JACK MAYNE: ‘What the blazes is going on at Burien City Hall?’
Commentary by Senior Writer Jack Mayne
(click “Play” button to hear audio version:)
What the blazes is going on at Burien City Hall?
First, the Council voted on September 19 to fire productive and respected Economic Development Manager Dan Trimble. A week later, this past Monday, the Council voted 4 to 3 to fire City Manager Kamuron Gurol after only two years in office. No reasons were given to the citizens of Burien.
“Fired for doing what, exactly?” asked a B-Town Blog reader. Many readers had similar reactions and none of the readers commenting on the story about the Gurol firing agreed with the Council’s action.
Another Blog reader said, “Transparency seems to be government’s go-to keyword whenever they attempt a cover-up. It’s obvious the council is perpetuating the ‘we know better than the public so we just do what we want” system.
Still another said, “Very curious about what exactly happened, and I’m more concerned about the short long-term management of our city.”
One citizen said, “I attend the Council meetings. The problem I have seen is the council not giving clear direction to staff.”
Another said, “On every occasion I have received quick and courteous replies and better yet, (Gurol) addressed every concern and often went the extra step to fix the problems I was writing about. If this isn’t a sign of a good city manager what is?”
Another said it was “A very sad day for Burien. The city ‘leaders’ just lost one of the most dedicated and honest and least self-serving public servants they will ever be able to attract. They lost Kamuron Gurol at their own hand and will only discover the ramifications of their actions as the future for this troubled city unfolds.”
Then a B-Town Blog reader hit what we think is the major point:
“What qualified candidate is going to want to apply for this position when the last three city managers have been forced out?”
“Transparency in city government? Apparently, not so much in Burien,” said another reader.
We add here that the Council owes its citizens a reason why these actions were taken and taken in such a secret manner. The “executive session” where the Council can deliberate in secret, appears to have been abused here.
Certainly, some parts of any employee firing needs to be kept confidential, but when a series of apparent blunders happen, the public needs some response. Remember, the bosses are the citizens of Burien, not a forceful segment of the Burien City Council.