Marlene Allbright joins Joey Martinez and Lauren Berkowitz as candidates for one of the four seats that are up for reelection in the coming Burien City Council race. While Berkowitz registered for Seat 1, which is currently filled by Jack Block, Jr., the only sitting incumbent to confirm a run for reelection at the time, Martinez and Allbright have yet to announce the seats they intend to run for. May 13th marks the opening of Candidate Filing Week. By May 17th, the last day of filing, we will have a clear picture of who is asking for your vote in the 2013 Burien City Council race.
I am a resident of NE Burien, who was opposed to being annexed into Burien. I did not feel that the City of Burien would be able to represent me. My fears have been confirmed by the recent proposal of the current four member majority of the Burien City Council, to take away my democratic rights through dividing the City Council into wards. Their rationale for breaking apart our city is that there is a lack of geographic diversity and minority representation on the current council. It is really a blatant attempt by the current four member majority of the council to divide our city so they can maintain power.
They argue that only through breaking our city into wards can we have a diverse Council. Another rationale is that they need a council member from NE Burien, and by creating a ward system, they would have better representation on the council. I stand as a candidate before the citizens of Burien as a NE Burien resident, committed and qualified to represent all of Burien. If the four-member majority ram this measure through council they will tilt the odds of the next election in their favor and be able to continue to pursue actions, such as annexation, that are against the best interests and wishes of the citizens of Burien. The people of North Highline voted overwhelmingly against annexation by the City of Burien, and we need to let that vote stand to uphold the democratic process. We do not need to introduce Chicago style ward politics ward or Texas- style gerrymandering to Burien. (more…)
Press Release: Next Step is up to Residents
“We acknowledge the decision of the residents of the North Highline and West Hill communities to remain in unincorporated King County for the immediate future.
“King County will continue to do its best to provide services to these areas within the resources available. The mandate of the state Growth Management Act remains unchanged– that urban areas should be in cities, which are in a better position to provide urban-level services.
“It’s going to be up to the residents of these urban unincorporated areas and their adjacent cities to decide if and when an annexation vote will come up again. It is certainly in the interest of the cities to act before the sales tax relief provided by the state expires in 2015.
“I want to thank the Mayor, the City Council, and the staff of the cities of Renton and Burien for their work and cooperation throughout this lengthy process.
“In the meantime, King County’s Community Service Area staff will continue to provide support and access to unincorporated area residents and organizations.”
Well the day has come and what’s done is done. While you can check out cable news and local Seattle news for nationwide and statewide election results, we’ll be updating this article with the results of the issues that we think effect Burien voters the most.
Don’t forget, no matter what the results, we will still be neighbors and community members tomorrow.
We will update this article again after 8:15pm when King County Elections is scheduled to next release results. (more…)
In the last North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting on Nov. 1 before final ballots are cast to approve or decline annexation to Burien, City Manager Mike Martin thanked the NHUAC for their support of annexation and responded to claims being made by those against the measure.
“I wanted to acknowledge all the work that has gone into this campaign and as you know, I wouldn’t be standing here unless our council supported this, and I really applaud you for fighting the good fight,” Martin said to the NHUAC board.
“I really applaud you folks for staying to the high ground and this is a very important policy decision and as a public servant, I very much regret some of the information that is out there that some people are using to make their decision.”
Before going into anti-annexation claims, Martin said the city is internally preparing for annexation in the event that it passes, including an “extensive task list” of transition talks with King County. He said Burien hopes to move quickly with a yes vote, and annexation could be implemented by April of 2013. (more…)
The following letter was sent to Burien Daily by a group of White Center businesses owners who support the annexation of unincorporated King County by Burien.
Letter to the Editor: As responsible White Center business owners, we support annexation to Burien. Burien does not have a problem with vandalism, open alcohol, drug dealing, or prostitution in its commercial district, and we think that’s a good idea for White Center, too. Burien is in better fiscal shape than 90% of Washington cities and wants to maintain our public library and parks rather than having them closed or fall into disrepair with the county. Burien wants to maintain the uniqueness of White Center and give us an active voice in shaping the future together, including economic development and zoning.
These are real benefits for local families and businesses – not a scheme by a fiscally irresponsible city or the offer of a low bidder as portrayed in a recent Seattle Times Op-Ed piece by Mark Ufkes, president of the White Center Chamber of Commerce, and Don Malo, president of Independent White Center (IWC) PAC. To quell the concerns of those anxious about the soundness of Burien’s fiscal calculations, our state legislators have even pledged to endorse legislation for a safety net for the annexation if and when one is ever needed. In reality, White Center is not independent now – its services and future are dictated by King County policies and we share one county representative with 200,000 others. With Burien, we will have 7 representatives and much better coordinated services. (more…)
The following letter was sent to Burien Daily by North Highline resident, Barbara Dobkin on November 2, 2012.
Volunteers have been walking their neighborhoods and talking to residents about the benefits of annexation. Factual information about the annexation of North Highline has been provided at several community forums sponsored by the City of Burien, details of which are available on Burien’s website at http://www.burienwa.gov/index.aspx?NID=321.
The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council (NHUAC) sponsored an Annexation Information Forum on October 4, which was covered by WhiteCenterNow and can be viewed by following the link on the NHUAC website northhighlineuac.org.
Understandably, questions still persist about what is one of the most important decisions that will impact the North Highline Community. (more…)
The following letter was sent to Burien Daily by Burien resident, Debi Wagner.
Neighbors and Voters of Area Y/North Highline/White Center there is no law that requires us to annex to a city. No one in King County or in Washington State government claims that such a law exists. Additionally, the King County Library Board has never stated that the White Center and Boulevard Libraries will be closed if we don’t annex to Burien. Both of these libraries are currently in the City of Burien and are not part of this annexation vote.
Independent White Center PAC is registered with Washington State and is a group of concerned citizens from Area Y/North Highline/White Center, Seattle and Burien. We are not just a few wealthy land owners in North Highline; we are many of your friends and neighbors. When surveyed, most Area Y residents/we stated that we wanted to remain independent and not annexed to any city. (more…)
The following letter was sent to Burien Daily by unincorporated King County resident Pat LaMoine on October 25, 2012.
Hi I’m Pat LeMoine and I am against being annexed by the city of Burien.
What helped solidify my opinion are the dozen or so newly annexed Burien residents of Area X that I have talked to. I have heard complaints ranging from higher taxes, no improvements in services, to a city hall hostile to its own citizens. A recent favorite of mine was walking into a local beauty salon to let the owner know about changes she will have to make to her signage under Burien Municipal Code if annexed. As the owner gazed in perplexed astonishment I notice a waiting customer whose eyes began to light with fire “YOU DO NOT WANT TO JOIN BURIEN!” She exclaimed then with blood boiling she went on to talk about all the taxes http://www.burienwa.gov/DocumentView.aspx?DID=1118 that she now has to pay as a result of being annexed to Burien. She reminded me of Kathy Parker who under oath testified before the Boundary Review Board on 1/9/12 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9zn2lOyJpg (51 minutes in) and presented the board with a petition signed by 2000 residents of the newly annexed Area X who where so unhappy that they wanted to leave Burien. Keep in mind that only 1,380 voted for annexation from a population of over 14,000. At that same meeting I estimate 80% of the audience where residents of Burien warning the rest of us not to join. (more…)