Burien City Councilmembers discuss meeting guidelines Monday night


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By Jack Mayne

Much of Monday night’s (Oct. 2) Burien City Council meeting was to consider its own meeting guidelines.

It also reviewed the second year of the city’s biennial budget, including increasing jail costs.

At the beginning of the meeting, resident Melloeux d’Estrés told the councilmembers to lower their computer screens in front of them.

“The computer monitors conceal about all of your faces when you’re at your Council desks,” she said, “…so when you are down in the audience all we see are eyebrows and tops of noses.”

Moments later Mayor Lucy Krakowiak, with a small smile, lowered her screen. d’Etrés said Councilmember Bob Edgar had already lowered his.

Financial review
City Financial Director Kim Krause reviewed the second year of Burien’s biennial budget.

Krause said the city’s fund balances are “healthy” and that revenue projections are “higher than we estimated” in the current adopted budget.

She said changes will be worked out in detail by the next regular meeting of the Council.

Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz asked if there were any available added funds for the human services area outside of the rainy day funds.

There were some funds the Council could consider, Krause said.

Tosta, who sits on the board governing SCORE – the south county jail located in Des Moines – said the costs to Burien have been continually increasing at a quicker rate, in fact doubling in the past years.

“They will go up more next year,” she said, adding that everyone thinks the jail is a great one but very costly.

Krause said Burien was recommending some reserve funds for the SCORE jail not be “fully funded“.

Berkowitz said the city should put fewer people in jail to solve the problem.

Council guidelines
Again the Council discussed at length, then approved on a split 4–3 vote the 2017 version of their guidelines.

Councilmember Debi Wagner said she was glad the matter got done in only one meeting.

But Berkowitz was, as usual, not pleased, noting this was the 14th time it had been discussed in the four years she’s been on the City Council

“I will not be supporting this because I strongly oppose this,” Berkowitz said.

She had asked in the past for the Council to meet at varying times of the day, so people who can’t be available on Monday night may attend. She also wanted the city to provide foreign language interpreters for non-English speakers.

She said she was most unhappy that some rules in the package were unconstitutional. She noted that only speech that is actually causing disruption should be banned.

Berkowitz is the only member to use Twitter, which is banned under the agreement, along with other social media postings.

“I will not stand for the Constitution to be eroded by the City Council,” she added.

Councilmember Austin Bill agreed with Berkowitz that she and others should be allowed to use Twitter even though he does not use that form of communications. Tosta also did not agree with banning use of social media during Council sessions.

She also objected to putting citizen letters back into the council meeting packet, as well as the banning of the use of social media during meetings. She also objected to putting traditional letters back into the council meeting packet.

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Comments

16 Responses to “Burien City Councilmembers discuss meeting guidelines Monday night”
  1. MichaelJ says:

    Not getting why Councilmembers need to use Twitter or any social media during official meetings. This is not a place for mulittasking. It is also not a place to look like your mind is not 100 percent paying attention. Not checking out the latest memes…

    However, looking up things pertinent to the discussion on Internet primary reference sources for fact checking should be encouraged. Twitter and Facebook are not primary research sources.

  2. Kellie says:

    Would be great if these updates didn’t include the snippy stuff.

    • Diane says:

      Snippy is as snippy does. If Lauren didn’t say the stuff she does, it wouldn’t be reported. But she continually tells us how disappointed she is, how wrong everyone but her is, and condescendingly reminds everyone that she’s a lawyer. Doesn’t mean she’s a good one OR that she has a great grasp of the Constitution.
      Twitter THAT!

      • Tom says:

        you are correct Diane. The Lauren phenomenon is the product of an electorate gulled by mindless sloganeering. – that worked.
        We’re getting it again. Simplistic statements full of sound and fury signifying nothing.
        Try “ stronger together”, “Take back Burien”, “Burien proud”, “Burien first”, “Burien deserves real local leadership” etc. These are buzz phrases that mean absolutely zilch.
        We all know the meaningless slogan of all time, “Make America great again”. Riiight!
        Check out the purveyors of those simplistic statements and run the other way as fast as you can. Tom

        • Peter says:

          Sound bite politics has been going on for decades, and this is taylor made for things like Twitter and campaigns devoid of substance such as Trump’s (sorry Trump fans).

