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Majority Supports Gerald Robison To Replace Kathy Keene On City Council

Gerald (Jerry) Robison

by Ralph Nichols [1]

Burien attorney Gerald (Jerry) Robison is the apparent successor to the seat currently held by Kathy Keene on the Burien City Council.

Five of the seven council members expressed support for Robison during a special meeting to discuss Keene’s replacement, which preceded Monday night’s (Nov. 29) regular council meeting.

Because she resigned effective Dec. 31 – to retire and move to Florida – her replacement will not be formally selected by the council and seated until the Jan. 3 meeting.

Mayor Joan McGilton and council members Brian Bennett, Jack Block Jr., Keene and Gordon Shaw said they favor Robison’s appointment to the council.

A primary reason for their support is his extensive experience with land use planning and zoning. One issue involving these issues that the council is expected to study next year is the possible annexation by Burien of the remaining North Highline unincorporated area.

Deputy Mayor Rose Clark and Councilwoman Lucy Krakowiak wanted the appointment of Andrea Reay, 31, a production administrator with Seattle Opera, because as a young working mother she would bring a demographic now absent to the council.

When she announced her resignation, Keene said she hoped the new council member would come from north Burien, which was annexed into the city earlier this year.

But Krakowiak said it would also be good to have someone from the Manhattan area in south Burien on the council.

The third finalist to replace Keene was Greg Duff, a Burien Planning Commission member, past president of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, and concrete mixer truck driver.

Retiring City Councilmember Kathy Keene, left, with Mayor Joan McGilton.

Duff said when interviewed earlier by The B-Town Blog that whether appointed now or not, he will be a candidate for election to the Burien City Council next year. Several council members noted this and voiced the hope that he does run.

In other action, the council approved Burien’s 2011-12 biennial budget on a 6-1 vote. There was not discussion prior to this final vote and Block cast the lone dissenting vote without comment.

The two-year general fund budget for the city is $40.192 million, based on anticipated revenues of almost $41.386 million.

Details of the new budget and the city’s property tax will be posted on The B-Town Blog tomorrow.

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