The following recommendation was presented to the Burien City Council on Monday, November 6, 2023. Published with Dr. Davidson’s permission.
by Bruce L. Davidson, M.D., M.P.H.[Masters in Public Health]
Regarding that ultimatum to “use or lose” the housing $1 million: City of Burien is poor. It’s designed to be that way from State Sales Tax Funding. For housing, Burien gets $1.30 per resident, Bellevue $57 per resident, 44 times what we get. That’s $1.30 versus $57.
The homeless folks, some with mental illness, washed up in Burien, within King County. It’s King County, not Burien, that owns and contracts out big Harborview Hospital to people who don’t want to treat them. Meanwhile, King County pays $13 million a year for T-Mobile stadium, which sits empty every October through April. It’s King County that pitched in $1 million last month to renovate Cinerama in downtown Seattle.
Dow Constantine appoints the King County Housing Authority, which owns and operates 597 units in six separate properties – just in Burien. Some of their parking lots have pretty nice cars. Since we have a housing crisis, King County could evaluate which current residents aren’t poor and help them relocate, and use the expiring $1 million deal for little homes for Burien homeless on its own Burien properties.
But that would mean Madame Ultimatum, Deputy Executive Shannon Braddock, would actually have to help operate housing, not contract it out. Ms. Braddock lost an election, then somehow ends up un-elected Deputy Executive earning $218,000 last year, only $3,000 less than the United States Secretary of Defense, General Lloyd Austin, or Attorney General Merrick Garland, both age 70. Young Shannon Braddock must be exceptionally smart and capable. Put her to work operating public housing.
I suggest City of Burien write back to unelected Deputy Executive Braddock that poor Burien’s unhoused are the County’s responsibility and to use that $1 million for their county-operated, not contracted-out housing. And to take her use-it-or-lose-it ultimatum and shove it.
Attached is Dr. Davidson’s chart showing the Distribution gap between Bellevue & Burien.
King County (pop 2,269,675) Distribution of WA Sales/ Use Taxes to Burien and Bellevue by Population, 2021