By Mellow DeTray

At Monday night’s (June 6, 2022) regular Burien City Council meeting, two proclamations were made, comments on public safety and septic systems heard, the search for a new City Manager discussed, hazard pay reviewed and an update on the city’s food truck pilot program approved.

Proclamations
The meeting kicked off with two Proclamations; the first makes June officially LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, and the second recognizes June 19 as Juneteenth, a holiday to honor the day that many Southern blacks were finally informed that they were free, in the aftermath of the Civil War.

Public Comment
Several community members addressed public safety concerns, including the emergency exit doors of Council Chambers being blocked by a tent, and drug use and dealing in Town Square Park. One asked for continuous nighttime police presence in the area to forestall the kind of illegal activity that she said occurred during summer nights in 2021. Another issue brought up was the thousands of Boulevard Park homes that are still on septic, the economic issues blocking the switch to sewer service, and the environmental benefit of the switch. Another community member asked that actionable tree removal regulations be passed to prevent further damage to our tree cover.

City Manager Position
This Thursday, June 9, 2022 the remaining six City Manager candidates will be available for a public Meet & Greet at the Burien Community Center, between 6:30-8:30 p.m. There will be refreshments as well as public feedback forms, which the Council will have access to in making their hiring decision. The following morning at 8 a.m. the Council will conduct interviews and select three finalists to continue the process, with final selection taking place early next week.

Hazard Pay Ends
The Council voted to end Grocery Worker Hazard Pay, which went into effect early in the pandemic and will now conclude on June 30. The vote was passed by a narrow majority. The Grocery Workers Union has successfully negotiated for a permanent wage increase of about the same amount as Hazard Pay, which will go into effect after the Hazard Pay ends. Some grocery workers are not union members so there is concern about a sudden drop in pay for them.

Food Truck Pilot Program Extended
The Food Truck Pilot Program was originally put in place for a one-year trial, and on Monday night Council voted to extend it for another year. During this past year, five food trucks have been approved to operate in Burien. Five more applied but then decided not to operate here. Several changes to food truck restrictions were discussed including:

    • Being able to park overnight
    • Allowing operation until 3 a.m.
    • Allowing them to have tables & chairs
    • Allowing them to operate close to existing restaurants
    • Setting up a “Food Truck Rodeo”, a permanent eclectic mix of food trucks with outdoor seating operated on a private lot.

In a 4-3 decision, none of these amendments were passed, and the program was extended without changes.

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.