CARES gets new contract; ‘cancer of hate’ & new parking study before City Council 1By Jack Mayne The Burien City Council approved an extended animal control contract with CARES, along with being told of unhappy parade goers pelting a Trump for President truck in the holiday parade were among items at Monday night’s regular City Council session. Councilmembers voted 5 – 2 to approve an extension of the CARES contract from its expiration date of Aug. 31 to Dec. 31, 2017. Mayor Lucy Krakowiak and Deputy Mayor Bob Edgar both voted against the contract extension. Concerns about the anti-Trump demonstration and citizen concerns about Highline teacher departures and a mobility study were also on the Council agenda on Monday (July 18). CARES to get audited Before the Council approved the CARES extension it voted 6 to 1 to conduct a third independent audit “to evaluate current daily operations of the Burien CARES animal shelter” within the “context of the City’s current contract … and with regard to best practices and/or professional shelter standards …” Deputy Mayor Edgar was the lone opponent. Edgar suggested, as he has before, that a third audit indicates some systemic problems with CARES and that it needs to “get things better.” Mayor Lucy Krakowiak wanted to add a review of “best practices for animal control” which the Council agreed to. City Manager Kamuron Gurol said the city had discussed the scope of the audit review and CARES director Debra George indicated the audit was acceptable. He also said it was “quite possible” to add a review of animal control processes. Edgar said he would not support a third audit of CARES, noting that if three audits for other contractors had been needed, the contract would have been terminated. Councilmember Debi Wagner said there have been several audits of CARES operations but never one of its finances – how the money was spent. “It is a very critical issue of government, how our money is being spent,” Wagner said, adding that the city is providing additional funds but there is no understanding of how the money is being managed. ‘Cancer of hate’ Thirty-fourth District Republican District Chairman Chuck Rangel told the Council he came to discuss a “cancer of hate” that resulted from the Burien July 4th parade, in which the group had entered a truck with Donald Trump’s name on it. “As we got to Elmer’s Bar, we got hit with water balloons, water guns, water bottles, candy and everything else,” he said, adding that an 80-year-old woman on the truck got hit in the face and then ducked and stay low afterwards. Rangel said he went to the bar later to talk about the event and was met with anger and derision against the Republican presidential nominee. He added he thinks the Council should debate which actions are acceptable in public and which are not. “The cancer of hate is everywhere … there’s people hating police (and) hate anybody that they do not agree with, like a Republican. Therefore so it is acceptable to throw things at people you don’t like, the people you hate, like Republicans. “There is a sickness that’s going around the country and it is evident now in this city as well – what happened on the 4th of July was a disgrace not only to the city but especially to some of the residents that partook in that activity.” Mobility to be studied City staff presented the completed downtown mobility study, which was to assess Burien’s downtown conditions and recommend future capital projects and policy changes to improve not only mobility, but to “encourage economic development in Burien.” Community Development Director Dan Trimble said one of the focuses of the study done by consultants Fehr and Peers Transportation Consultants was on the sometimes controversial downtown parking problems. The Council held a brief discussion of possible parking changes on SW 152nd Street and some suggested potential reversing of the diagonal parking slots to back-in rather than the current front-in style. Councilmember Steve Armstrong wanted to study the idea, but said he agreed with Councilmember Austin Bell that it might be safer to do as they do in White Center, back in to park, and then pull directly into traffic when leaving. The city manager said most of the potential changes would require more study and Council action to put into practice and suggested letting the Planning Commission discuss it first and slate Council discussion later in the year or in 2017. Teachers leave; walk and bikes Resident Meg Van Wyk said the Highline School District said “about 20 teachers” have left Highline High School, about 20 percent of the staff. “I just thought you should know the figures, I am not happy about it,” Van Wyk said, adding that the school board will meet Wednesday (July 20) at the Highline High School library and said the Council was welcome to attend. The Council also heard a presentation on Walk/Bike Burien (WABI Burien) by President Maureen Hoffmann, a group that surveyed and counted all bike rack in the city and has overseen installation of 41 new racks, especially in the downtown, paid for by a $10,000 grant from the state’s Economic Revitalizations Board, and from $7,800 from 34 local merchants purchasing new rack sponsorships. “They were in use within an hour,” Hoffmann said. The group also is beginning its sixth year of the first Sunday of the month “Walk and Talks” and have not missed a Sunday.]]>