LETTER: Always check the facts
In reading Mr. Newmaster’s letter in the December 14th issue of the Highline Times, I find it very nice that a somewhat neutral person in the annexation process found some questionable and disturbing things in Mr. Malo’s letter in your earlier edition.
As I saw the annexation issue, I also felt it would pass. And I’m sure the anti-annexation folks did too. So, they changed their attack somewhat. They still made many questionable statements, which I understand had facts coming from them, checked and certified by them. That alone makes for some questions. Their main plan was to sell the people of North Highline Area Y that they did not have to annex but could stay unincorporated, and business would continue as usual.
In doing so, they shot themselves in the foot. We/they can stay unincorporated for a while longer but things will start to fall apart. The state has said that these areas MUST incorporate in the near future. The county has stated over and over that their services will start to decline, and will continue to do so indefinitely as it stands now.
Most of Area Y’s road repair is rated at number 5, the bottom of the list, which means little or no repair at all. They will try and maintain the present policing of the area, but cannot be sure for how long or at what level of service.
Also, the county has replaced all the Unincorporated Councils with one person to represent each one of the prior councils. (This person I might add was selected by the county and not elected by the people).
Now I come to the main plan behind anti-annexation by the bulk of the leaders. Most of them own a lot of property in Area Y and want to be able to sell it at a good price. The higher density zoning laws of Seattle will and would favor them (they think) a better selling price for their property and Burien’s zoning does not favor such high density building
One of the leaders always stated he was the president of the White Center Chamber of Commerce (which gave the impression that Chamber favored his idea) Also, since he has been President of the White Center Chamber, they are no longer associated with the national chamber. I would like to know: did they get kicked out or did he withdraw them? Either case is bad for White Center. He also has stated that he was president of the White Center Homeowners Association (which appeared to represent the people of White Center).
A bunch of us homeowners contacted him a few years back and asked to attend their meetings and to have a voice in what the association appeared to do. At that time, he told us, “We are a small group of White Center residents who favor annexation to Seattle and we meet in my basement. If you were not invited, you were not welcome.”
I would advise all you voters, who voted to stay unincorporated, to watch these hard believers in staying unannexed and unincorporated to see how long it takes them to start their next move: getting Seattle to pursue their PAA for area Y.
If Burien hangs on to their PAA for Area Y, I think that would hold Seattle accountable when they begin to act on their PAA. This could give Burien a seat at the table of negotiations with King County, and some protection and control over their neighboring area. Maybe even save all of them/us from being pushed into something they don’t want.
Lastly, you voters had better always check the facts to be sure of an issue as this, by going to meetings and asking questions. But, maybe you want to help pay for a tunnel in Seattle, sea wall and new sports stadium. I know I don’t.
Thank you, Mr. Newmaster, for your ability to think and ask important questions.
Robert L. Price