White Center in Seattle? Annexation vote proposed for November

January 27, 2010 at 2:04 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics, White Center | 87 Comments

We’ve just confirmed with Kenny Pittman, a senior adviser to Mayor Mike McGinn, that the mayor is proposing to have White Center vote this November on whether to be annexed to Seattle – that’s the entire area between the current city limits, and what will be the northernmost city limits of Burien when the voter-approved North Highline South annexation takes effect later this year. Pittman first disclosed the plan in a letter to Burien’s mayor Joan McGilton, West Seattle Rep. Eileen Cody and Rep. Ross Hunter (see the letter here), responding to their request for clarification of the mayor’s intent regarding White Center annexation; we updated the annexation issue just last week, when Councilmember Jean Godden discussed it during a brown-bag lunch at West Seattle Chamber of Commerce offices (here’s our report on partner site White Center Now).

Pittman told WSB by phone that City Council approval will be required to get this before voters in November, and the process of working toward that will begin next Monday, when he briefs the council on the plan. We have requests for comment in to both Seattle Council president Richard Conlin, Burien City Manager Mike Martin and the White Center Community Development Association.

ADDED 3:28 PM: Speaking for Council President Conlin, Rob Gala says, “(He) is ready to put this before the council – we’ll start talking about it right away. He’s been an advocate of annexation for a while, and we’re ready to put it before the people for a vote.”

87 Comments

  1. Yes, Yes, Yes – FINALLY!!! If we don’t annex, all the parks will be closed by King County and White Center will be left dealing with even more of the dirtbag element…

    Comment by Sandra — 2:31 pm January 27, 2010 #

  2. Perhaps Mayor McGinn would be willing to sport for the cost of a poll of WC/No. HL out of his own pocket. It would be cheaper than doing that whole vote thing wouldn’t it? Hey, he set the precedent, so why not ask?

    Comment by d — 2:40 pm January 27, 2010 #

  3. I think the most important consideration here is, would this make White Center part of West Seattle? If so, why not go all the way and annex Burien, too? Then West Seattle would finally get its TRADER JOE’S!!!

    Comment by KBear — 2:40 pm January 27, 2010 #

  4. kbear – lol…

    Comment by JanS — 3:06 pm January 27, 2010 #

  5. NO! I will have to close my business if White Center becomes part of Seattle. I will not be able to afford the additional city taxes.

    Comment by Brew — 3:09 pm January 27, 2010 #

  6. At last. Annexation of the intensely urban White Center neighborhood by the City of Seattle will deliver, all at once, long-awaited access to resources, technical assistance, professional staff and services for our chronically neglected area. Seattle has the capacity to comfortably fold White Center into its neighborhood-focused municipal structure, and current numbers reflect that annexing White Center will in no way diminish services to existing Seattle residents. A stronger, healthier, more prosperous White Center will be good for Seattle overall. For many years, White Center has accepted second-class status, and we’re ready for something better. I think people will be really amazed by the positive improvements that will result, virtually overnight, following annexation to Seattle. I look forward to a vote, and hope our citizens will recognize the opportunity to strengthen this community and vote YES to an annexation by Seattle. The alternative promises only continued neglect and marginalization.

    Comment by Peggy — 3:11 pm January 27, 2010 #

  7. No.

    Comment by Tom — 3:12 pm January 27, 2010 #

  8. Annexation of White Center will saddle Seattle Taxpayers with an added $3 million in administrative costs. That’s the difference between the cost of furnishing the extended services and the income to be derived from White Center’s very scarce tax base. Not a wise move for Seattle – Already facing a rough budget shortfall.

    Comment by Warren Lawless — 3:40 pm January 27, 2010 #

  9. Give me a break! The Seattle B&O tax is once a year and it’s a fraction of 1%, and in return you get all kinds of benefits, grants and services. If you don’t want to pay taxes move to Mexico … most small business don’t pay ANY taxes there (at least to the government).

    This is good news. Thank you Mayor McGinn!

    Comment by Ed — 3:48 pm January 27, 2010 #

  10. FINALLY! This is awesome!

    Comment by Helen — 3:56 pm January 27, 2010 #

  11. whether this portion eventually goes to burien or seattle, one must ask whether it is just to allow such an urban area to remain unincorporated? in my opinion, this makes no sense whatsoever. given that burien just doubled their size to take the southern half – when will they be able to consider taking the north? how long can we leave the remainder unincorporated?

    Comment by ktstine — 4:01 pm January 27, 2010 #

  12. Woo hoo! We are half a block south of Roxbury and we definitely consider ourselves to be part of Seattle. Excellent!!!!!!

