In a joint statement released Monday evening (Nov. 29, 2021), three Burien City Councilmembers – including recently re-elected Mayor Jimmy Matta – laid out their priorities for the next two years in a four-point “blueprint for a better Burien.”

In the statement, which notably excludes councilmember Cydney Moore, councilmembers Matta, Kevin Schilling and Sofia Aragon said their focus in the coming years will be on making Burien not only a “safe and welcoming community” but also “the best place in King County to raise a family, own or build a home, and start a business.

“These four topics are the focal points of the next two years,” the minority group of the seven-member council wrote in their joint statement, noting that they look forward to working with recently elected councilmembers Hugo Garcia, Sarah Moore and Stephanie Mora. “Join us in partnership to accomplish these topics to make Burien the best it can be.”

Garcia, Moore and Mora are set to be sworn in during the council’s Jan. 10, 2022 meeting, after which the council will also elect its new mayor and deputy mayor. The mayor, who holds that title for two years, presides over meetings and works with the city manager to establish each meeting’s agenda. The deputy mayor, who serves in that role for one year, assumes the mayor’s responsibilities in their absence.

Here’s text of the full statement:

Mayor, Councilmembers Announce Blueprint for Next Two Years

Mayor Jimmy Matta and Councilmembers Sofia Aragon and Kevin Schilling look forward to the next two years of government policies

Mayor Matta and Councilmembers Aragon and Schilling look forward to working with the incoming city councilmembers on topics of interest to the City of Burien for the next two years. After this year’s municipal elections, the City of Burien is situated to work towards being the best place in King County to raise a family, own or build a home, and start a business.

First, the City of Burien is dedicated to being a safe and welcoming community. We are proud of the partnerships established between the City of Burien Police Department, the King County Sheriff’s Office, and our human services partners. As a Council, we need to work towards continuing to reduce crime, responding to mental health situations with services, and maintaining a positive relationship with the police department and community.

Second, we want Burien to be the best place in King County to raise a family. The Highline School District offers an incredible public-school education from preschool to high school. Students in our community leave the schools here prepared for college, career, and citizenship. It is our belief that we need to continue our work to make Burien a place that enhances the youth experience whether that be through Parks & Recreation programs, youth employment opportunities, or encouraging more involvement in the arts and sports. Family life is key to creating a positive environment for all to grow, and we want that for youth and families in Burien.

Third, we want Burien to be the best place in King County to build and own property. We have a housing crisis in America, there’s no doubt about it. We are eager to expand opportunities to grow housing at all levels in Burien, from affordable housing, to the missing middle, to high end development. Burien is geographically desirable for all people and we need to continue working towards policies that enhance the vibrant diversity and livability of our community for residents across the socio-economic spectrum.

Last but certainly not least, we want Burien to be the best place in King County to start and operate a business. Business growth is a central element of any community. Not only are city governments reliant on sales tax to operate our public services, but small business is the number one job creator this country has to offer, and the entrepreneurial spirit keeps economic growth alive and well. Burien is a foodie paradise, but we are also a place where many can start and operate a small business from home, work out of an office downtown, sell goods and services, and all other kinds of creative and necessary economic activity.

These four topics are the focal points of the next two years. We strive to serve one of the most diverse communities in King County. This is a blueprint for a better Burien, one that is safer, one that provides youth with opportunity, one that is welcoming, and one that is busy with business. Join us in partnership to accomplish these topics to make Burien the best it can be.