REMINDER: The City of Burien will be holding an Informational Session on its proposed Annexation of North Highline/White Center TONIGHT (Thursday, June 21) at 6 p.m. at 3.14 Bakery, located at 9602 16th Ave SW in White Center.
This meeting is free and open to the public, but due to limited seating, we suggest interested parties arrive early.
The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. on July 12 at DubSea Coffee, at 9910 8th Ave SW.
The annexation of the rest of North Highline will be on the Nov. 6 ballot, in an election where only residents of the proposed area will be able to vote.
Annexation would increase the population of Burien by about 17,300 and add 3.2 square miles to the City. Burien’s total population would increase to approximately 65,000 residents, making it the 15th largest city in Washington.
If approved, the actual annexation would likely occur in 2013.]]>

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53 replies on “REMINDER: City of Burien Annexation Informational Meeting is TONIGHT”

  1. Dear Fellow Voters;
    Please think about what you are voting on.
    Why would any reasonable person want to institute a completely
    new and additional layer of government; with additional rules, laws, and taxes;
    upon ones self?
    Please consider what will happen.
    This vote on Nov. 6, 2012, has absolutely nothing to do with
    the City of Seattle—-NOTHING!
    The vote on Nov. 6, 2012, is a requested proposal by the City of Burien
    to vote either “YES or NO” to join their city.
    Again, please consider your vote and remember if we join the City of Burien
    our property taxes, our business taxes, our utility taxes, will all go up;
    and we will be subject to a completely additional layer of government and will be responsible for all the rules and regulations which that new government will
    impose upon us.
    Please do not vote against your best interests.
    Just THINK! and vote “NO” to joining the City of Burien!
    Thank You

  2. Well said JF.
    I haven’t seen a thing that makes me think that what Burien has is better than what King County has going on over here. I’m voting NO. And I’m telling everyone I know to vote NO. I hope someone will make some flyers and/or information available in other languages for the many residents of area y that may not speak or read english very well to let them know how bad annexation would be for the area.
    Area Y Mike

  3. Ha ha! “Make some flyers in other languages to tell them to vote no” but other than getting them to vote for what you want you wouldn’t deign to look at them I bet.

    1. You bet tcb? Why you must be an ASSuming something other than the fact that I’ve been living and doing business there for over 50 years. You should try it. Ever shop there? Live there? Drive thru there?
      You should try convincing them higher taxes and more government rules are great. That’ll get them to change their minds and vote yes. Burien can then become part of Rat City. hahahaha
      Try spell check while your at it genius.
      Area Y Mike

      1. what did i spell wrong?
        Definition of DEIGN
        intransitive verb
        : to condescend reluctantly and with a strong sense of the affront to one’s superiority that is involved
        : stoop
        transitive verb
        : to condescend to give or offer
        See deign defined for English-language learners »
        See deign defined for kids »
        Examples of DEIGN

        Origin of DEIGN
        Middle English, from Anglo-French deigner, from Latin dignare, dignari, from dignus worthy — more at decent
        First Known Use: 14th century
        Related to DEIGN
        oh and…
        “Try spell check while your at it genius.”
        fixed that for you smart man

          1. Rdog.. I think you miss the entire point dog. Mike was speaking to the SUBSTANCE of the topic at hand rather than the Obfuscation TCB was engaging in and you got sucked into.. Keep your eye on the ball Dog and you are less likely to be taken in by the shell game that TCB likes to play.. His posts in general contain no substance.. Its all about attack and distract for him. Classic Rovian tactics.

  4. ug. I’m taking another break from the blog for awhile. It’s too easy to get sucked into the meaness.

    1. i know how you feel dealing with these morons and there post trying to force there views on people then you post somthing and then they try to act tuff behind there keybord in there home so keep your head up and just treat these morons like little kids becuse that how they act some times

      1. Jimmy or Lutz… Whatever anonymous name you are using now a days.. Calling people morons and accusing them of exactly what you yourself are guilty of is classic evidence of a small minded person who cannot see beyond the tip of the nose on their face..
        Just sayin…

        1. William I find your comments very funny. I guess if someone uses the named Jimmy then it must be me. By the way, looking at the voters registration for Burien, there is no William Forest. Either you are using an alias or you don’t live in Burien or you don’t vote. Whatever the case, your comments mean very little since you are not part of the discussion. You constantly try to belittle other people and accuse them of name calling while you do the exact same thing. Grow up William (or whatever your name is) and stop being a bully. People hate bullies.