    Comment by Happy People — 4:33 pm January 27, 2010 #

  13. So would the schools become part of the Seattle School District or stay Highline?

    Comment by Bonnie — 4:36 pm January 27, 2010 #

  14. think if there was some REAL policing of the dive bars and gangster dance club? Wow. There are so many positives and negatives. Something needs to be done. Being Unincorperated King Co., it gets noting but neglect. IT has become a haven and hiding spot, just on the outside of Seattle for a less than savory group of people.

    Mos Eisley as I refer to it.

    Comment by toddinwestwood — 4:39 pm January 27, 2010 #

  15. Bonnie, an excellent question. I will pursue the answer through both Seattle and Highline and see who answers first … TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:47 pm January 27, 2010 #

  16. I’m happy about the vote; and I too will vote yes. What’s strange to me is the school district issue. As I understand it, the Highline District will retain that area which is awkward; if not down right difficult.

    Comment by flowerpetal — 4:48 pm January 27, 2010 #

  17. Would the White Center Library become part of the Seattle System?

    Comment by Gina — 4:55 pm January 27, 2010 #

  18. Peggy commented: ‘ I think people will be really amazed by the positive improvements that will result, virtually overnight, following annexation to Seattle.’

    North West Seattle was annexed in 1953 and is still waiting for improvements. Try one finished street for 50,000 residents in 56 years! Get annexed get in line.

    Comment by Will — 4:59 pm January 27, 2010 #

  19. Nothing will change with schools. Highline School District would still handle their schools as business as usual.

    Regarding the vote, look for all of the exisitng neighborhood associations in Seattle come un-glued when they catch wind of this.

    They were highly critical of the last discussion regarding annexation, and the Seattle City Council to quite a bit of heat.

    While Conlin and Godden support annexation, I think you’ll find that the rest of the council will be less than luke warm when addressing this subject.

    My prediction is that it won’t get past council.

    Further, what kind of outreach did Seattle do pertaining to annexation last time? The answer is very little. Burien had numerous informational meetings about annexation, and hard solid facts about what kind of service levels they would offer. While some reps from Seattle attended a couple of the joint Burien/King County/Seattle annexation forums, Seattle did NOTHING beyond that to engage the community.

    Seattle’s goal is to obtain buildable land and make things as dense as possible.

    IF this think actually comes to a vote, I’ll be voting no.

    Comment by Guest — 5:10 pm January 27, 2010 #

  20. Rat City, here we come!

    Comment by Steve C. — 5:22 pm January 27, 2010 #

  21. This is a terrible idea for both Seattle and the annexed area. North Seattle was promised sidewalks upon annexation in the 1950s, and still no sidewalks.

    The financial burden for Seattle is considerable, recurring, and in no way offset by sales tax credits available from the state.

    Seattle stated previously that any annexed lands in the area will come in as an urban village. This fast-tracks development. That’s good for property owners in the area, which is why they like the idea, but bad for reasonably-priced homes and business spaces. If you cannot afford rent in Northgate, Capitol Hill, or the center of West Seattle (all urban village areas) you will not be able to afford rent once this area is changed.

    The area should be annexed to Burien. You’ll have a much more significant voice in city politics and lower costs.

    Bottom line is Seattle cannot take care of the needs of its current residents — especially our minority communities. The idea somehow after annexation they’ll be able to miraculously take care of the needs of this new area is a logical fallacy.

    Comment by David Miller — 5:49 pm January 27, 2010 #

  22. I remember the last annexation – 1953 – everything from N. 85th street to N 145th.

    One of the promises was that sidewalks would be put in. I’m still waiting…

    Comment by Duane — 7:19 pm January 27, 2010 #

  23. Its about time! White Center is part of Seattle and it makes no sense to become part of Burien.

    Comment by JoAnn — 7:35 pm January 27, 2010 #

  24. White Center should become a neighborhood of Seattle. It is the only city able to absorb the area effectively

    Comment by John98106 — 8:04 pm January 27, 2010 #

  25. This vote will be a healthy community conversation about the future of White Center. It is great news. Seattle provides better fire service, more police officers, the same property taxes for homeowners, and a whole list of other benefits. Becoming part of Seattle is a great idea. White Center is cut in half, along Roxbury. It is time to make White Center whole again. Those who want Seattle need to get involved. A yes vote can only happen if we all work on getting our neighbors to vote yes too.

    Comment by Mark — 8:14 pm January 27, 2010 #

  26. Can’t we come up with something better than what happened 50+ years ago. Sidewalks really? If we hadn’t annexed north of 85th (sidewalks or not) Northgate and its revenue; any of Lake City; much of Greenwood; wouldn’t have been taxable income for Seattle. Some people are happy not to have sidewalks.

