North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: Park art snag; new officers

(North Highline Unincorporated Area Council officers from left, Vice President Christine Waldman, Treasurer Ron Johnson, Secretary Jessica Stoneback, and President Greg Duff)

By Kathy Mulady
Reporting for White Center Now

The art installation at Steve Cox Memorial Park has hit another snag – dirty dirt.

Contaminated soil near the entrance of the ball field could be stirred up by digging needed to install the artwork and may have to be removed before the project can continue, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council learned Thursday night.

More than $18,000 has been raised for the art that is the last piece needed to finish the tribute to the fallen King County Sheriff’s deputy.

Meantime, the new slate of councilmembers looked a lot like the old group. In the recent election, none of the council incumbents had a challenger, and all were easily re-elected by the 25 voters who participated — compared to 900 people who voted in the council’s first election.

Re-elected were Ray Helms, Heidi Johnson, Ron Johnson, Doug Harrell and Greg Duff.

Outgoing President Russ Pritchard complimented the council on its work ethic. “This is the most workaholic council I have ever been president of. You have accomplished more than any other council I have seen.”

Duff was elected council president, and Christine Waldman was elected vice president. Jessica Stoneback was re-elected secretary and Ron Johnson was re-elected treasurer.

Duff said he is excited to serve as president “in a year when we hope part of our area will go to Burien. It is very significant.” The annexation vote is set for August 18.

Burien City Manager Mike Martin told the council that they are meeting with various community groups to “make our intentions clear” and push forward with the annexation. Martin said they have been meeting with various community groups, which each have unique questions about what the annexation will mean.

A recent meeting with the Latino Leadership Community raised questions about business licensing and police presence, for example, he said.

Martin also gave an update on the King County Sheriff’s deputy assigned to Burien who was seriously injured in an accident while responding to a burglary call. He will be home soon, but will still need a great deal of recovery time.

The council also considered several new proposals, activities and invitations.

Ray Prentice asked for support in his effort to apply for funds to update the cinder running track at Evergreen High School to an all-weather rubberized surface. The Evergreen track is used by students, but also by members of the community to socialize, walk, jog and play.

Prentice also led the earlier effort that modernized the track at Mt. Rainier High School. The council voted to support the effort at Evergreen, but were also cautious that no funding that could possibly be used to keep the community swimming pool open would be jeopardized by the track request.

Council members also took a tough vote, following some discussion, deciding not to participate in the Burien Fourth of July parade. Some first considered the possibility if a convertible car was available.

“I have a pickup; you can ride in the back,” said Councilmember Doug Harrell.

Ultimately, because several council members are going to be out of town, that the group would be unable to participate. Brochures providing information about the council will be set out at the Emerald City Smoothie booth.

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council members will turn out for White Center Jubilee Days and the Burien Strawberry Festival on June 20 and 21.

The NHUAC usually meets the first Thursday of each month, 7 pm, North Highline Fire District HQ.


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