On Tuesday night (Sept. 26), The B-Town Blog held its first 2017 Burien City Council Candidate Forum at El Dorado West Retirement Community (an Advertiser). This first forum featured candidates for Burien City Council Positions 1 and 3:

  • Joel Manning vs. Pedro Olguin
  • Jimmy Matta vs. Debi Wagner
This year our Moderator is David Ruby, a Civics teacher at Highline High School. He asked relevant local issue questions, which mostly came from Reader submissions (NOTE: you can still submit questions for our final forum – coming Tuesday, Oct. 3 at Merrill Gardens – by emailing [email protected]) before 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 2. Overall, 15 questions were asked, in addition to opening and closing statements. Click below to view the full, raw footage of Tuesday night’s lively debate (running time 1 hour, 30 minutes): [embed]https://youtu.be/-p-Ed9ebpjk[/embed] TIME CODES FOR EACH QUESTION:
8:10: The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” Please tell us whether you agree or disagree with that, and why. 12:45: I would like to hear the candidates speak about how they plan to work with people (both fellow city council members as well as constituents) who do not support their personal views. 17:15: Where do you live, how long have you lived there, and why are you running? 22:49: With our proximity to Seatac airport, what do you see as some of the major challenges and solutions over the coming years of growth (for instance with respect to issues such as noise and air pollution)? 28:33: Parking is a problem in the downtown of Burien and the city will need a new parking structure in the downtown very,very soon. How would you plan to finance that structure? 33:14: During your time living in Burien, what have you already done to make your neighborhood a better place to live? 38:49: Do you support CARES for animal control or would you prefer to have the Regional Animal Services of King County operate this service? 41:42: With other communities raising the minimum wage do you support Burien raising its minimum wage and if so, to what? 46:38: What is your favorite book, apart from religious texts? 48:13: We cannot forever have a divided Burien; if you are elected to the city council what will you do to break the current 4-3 voting status? 54:12: Do you believe homelessness is a problem that Burien can alleviate or reduce, and how should the city handle the problems of homelessness? 1:00:48: What programs exist in other cities or states that you believe could be implemented in Burien to alleviate our drug addiction problem? 1:07:13: Burien will add at least 400+ residents when both new Town Square buildings are built. Youth, families, elderly and students already living in the city complain about the lack of recreational facilities, and over 80% of the residents in the city can’t swim. How would you fund and deal with the city’s recreational needs? 1:12:10: What is your plan to outreach and engage our growing immigrant communities & bring them into the conversation about Burien’s future?

NOTE: At 1:16:08, candidate Joel Manning’s answer to the above question elicited the strongest reaction of the night.

1:18:14: Suppose $500,000 materialized in Burien’s budget. You do not need to build consensus with other members of the council – how would you spend it? (moderator clarifies it as $500,000 per year for 2 years). 1:22:19: Closing statements. 1:30:15: Forum ends. Time to stack up and load out the chairs!
VIDEO: Here's raw footage of The B-Town Blog's first 2017 Candidate Forum 1 Our next – and final – Candidate Forum will be held this coming Tuesday, Oct. 3, at Merrill Gardens at Burien (another BTB Advertiser), with the following schedule:
  • 6 p.m.: Doors open
  • 6:30 p.m.: ‘Meet & Greet’ the Candidates
  • 7 p.m.: Forum starts, and runs until 8:30 p.m.
Since we first starting holding forums in 2010, our goal has been to provide an independent, fair, civil and safe event to allow residents to meet and hear from candidates, as well as for candidates to have a place to share their thoughts/opinions on relevant local issues with residents. It is our intention that our final forum will also be broadcast live on our Facebook page, as well as video and audio recorded for later playback/posting on our website. SHOUTOUTS/THANKS Putting on a successful Candidate Forum is a LOT of work – from organizing/scheduling/confirming the candidates to finding a location to the finger-smashing fun of moving ~100 chairs in a rented truck and much more…so we’d like to give a HUGE THANKS to the following:
  • Katalia Alexander, Organizer/Producer (and student at Mt. Rainier High School)
  • All Burien City Council Candidates
  • David Ruby, our Moderator (and Teacher at Highline High School)
  • Nghi Lam, Volunteer Timer (and student at Highline High School)
  • El Dorado West Retirement Community Executive Director Lori Crow, Semko Avdic & crew
  • Theresa Schaefer for all her help, including moving/returning all those heavy chairs
  • Dick West, who lost an entire fingernail while helping load/reload chairs
  • Matt Moeller for loaning us the PA System
  • Paul McDonald & Bryan Shickley, who helped with video/technical
  • Matt, who helped with security at the event
  • Our very civil ~110 person Audience!
Merrill Gardens at Burien is located at 15020 5th Ave SW (near Burien Town Square, just north of City Hall): ]]>