    Comment by flowerpetal — 8:33 pm January 27, 2010 #

  27. As for the taxes for businesses, there are more than B&O, there is employee, square footage (yes, we pay tax quarterly on the amount of square feet we lease), and business license fees. And there are more fees depending on the business you have. I am on the fence, myself, and we live outside the city limits, but within the area to be annexed. At one time I had a council member tell me that it was a financial benefit based on taxes to be outside the city limits.

    Comment by coffee — 8:36 pm January 27, 2010 #

  28. Didn’t Burien already cherry-pick their favored areas? My guess is they won’t be rushing to annex this area any time soon.
    My concern is that the area will stay unincorporated (and underfunded, undersecured, etc) if Seattle doesn’t annex.

    Comment by Roger — 8:38 pm January 27, 2010 #

  29. After having lived and worked in White Center for ages, I am all for a Seattle annexation. Burien, with all its good intentions, simply cannot afford to take White Center on and provide the kind of services (including parks and recreation)that our community needs. Many of us already consider ourselves as part of Seattle, so bring on the annexation vote this year!

    Comment by Jesus Rodriguez — 9:14 pm January 27, 2010 #

  30. Let’s work hard to get annexed by Seattle this year!

    Comment by Jesus Rodriguez — 9:16 pm January 27, 2010 #

  31. Rat City deserves to be part of something. Come on folks have a heart…Seattle can do them right & Burien does not have the resources.

    Yes To our Mayor for wanting to fix what should have been years ago.

    Residents of Arbor Heights – we know the pain

    Comment by batgurrl — 9:18 pm January 27, 2010 #

  32. i vote yes!

    Comment by bridge to somewhere — 9:45 pm January 27, 2010 #

  33. White Center already is a Seattle neighborhood in many respects so annexation would be a logical step – but I have some concerns. For one thing White Center has been getting far more resources from King County in recent years than any neighborhood in Seattle receives. I am also concerned that Burien got all the good tax parcels in the North Highline annexation, and all that is left is an area that requires a great amount of social services with an inadequate tax base to support them. Worth studying further, but I say “caveat emptor”.

    Comment by wseye — 10:55 pm January 27, 2010 #

  34. @coffee “At one time I had a council member tell me that it was a financial benefit based on taxes to be outside the city limits.”

    So if that were the case, you would expect a ton of successful businesses with broader regional appeal to be located there. The businesses that are successful there cater to the local mostly immigrant based community, and they are there because of the cheap overhead and the location suits them. Not because they don’t have to pay a little bit of tax, which is what the City portion of the B&O tax amounts to.

    Comment by on board — 8:07 am January 28, 2010 #

  35. Does any one have the specific area/boundries McGinn wants to annex?

    E-WR

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 8:47 am January 28, 2010 #

  36. According to Kenny Pittman, with whom I spoke yesterday – and who will be briefing the council on Monday – it is the area that was agreed to during the whole process of the Memorandum of Understanding a year or so ago. See the top part of the pink zone here:
    http://your.kingcounty.gov/annex/nhighline.aspx

    Comment by WSB — 9:01 am January 28, 2010 #

  37. Statement from Frank Cantwell, Interum President
    White Center Chamber of Commerce

    The board and officers of the White Center Chamber of Commerce are committed to, and will ensure that our approximately 70 chamber members, and the entire White Center business community, will have a full understanding of the public safety, business development, regulatory, tax, and re-investment changes that could occur in White Center through Seattle annexation. The next ten months of community discussion will be healthy. Our conversations will help set a clear path for the future of White Center. Then together, we will all be able to determine if Seattle can help us reach our potential, through a public vote for or against Seattle annexation.

    Frank Cantwell, Interum President
    White Center Chamber of Commerce
    (206) 854-0171

    Comment by Frank Cantwell — 9:57 am January 28, 2010 #

  38. WC would be better off choosing Burien.

    Comment by dsa — 10:52 am January 28, 2010 #

  39. Somewhat of an about-face for Mayor McGinn on this issue. Prior to him taking office, his staffer essentially stated that the annexation of the remaining portion of North Highline was not a priority at all. Of course, Councilmember Conlin has always advocated for annexation, but did not have the support of the rest of the council during the Nickels era.

    I once AGAIN find it interesting that Seattle has done NO formal engagemnt with the citizens in the area in question. They conducted limited (if any) studies on the area, in terms of polling to see what the citizens wanted, and practially had zero information regarding annexation on the City of Seattle website.

    In contrast, The City of Burien had a plethora of annexation information and had many community outreach meetings to educated and inform the citizenry.

    I’m very skeptical that Seattle will do better this time, and I suspect that we’ll see minimal community engagement this time too.