          1. have the editor of this blog check the ip addresses of my post you will see you are wrong agine who ever the hell your are john mike “mr forcest” he can your ip addreses to o wait he already has and there is no mr forcest same ip as jonh p how suprising was that hmm
            nice try moron

  5. I still haven’t seen anything that proves annexation would benefit area y. Oh except a new word. Thank you for that. So tcb do you live, do business, or drive thru area y?
    Talk about meanness jimmy. Gosh, those words are hurtful. But hey, if you can convince everyone YOUR way of talking to people is the way to go, we’ll welcome you to Rat City also.
    Thats the way of the people for annexation, just knock anyone who says different. Prove it’s a good thing. State some facts about how good it’s been for area x. I have always stated my side, higher taxes, mismanagement, botched road projects followed by loosing lawsuits, the worst animal control and fewer police just to name a few things that are negatives to annexing. Still waiting.
    Area Y Mike

    1. I think you made your points quite well Mike.. Thank you
      Lutz (Jimmy) and TCB prove time and time again by their small minded off topic malevolent posts how little credibility they have. They are not interested in substantive discussion they just like to snarl and bark. They act like juvenile delinquents.

          1. Your confused Jimmy. I’m Area Y Mike, not William Forest or anyone else. Just me. Get your facts straight.

  6. I just watched the meeting in it’s entirety on Mr. Martin called Burien residents against annexation “small-minded and mean-spirited.” He also didn’t allow current Burien residents to make comments until he was pressured to do so. Mrs. Edgar addressed some very important inaccuracies in what was being presented. No straight forward answer was given and she was more or less blow off. We all deserve to have our questions answered do we not?

    1. SERIOUSLY?? Did Mike Martin really call those of us who opposed to annexation “small minded and mean spirited”??

    2. I’m afraid I was out of town at the Association of Washington CIty’s Conference and unable to attend the meeting. Where in the video was the statement that “Burien residents are small minded and mean spirited” made? If true, since I’m a Burien resident, voted against, and am opposed to the stupidity of (signing a contract and negotiating the terms afterward, $78 million capital project deficit in area Y alone, projected $1 million annual deficit for FD2, etc, etc) annexation in its present form, I’m small minded and mean spirited in Mr. Martin’s opinion. I might have to bring this up during my annual performance review of Mr. Martin if it is true.
      Also, was any mention made by Mr. Martin that due to lowered property values Burien is projected to run a deficit, (This will happen irregardless of annexation) next year and will probably have to impose a tax increase to be able to provide services at present levels?

      1. Jack In many discussions, you have supported the annexaton and talked about how we need to protect our borders of Burien from growth by the county. I understand you are going to be running for reelection in the next cycle and now your voice is kind of changing. It sound to me like you are pandering for the anti annexation vote. What happens when annexation happens and then all of those citizens have a vote. I hope whoever runs against you brings up your anti annexation stand so it can be used in their campaign. There are too many paper trails showing you are trying to play both sides of the fence and those people tend to get burned.

        1. Yes, Mr. Eddy, I have spoken in favor of annexation, ON TERMS FAVORABLE TO THE CITIZENS OF BURIEN AND THE CITIZENS OF NORTH HIGHLINE. I’ve spoken of the foolishness of the City of Burien going forward with declaring a PAA and then an annexation vote without first negotiating terms with the county, (Signing a contract and then negotiating the terms of the agreement afterwards). Here’s an example directly relevant to what I am talking about.
          In 2005 during my first term the then city manager Gary Long, (later fired), brought the subject of declaring a PAA over North Highline before the council. The majority of the council decided that the terms presented at the time were unfavorable and more time was needed to study the issue, (Shaw, Krakowiac, McGilton, and myself No, Yes were GIbb, Lamphere, and Nelson). King County, had a structural deficit of (ironically, this is before the economy tanked) $7 million to service North Highline alone. After the vote King County suddenly cranks up their lobbying department and the legislature passes the annexation incentive program.
          This is a direct example of why I am opposed to Burien giving up its bargaining leverage. Given Area Y’s social and financial challenges and $78 million capital project backlog- a literal Sword of Damocles , it would be irresponsible of me to place the citizens of Burien and North Highline in financial peril.
          So Mr. Eddy, you say I’m pandering, and by extension you are inferring that I am inconsistent. During the 2005 debate I, as a former North Highline resident, (10 yrs at S 116th and 5th S) frequently expressed my anger over how North Highline residents were being portrayed by opponents of annexation and also that Burien should use its leverage over the county to negotiate favorable terms for Burien before moving forward.
          Sounds like 7 years of saying basically the same thing is pretty consistent. If pandering means making sure that a municipality is able to deliver services to its present citizens and recognizes its responsibilities to those it may add, you’re dead on.

