LETTER: Burien Councilmember shares thoughts on City Manager’s firing

Print This Post  Email This Post

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]

To the Citizens of Burien…

I’ve tried to stop myself from writing this letter, but find it difficult not to. I’ve also purposefully not written to the blog to express my opinions – because that is what they are, mine alone. However, with the firing of our City Manager, I cannot remain silent. To me, this whole situation is sad and rather embarrassing for Burien.

I am very disappointed with the four council members who voted to fire Kamuron Gurol and I’m hoping they will provide an explanation for their vote to the public in the interest of transparency and full disclosure. I voted against this motion because I believed that Mr. Gurol has been doing an outstanding job in leading our city. I cannot speak for CM’s Wagner and Bell, but believe they feel the same way. Mr. Gurol has been a very proactive, energetic leader and manager. His departure from Burien will have a negative impact on the city in the near term.

Mr. Gurol has successfully led us through some very significant issues with many more looming on the horizon, i.e. developing operating budget for 2017 and related allocation of funding, dealing with the Port regarding airplane noise, economic development, public safety, mobility, homelessness, etc. We have lost one of the best supporters and leaders this city has. And with his departure, traction will be lost until a new replacement gets up to speed – which could be as late as this time next year.

And speaking of a replacement, we as the city, will pay for a recruiter to help identify and create a list of city manager candidates. Time and money will be spent reviewing and interviewing these candidates. One also has to consider the quality of candidates that will apply for the open position. I’m doubtful that a highly qualified applicant, knowing the dysfunction and history of the Council, would want to apply. The impact to the city staff will be significant as well. We’ve gone through two noteworthy discharges in the last couple weeks. What message and sense of security does that drive down to the city employees? Also to consider is that, along with their regular jobs, the cities’ leadership team will need to cover the city manager role. Adding to the cost of this event, Mr. Gurol will receive (and is entitled to) a severance package from the city for his abrupt departure.

Kamuron Gurol was a tremendous asset to Burien. He was a very pro-active leader and tireless in his pursuit of bettering our city with its welfare foremost on his agenda. He will be missed.

Stephen Armstrong
Council Member
City of Burien

[Have an opinion or concern you’d like to share with our ~80,000+ monthly Readers? Please send us your Letter to the Editor via email. Include your full name, please remain civil and, pending our review, we’ll consider publishing it.]

Print This Post  Email This Post


12 Responses to “LETTER: Burien Councilmember shares thoughts on City Manager’s firing”
  1. Ed Dacy says:

    Excellent letter. Well Said sir

  2. Ray Helms says:

    Good for you Steve for standing up and being counted. You truly are a leader for this community. It appears that a few members on this council do not consider the future and just react thinking that the citizens will pick up the cost for any whim that they feel like imposing on us. Yet many store fronts are still unoccupied as council expects city staff to do all the leg work finding new tenants. Where is all the extra funding coming from?
    Mr. Gurol was always responsive and attentive to ALL the residents, unlike some of our council members.

  3. brendan says:

    Too bad we couldn’t reinstate Mr. Gurol and fire the members of the council that released him…

  4. PamF2 says:

    Council Member Armstrong,

    The traction Burien gained was from the Burien Economic Development Department; of which Kamuron Gurol DISMANTLED over the last year. Not to mention that public safety was never a priority of his. Our crime, business stagnation and lack of branding all fall on Kamuron Grurol shoulders. Stop waxing poetic about a person who had a very personal (political) agenda over Burien’s needs as a city.

    About the four who came together to finally terminate a cancer on Burien, good job!
    (although incredibly surprising that these four came together to be sure )

    Now, I hope the council will learn from their mistakes, to NOT hire a seat filler, but to hire a City Manager with the guts to right this ship, put the tax payers first, keep building our business districts, and above all else, let our Police Department do their job!

    Public Safety must come above all else if we are to prevent becoming the cesspool that Seattle is.

    • Time to move on... says:

      Pam F2, care to give us the details of the ‘very personal political agenda’ you speak of with regard to Mr. Gurol. As to only being a ‘seat filler’, it seems several people who have spoke on his behalf here at the B-town Blog, indicate that he was quite responsive to their requests for assistance.
      As to providing help with safety issues, I might remind you of how something as simple as better lighting and security cameras for the areas between the Transit Center and 152nd were voted down with gusto by primarily those who voted for Mr. Gurol’s dismissal. As I recall, they were also very hesitant to pay for an onsite officer presence at Highline High School. And they were very reluctant to take a leadership role when the Burien Heights issues were at a fever pitch earlier this year. I am for improved safety, too. I just wonder how you connect these 4 council members with improving our safety, with or without Mr. Gurol.

    • Advice says:

      F2, your coming across as a “gutless wonder”, simply back up your assertions with facts not just spewing venom….no one would take your vindictive comments seriously…really….what is your real agenda? Anything of value? Please state it or shut up! Your not helping.

  5. Debi Wagner says:

    Thank you for writing this Steve. I couldn’t agree more. I also want to point out that Kamuron has managed to turn a dismal structural deficit forecast to an improved nearly balanced budget future and to his credit, there wasn’t much to work with to accomplish that task. He helped accomplish goals i hoped would happen such as the Burien magazine, impediments to development for small business removed, modified, town square storefronts filling and now in the middle of working on the meeting for the community regarding new flight paths over Burien. There is much more I could write but suffice it to say I will miss him and wish him the best.

  6. Kellie Bassen says:

    Thank you for this letter. I also want to know why in the world they (those 4 council members) would do this. The citizens of Burien need a lot more transparency than we have been receiving.

    I saw Mr. Gurol often out and about in Burien. At Community Events, talking to the citizens. He was pleasant and approachable. He seemed to try to stay in touch with us. I was shocked when I heard this news.

    Is this decision irreversible?

  7. Time to move on... says:

    Thank you for speaking up on this matter Mr. Armstrong. Your information brings us closer to knowing what is going on with the council. Still one wonders if even Mr. Gurol has been told the exact reason for his dismissal. …One also wonders if he would care to run for a seat on our council next election cycle!?! 🙂

  8. DR says:

    Steve, did the council give our city manager a warning at all regarding their disappointments, that the public just did not see. Maybe 30-60 day turnaround? I hope our mayor will do the right thing by letting the taxpayers know what is going on in our government! The council just took a bunch of steps backward so whatever it was it better be with good reason!!

  9. KateBB says:

    Thank you both, Debi and Steve, for speaking up. At least there are a couple of council members we can rely on and trust. All any naysayer has to look at is the percentage of positive over negative comments to see how the majority of the citizens of Burien feel about this shameful outcome.

  10. ND says:

    Steve Armstrong could provide an explanation on this blog about why Kamuron Gurol was fired. The Sept. 27, 2016 article by Jack Mayne says it was related to his evaluation.

Share Your Opinion

By participating in our online comment system, you are agreeing to abide by the terms of our comment policy.

...and oh, if you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!