By Mellow DeTray

Here’s what happened at Monday night’s (Aug. 15, 2022) regular Burien City Council meeting:

New City Manager sworn in, staff salaries discussed & more at Monday night's Burien Council meeting 1

Photos courtesy City of Burien.

New City Manager
Burien officially has a new City Manager – Adolfo Bailon – as he was sworn in at the start of Monday night’s meeting. Also discussed this evening was who to hire, among two finalists, to conduct performance evaluations of the City Manager. This consultant will help clarify the mutually agreed upon goals and objectives of the position, and complete regular evaluations to make sure the scope of the job is being reached. The cost for this service is covered by money already budgeted for in the hiring of the City Manager. The Council unanimously chose to hire Nash Consulting for this position.

New City Manager sworn in, staff salaries discussed & more at Monday night's Burien Council meeting 2

Proclamation to Honor Charlotte Ann Berg
A Proclamation was issued in honor of the life of Charlotte Ann Berg. Charlotte was a longtime volunteer with Transform Burien, and was honored in 2021 as a Citizen of the Year. Her volunteer work over the years, as well as her tireless effort in support of the homeless, earned trust, love, and respect from the community was proclaimed.

Public Comments
Many community members came in person to speak to Council, and the main topic was the problematic flooding in Boulevard Park. Flooding brings many ecological issues, and Council was asked to apply for an ecology grant to fund necessary changes that will stem seasonal flooding of the neighborhood.

One person spoke in favor of funding construction of a Performing Arts Center, arguing that art has been shown to reduce delinquency and crime, as well as act as an economic engine, bringing revenue to the region. Another community member asked for stronger tree regulations to protect our tree cover and help combat climate change.

Strategic Plan Delayed
The vote to approve the City’s Strategic Plan was delayed until next month, in a split decision that gives Council Members until late September to discuss and finalize details of the plan.

New City Manager sworn in, staff salaries discussed & more at Monday night's Burien Council meeting 3

City Staff Salary Review
Every three years, a survey is conducted to ensure that City salaries and benefits are competitive and fair compensation. Through this process, Burien compensations are compared with several nearby cities of similar population size and fiscal valuation. Through this survey, 61 positions, including union, regular, and intermittent status employees, are being reviewed. 15 reviews have been completed, and they average 4-8% below market rate. Only one position of these 15 met the market rate for compensation. The final report along with recommendations will be given in an October presentation.

Community Development Block Grant
The City of Burien is expected to receive $245,000 in federal funds under the Community Development Block Grant. The grant supports programs in low income communities. The planned allocation of the money will be as follows:

    • $44,000 for Administration
    • $45,000 for Human Services
    • $156,000 for the acquisition of Lakeview Park

On Sept. 19 there will be a public hearing on the proposed use of these funds, and it will be brought to Council vote on Oct. 3.

Watch video of the full meeting here.

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 to 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.