    Lastly, I hear these cases being made that somehow the White Center area is kind of part of Seattle anyways. I call major BS on this, as this area is historically part of the “Highline” area. While a case can be made that White Center proper extends northward across Roxbury, I really consider most of the area north of the city border to be an extension of Highland Park.

    Finally, all of you advocating for a Seattle annexation, I suggest you get firm information from Seattle electeds, and inquire why there has been no formal engagement process yet, and what (if any) outreach will be done to inform the residents.

    Let’s just say I’m skeptical that this will all pan out…

    Comment by Jim — 11:07 am January 28, 2010 #

  40. Seattle has the resources and political sophistication to get federal and state money for White Center. Burien does not. So what if you can access your council members easier if they can’t get the money. Its all about state and federal resources. The benefits of going to a big jurisdiction with more clout and resources outweigh access any day.

    Comment by blondie — 11:34 am January 28, 2010 #

  41. It is the logical decision and choosing Burien would not be the best. I am forced to Burien now because of the last vote and that comes with so many problems. These unincorporated areas do receive more resources because they became the dumping ground for many. No city protection, loose codes and cheaper properties created a haven for many programs. The best thing is to annex now before it get’s worse – White Center should be a welcome addition to West Seattle. I believe your lines already cross more than you are aware.

    Comment by Peggy2 — 12:19 pm January 28, 2010 #

  42. David Miller’s opinions are typical of many Seattle “progressives” who are entirely focused on their own interests rather than what is best for the greater good. I am glad he lost his bid to be on our City Council and returned to his Maple Leaf home.

    Seattle is the largest, richest city in the county. Burien is one of the smaller, poorer cities. Seattle has far more resources, far more money, and far more planners to dedicate to making White Center even more vibrant and paying for itself tax wise. I live within six blocks of WC on the Seattle side.

    Government is not a business. We don’t make policy based solely on the financial balance sheet. Many programs we fund because they are the right thing to do. Any city that can afford to deliver little flags to parking strips saying “do you want a tree”, then planting the trees, then delivering water bags for the trees, then watering the trees, like Seattle did last summer–can obviously afford this annexation.

    Comment by westside — 12:55 pm January 28, 2010 #

  43. Wether White Center should be part of Seattle or not, the city can not afford at this time to annex White Center. Any revenue coming to Seattle from the annexed area is not going to be enough to cover the cost of extending services. Annexing White Center digs a deeper hole for Seattle’s budget gap.

    Comment by Brett — 1:01 pm January 28, 2010 #

  44. I’d rather vote on West Seattle leaving Seattle! The schools are a shambles and the City of Seattle services are generally lousy (except the fire dept and 911). Seattle can’t even properly serve its existing population – White Center should think twice about this!!

    Comment by ws — 7:51 pm January 28, 2010 #

  45. Again total BS regarding the so-called financial pro’s of a big city, and the “access” to this fictional secret tomb of money stashed away in Seattle. Also, the City of Burien is NOT one of the poorest in the county. That’s absolute hogwash. I mean c’mon, have you seen the waterfront areas in Burien?

    The truth is, you will have a more responsive government if you choose Burien, AND you can also deal directly with the commissioner boards for the WATER, FIRE and SEWER districts.

    So you actually have MORE representation and more accountability by rejecting a Seattle annexationa and choosing Burien. AND, those of us living in the unincorporated area now, enjoy VERY reasonable water and sewer rates. Look for those rates to go up drastically (as already identified in a previous annexation analysis), because of Seattle’s ridiculously huge, bloated government.

    I think this will all be a moot point, as I don’t think this will get by the Seattle City Council!

    Comment by Jim — 9:17 pm January 28, 2010 #

  46. Having any unincorporated areas bordering on Seattle seems to contribute more and more to the criminal elements being free to escape outside the SPD jurisdiction, gray areas concerning code enforcement and ultimately will have to be decided anyway.
    If I recall correctly, there is a time limit by which all unincorporated areas must be annexed…

    Comment by Roger — 10:11 pm January 28, 2010 #

  47. This is the obvious fit for all White Center residents don’t be fooled with Buriens B/S. THEY CHERRY PICKED THE AREA AND HAVE NO WANT OR PLANS for the remaining portions of White Center, lets go to Seatte and Burien can go broke without us.If the elected officials on NHUAC try to stand in the way because of fear of losing any power they already do not have then we should all show up at there po-dunk meetings and explain to them the reality of this oppurtunity. Russ Pritchard already pilfered our Community Fire dept. And he now sits on the NHUAC Board dont be fooled thinking he is looking out for our best interests after he raped the taxpayers of this community with his unethical wage and severance, lets put our tax dollars in the hands of some professional bean counters VOTE YES TO SEATTLE!!!

