On Tuesday night (Oct. 3), The B-Town Blog held its second and final 2017 Burien City Council Candidate Forum at Merrill Gardens at Burien (an Advertiser). This final forum featured candidates for Burien City Council Positions #5 and #7:

  • Darla Green vs. Nancy Tosta
  • Patty Janssen vs. Krystal Marx
This year our Moderator was David Ruby, a Civics teacher at Highline High School. He asked relevant local issue questions, which mostly came from Reader submissions. Overall, 14 questions were asked, in addition to opening and closing statements. As we did at our previous forum Sept. 26, each candidate was given a “Pink Card” which they could use just once to rebut another’s statement. This forum included two uses of the Pink Card, which we’ve notated in the list of questions below. Click below to view the full, raw footage of Tuesday night’s lively debate (running time approx. 1 hour, 43 minutes; NOTE: there may be moments where the audio is out of synch, or there are video glitches due to technical issues): [embed]https://youtu.be/ARbQ7gsDjD8[/embed] TIME CODES FOR QUESTIONS:
1:20: Opening statements from all candidates. 10:24: The term ‘Activist’ has been used quite a lot recently. What does a good Activist look like to you? What is model behavior for an Activist? 14:52: Is there anything in the City budget you would repeal, and why? 18:45: A lot of Merrill Gardens residents walk to Bartell’s Shopping Center for basic needs. However, due to heavy speeding traffic between 4th Ave. SW and 6th Ave. SW this is now an extremely dangerous crossing. A marked crosswalk is desperately needed for safe crossing at the above named corners, and before there is a fatality. How would you take care of this issue? 24:20: What is your favorite book that you’ve recently read? 26:50: A business question – how do we create incentives for small and local businesses to prevent Burien from turning into a ‘franchise city’? 32:36: What do you see as the role of the city in supporting schools? 39:02: Lake Burien is owned and maintained by the state, but entirely surrounded by private properties. Do you support opening Lake Burien for public access? 44:53: According to the Housing Development Consortium, whose members include all of King County’s nonprofit housing developers as well major banks, architects, attorneys, and government agencies…the city of Burien needs at least 1,054 more homes for people who make between zero and 30% of average median income. How would you address that gap? PINK CARD ALERT:

50:42: Candidate Darla Green states:

“Government has no business in private enterprise – this can only lead to rent control, which is something my opponent would favor. That would be disastrous for Burien…”

Her opponent Nancy Tosta then uses her “Pink Card” to challenge Green’s statement:

51:33: “My opponent attributes behavior and points of view to me when she has no idea what I think…she has never talked to me about it. I am not a proponent of rent control…I don’t think (or am not even sure) that it’s even legal in the state of Washington. I do think we could look at some options for trying to protect tenants from significant rent increases like 80% increases (crowd murmurs)…no, that’s not rent control – you don’t know what rent control is (crowd reacts). Give me a chance and I’ll explain it…if a landlord proposes to raise your rent 10% (for example, hypothetical) you’ve got a month to find a new place to live; if a landlord raises your rent 25% you’ve got to have longer to find a place to live because it’s a challenge…” (timer bell chimes)

53:04: What is the City doing really well – and maybe not so well – towards fulfilling its strategic plan? 59:30: What is your opinion on Safe Injection Sites anywhere within Burien or unincorporated White Center? 1:06:52: Okay, now you’re a Tour Guide to a group of people from out of town – what three places would you take them in Burien? 1:11:14: Do you think Burien has any unsung heroes, and if so, who would you name? 1:16:14: Our Burien community is becoming more diverse. People with different ethnic, racial, religious and economic backgrounds and ways of life are in our community. What are you planning to do to bring more diversity to Burien? 1:24:28: The election is in five weeks. What is your strategy? PINK CARD ALERT:

1:28:30: Candidate Darla Green states:

“I want to remind this group that Patty, Joel, Debi and I – we’re working candidates. We’re all working candidates…we know how hard it is to work and feed our kids and take care of all that other stuff, but remember – we’re also running for your vote. We don’t have the ability to come down to the Farmers Market because we’re working. However, all of us are very accessible… so we’re doing all of this to meet you, our community…”

1:29:39: Candidate Krystal Marx uses her Pink Card in response:

“I want to address something…every single candidate running for Burien City Council is a working candidate (applause)…I think that is important to note…as people who are working, I think you make time for what is important. Now, schedules are different and I respect that…it is hard to get home from work early, it is hard when you have people depending on you, it is hard if you’re a business owner and you have clients to serve…I think that it’s really important to acknowledge, but you also make time for what is important, and for those who choose to show up on Thursdays they think that’s important there …so just to clarify, we’re all working candidates, and we all have a stake in this as well, and I don’t appreciate that comment.”

1:30:36: Closing statements.
SHOUTOUTS/THANKS Putting on a successful Candidate Forum is a LOT of work – from organizing/scheduling/confirming the candidates to finding a location to setting up 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)
  • Merrill Gardens at Burien’s General Manager Debbie Woodworth & crew
  • Theresa Schaefer for all her help
  • Andrea Reay of the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce
  • Dick West, for helping us set up
  • Matt Moeller for loaning us the PA System
  • Tommy Walker, who helped with security at the event
  • Our very civil 146+ person Audience!
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