April 16, 2013
Response to the Council

FORETHOUGHT

 

Opportunities

Situations like this are golden opportunities to shape a conversation. By taking the initiative, I am in motion. Momentum is a game changer. I am an opportunist in situations like this, and I hope you are too.

I want there to be absolute clarity about my intent to get this issue cleaned up. Sending the letter to Council automatically puts it in the next Council Packet, where it can be seen. Copying it to the blog allows the community to see and comment on the matter.

I forwarded the email I sent to the State Auditor's Office as part of my response to the missing legal document. The Council and the community can see more clearly what is happening. They will see:

  • Missing Court document
  • My Public Records Request
  • City's Response
  • My assertions to the State Auditor
  • My commitment to continue speaking to this matter

The City is now fully aware the Auditors are involved in this matter. The State Auditors have already arrived for the City's annual audit. Auditors do take action when they are contacted.

The action the State takes in matters like this are not punitive, rather they are corrective. This is exactly what I want. The auditors will show how the Chase house should have been dealt with. This will point the City in the direction needed to get the other houses that I am discussing with the Council cleaned up.

This also provides me an opportunity to share my hopes for a better City, with the Community.

 

 

LETTER TO THE COUNCIL

 

Dear Council Members,

I am forwarding you my letter to Jim Griggs of the Washington State Auditors Office. This document has a variety of attachments and assertions that pertain to the questions surrounding the house located at 11416 26th Ave. S. The letter was written prior to the latest information found in last night's Council Packet.

I apologize for not including the file Hoeun Tun Order Confirming Amended Plan. When you open this PDF file you will note that it bears a Judge Samuel J. Steiner's signature ordering this plan into effect on March 25, 2010. I have also included the Chapter 13 Amended plan. The pivotal passage can be found on Page 3 Section V called Secured Property Surrendered.

I believe the City Manager is correct in the assertion that the Council will have to beef up the Code Compliance Department to proactively deal with these enforcement issues that the City is facing. I believe RCW 35A.33.140 (Quarterly Report of Status) will facilitate the City being able to determine the exact cost vs price for this endeavor. Additionally, it will answer definitively what Burien's actual losses due to these houses are versus the FDIC report indicating $34,000 per house for abandoned bank repos.

Additionally. I believe the implementation of Quarterly Report of Status will fundamentally change the structure of the way Burien conducts business. Specifically:

  • Council and the public will be fully informed at each quarterly report.
  • Information will be easy to understand. Please see Mercer Island's. Page 3 is a good place to start: http://www.mercergov.org/files/AB4788.pdf .
  • Budgeting can become an ongoing endeavor instead of an every two year ordeal.
  • Projects you wish to undertake will have a higher level of success due to having all the facts before committing City funds.

Over the next six months I will be speaking to the Council on a variety of issues that confront both the City and residents. I am committed to bringing about positive change in Burien.

I believe the $200 million dollars Burien is losing in homeowners net worth annually above and beyond our surrounding municipalities is a staggering problem that effects almost every aspect of our lives. It not only shows up in our neighborhoods that are in decline, but also decimates the business community as well as crippling the City's finances.

My presentations from this point forward will show what is going on as well as a solution that is within the current capability of Burien to actually implement. While at times you may be agitated with my presentations, I would invite direct dialogue on these issues so that both sides can see each others perspective and fix the problem.

Fixing this problem will not only eliminate the $200 million dollar problem the residents are experiencing, but will actually add over 1 billion dollars to our net worth. For every 50 houses that are cleaned up the City will generate $1.7 million dollars in new revenue each year.

I believe the Council has done an extraordinary job with the BMC. It is crisp and to the point and the descriptors such as will, shall and must eliminate the ambiguity I see in many of the documents that cross my desk. What I am committed to seeing is the full implementation of the BMC and the City flourishing.

The choice before us is a $200 million dollar problem or a 1 billion dollar solution. I choose solution. What is your choice?

Dick West

 

AFTERTHOUGHT
INTENT: To share my commitment to get this issue resolved

Commitment

Commitment to positive change is a powerful place to make a stand for your beliefs. W.H. Murray in his book The Scottish Himalayan Expedition shares: “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise never have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have believed would have come his way.”

In my campaign, synchronicity like Murray shares happened throughout the months I spoke. The names of all of those who provided assistance go unnamed, because I don't have their permission to recognize them. Nonetheless, there were countless encounters that would not have been possible without my commitment to speak.

Unbeknownst to me, another speaker will emerge just before my campaign begins. She too, will make a positive difference: graffiti abatement. Her campaign also used a solution based approach.

Our paths crossed many times in the Council Chambers. Synchronicity does occur.

Perhaps it's synchronicity that you are reading this site.

 

Being in motion

Waiting impatiently for someone else to fix the problem is no substitute for commitment. The Action Tunnel tab shows how the power orientation is ineffective. Being in positive motion creates many opportunities to make a case for a better City.

Today, not tomorrow, is the time for commitment for turning your City and our Nation around.