        2. Eddy.. I can assure you that Jack Block if he so chooses will have my support and the support of the majority of the residents of Burien.. He is one of the few members on the council who is not under the thumb of Mike Martin and makes decisions based on what is best for ALL the residents. So Kudo’s Jack. I suspect naysayers like John Eddy are part of the Mike Martin disinformation pack.

  7. Yep Mr. Eddy those AGAINST annexation are “small minded and mean spirited”. Sounds like it should be the other way around to me. Mr. Block was just speaking his mind and you attacked him. You will fit in perfectly with Mr. Martin’s dog and pony show.

    1. Mr. Block is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. Look at the videos of past council meetings and before the last election, he favored annexation. Now he is opposed. I am sick and tired of politicians who only say what the public wants to hear and will change their mind at the drop of a hat. I’ll bet when annexation happens, he will tell us all how much he supported it because then he will realize that the citizens in the new annexation will have a vote in the next election and that could change the face of the election.

      1. Eddy,
        You make annexation sound like a forgone conclusion. Why would anyone think it’s a good idea given what Mr. Block stated as well as al the negative facts presented in these responses alone? I don’t see any upside to it.
        Area Y Mike

      2. Eddy .. Would you care to state what your views on annexation are?.. just for the record.

  8. I believe Jack Block Jr. is correct in saying he has asked in the past for performance agreements from King County before proceeding with annexation. I believe he has been consistent. He is one of only a few council members who have actually asked for clarification on issues presented by staff during the annexation discussions. Joan, Brian, Rose and Jerry do not seem to be interested in discovery or using leverage to extract guarantees from the county on items severely neglected that Burien will be responsible for financially and cannot afford. Jack cites the $78 million in infrastructure costs that were never placed into the budget analysis by Berk for long term funding or business planning for the future. Even if he has supported annexation in the past, it is not unusual for a reasonable person to change their mind based upon new and substantive information which happens if someone asks the right questions. Why berate someone for withdrawing support if new information shows it is not in the best interests of citizens of either area? Frankly, that makes no sense at all.

  9. The $77 million comes from the “High” side of the Seattle financial report. This paragraph is often cited as a reason not to annex.
    The full story, provided in that very same paragraph, is that the report adds a note saying that the $77 million is a level of investment that Seattle doesn’t provide its current neighborhoods. Draw your own conclusions on that.
    Joey Martinez

    1. What’s your take Joey, does it still make sense to annex after reading Mr. Blocks comment?

    2. Joey…The 77 million is not the high end. It is the figure. This deferred maintenance figure was provided by King County. If you read the Seattle study you will see this amount is needed to bring the area to a standard somewhere between regular maintenance and disaster area. This amount then puts area Y on the list with the rest of the 600 million in backlogged projects that Seattle is having a difficult time affording in this economy as is everyone. I think you might be referring to social services that the county has had to cut back and Seattle says they also cannot afford but in an ideal world would like to increase. So their high end was higher than standard for the county but still lower than Seattle in the past. Bottom line, Berk didn’t even try to add it to the budget. This is irresponsible and probably happened because Burien, as you also just did, had a misunderstanding of what Seattle and the county were saying about the critical needs of the area Y infrastructure.

