King County budget woes to affect annexation battle

King County’s current budget woes will have substantial impact on a number of levels, not the least of which is the present and future of unincorporated King County, which is to say White Center. In today’s PI article on the subject the piece end with this, “To keep 39 parks open in urban unincorporated areas, Sims asked the council to maintain those parks for three years with $7.7 million currently set aside as incentives to cities that annex such areas.


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14 Responses to “King County budget woes to affect annexation battle”

  1. Well, to look on the bright side–for those who wish to remain unincorporated, this seems like good news. [Note that I don't know where I stand on this issue at this time.]

    I’ve read the flamewars on here and other places about annexation, and I really have a hard time with what is fact vs. what is exaggeration, supposition, misrepresentation, etc.

    What do folks think about setting up a Wikipedia-style page where assertions about the various annexation questions would be posted only if they can be backed up with citations from reliable sources? I think the Wikipedia example shows that even very controversial topics can bring contributors together to create something that is balanced and informative…

    -Rick

  2. I think it might be useful to readers of WCN if there was a post explaining the King Co. budget process in some detail. In short, the County Executive proposes a budget and then the King County Council goes over it and adds/subtracts/changes things before the budget is eventually adopted. http://www.kingcounty.gov/council/budget/budget_process.aspx It is a long, intense and involved process.

    Just because Ron Sims’ budget proposal includes things like removing the annexation incentive funding that doesn’t mean that will be how the final budget will end up. I think that we will see that funding put back in. Why? Take a look at King County Council’s budget page where his removal of the annexation funding is the first thing on the Council’s list that they want Sims to re-examine. http://www.kingcounty.gov/council/Budget.aspx

  3. Rick,

    Your Wiki idea is about the most refreshing suggestion that has come out of this mini-war. We can certainly host such a page — maybe collect the comments so far and put them together on one page.

  4. Ricardo,
    I have a suggestion for an annexation page. Link to factual information such as all the independent studies that have been done like those that are are on the NHUAC page http://northhighlineuac.org/governance.html

    I can also send you the independent annexation studies that were commissioned by Water District 20 and the SW Suburban Sewer District.

    By reading this information rather than a list of comments that have appeared on WCN, people will have facts. Some of the studies are a bit old, but the basic info is still valid.

  5. Another great suggestion, Alcina. We’ve got a pretty comprehensive links page but will venture to place this page more prominently.

  6. That is a great idea. I’ve also been on the fence on the annexation issue and I’ve had a hard time navigating between the facts and the fiction.

  7. Bayou, Since WCN won’t allow more than one link in a comment without the comment having to be moderated (and I’ve had such a comment waiting to be let loose by the moderator for 6 hours), I’m going to post some factual links in separate comments.

    Here’s a link to abbreviated version the annexation study that was commissioned by the SW Suburban and Val View Sewer Districts
    http://www.swssd.com/annexation-northhighline-factsheet.html

    A couple of things to keep in mind, however, is that if Seattle successfully annexes North Highline, they can choose to take over (assume) the water and sewer districts without a vote of the people. That said, Kenny Pittman, the Seattle Mayor’s office guru, has said that Seattle MAY choose to contract/franchise with SW Suburban Sewer and Water Dist. 20, but if they do that Seattle plans to raise the rates by about 10 percent. As far as I’ve been able to ascertain, there isn’t anything in writing from Seattle about this, it was only said verbally at a Seattle City Council Annexation Committee meeting and that committee no longer exists. Seattle did meet once with the SW Suburban Sewer District a couple years ago and so far has never met with Water Dist. 20.

  8. Here’s a link to the side by side comparison of sewer rates in King County as of Feb. 2008. See page 2
    http://www.swssd.com/misc-pdf/newsletter-2008-02.pdf
    As is noted SW Suburban and Val Vue Sewer Districts have among the lowest with Seattle being the highest.

  9. The annexation study that was commissioned by Water District 20 can be found on this link
    http://www.ci.burien.wa.us/commdvlpmnt/Annexation/062306WD20AnnexImpact.pdf

  10. Alcina,

    Thanks again for the links! Real hard information is very welcome on this issue.

  11. Ricardo,
    Glad to help. I’m a bit of a policy wonk and rather enjoy reading all these studies. I have links to most all the annexation related studies going back to about 2004. That would probably be more than you and your readers would want.

    Are you ever going to let my comment through that I wrote on this thread at 4:42 AM today? It still shows to be “awaiting moderation”. I’ll remember not to put more than one link in a comment in the future so the comment doesn’t end up stuck in “moderation jail”.

  12. Ricardo, et. al.,

    I’d be willing to help out with getting the wiki set up (I’m a “web computing specialist” by day). Feel free to email me at the email entered in the comment form.

    -Rick

  13. Alcina, I would invite you to sign on here as a contributor.

    From Day 1 we have extended an invitation for more contributors to come on board – and that invitation remains open. I suspect you would do a better job of explaining the budget process than I could ever attempt to, for example, though I do plan to cover all the various upcoming events (particularly the October 29th event at Steve Cox Park with the sheriff, prosecuting attorney, etc.) and am continuing to watch toplevel developments. Let us know if you’re interested, I already have a baseline how-to I can dust off!

  14. Oh, one other note.

    Re: “moderation jail.” It is absolutely imperative to keep the filter set that high. On our site WSB, for example, we get THOUSANDS of spam comments a day, laden with URLs, and the only reason that they don’t actually make it to the live pages of the site is the fact that we have the same great filter that is set on this site. And as the audience slowly grows here, so has the spam – I have been killing at least a dozen a day that don’t go straight to the spambasket. Between Ricardo, FullTilt, and me, somebody usually sees the moderation queue sooner, but I’ve been on the road (i.e. posting from car, meeting room, courthouse, etc.) more than usual this week and so have had some longer gaps.