The Issues

October 15th, 2013

Letter to the Editor

I believe Burien’s quality of life started to decline when the Council became obsessed with annexation. It wasn’t just the loss of dollars that caused the problem, rather it was the staff time not being focused on Burien that allowed the City to slip into decline.

The Burien website contains the Seattle Financial Analysis Report of White Center. This report shows the daunting magnitude of what it would take to assimilate White Center, as well as the unmanageable tax revenue shortfall. The City Council was fully aware of the issues in this report, yet still ordered the City Manager to attempt annexation. This caused thousands of man hours to be needlessly expended in Burien’s:

  • Legal Department
  • Finance Department
  • Public Works Department
  • Planning Department

Today we are confronted by the specter of annexation and all of its problems again. In each race for the Council there is one candidate for annexation and one who wants to focus on Burien.

The candidates that are for annexation are:

  • Lauren Berkowitz
  • Rose Clark
  • Joey Martinez
  • Joan McGilton

The candidates that want to focus exclusively on Burien are:

  • Steve Armstrong
  • Jack Block Jr.
  • Nancy Tosta
  • Debi Wagner

I believe that getting Burien back on track is no more difficult than changing the composition of the Council. This change will also positively affect the City Manager search. Specifically, we will have a united Council that has a mandate to work on Burien. High performance City Manager candidates will want to work with a focused Council. With that, our new City Manager would:

  • Make Burien more desirable.
  • Help us improve our home values.
  • Collaborate with the business community, thus creating jobs.
  • Stabilize Burien's finances.

I am asking you to join me in voting for change, so that we can change the course of our City by staying focused on what counts most, Burien, the city we call home.

Dick West