    Comment by The obvious — 4:29 pm January 31, 2010 #

  48. I own business on both sides of the line, and I have to say that I am not looking forward to White Center going to Seattle. Taxes are MUCH higher in Seattle. It also took an additional 4 months to open a business in Seattle. It was not because there were extra steps to take, but that the agencies were so backed up it took for ever for permits and responses.

    As far as crime goes, the residents and business owners have done an amazing job of cleaning up White Center over the past decade. I do not want the same police support that South Park gets. I do not want police officers that get rotated so often that they have no idea of the neighborhood and who needs to be watched. Crime in White Center is actually lower here than many Seattle neighborhoods; University District, Belltown, Pioneer Square, South Park, even the Alaskan Junction.

    infrastructure is another topic brought up by the pro Seattle side. Seattle has a horrible time handling the neighborhoods outside their inner core. Do you think the South Park bridge would be in the shape it is in now if it was in fremont? It only took Seattle 100 years to get them a library. Once Seattle takes over are they going to keep cleaning up the sidewalks downtown like King Count does?

    Services. That is a favorite buzz word for the pro seattle side. We are going to get more services. For what? A jail?

    Neither side is my favorite pick, but at least with Burien, we will be able to keep our sheriffs and their approach to community policing, and have a larger voice. With Seattle, we will be another forgotten southern hood like delridge and south park.

    Comment by Full Tilt — 7:29 pm January 31, 2010 #

  49. Regarding the “promise of sidwalks upon annexation”. Can anyone document this? Everyone seems to “know” that it occurred, but I’ve been able to find anything in writing.

    Comment by Travis Hartnett — 10:28 am February 1, 2010 #

  50. Yes, bring on the vote! Soon Seattle will be told no to annexation and then they can leave us alone.

    Comment about Seattle putting out little flags, supplying, delivery, planting, watering bags, and so forth.

    Are you serious? That is amazing that Seatlle can go through all that effort for trees while their city grows daily with homeless people all over the streets living and sleeping.

    The homeless sistuation in the City is a huge issue that they refuse to work on, yet they’ll plant and water trees. Hmmm.

    Ever talk to any of the homeless people down in WC. A majority of them will tell you that Seattle is running out of sidewalks, parks, and shelters for them so they come up here. Imagine that.

    Annexation to Seattle – NO THANKS.

    Comment by Heidi — 1:23 pm February 1, 2010 #

  51. I read most of these comments and chuckled. Those of you who insist that Seattle is the only way to go should educate yourselves on how well Seattle has done taking care of its neighborhoods. You can contact the neighborhood colitions and see if they had sidewalks. Look up Maple Leaf or South Park on google and contact them and ask if Seattle has been great to them. Seattle is facing a 46 million dollar deficit in 2011. Do you think your tax dollars are going to stay in your neighborhood or will they go to solve Seattle’s huge budget crises. Burien has said all along that they have every intention of annexating the rest of North Highline after the dust settles from this first annexation. For those that cricize the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, you just don’t know what you are talking bout. You sit at home on your couch and criticize those that try to make our area a better place to live. NHUAC had done polls to see where the citizens would choose to be annexed too and the polls overwhelmingly picked Burien. If you want a voice in where you get annexed too, get involved and do more than write to the blog.

    Comment by Grover — 2:06 pm February 1, 2010 #

  52. If we annex to Seattle, we’ll be less than 1% of the population. We won’t be heard, and we’ll be primed for exploitation by developers.

    By joining those who already voted for Burien, we’ll be about half of the city. We’ll have a voice in our future and the decisions that are made about our neighborhoods.
    The choice is simple. SAY NO TO SEATTLE!

    Comment by Liz — 2:41 pm February 1, 2010 #

  53. Boiling everything down to the basics, Burien did a fine job of cherry picking everything that fiscally worked for their annexation. The NHUAC folks keep bringing up sidewalks. Has anyone asked Burien if they have plans to install sidewalks? To the business owners, yup you may pay higher taxes, for the residential folks you will pay the same if not lower. The majority of voters are residents not business. To the residents of White Center the vast majority of all public services are paid for by commercial tax. We are in trouble because all of our tax base has been cherry picked away. I feel much more secure with a downtown corridor that has a huge commercial base subsidizing our services vs a very small town center that subsidizes next to none. If it made sense to Burien they would’ve done it to begin with folks. YES TO SEATTLE!!!

    Comment by George — 7:16 pm February 1, 2010 #

  54. On a side note of the original Burien annexation vote, it was only seperated by a few hundread votes. If I remember right Burien past the annexation with a %54 majority. That is far from a land slide victory NHUAC.