    3. All due respect to you my good friend Mr. Martinez, but in my opinion, and having been raised in a political environment, the “threat” of a Seattle annexation is a Red Herring, driven more by back door political agreements between Seattle and King County to, (and unfortunately it appears to be working) prompt the CIty of Burien to act irrationally out of fear that Seattle would annex area Y. Given the current budget and service problems faced by the City of Seattle, for any member of their council to move forward on annexation would be political suicide.
      So if annexation goes through Burien would inherit a $77 million (Sorry, I was off by a million) capital backlog for an area the size of and population 1/3 the size of present Burien. Compare this to current Burien which is 3 times the size and population of area Y, and has a capital project backlog of $56 million. It should also be obvious to anyone who has driven on Seattle streets that Burien has higher road maintenance and construction standards than Seattle, so odds are the capital construction costs will probably be higher.
      This $77 million capital backlog can be directly attributed to the failure of the county to properly maintain the infrastructure of area Y. King County currently faces a $7 million structural deficit to service area Y. Within that $7million, there is an opportunity, if Burien were to properly leverage its bargaining power, to negotiate with the county to address this capital project backlog. I feel having the County pay 50% of this backlog is a reasonable and realistic figure.
      Same goes with the Red Herring threat of Library consolidation, something easily addressed by COB by creating library only zoning restricted to the current White Center and Boulevard Park Library sites. Unfortunately, Mr. Martin has been working behind the scenes in favor of Library consolidation, and the majority of the council has been quietly going along while stating the opposite in public.. So much for your elected officials setting policy, eh.

      1. Councilman Block, I have a question for you that has always bothered me. Maybe you can shed some light.Why did Burien hire Mr. Martin in the first place? His track record was and continues to be one of dishonesty. I contacted each member of the council when he had his last problem asking that he move on. Yet here he is calling some of his employers(we residents) names in public meetings. I have always felt that he is not the person that should the face of OUR city. IMHO he is a weasel and has no place in our city government. He should be selling used cars somewhere. Thanks. Taking my soapbox and moving on……. Eaton

        1. Since this involves a personnel matter that was decided during executive session, I am legally prohibited by Washington State Law from discussing this issue publicly.

          1. I understand. I just can’t figure out how a guy like that keeps his job. It’s frustrating for me having this guy making decisions on my behalf when I cannot trust his honesty. Thanks anyway Mr. Block. You do have my support. Eaton

      2. In my comments, I stated, “Unfortunately, Mr. Martin has been working behind the scenes in favor of Library consolidation, and the majority of the council has been quietly going along while stating the opposite in public..”
        Rose Clark and I just had a conversation and she took issue with my comments. I want to note Rose and I have stood shoulder to shoulder in front of the KCLS board fighting against consolidation, and she has been consistent in her opposition. I stated and am stating again the “MAJORITY of the council……. ” Rose is not part of that majority. It should be noted that other members of the council have spoken against consolidation and then when asked to act have done nothing.

  10. Thanks, Jack and Debi for your well articulated and factual input. Unfortunately, there is too little of this kind of meaningful dialogue taking place around annexation. The people who are trying to make sense out of this are then branded “mean-spirited and small- minded.” I, too, question, why Mike Martin wields so much power and seems so determined to take the City of Burien down such a destructive path. I can only believe that being the City Manager of a city of 65,000 (15th largest in the state) increases his stature and pay accordingly. I also believe he won’t be here once the full impact of this disastrous course of action becomes fully known. Instead, he will jump ship at the first opportunity – like the Captain of the Costa.

  11. Mr Block, I can agree that the current Mayor has no plans on North Highline. There is also an election next year. I’ve had conversations with potential with others who may seek that office (and maybe they were just pandering) and they all wished to give North Highline a choice (meaning try to annex).
    Also, Nice work on delaying and leveraging back in 2007 – that got Seattle into the mix and increased the sales tax rebate. Where we differ is that I believe we have MORE leverage with a YES vote in our back pocket than with trying to negotiate in our current situation.
    Our current situation: King County has no incentive to negotiate with Burien. They instead are playing the game of “cut until we drive them away” meaning they are set to cut maintenance to most roads until they turn to gravel in North Highline. They are also cutting overtime to unincorporated areas meaning less police. Additionally, their planning is a joke and is geared to maximize permit fees.
    I feel that with a “Yes” vote in our back pocket we can better negotiate. The County will see the potential budgetary savings and be more willing to negotiate. The Council will have a very big carrot to deal with the immediate needs of North Highline. The Council could consider tabling the incorporation vote until we get what we need to make the annexation work.
    Lastly, lest people think I am “fighting” Jack…. he and I talked tonight and even shared a beer and cake (I had the beer, he had the cake). We disagree on this issue but I still had a great time talking to him tonight and consider him a friend.
    What I’m trying to say is that people can disagree and still be nice to each other. Do I agree with what Martin said at that meeting (Thanks WCN!)? No, I felt that was unneccessary and detracts from the issue.
    Joey Martinez

