence regularly happening around the city, and people who clearly have no regard for law and order. We need more police! CARES shouldn’t be in the top issues being addressed inn council meetings. We need to focus on growing our vibrant community!
I admire you for posting something that has been at the forefront of many of our neighbor’s and own minds. Your economic approach to the solution is not always understood by those that don’t fully grasp what the high tide does to all boats. The solution you have suggested is so simple yet even some of our readers cannot comprehend the wholistic outcome of cause and effect.
It seems clear that 47%,26%, and 24% of us surveyed respectively agree with your comments. If we continue to allow the gang related activities and drug movement through our city it will not prosper. The heart of our city on 152nd has a black eye with the activities surrounding our public library and I will no longer go by there with my family and avoid taking friends and guests through. I hope your solutions are heard and for those who didn’t see it the first time I suggest you reread.
-Thank you MR. West
Mr. West, thank you for your post and a more realistic length than some of your previous posts. On the whole I agree with you. There are many ways to easily improve Burien’s desirability. A feeling of safety can certainly help. As a senior who mostly walks or buses where I need to go and until recently always felt safe in doing so, I do not feel safe now. I do not feel safe to wait at some of the bus stops that I used to use or to be out after dark. I tend not to be bothered by the ‘homeless’ who gather at the library or the transit center because they are mostly known characters who are willing to be seen. They are like seeing the tip of an iceberg of an underworld of not so nice people who are not necessarily homeless, who live by a different set of ideas from ‘civilized society’. Each is out for their own self and no one else. There is no regard for such things as family, military service, religion or being elderly other than to use such information against a person. I see some form of law breaking almost weekly that goes unchallenged and of course know of the more serious crimes happening with more frequency. If there is no consequence for bad behavior it will only continue.
How does Burien get a handle on this? By using the examples of cities and towns across the country that have managed to improve their overall existence. We do not have to reinvent the wheel. Take a look at towns that prosper and see if we can use what has worked for them.
As for the heart of Burien, why not start with better lighting and video cameras and real consequences for unlawful acts. Consequences like a month of cleaning the steps of the library and city hall or cleaning the park rest rooms. If they can’t do a good job, then off to jail for a meaningful period of time.
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