Council approves City Manager evaluation process; agreement to build public trail
by Jack Mayne
Burien’s new City Manager will be evaluated by the Council next month, then twice more during his first year under a new process adopted by the lawmakers Monday (July 21) night.
Councilmembers also agreed to sign an agreement with King County to build part of a 16-mile public trail along Des Moines Memorial Drive, and took the first steps to making it illegal for homeless and others to trespass – make that camp – on city property.
The newly-elected Council majority had concerns with the way former City Manager Mike Martin was evaluated and has been crafting a rather complicated process that changed the timing of the evaluation and makes the annual review effective on the anniversary of the current manager. Kamuron Gurol, who started work on April 16 this year, will face a four-month interim evaluation in August, another in four more months, then an annual evaluation next April. From now on, rather than evaluate the manager on the first of the year, it will be on his or her anniversary date.
The process, approved unanimously Monday night, will serve to clarify the one-year performance evaluation process for future city managers, as well as the performance evaluation form with milestones, ongoing goals and performance measures under future development sections.
Under the new process, the City Council will decide on the performance for the city manager in an executive session with the city attorney in attendance as a “resource as requested by the City Council,” and get input from the “City Manager and each other (to) share perspectives and discuss how well the city manager has achieved his performance goals.”
After those meetings, the Council develops a consensus evaluation memorandum based on council’s directions.
The new process says the Council “also decides whether the city manager should receive a raise, guidance and in the other direction based on the evaluation and the consistent with contract provisions.”
Trail on Des Moines Drive
The Council also approved an interagency agreement between the city and King County to build a portion within the city of a public trail.
Brian Roberts, assistant public works director, said the Lake to Sound Trail is a 16-mile long and 12-feet wide path that will connect Lake Washington to Puget Sound via Renton, Tukwila, SeaTac, Burien and Des Moines. When finished, Roberts said it would connect many businesses, including Boeing, along with public transportation hubs, as well as provide outdoor recreation for residents.
The segment in Burien would be on the east side of Des Moines Memorial Drive between the SR-509 freeway and Normandy Road, “mostly in existing right-of-way,” he said. King County would design and pay to build the trail, but the city would pay for work, then bill the county for reimbursement. When it is done, the county will deed the parts of the trail in Burien to the city.
“In the end, the city ends up with no direct cost to the city, able to possess a state of the art segment of a regional trail which we will maintain and preserve indefinitely,” said Roberts.
‘Dangerous and Unsavory’
The Council is beginning discussions on fixing the ordinance governing people camping out and perhaps acting out, on city property.
Now, the Burien criminal code does not give police officers the authority to issue trespass warnings on public property “when there is probable cause to believe a person has committed a criminal offense or is engaging in dangerous unsafe or unreasonably disruptive behavior.”
Currently, police officers address such misconduct by making an arrest or telling them to leave the premises, but often those whose intent is on finding a place to sleep, return.
The proposed ordinance would allow police officers to issue trespass warnings “to people committing criminal violations are engaging in dangerous unsavory or unreasonably disruptive behavior” which would prohibit them from remaining on or returning to the property where the conduct took place.