By Mellow DeTray

There was big news Monday night (May 2, 2022) regarding future Burien City Council meetings – following two years of holding virtual meetings during the Covid pandemic, then a recent water leak at City Hall that wrecked much of the required equipment, Burien City Council is now ready to meet in person again.

Future meetings will be open to the public to attend, and still available via Zoom for those who prefer that format. Council Chambers have been enhanced and upgraded, and the Council asks members of the community to be prepared to be patient during the meeting, as they’ll be using new communication technology, which may have some bugs to sort out.

The first fully hybrid (in-person and via Zoom) meeting will take place on Monday, May 23, 2022.

Here’s more from this week’s council meeting:

Burien City Council returning to in-person/hybrid meetings starting May 23 1

CITIZENS OF YEAR HONORED
In other news, two Citizens of the Year were honored: Rose Clark and Nancy Salguero McKay. Rose Clark served 14 years on the City Council– including in the capacity of Deputy Mayor for eight of those years– advocated for the health of the community by resisting the expansion of Sea-Tac Airport, and helped to create our vibrant Town Square plan, among many other roles in the community.

Nancy Salguero McKay began volunteering with Highline Heritage Society 18 years ago, and now serves as its Executive Director. She also began the City’s Dia De Los Muertos festivities, an annual celebration that draws some of the largest crowds for that celebration in the region.

A third Citizen of the Year – Tony Hayes – will be recognized at the next meeting, as he was unable to be present to accept the award.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING WEEK
Another proclamation at Monday’s evening was that May 8–14, 2022 will be Affordable Housing Week, expressing a commitment by the Council to work to improve access to affordable housing in our community. Homelessness affects a large number of people in our area, including children. There will be a variety of events and educational opportunities for the community during Affordable Housing Week.

PUBLIC COMMENTS
Public comments were in large part regarding the importance of tree cover for a healthy community, and several people specifically spoke up about preserving North SeaTac Park from a proposed development that would remove 100 acres of trees.

Burien City Council returning to in-person/hybrid meetings starting May 23 2

CITY MANAGER SEARCH UPDATE
There was also a bit of discussion about where the city is at with finding a new City Manager (CM).

The City has collected lots of feedback about what we as a community want to prioritize in a CM. May 15 is the application deadline for the position, and there is already a strong pool of 26 candidates.

One person submitted a written comment stating that she thinks it’s wrong for the City to consider hiring a CM who does not live in Burien. Feedback from the public survey will be used by the Council when considering candidates.

Mellow DeTray is a Seattle native who has spent the last 16 years raising her family in Burien. She has volunteered at many local establishments over the years, including the Burien Library, Burien Actors Theatre, and Hot Feet Fitness. After working for ten years at Burien Community Center, she moved on to teaching fitness classes and work the front desk of a Burien yoga studio. For many years Mellow kept a moderately popular cooking & lifestyle blog, and she had a brief stint in political journalism during a local election. Clear and informative writing has always been a side hobby of Mellow’s and she looks forward to bringing you unbiased coverage of City Council meetings.