From the annexation-coverage file: Opinion piece in Crosscut

Jordan Royer – former Seattle City Council candidate and son of former Seattle mayor Charlie Royer — has an opinion essay at Crosscut today, titled “Why White Center and Seattle need each other.” See it here. Meantime, the next scheduled event in the process to determine whether there will be an annexation vote for White Center, Top Hat, Boulevard Park, etc., this year, is a week from tomorrow – the Seattle council’s Regional Development and Sustainability Committee meeting, 2 pm Friday, Feb. 19.


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28 Responses to “From the annexation-coverage file: Opinion piece in Crosscut”

  1. Gotta Love all the articles of opinions where WC, BP, and TH should annex from all the people who do not live in the community! Lots of opinions floating around lately. Very interesting.

  2. I loved the article. Beyond taxes, I do not understand the position of no annexation. More than a tax increase, I’m afraid of the fact that when I call 911 for police or fire I’m put on hold for five minutes while my neighbor’s kitchen goes up in flames because they need to figure out what jurisdiction we’re in. Plus, if not overnight in this community, there would still be better access to Seattle resources such as: community centers, pools, libraries, activity centers, schools, money, increased property values. Burien doesn’t want what’s left of us, and I can’t imagine they have the resources or incentive to provide for our most basic of needs because they don’t have the means.

  3. I just finished reading Kathy Keenes letter which was a response to a recent Seattle Times editorial supporting Seattle’s effort to annex North Highline. After reading it I felt compelled to post a detailed response. So I will start from the top and work to the bottom.

    In her letter she speaks to the great benefits provided by small government. What she doesn’t talk about is the effort it will take to become involved. So folks, clear your calendar because you would not only need to attend City Council meetings but you will also need to attend Fire Commissioner meetings and Water District meetings. You will also need to attend King County Council meetings to have a direct influence on your Police and Libraries. King County council meetings are held downtown . However, since you’ll be downtown influencing your government anyways you may as well only go to one Seattle City Council meeting and cover all of the above. This gets better though, if that trip is still to difficult to make, each neighborhood in Seattle is distinct and has it’s own identity. As such, each neighborhood in Seattle has it’s own area council that has direct access to Seattle City leaders. Small government in North Highline has achieved very little besides closed pools, outrageous Fire Chief Salaries and Fire Commissioners that can’t even listen to citizens in regards to such small issues as when they choose to hold their Commissioner meetings. Burien leaders also chose not to listen to it’s current residents when they were strongly opposed to the initial annexation.

    I’m exactly sure why Kathy Keene addresses libraries because there are no libraries in the Seattle proposed annexation area. Enough said.

    Lets address water supplies. Seattle water is currently supplied by Seattle Public Utilities, (SPU), which is owned and operated by the City of Seattle. SPU currently provides a full 2/3’s of King County water. All of this water is supplied from the Cedar and Tolt River Watersheds. The Cedar River Watershed alone is 90,000 acres. The Cedar River Water Shed is a leader in old growth forest and wildlife habitat preservation. I would encourage all of you to visit the Cedar River Watershed visitor centers and see for yourself its remarkable conservation efforts and to also learn where your water comes from. SPU is also a leader in water conservation. SPU’s current usage is equal to that of the 1960’s even with a 35% increase in population. Water Districts 20 current water supply comes from the Cedar River Water Shed which is owned and operated by the City Of Seattle. I find it interesting that Kathy Keene, Water District 20 commissioner would so strongly criticize SPU. In fact North Highline residents would see an immediate drop in their rates if they were annexed by Seattle. This is due to fact that SPU charges higher rates to those not inside city limits. I won’t even address the scandal that Water District 20 and North Highline Fire District were recently involved in with Russ Pritchard. By the Seattle City Light is no less impressive.

    Moving on to public safety. Small government has ran current fire protection into the ground. North Highline Fire District is on the brink of going broke, thanks small government. However, I will still focus on the difference between North Highline being protected by North Highline/Burien Fire Department and how it would be if North Highline were to be annexed by Seattle. I will preface all of this with the fact that firefighters and police officers did the absolute best with the resources made available. You can ask any number of Chiefs and what they would all agree that they can always use more firefighters or police officers. First lets break down what North Highline/Burien Fire Department and Seattle Fire Departments current response is for a simple house fire.