    Comment by George — 7:21 pm February 1, 2010 #

  55. Seattle has a Tunnel, Bridge and Light Rail on it’s agenda, why do you think right after the annexation they will drop all those priorities and rush right into White Center and start cleaning up. I would rather be a part of the New upcoming City of Burien. We all have dreams but your decisions should be on realities. We don’t have the wealth here to be heard by Seattle only the land.

    Comment by Rebecca — 7:25 pm February 1, 2010 #

  56. Henceforth the federal and the state government have a tunnel, bridge and light rail on it’s agenda. However, even with that big agenda our property taxes would not be adversely effected, we might even be able to get around the puget sound region a little better that we all enjoy so much. The idea of Seattle coming to White Center to, “clean-up”, I’m assuming you mean in taxes, does not float. Our slice of heaven would be a drain on any municipality budget.

    Comment by George — 8:18 pm February 1, 2010 #

  57. Does Mayor McGinn, and many of the pro-Seattle folks, even realize that the area of Unincorporated King County being discussed is North Highline, not ONLY White Center ?! This encompasses Boulevard Park, Top Hat, & Mt. View.
    FYI – The White Center & Boulevard Park Libraries will soon be located in the city of Burien, but still belong to the King County Library System; so at least they will not be subject to all the cuts in hours, etc that you are getting with your Seattle Library System.
    Look to our nearest Seattle neighborhoods of South Delridge & South Park to see how little has been done for them, & research their crime stats to find out that we in the Unincorporated area have still done better with our dwindling King County services.

    Comment by Pat — 9:01 pm February 1, 2010 #

  58. We’ve got updated information on this issue, everyone, in our report on today’s meeting (short version on WSB, long version on White Center Now). I have to change my terminology – while there’s no question White Center is mentioned most often in discussion, I’m guilty of using it as shorthand for the entire area under discussion.

    Comment by WSB — 9:07 pm February 1, 2010 #

  59. If you have specific numbers on crime rates and police staffing I would love to see them Pat. I know for a fact that a standard fire department response would be much more improved and I can provide those numbers if you like. Let me see the numbers that you refer to. When you refer to, “What little has been done for them.” What is it specifically that you refer to? Is it library hours only? Budget cuts are coming to King County so that may change before you know it.

    Comment by George — 9:14 pm February 1, 2010 #

  60. BTW, much of South Park is still patrolled by King County Sheriffs Office.

    Comment by George — 9:18 pm February 1, 2010 #

  61. When it comes right down to it, the only question you should ask yourself as a resident of White Center is, “will being part of the City of Seattle affect me negatively or positively?”

    Burien is not looking to, nor can it afford to annex the area.

    King County is cutting services and wants to get rid of the area.

    Seattle is actively looking to annex the area. For the most part nothing will change if the area is annexed to Seattle. Other than increased funding opportunities for social services, more police officers and firefighters, and better property values things will be largely be the same.

    I think one of the more interesting arguments you hear from people is that of greater local control. Is that where fire district commissioners provide inflated salaries and severance packages while ignoring firefighter staffing. Or is it where King County Sheriffs Office continues to cut staffing and patrol officers. Next time your able to ask what the difference is in fire and police staffing between Burien, Seattle and King County, you might be shocked. Then compare that to average property taxes, and don’t forget the extra money your paying to special service districts like fire, sewer and water in Burien and the unincorporated area. I’ll take less local control and better public safety resources any day.

    I guess whats important though, according to NHUAC, is sidewalks. Things change. This neighborhood deserves to be one of the many great neighborhoods in the city.

    Comment by AJ — 10:28 pm February 1, 2010 #

  62. King County Sheriff Stats are available on line on their web site, or you can pick up the phone and call them to request them. KCSO does patrol SP, some parts of SP are our neighborhood too!

    Seattle SPD stats are also available the same ways.

    You can compare them after you get both sets!

    Comment by Heidi — 3:15 pm February 2, 2010 #

  63. What the hell does the entity NHUAC have to do with this article? I don’t see them mentioned or discussing side walks. Where are you people getting your info from so I can read about it, do you have a link George on this NHUAC and sidewalks?
    I looked up their web site and the only thing about sidewalks is how they contributed to the project with art work that is multi cultural coins imedded in the side walk on 16th Ave. SW downtown WC.

    Comment by Mikel — 1:55 pm February 3, 2010 #

  64. Well known that the people associated with NHUAC always argue Seattle had promised sidewalks and they still have none in Arbor Heights. Blah Blah Blah. Is there anything better than that for why I should not welcome Seattle to NH? Please educate me Mikel. As it stands now YESS to Seattle!!!

