Council Says No to White Center Solomon Solution

Jean Godden held out, but everyone else voted down a resolution to back the plan Mayor Greg Nickels' office announced last December to split White Center with Burien, go to Olympia holding hands, and push for legislation that would make it financially attractive for Seattle to bring the northern part into the city fold.

Less than two months ago, everyone seemed on board with the split-it-up deal, but apparently no more. Oh, White Center, will no one love you?

The issue for Tom Rasmussen and several of his fellow councilors comes down to cost. Giving the wealthier southern part of White Center to Burien and the lower-income north to Seattle, he argues, there will be even less money to put sidewalks in the Delridge neighborhoods or fix potholes. "Clearly I don't support the annexation," he said at a meeting of the full council this afternoon.

Sally Clark, an annexation advocate, reluctantly agreed with Rasmussen. Ultimately she'd like to bring the southern neighborhoods into the fold, but the alliance with Burien doesn't seem to be playing out as actual support in Olympia. Before voting against the deal, Clark added that she would have preferred to see how the legislature ultimately deals with Seattle.

According to Richard Conlin, the deal is once again up in the air in the Mayor's office possibly rendering the whole thing moot anyway. Conlin suggested council members vote against the deal regardless of how they fall on annexation.

Godden said in chambers she's still backing the plan because unlike most of her counterparts, she actually thinks annexing the lower-income areas of White Center would be a good thing for the city--like Ballard once was. Ballard, she says, was full of poor fishermen and a whole lot of bars. Now it's one of the nicer neighborhoods in the city. "In two or three years, times may be better, and I think of it [White Center] as a vital young area that we will want to acquire," she explained later by phone.

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