    North Highline/Burien Fire

    4 Fire Engines, 1 Battalion Chief, 1 Medic Unit

    Seattle Fire Department

    5 Fire Engines, 2 Ladder Trucks, 2 Battalion Chiefs, 1 Medic Unit, 1 Aid Car, 1 Air Truck, 1 Deputy Chief, 1 Safety Chief, 1 Staff Car, 1 Fire Investigator

    As you can plainly see, Seattle Fire Department currently provides resources that are head and shoulder above what North Highline/Burien Fire Department can currently provide. In fact North Highline/Burien Fire Department current second alarm response is barely equal to that of Seattle Fire Departments intial response. Police protection is no different. King County Sheriffs Office which currently provide services to North Highline and Burien have 689 sworn police officers as of today. Seattle Police Department which covers 1/3 of what King County covers has 1250 sworn officers, close to twice as many as King County Sheriffs office.

    Moving onto the taxes that Kathy Keene spoke about , which is of course an issue to all of us. Burien is a city that has what is called junior taxing districts,. Those junior taxing districts provide many of the basic services a city needs. For example, fire protection and water supply. These junior taxing district are totally separate from the City of Burien. While Burien may have no debt, I know for a fact their junior taxing districts do such as King County Fire District 2, Libraries etc… By the way I’m not sure how Burien paid for their new Community Center I think that was a bond of some sort. That is why Kathy Keene can claim Burien has no debt, because their junior taxing districts do. Boiling all this down, all residents would actually pay far less for total property tax, including all bonds and levy’s then you would pay currently or if we were to be annexed by Burien.

    To summarize, if Seattle were to annex us we would pay less property tax then if we were to be annexed by Burien. We would also pay less for utilities, have vastly increased fire and police protection and great access to government.

    Stay Educated,

  4. Hey Mark (aka George) Do you ever do anything except write to the blogs with all of your misinformation? You keep telling the same story over and over on every blog and most us know you are full of bologna.

  5. Gene I’m not sure who you refer to but it sounds like you don’t like him. I can assure all the information in my post above is factual. However, I feel no need to explain myself to someone who brings no research the table.


  6. Gene which part of my research do you think is, “misinformation”?

  7. George-
    Thanks for the info, glad to see people are doing their research.

    Do you ever do anything except write to the blogs with all of your lack of information? You sound like most of the people who are anti-annexation, increasingly desperate and scared. I think you know that most information is not on your side.
    Property Taxes
    Public Safety
    Social Services
    Things that real people care about. Your best argument is not wanting to be part of big city, and thats fine. But small town government has it’s negatives too.
    Case in point- North Highline FD Commissioners running the Fire Department into the ground. It’s local,… but there’s no real oversight.
    By the way I’m not worried about free parking, I just want my leaders to do a good job.

    Come up with some points and don’t mock people who are posting real info, by not posting any.


  8. Marlene Allbright Says:

    I hope that Seattle does annex the rest of North Highline. I’m extremely disappointed that Burien will annex the southern portion of North Highline where I live. Burien manipulated the election date to be held in August, as opposed to November, when voter turn-out is typically better.

    If the King County Sherrifs’ department is a harbinger of things to come from Burien police, don’t hold your breath waiting for a response. Two weeks ago, someone pulled a knife on my daughter a half a block from my house. King County police showed up 3 hours later.

    I’m very concerned that Burien can’t afford even the southern portion of North Highline. Where is the transparency for the Burien city budget? Their latest annual report is from 2008. I fully expect my property and water taxes to increase significantly.

    Why is small government better than a larger city government? Everyone knows that nepotism runs wild in Burien, the North Highline Council, the water districts and with the fire commissioners. I’ll take Seattle over Burien anytime.

  9. Sorry to hear you were annexed to Burien. Is your house for sale now so you can move to Seattle and have better protection by spd? You have been downing KCSO from day one since you jumped on this blog. Move all ready if your so unhappy with your Police services (OR) call KCSO headquarters and let them know, they are the ones who can change things when there are such issues as you have been having with them.
    Either city has issues, it’s life, nothing is perfectly suitable to everyone. Really, who cares what city we end up in, it’s the people standing up for what they believe in and the courage to voice it that makes a difference creating change.