    1. Oh, almost forgot…
      I’ve taken a look at the Library consolidation plan and while I agree that on paper it MIGHT make fiscal sense I WHOLE-HEARTLY disagree with consolidation.
      I’ve walked both neighborhoods and they each need a library. The areas each library serve have a concentrated need. That need are the hard working, low income people and kids around each library.
      I spent the first 9 years living in East Los Angeles and can say that the local libraries made a huge difference in my life. King County has worked to concentrate poverty in those areas and now King County needs to provide for that need.
      Joey Martinez

    2. Yeah, it was good cake too. Hope you snagged a couple of Adonna’s Special K bars on the way out. Respectful issue based discussion here on the B-Town Blog. Nahhh! Good seeing you and the family tonight.

    3. Joey > I totally disagree with your logic … its upside down from reality.
      Where do you get the mathematically challenged idea that Burien will have more leverage to negotiate with a yes vote in their pocket?? To the contrary we will have fallen into the King County trap which has been to stonewall Burien on what it costs King County to maintain Area Y and puts Burien on the hook for a 10 million dollar CIP infustion to Area Y in the first two years after annexation. We don’t have that money in our budget.
      Also you use the sales tax rebate in a misleading way. First of all its based on RETAIL SALES in Area Y .. If sales are down the revenue is down.. Also what the revenue can be spent on is limited. So after paying for police and fire what is going to be left? Burien taxpayers are still going to be on the hook for storm water maintenance which will cost millions.. Area Y is much better off rejecting Buriens bid to take it over for a myriad of reasons.. Area Y via the NHUAC can negotiate directly with King County right now but when Martin takes over it will be all behind closed doors because he does not believe in transparency so a yes vote in effect puts blind faith into Mike Martin doing the right thing, which in my opinion is a huge mistake because he has proved time and time again that he cannot be trusted.
      Its fine that you agree to disagree with Jack and you consider him a friend.. The big difference between Jack and you Joey is that Jack >> unlike you is not a pandering puppet for Mike Martin. Jack has my respect and the respect of the majority of Buriens residents that voted him into office. You weren’t elected and frankly the way you seem to pretend you did makes you come off as pompous with an exaggerated sense of your self importance which does not inspire respect in anyone that has a clue about whats really happening here in Burien.

      1. William quick FYI to you, I haven’t read anything you post for a while now. I make a conscience effort to avoid your posts specifically. Not since that one comment where you trash NHUAC and in another you say they are the best around have I followed what you post. I happened to notice my name at the top and figured I should let you know. I have tried to have meaningful discussions with you but to no avail so why waste my time? Please rant away!
        Joey Martinez

      2. Just FYI, the tax revenue for the area is not enough to maintain the area and if you increase the county police costs by 3 million which was the figure Berk used and the newly discovered 1 to 2 million in fire district costs the whole 5 million is gone. Of course that is assuming any of that tax credit would go to fire which it should but probably won’t. The deficit to run the area is going to be far greater and much sooner than that predicted by Berk because of depreciation not even considering they didn’t add the infrastructure repair or stormwater management to the budget, 10 million in the first two years. They also didn’t add in reasonable social service costs, i.e., 1.2 million low end from King County compared to 100,000 predicted in Berk. There are many other items underestimated by Berk including court, incarceration, legal, etc., that are not just low end figures, they are downright way off from what the county costs are now. You will be able to see this if you read the Seattle feasibility study and note where THEY got their figures from as opposed to Berk who used best guesses on good faith from Burien staff. The reason Seattle’s report is more comprehensive than Berk’s is simply because of objectivity. Throughout the document it is apparent there is no foregone conclusion about annexation either way where in Berk it is clear there is a predisposition to make it look like it can work no matter what.

