[EDITOR’S NOTEThe following is a Letter to the Editor, written and submitted by verified resident(s). It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of South King Media, nor its staff.]

I thank The B-Town Blog for allowing me to respond to Councilmembers Moore and Garcia’s letter. My guess is, we residents must read a rebuttal letter from CM Moore and Garcia every time their vote did not pass. So be it. Please continue to post your reasoning so we can twice hear your argument; additionally, try to understand why your vote was rejected. We appreciate the dialog.

While the letter highlights the importance of upholding civil rights and the US Constitution, it fails to acknowledge the broader implications of delaying action on Ordinance 832. Please consider the following:

1. Protecting Public Safety: Delaying enforcement of the ordinance could compromise public safety by allowing unchecked camping activities in Burien. The ordinance was enacted to address legitimate concerns about public health, safety, and the use of public spaces. By prioritizing constitutional uncertainties over community safety, CM Moore and Garcia neglect the well-being of Burien residents.

2. Respect for Democratic Processes: Despite personal opposition, the ordinance was democratically approved by the council, reflecting the will of the community. By advocating for inaction based on personal disagreement, the letter undermines the democratic process and the legitimacy of elected representatives’ decisions.

3. Contractual Obligations: Burien has a contractual agreement with the KCSO for police services. Expecting law enforcement to disregard their contractual obligations based on subjective interpretations of constitutionality sets a dangerous precedent. Upholding contractual agreements is essential for maintaining trust and stability in governmental relationships.

4. Responsibility for Legal Clarity: It’s not enough to merely wait for constitutional issues to be resolved in April. As elected officials entrusted with upholding the law, there’s a responsibility to proactively seek legal clarity and address potential conflicts. Ignoring or delaying action on constitutional concerns could lead to legal challenges and further uncertainty for both the city and its residents.

5. Avoidance of Political Maneuvering: By framing the issue as purely constitutional, the letter overlooks the political dynamics at play. Public safety policies, including Ordinance 832, involve balancing constitutional rights with practical considerations and community needs. Dismissing the Sheriff’s concerns as political without engaging in substantive dialogue undermines the complexity of governance and policymaking.

6. Call for Collaboration: Rather than solely placing responsibility on the city to determine the ordinance’s constitutionality, there should be a collaborative effort between the city and the Sheriff’s office. Both parties should engage in constructive dialogue, consult legal experts, and work towards a mutually agreeable resolution that balances constitutional principles with public safety concerns.

In conclusion, while upholding constitutional principles is essential, it’s equally important to consider the broader implications of delaying action on ordinances like 832. Balancing constitutional rights with community safety requires proactive engagement, collaboration, and respect for democratic processes.

– John White

EDITOR’S NOTEDo you have an opinion you’d like to share with our highly engaged local Readers? If so, please email your Letter to the Editor to scott@southkingmedia.com and, pending review and verification that you’re a real human being, we may publish it. Letter writers must provide an address and phone number (NOT for publication but for verification purposes). Read our updated Letter to the Editor policy here.

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

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6 Comments

  1. Ensuring constitutional compliance isn’t just crucial—it’s our duty. Without it, any action is futile. Let’s prioritize solving homelessness while upholding our legal obligations. Let’s stop wasting time and energy on things that are illegal and take us away from our responsibility to all of our citizens.

  2. tl;dr; constitutional rights > law
    Our constitution is more important that whatever (unreasonable) rule the elected officials chose to put in place. If a rule conflicts with the(state) constitution then it can’t reasonably be enforced. Maybe if this was a law that had been voted on by the general population that would be slightly different (only slightly)

    1. “slightly different (only slightly)” if it had been voted on by the general population?
      Care to elaborate what you mean by that?

  3. So, in the meantime, the folks we’d be arresting — will there be any sort of recompense if the determination is that this is in fact not constitutional?

    Y’all, we do NOT want a precedent where a small number of individuals can decide one day to team up and tell the cops to start arresting citizens of a certain demographic without any sort of review process. That’s how concentration camps happen, and with the sweeping attacks against certain demographics in this country, it’s a very scary possibility.

    Keep constitutional review part of the process, for crying out loud! Those are YOUR rights.

    1. The City of Burien is within their rights.. if the homeless refuse help, refuse to move or listen to authority inside the inner city while causing an endangerment to the public & environment around them then its an absolute problem that needs to be handled immediately with intervention. (Public crisis)

      Its called boundaries (law and order)… go look at any 3rd world countries, they don’t have laws or boundaries and see how that works.. o wait you can just talk to all the immigrants that coming over in masses every year into the US and want a better life because there running away from a non-law abiding countries. But yet lets strip away our protection and civil laws for boundaries in Burien because that will???? (Make Burien lawless?)

      Is this argument really happening, where is the intelligence for creating a sustainable solution?

  4. Homelessness is a national problem. It is not new. Since the 1980’s it has grown increasingly complicated and requires a focus that a Burien camping ban, fails to address.

    Burien is beautiful, and, it has big regional problems. We need a variety of elected officials who are committed to listening and learning, in order to unravel what is knotted.

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