  10. Marlene-

    How exactly did the City of Burien “manipulate” the election? I’ve heard this argument before, and it really just makes me laugh outloud! How many times do people making this claim need to be reminded, that the primary election was moved back to late August???

    This wasn’t a special election, and it certainly wasn’t a conspiracy by Burien to somehow sway the voters. It was a major primary election folks!!!

    Regarding your police claim, did you follow-up with the KCSO to see why there was a time delay? Was the suspect who did this to your daughter gone or still in the area? This all makes a difference when the call is being sorted out by 911. On a very similar note, my mother-in-laws house had a prowler in her back yard, and SPD was called (she lives in W. Seattle), and the neighbor who called it in, had good suspect description information and could still see the prowler walking in the neighborhood. The suspect was also seen casing vehicles after he came back out on to the street. Response time from SPD? Unknown. The 911 dispatcher was not able to give a estimated time AT ALL. Ultimately, they were able to get someone there in about an hour and a half. Too late–the guy was long gong.

    My point is, is that police in GENERAL are stretched thin, and these types of delays happen ALL THE TIME unfortunately. So you can claim that one police department is better than the other all you want, but the truth is they all are understaffed. “George’s” claims about how many officers are on duty for each respective agency is not proof of anything. My good friend is a SPD officer, and is assigned to the SW Precint. You would be amazed at what the minimum staffing is for W. Seattle. I think it’s like 4 or 5 units–that’s it. Now it changes from day to day, as does the KCSO units out of Precint 4.

    Lastly, just what type of nepotism are you referring to in Burien’s government? This is an interesting claim, and I’m hopeful you’ll want to elaborate on this, because I think you are way off base.

    Sounds to me that it’s just sour grapes on your part.

  11. Chris-

    It doesn’t really matter about the election, Burien annexed the area only by a slim majority.

    Regarding police staffing, they don’t really have minimum staffing per se. Not like Seattle’s Fire Dept. which has a much higher minimum staffing than Burien or North Highline. Fact is Seattle has more officers and more firefighters and they can bring a lot of resources in a hurry.

    I want to comment on Kathy’s incredibly inappropriate response.

    1. I dont remember any Seattle city council members bashing Burien when Burien was attempting to annex the southern portion of North Highline. It would have been inappropriate for them and it’s inappropriate of her. It speaks to her lack of professionalism. Free parking…really? Thats the best you had? How about not having to run to all your junior taxing district commissioner meeting to see how things are being run. Are all their meetings at 3? Do any of them carry debt? Face it, your city doesn’t even provide a fire department or many other things. It contracts them out. Either because it doesn’t have the apparatus to do it or it can’t afford to. So it lets those districts charge a separate fee.

    2. Which brings me to my next point. I cannot believe that after what has happened with the commissioners of Water District 20 and NHFD she has the nerve to talk about having a voice in your local politics. Maybe you can explain to the citizens of North Highline how one commissioner was the boss of an employee who was his commissioner where HE worked. Is that the voice you were talking about?

    3. She doesn’t know or care that Seattle offers more public safety resources, lower property taxes, and better social services. She wants the citizens of North Highline to wait as services are being cut,… to be annexed by Burien? This question is directly to you Kathy. When do you propose annexing the rest of North Highline? If it isn’t soon, pipe down and let the citizens take a look at Seattle, just like Seattle did when you were annexing. I’m sure they can make up their own minds.


  12. Hi “AJ”,

    I think your comments regarding public safety are slightly disingenuous. Not because you intend to be, but because you don’t have a good understanding of how each area delivers emergency services.

    When it comes to fire and ems services, it is not an apples to apples comparison. Yep, Seattle Fire is the biggest department in the county, but they do things a bit different than say NHFD or Fire District 2 (Burien/Normandy Park) or Kent or Federal Way Fire Dept.

    Regarding resources, think of south King County (aka Zone-3) as operationally one large fire department. You see, when there’s say a house fire in Normandy Park, you get all of Fire District 2’s resources, plus units from neighboring jurisdictions (like South King Fire and Rescue, City of Seatac, etc). This all happens automatically and seemlessly, since almost all departments are dispatched from the same regional dispatch center. There’s no stopping at jurisdictional lines, and everyone assists each other out.

    Minor and major incidents, including ones that escalate into regional events, are handled easily and cooperatively amongst all these departments, with everyone on the same page. It happens all the time and it works great.

