North Highline Unincorporated Area Council discusses getting the word out about the annexation vote
By David Whelan
Reporting for White Center Now
For last night’s meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, the main event was clearly the prospect of annexation.
The 13 members of the council and 10 audience members were updated by Burien City Manager Mike Martin on two recent votes in the Burien City Council that have brought an annexation vote closer to reality. (WCN reported on those votes back on Monday night.)
Martin anticipates that two public comment meetings will be held – probably in late March/early April — followed by a proposed election date of 8/18/09. He also reminded everyone that the City of Burien will be hosting an Annexation Open House in Boulevard Park on February 12th. Details can be found here.
The City Manager’s comments were followed by a “Council Workshop” — essentially a chance for the Council to work out how they would like to proceed with annexation and the election.
At the start, Council President Russ Pritchard emphasized that for all activities involving the election, a distinction needed to be made between “what can be done as a council and what can be done as individuals.”
Ray Helms emphasized that the August target date left only five council meetings until the election, meaning that there’s a sense of urgency to getting messages to the non-engaged members of the community and getting them to vote.
“The success of the 1st vote will carry us forward,” he said, “it will help residents get to an area where they are governed by people that care, as opposed to just being governed.”
Following Barb Peters‘ suggestion that the Key Club at Evergreen High School be engaged to distribute “fact sheets” throughout the area prior to the election, several council members suggested methods to “get the word out.” Ideas included encouraging community members to “vote with their yard signs” and aligning with the Burien City Council on strategy.
Council President Pritchard emphasized that great care needed to be taken with how these efforts were communicated, saying that there needed to be a distinction between the council “endorsing” a measure on the ballot and presenting the facts of a long investigation.
The council ended the workshop by appointing Ray Helms as chair of the Annexation Promotion and Outreach Committee. Helms will be tasked with creating a plan to get information on the August election to the community.
City Manager Martin ended the discussion by urging members to continue their outreach efforts.
“I think there are things you can do that the City of Burien can’t,” he said. “There are actions you can take as individuals that are very powerful.”
Other items on the agenda included the selection of Christine Waldman as chair of the elections committee, an update on a monument to slain King County deputy Steve Cox, and selecting the date of the annual Strawberry Festival.
Tags: Annexation, North Highline Unincorporated Area Council
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February 6th, 2009 at 9:24 am
One quick clarification:
February 6th, 2009 at 10:45 am
Thank you very much, I have fixed.
February 18th, 2009 at 12:18 am
just another clarification:
the NHUAC did not “select the date of the annual Strawberry Festival”. The date was set by the city of Burien. Our Council’s discussion was whether to have a booth at the Festival, or not. And, we voted to do so.
Thanks for the great coverage !