Two Burien council incumbents challenged in primary; Candidate Q&A
Two Burien City Council incumbents are being challenged in the August primary election. Parks Board member Ed Dacy and Planning Commission member Greg Duff are opposing incumbent Lucy Krakowiak.
Joey Martinez and Bob Edgar filed against incumbent Gordon Shaw. However, Edgar withdrew from the race but his name will still be on the ballot. The Times/News sent Edgar a copy of our questionnaire but he did not respond.
The top two vote getters from each primary race will go on to the November general election ballot. Appointed councilman Gerald Robison will face Debi Wagner in the general election. In the primary, ballots must be sent to King County Elections by Aug. 16. We asked the primary candidates the following two questions:
1. What are your qualifications for the office you are seeking and why should voters select you over your opponents?
2. Do you favor Burien annexing White Center and the remaining portion of unincorporated North Highline, and why or why not?
Burien City Council Position 2 Ed Dacy
#1. Qualifications. Burien has always been my hometown and I have lived here for 47 of my 58 years. I could list here what I have done, but you would skip over that because everyone writing on their own qualifications always sounds perfect. One attribute of mine is that I will mention is that I always work to build a consensus. This is important for I have found it is better to get 60 percent of what I want rather then nothing, if I hold out to the be the one no vote. However, I am not afraid to be the one no vote occasionally. In making your decision look at what each of us has promised in the voters' pamphlet to work on if elected. Of course I say this, as I am the only one who listed specific items in the voters' pamphlet that I would work to accomplish when elected to office. In making the decision as to who to vote for judge me on these ideas.
#2. Annexation. On the annexation of Top Hat, Glen Acres and the rest of North Highline including White Center, I do not believe that my views will weigh in the decision anymore than any voter in Burien, as it appears this decision will be made prior to the new council being seated in January. This decision must be made in what is in the best interests of the residents of Burien. I think that this decision is being rushed into and should not be made until mid to late 2012. This would give us more time to see how our last annexation is progressing. We have not yet completed on the Compressive plan or done the zoning for the North Burien area. In making the decision to annex the unincorporated area to our north there are some questions I would want answered prior to making my decision, they are in no particular order: What is projected revenue and expenses on taking on this new area? How do the crime rates compare? What would happen if we did not annex the area? What would be impact on the school district be if the area was annexed by Seattle? What are the impacts on Fire District 2 - Burien/Normandy Park? How do the actual expenses and other predictions of the last annexation area compare to projections made prior to the annexation? I need the above questions and perhaps some others answered before I could vote on this important matter.
#1. Qualifications. Burien needs a new City Councilmember: Greg Duff. My record is strong. Currently a Burien Planning Commissioner, I know how the city should operate. Burien is the 21st largest city in Washington and requires city leaders who understand the necessary priorities we need to keep our community safe and strong. Burien needs leaders who will keep our libraries and community centers open, and create policies that bring in family-wage jobs. I am that leader. The newly annexed area of North Highline, where I served as President, added 14,292 residents last spring. As President of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, I successfully battled King County government, preventing budget cuts to the Sheriff's Office that would have cut officers. When the county tried to sell it off, I helped save Puget Sound Park, and I worked to save the Evergreen Pool from closure for lack of funds. While leaders in other regional cities have driven out manufacturing and light industry, I will continue to promote land use development that protects the environment and our parks, encourages family-wage jobs and builds strong neighborhoods.
#2. Annexation. I do support annexation if the final report shows that annexation is financially viable without raising taxes on existing Burien residents. I also want to see a comparison of the current tax base compared to what it could be if we bring in new businesses and light industrial. Realistically, this issue will probably be decided before the election. The real question is: once that decision is made, do you want someone who will work with the sitting city council, or someone for the sake of a "no" vote has constantly been an obstacle? We need cooperation to move forward and someone who is not afraid to compromise. Burien needs a new voice on city council and that voice is me, Greg Duff.
