[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a verified resident. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog, nor its staff:]

Dear B-Town Blog,

I’m writing to express my concerns about Joel Manning who is running for Burien City Council Position Two.

The level of animosity Manning has shown to our current mayor and the councilmembers elected with him makes me wonder if he is capable of voting in the best interest of our growing city versus voting in opposition to those he just doesn’t like. As seen on his campaign page, Manning runs another FB page claiming to be the voice of our city. Manning’s contributions to the page he helps run are mostly op-eds that do nothing but diminish, disregard, and demean Mayor Matta. In fact, Manning has made it clear he thinks Mayor Matta was not the victim of any kind of assault despite multiple law enforcement agencies claiming otherwise.

Manning did, however, claim to be a victim with his own personal “#MeToo moment” when Mayor Matta presided over his first meeting as the Mayor in January 2018. Manning, on the “community” voice page he runs, posted an op-ed piece about the trauma of seeing the new Mayor take the helm of the council. It was a trauma he likened to a sexual assault. When asked by a sexual assault survivor (me) to rethink his use of the MeToo hashtag his immediate response was, “Lighten up or toughen up – whichever is appropriate for you personally.” Many people were stunned by his glib and flippant public response. We don’t need a candidate who is glib and flippant. We need a council member who is open to constructive and actionable feedback. It is clear Joel lacks this ability.

Manning’s 60 seconds of flattery directed at Mayor Matta during the candidate forum on October 10th don’t make up for years worth of angry and divisive rhetoric spewed from his “community” voice page. Our city is growing and we need to be inclusive, not divisive. Joel has a proven track record of divisiveness. We don’t need that on our council.

Molly Davis

EDITOR’S NOTE: Do you have something you’d like to share with our engaged Readers? If so, please email your Letter to the Editor to scottscha(at)gmail.com and, pending review and verification, we may publish it. Letter writers must use their full names, cite sources – as well as provide an address and phone number (NOT for publication but for verification purposes).

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.