By Nicholas Johnson

Burien City Manager Brian Wilson submitted his resignation today – effective Jan. 15, 2022 – after more than three years in the city’s top post.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as Burien’s city manager since July 11, 2017,” Wilson wrote in an email to the city council Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 10). “I am looking forward to pursuing other opportunities; both personal and professional.”

Wilson, who had previously worked as the city of Federal Way’s chief of staff and police chief, was hired in June 2017 to replace Kamuron Gurol, who had been fired in a 4-3 city council vote in late September of 2016 after more than two years on the job.

Wilson’s resignation announcement comes on the heels of a recently completed annual performance evaluation conducted by the city council in closed-door executive session. That evaluation (download PDF here), completed Nov. 1, assessed Wilson’s performance in both 2020 and 2021, finding it to be “competent: solid and steady in essential aspects.”

The announcement also comes ahead of a city manager salary review scheduled for Monday’s regular city council meeting.

Wilson came aboard with a base salary of $165,000 plus an annual vehicle allowance of $5,700. That has grown to a base salary of $194,800.

Wilson’s current total annual compensation of $200,500 is 10.4 percent below market rate, according to a Nov. 1 survey of city manager salaries in other comparable Washington cities.

For example, the total 2021 compensation for Des Moines City Manager Michael Matthias is $225,319 while total 2021 compensation for SeaTac City Manager Carl Cole is $218,543.

Regardless, Wilson did not say why exactly he decided to submit his resignation.

“I am leaving the city with an outstanding leadership team in place, Burien in the best financial condition in its history, and with a staff recognized for their knowledge, skills, abilities, and commitment to service implementing Council policy across all departments,” Wilson wrote in his email to the council.


Nicholas Johnson (he/him) is an award-winning writer, editor and photographer who grew up in Boulevard Park, graduated from Highline High School and studied journalism at Western Washington University. Send news tips, story ideas and positive vibes to