    And, ALL these departments work together on a daily basis, and conduct joint training often. We share ideas and the knowledge base is huge, with lots of resources to draw from.

    When it comes to unit staffing (number of people per unit), Seattle does have a bit of an edge, with most (if not all) engines and ladder trucks with four persons.

    In south King County it’s mixed, with some with four-person staffing, and some with three. It all depends on daily staffing, and each department.

    However, if more manpower is needed, more units are added to an incident. Not really a big deal. And in 12+ years in the fire service, I’ve never been to one call where three person staffing impeded my ability to perform my job. Four person staffing would be nice all the time, but we’re not there yet. Again, not a huge deal.

    You see, we can compare and contrast all day long, but in the end, service delivery is different for each department and/or region.

    You’re suggesting that there are glarring differences in the way Seattle Fire delivers fire/ems service vs. the other departments, and I would contend that it is not the case. At the street level, it’s probably pertty comparable, with possibly some moderate differences operationally and administratively.

  13. Chirs,

    Chris well written, however, you’re trying to dress up an ugly truth. It’s plainly ovbvious that people pro-Burien simply do not have the numbers on their side. You can pick any subject you want and Burien comes up short.

    I commend you for your 12 years of experience. I stand by my earlier statement that if I can have all those resources intially dispatched without having to be, “added” later, I want it. Burien/North Highline Fire Departments second alarm response is barely equal to that of Seattle Fire Departments intial response. Chris, that’s alot of adding resources if it’s my house on fire. It also makes me wonder what Seattle Fire Departments second alarm response would be.

    I disagree with you Chris, the numbers are glarring. If Burien/North Highline Fire Department does have access to the same amount of resources as Seattle. Why dosen’t our intial reponse show that already? It would seem to me that it is far easier to cancel units you may not need then to dispatch them later once you need them, when every second counts. Why is it that often times North Highline Fire Engines are only staffed with two people?

    As far as police services goes. I would much rather have 1250 sworn police officers spread thin in Seattle. Then the 695 sworn police officers currently spread even more thin over a larger area. Seattle covers a third of the area King County does and has almost twice as many officers.

    Chris I wish you the best of luck in dressing up the ugly facts. Bottomline is I would prefer to have the best possible public saftey for less taxes. Why would we want to pay more for less public saftey?

    God Bless

  14. Hi “Chris”

    I also commend your service.

    I want you to understand that I have the highest respect for you and that the following is meant to spur conversation only.

    Thank you for explaining the difference in service delivery. That is exactly what I want to address. Seattle seems to provide a higher level of service in almost every area that I’ve researched, and I can’t seem to find anything yet to disprove it.

    For me it IS comparing apples to apples. Citizens in North Highline can choose their future fire department, a very serious choice.

    You talked about everyone working seamlessly, then why are there all those different fire departments in South King County?

    You talked about a huge knowledge base and a lot of resources, Seattle has a Rescue Team, Haz-Mat Team, and Marine Response Team staffed 24 hours a day, how many of these are available in South King County, I looked and couldn’t find any. Who handles Rescue or Haz-Mat in Burien? Does Burien have a 24 hour a day staffed Rescue or Haz-Mat team?

    Seattle has 11 Ladder trucks, I believe with another one on the way. How many are there in South King County? Does Burien or North Highline have any dedicated ladder trucks? Could Burien promise a ladder truck staffed with four people if they annexed the area?

    And with that many jurisdictions, how many chiefs are taxpayers paying for? It doesn’t sound like an efficient way to do business. If you didn’t have all those chiefs to pay for, could ALL your engines and ladders have four people on them, like Seattle’s, they do…I checked.

    I’m suggesting that there are glaring differences, in daily operation and with the amount of resources that are available.

    Efficient Service Delivery
    4 person staffing
    Ladder Trucks
    Specialty Teams

    Burien has none of these.

    Lastly you said that for a house fire in Burien you get ALL their resources plus neighboring departments, are there any resources left on duty in the city if there is a fire?

    Service delivery IS different for the two cities. If you have the option to pick between the two, why wouldn’t you pick the better staffed department? Why wouldn’t you pick having one agency to protect you, rather than having many small ones. I encourage citizens of North Highline to choose the better provider.

