Burien City Council still not ready to commit to moving ahead with annexation

At one point a few months back, some observers had wondered whether the Burien City Council was hell-bent on rushing forward with annexation of most of the rest of North Highline, since Seattle had basically said, hey, we’re not even ready to think about this again till next year, so if you want it in the meantime, it’s yours.

Those observers need not have worried.

Going into Monday night’s Burien council meeting, city staff recommended that councilmembers at least set a date for making a decision on whether to pursue annexation.

They didn’t, saying they still need more information and more time.

First, the public comment period was dominated by annexation comments – concerns voiced mostly by Burien residents who have spoken against annexation before; support voiced mostly by North Highline residents who want to be part of Burien.

Later, when the item formally came up on the agenda, councilmembers listened to presentations from reps of the special districts that currently serve the area – and then talked about whether they were ready to take a step toward signaling whether they might proceed or not.

Those who were – like Councilmember Gerald Robison, who quoted what he said was a real-estate-business saying, “If you sleep on it, you’ll never sleep in it” – were not in the majority, so in the end, the council decided to keep fact-finding and keep talking.

(One of those who said moving ahead now feels “premature” was Councilmember Jack Block Jr., who countered Robison’s real-estate saying with, “We’re not buying a house, we’re committing 48,000 residents of Burien .. and the health and welfare and public safety of 17,000 residents of North Highline.”}

So the council asked for more data to be brought to them at an extra council meeting next Monday night, though there were so many questions that City Manager Mike Martin said he would have to get back to them sometime in the next few days regarding how much of the requested data he’d be able to procure.

You can watch the discussion for yourself, since the meeting video’s available online – find it here.

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