        1. Speaking of tax revenue, did you all happen to see your latest property assessment? Mine is down 40% since 2008. Any mention in the Berk report about declining property values?

        2. Thanks Mrs Wagner, you and I have also had (mostly) drama free talks! I’m all for that!
          The Fire district(s) do not qualify for this credit if I do remember correctly.They do not get any of the $5 million/year.
          Most of the fire district costs (the $1-$2 million)listed by Seattle are for station upgrades as required by the Seattle Fire Fighters Union contract.
          Additionally, the numbers addition that was made, Police $3 million + $2 million for Fire eating up the $5 million, doesn’t count the existing tax revenue brought in by North Highline (area Y). While they don’t cover all of the costs, they do cover a significant portion.
          Social Services: Those won’t change at all. They are still provided by King County. The county handles Social Services for all cities except Seattle. Nothing missing there either. The bigger Burien will increase funding to North Highline as a result of annexation (1% of general fund goes to social services.)
          The Court, incarceration, and legal costs are a concern… if only there was a way to help tackle that problem long term! 🙂
          Storm water is a concern but those are needed repairs that impact Burien’s Salmon creek ravine anyway. Those types of projects are put on the CIP (Capital Improvement Projects) and prioritized, no different than any other need.
          In short, we will have issues whether we annex North Highline or not. It is my belief that we will be better off, over the long term, joining with North Highline and tackling them together. I hope to help convince the voters in North Highline of that very belief in November!
          Joey Martinez

          1. Joey,
            It was my understanding that the fire district costs (the $1-$2 million) were for pensions for retiring older firemen. That is the way Mr. Martin explained it at the last meeting in White Center.

          2. FYI: The fire district has its own taxing authority which is restricted to property taxes only. They would receive none of the sales tax incentive funds. The deficit issues of over $1 million faced by FD2 are directly related to pension and other liabilities they would be compelled to inherit from FD11.
            It should also be noted that like the City, the Fire Districts receive no funding from the property tax exempt King County Housing Authority. Again, this is why I have said signing a contract and negotiating the terms afterwards is pure foolishness. The citizens of Burien and Area Y will be shortchanged by having to subsidize twice, (City and Fire), the property tax exempt King County Housing Authority. Since a political decision was made to put the majority of KCHA units in the greater Burien/North Highline area, I feel it is appropriate for the rest of the citizens of King County to pick up their fare share of servicing those units.
            FYI: The annexation sales tax subsidy was capped at $5 million because of Seattle’s higher sales tax revenues. Because of Burien’s lower sales tax revenue, the actual NET to Burien under the annexation sales tax incentive program for a combined Burien/Area Y would be significantly lower, only $4.5 million

          3. Mr. Block, William, Ms. Wagner, Joey or anyone,
            If the retail sales tax subsidy is based on Area Y sales, just out of curiosity, what were the retail sales taxes “collected” last year for Area Y? Based on that, what would the amount be given to Burien to spend in Area Y? I know there is a formula I’m just not good at math. All I heard in that meeting in White center was “were getting $5 Million if you annex”.
            Area Y MIke

          4. Area Y Mike, I don’t have those numbers (been a loooong day for some reason!)
            From what was explained to me by someone who does, or did, that for a living is that obtaining those exact numbers is not currently possible. The state does not separate reciepts for the unincorporated areas so any number from the state would be combined with Skyway and other King County inincorporated areas under designation “1700”
            What we now know is that the analysis of North Burien (Area X) was a very conservative in that approximation and actual tax revenue to Burien (from North Burien) has be either 50% higher or double what was expected expected (Not sure which, but let’s go with 50% since that is less.)
            I do invite that person, they know who they are, to better explain that confusing taxing situation. It took 3 tries for me to finally get it.
            Joey Martinez

  12. Thanks Joey.
    I read that Burien had collected something less than $500K for Area X. Is that correct? I heard they changed the calculation formula, but is it realistic that Area Y will have that much more in sales tax than Area X and even with the new calculation, get anywhere near the $5 million max? How much of the $5 M is Burien expecting to get each year?
    Area Y Mike

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