Letter to the editor: Annexation statements in ballot pamphlet disputed
With ballots arriving in King County homes starting today, voting begins, and everything’s going to get pretty intense for the next two-plus weeks till voting ends and vote-counting starts on August 18th. We are welcoming any “letter to the editor” format comments on the election – as long as it’s an issue or position that White Center voters will be considering in this election. We start with one received from Stephen Lamphear:
Attention North Highline Annexation Voters: your voters pamphlet contains
a steamy, smelly pile of bovine fecal matter about annexation to Burien.
Here are some of the dung piles dropped by opponent Mark Ufkes:
Pile #1 — Mr. Ufkes does not live in the voting area – he is not affected
by the annexation vote. [full disclosure: I, too, do not live in the voting
area, but as a Burien resident will be affected by the vote.]
Pile #2 — The Westwood Village and White Center areas are not included in
the voting area, but I’m sure you can find a particular home in N. Burien
that is valued lower than a particular home in Westwood. So? Truth is: the
homes in unincorporated North Shorewood, Salmon Creek and Boulevard Park
(neighborhoods within the voting area) and similar to their long-time N.
Burien neighbors’ homes
Pile #3 — Mr. Ufkes has been a vocal critic of the North Highline Fire
Department. That despite the huge satisfaction level of residents. The
city of Burien does not provide fire services. All of Burien and North
Highline are served by independent Fire Districts — voters elect
Commissioners who set policies and standards. You will continue to be
served by Fire Commissioners you elect.
Pile #4 — Burien has no plans to hire more police officers AT THIS
TIME because it’s not necessary. Burien and North Highline share police
services provided by King County. That will continue after annexation. The
size of Burien’s police force will always depend on need.
Pile #5 — Burien has no budget deficit — in the state of Washington, all
governments are required to have balanced budgets; Burien always has. What
Burien doesn’t have is debt – it has operated as a cash basis city.
Pile #6 — If Burien decides to build a new community center with a tax, the
law requires the voters to approve any new taxes. There is no new tax on
Pile #7 — There is no such thing as a Burien downtown fire department tax for
Town Square. Town Square is a private development. No taxes have been or
will be used for this private project. There is also no massive property
tax giveaway to potential Town Square residents.
Pile #8 — There is no evidence that property values have any relationship
to your address. Property values are simply the value of your property
compared to similar properties in a similar neighborhood. Fire services are
also not related to your property value — a mansion gets the same fire
truck, the same emergency medical team, as does a modest bungalow.
An 8-year Burien City Councilmember, I live 4 blocks from the proposed
annexation area. I’m anxious to re-unite with my neighbors under one
government that promotes strong single family neighborhoods rather than the
rampant multifamily projects favored by King County and Seattle. Vote ‘YES’
Again, other “letters to the editor” are welcome – firstname.lastname@example.org is our address.
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