    George

    Comment by George — 6:21 pm February 3, 2010 #

  65. Okay here are some actual facts from the King County Parcel Viewer website. At this site you can look at assessed valuations and the amount of property tax collected and the distribution of where that money went. For ex. levys, water, schools etc. In King County if your assessed value was $215000 you would’ve paid $2896. In Burien if your assessed value was $212000 you would’ve paid $2883. In Seattle if your assessed value was $214000 you would’ve paid $2138.

    George

    Comment by George — 8:00 pm February 3, 2010 #

  66. I think the sidewalk arguement is one that comes up fairly often from people opposed to annexation by Seattle. They use a promise no one seems to know about from 40 years ago, and a different administration to confuse an issue that should be simple.
    Better public safety resources and lower property taxes from Seattle. Concrete things that can be researched and proven.
    A better question would be, “when will Burien or King County put in sidewalks?”
    What does Burien have to offer that would make me NOT want to vote for Seattle? That question would be better answered with positives about Burien than attacks on Seattle.

    Comment by AJ — 9:20 pm February 3, 2010 #

  67. Okay guys more hard facts. For your fire services on a standard response to a house like yours or mine this is what you get. In North Highline you’ll have four fire engines one command unit and one medic unit. In Seattle you’d have 5 fire engines, 2 ladder trucks, 2 command units, 1 medic unit, 1 aid car, 1 air truck, 1 deputy chief, 1 saftey officer, 1 staff car and 1 fire investigator. All of that for less property tax.

    George

    Comment by George — 9:56 pm February 3, 2010 #

  68. Thanks for the facts George! It helps to be able to educate people on what both cities have to offer.
    I would like the pro Burien folks to present some facts on what Burien has to offer, rather than just disparage Seattle…or talk about sidewalks.

    Comment by AJ — 11:56 pm February 3, 2010 #

  69. Well put George and AJ, NHUAC is so scared of giving up their political careers they will throw stones in the path of whats best for this community. REDUCED TAXES more social services, better public safety make this a no brainer
    VOTE YES FOR SEATTLE.

    Comment by The Obvious — 12:24 am February 4, 2010 #

  70. hmmm, still didn’t answer my question George, just alot of typing with no links to verify anything, looks like seattle, smells like seattle. No thanks. No annexation to Seattle makes sense even more. Salute :)

    Comment by Mikel — 1:23 am February 4, 2010 #

  71. Mikel do I need to come over and hold your hand? I told you exactly where to go find that information. So far it has been the only information based on facts alone. I’m not sure how else to convince people their desicion must be from being stubborn alone. Which is quite likely if you’re offiliated with NHUAC. Had I included links I probably would’ve been accused of creating those pages.
    George

    Comment by George — 6:42 am February 4, 2010 #

  72. Cool George, You provided no info on where to go to find the info period. That does not surprise me. Seattle works in circles too and since you are presenting you prefer a Seattle annexation, you might as well follow suit! The City of Seattle has no info on this proposed annexation on their web-site. NONE.

    Seattle has had a PAA on the North Highline community for years. Seattle could have been more responsible and could have been creating data with facts for residents to read up on, but no, the truth is Seattle is NOT responsible. Seattle is a greedy City and it runs on reckless fuel.

    No worries George, it’ll all come out in the wash as Seattle sinks it’s self with their own residents tax money while trying to promote this annexation.

    send me a link

    Comment by Mikel — 7:39 am February 4, 2010 #

  73. As I said above, King County Parcel Viewer website, it’s on the King County website. Contact each fire department and ask what a standard house fire response is. That’s all ya gotta do. Very easy. I’m not gonna rise to the anger Mikel. All it is, is facts. As AJ stated earlier I would love to seee facts suppourting a Burien annexation instead of unsubstantiated opininons and rhetoric. I wanna know the, “Why should I”
    George

    Comment by George — 7:59 am February 4, 2010 #

  74. “Seattle is a greedy City and it runs on reckless fuel.”-Mikel

    Thanks for the info and facts on Burien Mikel. I don’t waste my time slandering Burien, when there actual facts and reasons I would vote for Seattle being presented. Give me some reasons. Don’t waste my time with your biased opinions on how you THINK Seattle runs.

    Your posts make you sound scared, scared that people might pick Seattle once they get all the facts.

    Smells..

    Comment by AJ — 10:24 am February 4, 2010 #

  75. I did some homework for you Mikel, those engines and ladder trucks have a minimum of 4 people on them in Seattle.
    Compare that to 3 in North Highline and Burien. Once again, more bang for your buck.If you were running the vote for Burien campaign you would’ve lost my vote by now.

    Comment by AJ — 11:06 am February 4, 2010 #

  76. That was pointed out at the Seattle City Council briefing Monday.

    Comment by WSB — 11:10 am February 4, 2010 #

  77. Not to mention Buriens fire Dept just hung a 25 million dollar bond on it’s taxpayers for new fire stations so they can keep the same level of 3 man firetrucks as they have in the past.

