Letter: No vote on North Highline annexation was bad choice
King County has made it clear over the last 10 years that they are not in a position to provide services to urban areas, and slowly but surely services have been cut to the North Highline community. Abandoned buildings sit derelict, covered in graffiti. Neighborhood parks get bare bones maintenance and playground equipment sits rusting.
Residential streets go unmaintained, and this winter we will see how well we fare with virtually no snow or storm response. Our fire department is facing critical financial challenges. There is a lack of business development and a cohesive plan for the overall growth of this community. We watch people struggling on our streets. We watch people openly drinking and dealing drugs. We have no ability to thwart the escalating crime and poverty. Policing levels are dictated by budgets, not the needs of the community. We lack influence in state and county government.
While we struggle living with diminishing rural service levels for our urban community, a well-funded No Annexation group, made up mostly of Burien residents and a few North Highline property owners, pat themselves on the back and declare victory. After throwing suspicion on any effort to give North Highline residents a greater voice in shaping the future of our area by becoming 30 percent of Burien rather than 1 percent of King County, they offer no viable alternative to annexation and deny that services have and will continue to decrease.
Those of us supporting annexation saw joining Burien as an opportunity to finally have a voice and a future in which our community would thrive. We know nothing can be accomplished without risk, without vision, and without foresight, something lacking in the NO campaign.
The No vote was a very bad choice for the North Highline Community, both long and short term. The publicity opposing annexation promised that things were fine and things will stay the same. The truth is things are not fine and things will get worse.
Then-King County Executive, Ron Sims, said it well in 2007 when he likened the county’s limited spending in North Highline to throwing a life ring out halfway, “You drown nonetheless.”
Barbara Dobkin, President, North Highline Unincorporated Area Council
Doug Harrell, Roxbury Lanes Elizabeth & Michael Gordon, Uncle Mike’s Superlicious BBQ