  15. “AJ” & “George,”

    Thanks for your resposne, however it seems we will have to agree to disagree.

    I think in your great desire to be annexed by Seattle, you naturally are trying to make arguments that support your position. I get that, and I completely understand why you advocate one way or the other.

    First, I have no dog in this fight. I don’t live in the affected area. So to me, I really don’t care who annexes what. The southern area was annexed by Burien, and it is obvious Seattle is making a move for the remaining area.


    I think the really cool thing, is that this urban, unicorporated area is finally going to be officially part of possibly two cities.

    My only concern, is that your statements about emergency services are again–disingenuous.

    All you numbers regarding responses and staffing are fairly accurate, however the way in which you present it as good vs. bad is not.

    So let’s do a little more comparison:

    -First Alarm Residential Fire-

    Seatle Disrict 2 (and most S. King Co Dept)

    4-Engines 4-Engines
    2-Ladders 1(sometimes 2)-Aid unit(s)
    2-Battalion chiefs 1-Batt. chief (more if confirmed)
    1-Aid Unit 1-Medic unit (if confirmed fire)
    1-Medic Unit 1-Air unit (if confirmed fire)
    1-Safety officer 1-MSO (if confirmed fire)
    1-Deputy chief 1-Support unit
    1-Staff officer 1-Fire Marshall
    1-Air truck Duty chiefs (variable)

    Now, if there is a 2nd alarm in District 2 or elsewhere in South King County, the resource are essentiall double the first alarm. So for instance there would be 8 engines total at the 2nd alarm level.

    I can’t speak for SFD, beause I’m well versed in their 2nd alarm assignments (but I’m going to find out).

    The big difference in my example, is the addition of two ladder trucks in Seattle’s response. That is a moderate difference, but it is also important to know that Seattle has a more traditional(in the fire service world) stance on the delineation of engine company vs. ladder company work. As an older department, it makes senses that Seattle continues to have the separation of engine vs. truck work. Therefore, they have more staffed ladder trucks.

    Since I’m on the topic, it’s important to know that specialized equipment on Seattle’s ladder trucks (like extrication equipment) is not on their engines–at all. Again, this is due to the delineation of work between engines and ladders.

    This is not the case is most other departments throughout King County. For instance, in District 2, and throughout South King County, most engines have a complete compliment of mechanical extrication equipment (aka “jaws of life”).

    My point is not to contend that one way is better than the other, rather to simply say that there’s different ways to get the same job done, and done safely and expdiently.

    Here’s another example:

    -CPR in progress-

    Seattle (called a MED7) District 2 (and S. KC Co.)

    1-Engine or ladder company 1-Engine or Ladder company
    1-Aid unit, engine or ladder 1-Aid unit, engine or ladder
    1-Medic Unit 1-Medic Unit

    Pretty much the same response, except for unit staffing. But the same goal is reached, which is (2) two BLS type units with 6-8 firefighter/EMT’s and one ALS unit (medic unit) with (2) two paramedics.

    Now on to specialized units. All the specialized units that were listed (e.g., Hazardous Materials, heavy rescue, confined space/trench rescue, technical rope rescue, MCI, etc) also exists in South King County. In fact, they have all of those things–shared and delivered from a regional approach–plus other specialized teams, such as wildland/urban interface and swift water rescue.

    So, we can go round and round and compare and contrast, however I believe you are off base by suggesting that one agency is heads and tails above the others.

    Again, I totally understand why you’re rooting for Seattle services, as it is clearly your goal to see that Seattle’s northern annexation is succesful.

    Good for you. I sincerely hope it all works out. But please don’t trash other agencies as seemingly substandard and “less than” the department you advocate for.

    All it does, is show the fallacy of your confirmation bias, and an “us vs. them” logic.

  16. FYI, the listing between the two departments on the theoretical first alarm assignment got scrunched together. Also, it should’ve read “NOT well versed in Seattle’s 2nd alarm assignments.

  17. Chris-

    I’m not being disingenuous. I’m being very clear. Seattle has and sends a lot more resources than South King County does.

    Let me be very clear. Seattle has and sends a lot more resources than South King County does.

    Your trying to confuse an issue that is very simple. Seattle’s response is MUCH larger than North Highline/Buriens. Period.

