Burien City Councilmembers discuss meeting guidelines Monday night 1By 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.]]>