1st annexation leads to ‘remarkable’ efficiency, Burien City Council told, as it ponders a 2nd

Absent public comment – by design – and with only two items on the agenda, last night’s special meeting of the Burien City Council ran just an hour and a quarter. When it was said and done, the council was not officially any closer to a pursue-annexation-or-don’t decision; the only official action taken was to adjourn and to talk about it more next Monday.

Mayor Joan McGilton returned after several weeks away because of surgery. She and the council considered yet more crunched data, including rates for services now provided by special districts, and comparisons of numbers such as what the city had thought the first round of North Highline annexation might cost, vs. what it has really cost, so far.

The numbers seemed to have some councilmembers doing double-takes, particularly in regards to staffing. City Manager Mike Martin had to assure them it really was true that – aside from police – the city had only added one employee (in parks maintenance) to handle the added workload. And no, he had to insist, there is no other shoe waiting to drop, that’s it, they’re really handling it all with the existing workforce, plus that one employee. “It is nothing short of remarkable,” Martin declared.

Everything, however, was taken under advisement; no opinions were voiced or motions made. Annexation is on the agenda again next week, and this time, there will be another chance for public comment – adjacent to the actual agenda item, rather than lumped in with the rest of the public comment at the start of the meeting. And yet more information will be brought to councilmembers as they continue to ponder, including a requested primer on how the sales-tax credit – a key Legislature-approved incentive in the pursuit of annexation – works.

You can watch last night’s meeting in its entirety at your leisure – find the video archived at burienmedia.org.

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