    Seattle’s: 5 engines. 2 ladder trucks. (4 person staffed, all the time) 1 aid unit. 1 medic unit. 1 air truck. 1 staff car. 2 battalion chiefs. 1 deputy chief. 1 safety chief.

    North Highlines/Burien: 4 engines. (2-3 man staffing, sometimes) 1 battalion chief. 1 medic unit.

    I don’t know how much clearer I need to be,..
    Seattle-45 people

    NHFD/Burien-13 people

    You don’t understand the difference in staffing, that much is obvious. It is a choice the citizens can make. More vs. less.

    You have no dedicated Haz-Mat, Rescue, or Marine teams, and very few if any dedicated ladder trucks. My goal is that North Highline citizens get ALL the information. Stop posting if your going to spread lies and disinformation “Chris”.

    Your post was almost impossible to read. Spend more time researching and writing your post and I’m sure you will come to the same conclusion as me.

    I’m not trashing any department. The citizens deserve the truth, and your not helping.

    Post more when you know what your talking about. We don’t need to go around and around. The facts are on my side. They are not on yours. Anyone can find this out with some research. I suggest you quit while your behind.

    Seattle provides:

    4 person staffing on all engines and ladder trucks.
    A world class EMS system
    Rescue, Haz-Mat, and Marine teams

    Thanks Chris, for being ill informed and biased. If you don’t live in the area, stop posting and let the citizens decide for themselves.

    If you need something to work on, work on South King Counties staffing. They need it.



  19. Hmm, how to proceed on this one. “AJ,” you’re pretty-much calling me a liar, and that I don’t appreciate.

    Not once did I attack you or berate you. You on the other the hand seem perfectly content with doing so to me, when I was simply making an honest response to your posts.

    I’m not really that interested in a blog battle with you, as it’s not my style, and because it seems you’re unwilling (or unable) to have a respectful conversation.

    However, there are a few things I have to address:

    1. You keep lumping North Highline and District 2 (aka Burien Fire) together, as if they are the same department. They are not. I can’t and won’t speak for North Highline Fire, but I will mention that (because it’s common knowledge), that they have serious financial issues right now, and that their administration is in turmoil. They however continue to respond to calls the best they can, and with a high level or professionalism and dedication. I’ve worked along side many of their firefighters, and most of them are extremely talented and very competent at their job.

    2. Fire District 2’s staffing ensures at least 3-4 on each engine. AND, they have an aid unit in service 24/7/365, and lately have been running two aid units when staffing is heavier.

    3. Again, your assertions about Burien’s staffing and responses (and other South King county agencies) is incorrect. What I listed in my previous post is spot-on, and 100% completely accurate.

    4. You said, “…You don’t understand the difference in staffing, that much is obvious…” How exactly is that obvious? I WORK for King County Fire District 2, and am intimately involved with our staffing, our response types, and how they are constructed and maintained.

    5. You also said, “…Seattle provides…’A world class EMS system’”. Are you referring to the Medic One system that covers not only Seattle, but ALL of King County? King County EMS is a regional system, with all of the fire agencies making up the entire “system,” along with five ALS sub-groups. So when you refer to this “world class” system, you are really referring to the entire system throughout King County.

    6. Also you say, “..The citizens deserve the truth…” and “Thanks Chris for being ill informed and biased…” Everything I have stated is 100% correct. If anyone wants to verify these facts, they can arrange to contact me anytime. Better yet, they can contact the department anytime. You say I’m biased, however I would like to remind anyone reading this, that I do not give one fig who the citizens vote to annex to. Seattle or Burien, it really does not matter to me. It seems that people in the northern portion of the NHUA want to annex to Seattle. Again I say, good for them. What I do care about, is when others spread misinformation about something they haven’t fully researched themselves. Citizens need accurate information to make the best decisions possible. With all due respect, it is your information that is presented in a way that is biased.

    One last thing. The issue of annexation has been going on now for almost seven years. I’ve followed this saga from the beginning. What I would say to those of you who are now in the remaining unincorporated area, is to attend as many annexation related meetings as possible, and get all of the information you need to make an informed decision. If you’re leaning in one particular way, get the counterpoints so you can compare and contrast the two sides. One thing I’ve discovered during this annexation saga (and it’s no surprise), is that some individuals zeal can be a bit too strong, rendering them unable to calmly and respectfully discuss the issues at hand. If you are researching your municipal options, I would encourage you to avoid the people I’ve described, and focus your energy on getting factual and up-to-date information about the services you expect to receive from either city.