          Actually “Make America Great Again” has a rather long history as a political slogan. Reagan used it in 1980 – as a response to the Carter malaise of the 70’s, aftermath of Vietnam, decline of American prestige abroad, etc. Even Bill Clinton used the phrase.

  3. Clean it up! says:

    One wonders where social media will next be taken for granted? Will jurors be allowed to Tweet? Will lawyers and judges be allowed to tweet away though an on going case? Will our dear President ask everybody to give him a minute while he responds to a tweet during the State of the Union address?
    As annoying as such selfishness is in public settings, I grow more concerned about the children who are ignored while their parent gives full attention to every stupid thing that fills the screen. We live in an age that gives little or no value to self control. And so we teach our children to have no respect, no self control, no attention span for anything other than one’s own thoughts.
    It’s a very ragged world we are creating by our own thoughtless actions. It takes self discipline to have better habits. How ancient ‘self discipline’ sounds. It was once what made us strong. Strong enough to survive things like The Depression, and 2 World Wars. We had good leadership, but we also were a people who knew self discipline and the benefit of regard for one another. Holding off on Tweeting during council meetings is simply that. Having a little self discipline and showing a little regard for others.

    • Question Authority says:

      It’s all about them and their little glowing world in the palm of their distracted hands. Multi tasking was never meant to be about ignoring others you were elected to serve.

    • Burien voter says:

      I can go back into ancient history and read the same complaints about “lack of self discipline” in the works of the ancient Athenians, 2500 years ago. Mostly it’s a repeat of the same old thing: “If I don’t do something, you shouldn’t do it either.” Everybody ignores it, and life goes on.

  4. Captain obvious says:

    I feel one issue with social media is it somewhat new to people. They find it’s a way to express your feelings. But I understand that multitasking can be difficult for some people and some can do it find.

    Also how many of the candidates running for the city council are using social media right now.

    How many people are in Facebook groups about burien. Who out of those people also understand that on those groups messages can be censored by who ever is in control of the group.

    There are also issue’s of people (some candidates) that don’t agree with each other so they block or mute messages.

    We also live in time where it is very easy for someone to make things up and post for the whole group to see. That can be hard to verify the information. Then some people take the information as true and run with it. Even worse the spin in to something worse that makes the news. Then confuses even more people swaying more votes.

    Also we live in a time that most news media are so eager to post what ever fluff piece they can to fill time and get avertiser money they will eat up the nonsense in heart beat. All they have to do is post a retraction later if even that.

  5. On Lake Burien Minor says:

    Healthy finances and no significant increase in crime rate. I wonder what the “make Burien great again” faction will come up with next to frighten the electorate into voting for them.

    • On Lake Burien Minor says:

      It’s as if some people were upset that crime rate didn’t increase and that finances are healthy.

    • Seahurst resident says:

      No significant increase means an increase to something that is already the highest in the region. We are just sad about it and even more sad that no city leader or half of the candidates seem to recognize it, yet nothing will be done.

      • On Lake Burien Minor says:

        It means a minor fluctuation that is not evidence of increase in crime and it certainly does not mean unprecedented criminal activity like you people have been pretending it means. In other words,: the crime rate was no different than today when you people didn’t not instrumentalize it to political ends. Your claim that it is the highest in the region is also very suspect given that burien’s crime rate is similar to that of surrounding communities, notably Seattle. Gee, what a surprise!

  6. Seahurst resident says:

    We better look at what has or not has been the last 4 years. Over the last 4 years we see a significant increase in crime rate, no major projects undertaken to lift the image and position of Burien in the Puget Sound region. The NERA and town square projects were initiated before current council and the incumbent is patting herself on the back for it. The last 4 years have been dominated by quibbling about minor stuff that mostly has been detrimental to the state of the city.

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