By Nicholas Johnson

With City Manager Brian Wilson’s Jan. 15 resignation looming, the Burien City Council voted Monday evening (Jan. 10, 2022) to appoint Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services (PaRCS) Director Carolyn Hope as interim city manager.

“I think it’s important that we appoint an acting city manager from within the organization,” Deputy Mayor Kevin Schilling said, “and while we do that, ensure we spend the time we need to search for the full-time option that we’ll eventually appoint.”

Five councilmembers voted in favor of Hope’s appointment while councilmembers Jimmy Matta and Hugo Garcia abstained, with Matta saying he preferred Wilson’s recommendation to appoint Administrative Services Director Cathy Schrock.

“As I understand it, she’s done this kind of work,” Matta said. “I’ve seen her in action and I think she’d do a great job.”

Hope, who was hired as the city’s PaRCS director in February 2020, said she is “surprised and honored” to be selected for the temporary role, which begins Jan. 16 and comes with additional pay of approximately $1,500 per month.

After more than three years with the city, Wilson submitted his resignation – effective Jan. 15 – in a Nov. 10, 2021, email to councilmembers.

Hope, who will remain in her role as PaRCS director, is expected to take on the additional duty for at least the next four months as the council searches for a permanent city manager with the help of a yet-to-be-hired executive search consultant.

During its Dec. 20, 2021, meeting, the council voted unanimously to direct Wilson to publish a request for proposals, with a deadline of Jan. 14, for consultants capable of leading the city’s search. The council is expected to select a consultant by late February and hopes to find a permanent city manager by the end of May.


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