Burien City Manager Mike Martin may leave for Lakewood soon
Burien City Manager Mike Martin informed city staff members Thursday (June 6) that he is a finalist for the city manager position with Lakewood.
The Lakewood City Council is expected to fill the position within the next two weeks.
Martin was hired by Burien in early 2007. He replaced Gary Long, who had been asked to resign by a new council majority following the 2005 city elections.
Former City Councilman Gordon Shaw said when he left office at the end of 2011 that playing a key role in bringing Martin to Burien was “the best thing” he did for the city while in office.
But three current council members – Deputy Mayor Lucy Krakowiak and Jack Block Jr. and Bob Edgar – have voiced outspoken opposition to Martin (read about Martin’s recent job evaluation here).
Should this November’s city elections produce one more lawmaker who aligns with their voting block, that would give the council an anti-Martin majority – likely making his dismissal inevitable.
In fact, Krakowiak opposed the hiring of Martin and, after he was involved in a DUI-related traffic accident, called for his firing.
Allies of these three council members, including some who have filed for this year’s city council races, are also on the anti-Martin bandwagon – many of them blaming him for the council’s split decision to annex remaining unincorporated North Highline last year.
That measure was soundly defeated by North Highline voters last fall.
He was also criticized for a major cost overrun, incurred by a former city public works director, in an asphalt overlay program for deteriorating major streets.
But despite claims by his critics that Burien is in a shaky financial position, Martin has pointed to the city’s balanced budget despite the recent recession, which makes it one of the most financially stable cities in Washington.
During this time, he has noted, there have been no staff layoffs and almost no reductions in city services.
Martin has also aggressively pursued and secured major funding for transportation, waste water, and park improvements in the city’s Northeast Redevelopment Area (NERA), which is expected to bring new commercial development to Burien.