    Comment by The obvious — 12:32 pm February 4, 2010 #

  78. R U kidding me! You all are sending smoke signals? Glad this is here for future use. Can’t wait till the vote sails all the way to the land of NO. Anyhow, you kids have fun it’s been a blast. No hard feelings and to show ya, I’ll be there to pass ya tissues in November :)

    Comment by Mikel — 1:17 am February 5, 2010 #

  79. Thanks for the great information Mikel, that was really productive. “Land of no?” and “Tissues” Really?

    Comment by George — 8:47 am February 5, 2010 #

  80. So here are some very basic numbers from both police departments. King County Sheriffs currently have 689 sworn police officers. Seattle currently has 1250 sworn police officers.

    George

    Comment by George — 9:31 am February 5, 2010 #

  81. Mikel-
    Keep presenting facts like those Mikel, and you can hand those tissues to yourself. It was fun educating you and getting absolutely nothing in return, hopefully the Pro-Burien folks will keep talking about sidewalks and how horrible Seattle is. It should make the vote go a lot smoother. Better yet, you could move to Burien, land of magical rainbows..

    Comment by AJ — 1:18 pm February 5, 2010 #

  82. The city of Seattle had 15 officers patrolling in West Seattle today. King County Sheriffs office had 8 officers. Those 8 had to cover North Highline unincorporated, Burien, and Skyway.
    George

    Comment by George — 6:10 pm February 5, 2010 #

  83. I’ve researched and posted a fair amount of information regarding a Seattle annexation of North Highline. Personally, it’s become abundantly clear that annexation into Seattle is by far the most rational direction.

    The city of Seattle will provide increased police, improved fire protection, cheaper utilities as well as increased funding to social services. All for less property tax currently paid by North Highline residents.

    In light of today’s article in the Seattle Times about the outrageous salaries provided to North Highline fire chiefs. It’s abundantly clear that small government with no oversight is not the answer. Seattle is most definately the educated choice.

    Comment by george — 11:52 pm February 23, 2010 #

  84. Thanks for the great info George and AJ.

    When Upper North Highline (UNH) becomes Seattle, what would happen to the casinos? Would they go away?

    Can we rename the urban center to something other than White Center so it can have a fresh start for the future?

    Burien wants to put their new adult entertainment district at the north edge of their new territory on 16th/Ambaum just south of 116th, right at the King County Library. Burien’s planning to dump their trash in a place that needs to be redeveloped. Brilliant planning, bad news [http://www.highlinetimes.com/2010/02/06/news/burien-limits-adult-entertainment-annexed-north-highline] Howabout putting it in Boulevard Park?
    [http://wa-burien.civicplus.com/DocumentView.aspx?DID=1195]

    Comment by Seattlite in limbo — 1:37 pm February 24, 2010 #

  85. I meant the adult entertainment district would be between 112th and 116th on 16th.
    http://www.highlinetimes.com/2010/02/06/news/burien-limits-adult-entertainment-annexed-north-highline

    Comment by Seattlite in limbo — 1:39 pm February 24, 2010 #

  86. Native Seattlite, current White Center resident. I pick Burien. Can’t stand SPD, can’t tell the difference between any of the Seattle neighborhoods anymore, the urban planning blows, the school district has gone drastically downhill, and I’ve heard the story of the Greenwood sidewalks my entire life. Oh yeah, and Seattle could still try to pull a fast one and stick a jail two blocks from my house. Libraries in White Center are KCLS, so what will happen to them? Business taxes are insane, and I love White Center as it is. My little rant and ramble, but I feel no loyalty to a city that has dug itself into it’s own gentrified little hole.

    Comment by Verde — 11:12 pm February 24, 2010 #

  87. Earlier in this blog it was mentioned that it would be ackward for Highline Schools to have some inside the Seattle City Limits? There really should be no problem as school districts are separate from municipalities in Washington State. Highline not only serves Burien, SeaTac, Des Moines, and Normandy Park but also portions of Kent and Tukwila. As for the White Center and Boulevard Park King County Libraries that will now be in Burien, there will be no problem with the residents of Seattle annexed North Highline residents using them. Currently residents of the City of Seattle can apply for a King County Library System card with no charges. Also King County residents can get a Seattle Public Library System card. So unless KCLS gets it’s way and consolidates the White Center and Boulevard Park branches, there should be little change in services. If Seattle annexes, the only KCLS library that would become a Seattle Public Library would be the Greenbridge branch.

    Comment by Baldguy — 12:51 pm March 6, 2010 #

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