    Again, attend as many council and annexation meetings you can, and then make an informed decision. You’ll be better off.


  21. Vote YES to less property tax, better public saftey, cheap utilites and proffesional government. GO SEATTLE!!

  22. Interesting that my comment yesteday was deleted by this blog. To the people running this blog, I ask why?

    There was nothing in it that was inappropriate.

    What’s the deal?

  23. Haven’t deleted anything lately unless the spam filter caught it, which does happen on occasion – it catches hundreds of automated spam comments a day and sometimes has bycatch.

  24. Hi Tracy, perhaps that was it. I see it now. It wasn’t there all day today. Wierd…

    Thanks for the help!

  25. Chris-

    I understand all three departments staffing and capabilities VERY well Chris. I realized my last post came across as harsh. However, you started this by calling me disingenuous, which is just a more polite way of calling me a liar.

    And once again you didn’t address many of the facts in my posts. All you addressed was North Highline’s staffing and the EMS system that you are a part of.

    You keep lumping North Highline and District 2 (aka Burien Fire) together, as if they are the same department. They are not.-Chris

    Regarding resources, think of south King County (aka Zone-3) as operationally one large fire department.-Chris

    Which is it? Its seems to be whichever suits you. It’s impossible to address your staffing when it varies from department to department. It can be anything from 2 to 4, between you and North Highline depending on the day. It’s ALWAYS 4 in Seattle.

    It’s a patchwork of departments south of Seattle, too many chiefs, not enough laddders, and with the exception of Renton, not enough staffing. Great firefighters, I would just prefer to have 1 large fire department. Not the “Mutual Aid” one you talk about.

    Once again for your benefit Chris. 1st alarm response.

    Seattle’s: 5 engines. 2 ladder trucks. (4 person staffed, all the time) 1 aid unit. 1 medic unit. 1 air truck. 1 staff car. 2 battalion chiefs. 1 deputy chief. 1 safety chief.

    North Highlines/Burien: 4 engines. (2-4 man staffing, sometimes) 1 battalion chief. 1 medic unit.

    I don’t know how much clearer I need to be,..
    Seattle-45 people

    NHFD/Burien-13 people

    You don’t understand the difference in staffing, that much is obvious. It is a choice the citizens can make. More vs. less.

    You have no dedicated Haz-Mat, Rescue, or Marine teams, and very few if any dedicated ladder trucks.

    I’m trying to let the citizens know what kind of resources Seattle has, vs. what they can expect in Burien. I think Burien is a great department, but the citizens get more bang for their buck in Seattle.


  26. “AJ”

    You said: “I understand all three departments staffing and capabilities VERY well Chris.”

    Are you a firefighter? If so, what department do you work for? I would be surprised if you are, as I wouldn’t expect a fellow brother or sister firefighter to be this abrasive to another firefighter.

    My appologies if you felt the the term disingenuous was too aggressive, however it is not the same as calling someone a liar.

    I will say for the record AGAIN, that your 1st Alarm allocation for my department is WRONG. Re-read my post that shows exactly what we get for initial and then confirmed working structure fires. It isn’t rocket science.

    Feel free to contact me via email if you want to discuss this subject a little further–I’d be happy to talk to you.

    You can contact me at . Once we exchange emails, I’ll even give you my phone number so we can clear things up a bit.



  27. Chris,

    I think what Aj might be trying to point out and where you guys may differ in your opinions is that your intial response that you stated early isn’t a true wheels rolling response. Aj is stating that intial response for Seattlle is wheels rolling out the door.

    For some, including my self waiting for a, “confirmed fire” for the rest of your resources may leave you behind before you even start. If the citizens of North Highline can have that response I would look at it as an improved response. For less property tax none the least.

    Thanks for your service,

  28. Re-read my post that shows exactly what we get for initial and then confirmed working structure fires. – Chris

    Exactly my point, it’s not on your INITIAL alarm. Compare how many actual PEOPLE respond on an initial response in Seattle, and an INITIAL response in the highline area. You ‘ve confused the issue enough in this thread. I really think, that you think the staffing is actually close. Wow.

    I think your comparisons are “disingenuous.”