#1. Qualifications. Eight years ago I won your vote with outstanding qualifications - community leader, business owner, environmentalist, and science teacher. Today, I include experience as your councilmember. Some of my achievements; keeping the spotlight on open and transparent government, ensuring a safe community, developing fiscally responsible budgets, increasing our awareness of our business community needs, continuing to weave arts and culture throughout our community, finding a balance between property rights and environment, and supporting working relationships between the city and school district.
#2. Annexation. My greatest concern is ensuring Burien weathers this economic downturn. We've recently expanded, growing from approximately 30,000 to 45,000 residents. Integrating all of our neighborhoods with adequate levels of public safety, transportation, human services, and parks/recreation is my number one goal. Unfortunately, I've seen the opposite trend occurring. As a councilmember, I regularly voice my concerns regarding these downward shifts, but often times find myself as a minority. To some, the city appears to be doing great. The budget is balanced and roads resurfaced. But, there are signs that indicate future challenges. Many of our storefronts remain empty. Senior programs have been reduced. Animal control has been cut from an adoption and spay/neuter program to animals being euthanized. Domestic violence is increasing. Effective programs need to be maintained while addressing areas of concern. I'm your candidate to help Burien shift its path to a more vibrant future. I ask for your vote! Burien City Council Position 4
#1. Qualifications. I have been previously employed by the City of Auburn and am currently employed by the City of Seattle. In that time I have learned the ins and outs of how government works. I have seen the success of government and I have seen the failure of government. I have seen the potential for good as well as the potential for bad. Having learned those lessons I will to apply that knowledge and help transform Burien to an even better place to work, play, and live for all. As part of the Council my job would be to set policy for the City. I have learned and understand the ramifications of policy set on those tasked to carry out this policy. I will be able to hit the ground running, able to set good policy. Mr. Shaw has served Burien for 8 good years on the council and we should be proud of that. I have fresh new ideas that I have put together by doing research in what works in other communities as well as first hand experience in seeing what does and does not work.
#2. Annexation. I am in favor of annexing White Center and the rest of Area Y if the numbers work out. King County has done a disservice to the area for decades. If you look at Seattle's numbers they cannot afford the area either. If they do annex the area they will not be able to support the people in the ways required to make that area successful. The kids, however, will still be a part of the Highline School District. They will not have the support they need and we will not be able to control how they get that help. Seattle spends about 58 percent of their budget in Public Safety (SPD and SFD) as well as provides its own housing authority (1 percent-2 percent) and own library (1 percent-2 percent). Looking at Burien's numbers our responsibility is in Police Services (43 percent). Additionally, I would work to get more out of King County. One area I would work on is the deputies currently assigned to Area Y, on the county's dime. Another area to target is money for flood/storm control. The people of Area Y are a part of our community, separated from us by perceptions and an invisible line drawn on a map. Their fate is our fate and we should welcome them to our community with open arms.
#1. Qualifications. I have lived in this community all my life and have been involved in many civic activities from coaching youth sports (16 years) to the Library Guild (7 years). I served on Burien's first planning commission for six years and have served on the City Council for eight. I have raised three children who went to most of the same schools that my wife and I did. Now I have grandchildren that are following the same path. I feel that I know this community. I am a graduate of the U of W with a year of postgraduate study, along with many continuing education classes and conferences. I started my own company and built it into a $3,000,000.00 gross revenue company before I sold it and retired. Along the way I worked as a manager for several large companies and understand what it takes to guide large organizations to a successful bottom line. Voters should select me for my seasoned citizen age, business experience, and knowledge of this community.
#2. Annexation. Yes. I am generally in favor of annexation. Every question like this has conditions. As I have said publicly the finances must be at least neutral for our existing City. If that is the case, I will vote for annexation. It is hard for me to understand how North Highline will be the better neighbor that we all want if it is left unincorporated or is joined with Seattle. How will Burien be able to influence the direction of this community if it is in Seattle or still unincorporated? This community will still be our neighbor, but we will have no ability to shape its future. The past decades of development under the County have not proved helpful for this community or for the current City of Burien. So, if it is within our resources to change the ongoing influence of this community I think we should.