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

Dear Council Members,

Your Oath of Office requires you to protect Burien against monetary harm. I believe it is time to replace Council Leaders creating gridlock. Burien will benefit from a new Council Leadership focusing on Burien.

How did Burien get here?

The three Council Leaders serving since 2014 share two things in common. They:

  • Fail to act effectively
  • Fail to keep their word

Their failings create Council inaction, making Burien unsafe.

Examples of failure to act effectively are:

  • Mayor Krakowiak failing to take the initiative and ignoring known problems.
  • Deputy Mayor Tosta’s prioritization skills appear undeveloped, wasting Council time on unfunded and unplanned ideas.
  • Former Deputy Mayor Edgar takes careless and inappropriate action instead of rebuilding Burien.

Mayor Krakowiak

The Mayor has yet to articulate a credible agenda, allowing Homelessness and C.A.R.E.S. to dominate Council business in lieu of efforts to make Burien safer.

The Mayor:

  • Ignores Crime Free Multi-Family Housing Ordinances enacted by Tukwila and Des Moines, allowing Gangs to thrive in Burien. She learned of these Ordinances in 2009 and didn’t connect with Our situation.
  • Permits Allturus and other large apartments to continue receiving a $200 per year business license, despite higher policing costs for many of these apartments.

I experience the Mayor as secretive, arrogant and deflecting. This two minute video shows:

  • Council Member Wagner’s question on absenteeism being deflected by the Mayor.
  • Council Member Wagner then quizzing Council Member Berkowitz before being cut off by the Mayor.
  • The Mayor changing the topic, avoiding Council Member Wagner’s direct request for information.


What is the Mayor’s hidden agenda when she ignores pertinent Council questions? Ignoring. Mayoral arrogance encourages her to dismiss Residents, too. Are these actions Your idea of transparency?

Council Member Wagner might find “Point of Order” useful. A Point of Order motion causes the following to occur:

  • The motion requires the Mayor to answer absenteeism questions.
  • Council Member Wagner would speak to the issues of transparency.
  • Council Members’ vote on the question will be in the public record.
  • Censure or removal from the Dais is the next step for continued intransigent behavior.

The Mayor’s lack of Vision, Focus and Commitment to Burien are a leadership vacuum at the Dais leading to chaotic meetings, accomplishing nothing.

Business question to Mayor Krakowiak: Do you ignore your customers’ needs? Yes / No If no, why do you ignore Your Residents’ and Business’ needs? Do you see Your inaction causing Burien to decline?

Deputy Mayor Tosta

Failure to act on Resident’s needs demonstrates Deputy Mayor Tosta unqualified to lead. Her unfunded and unfinished homeless projects waste valuable Council time that could be spent solving problems.

Deputy Mayor Tosta’s lack of focus is hampering the Council’s search to find a new City Manager: who would work for someone who won’t prioritize? Additionally, her failure to keep her word (Oath of Office) is a contributing factor to the Council spending time on her priorities instead of Community priorities.

Business question to Council Member Tosta: Did your Clients permit their time and money to be spent on projects they did not ask for? Yes / No If no, why do you spend Council time on unfunded projects the Community has not asked for?

Former Deputy Mayor Edgar

Former Deputy Mayor Edgar’s inappropriate actions go beyond his careless letter writing, it appears he ignores monied interests damaging Burien, too.

On January 23, 2017 the former Deputy Mayor voted to not fund an FAA lawsuit to stop Burien overflights, disrespecting Residents’ pleas for action.

This FAA timidity underscores His inaction on other monied interests harming Burien:

  • Gangs
  • Landlords allowing criminal activities
  • Slumlords
  • Banks abandoning foreclosed properties

These monied interests are degrading Burien financially precluding adequate Police funding.

Open question to the former Deputy Mayor: What actions have you taken to curtail monied interests harming Burien? Please specify.

Oath of Office

The days of ignoring Council misconduct are over.

Ignoring misconduct that damages Burien is a violation of Your Oath of Office. The Dais behavior of the Council Leadership is incongruent with workplace norms: they would be fired for such behavior in any normal business.

Replacing the Council Leadership establishes clear consequences for Council Member behavior.

Burien as an I.S.O. 9001 Quality City

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor serve at the pleasure of the Council. A City’s quality of life is determined by its leadership. I believe the Council would be better served by Leaders who engage in dialogue. Dialogue is a critical component of consensus building, making things happen.

I propose the two Council moderates become a caretaker Leadership until January. Are the moderates perfect leaders? No. Leaders are made, not born. This experience will be the crucible that changes them and Burien.

Installing an effective Council Leadership is the first step in making Burien safer and more prosperous.

– Dick West

[Have an opinion or concern you’d like to share with our ~80,000+ monthly Readers? Please send us your Letter to the Editor via email. Include your full name, please cite your sources, remain civil and – pending our careful review – we’ll consider publishing it.]

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

13 replies on “LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘I believe it is time to replace Council Leaders’”

  1. I agree with most of what you have to say, and your letter is shorter than usual which helps.

  2. You are confusing people interested in the status of being an “elected official” with actual governance. I say this as a recovering local politician who just wouldn’t countenance professional “elected officials” without any other reason for being.

  3. I’ve found in life that nothing is perfect. Many of us have concerns about the council and the progress or lack of it demonstrated by their conduct. That being said, at some point, these folks made a commitment to try and do the best they could for the City of Burien.

    As voters, we have options and in the next election cycle, we can vote in the manner that each of us thinks is appropriate, In the meantime, perhaps we can solidify more completely those elements of the City’s governance that we want to see changed.

    Are there folks in the community eager to replace current Council Members? That’s the way that change happens. It’s not automatic.

    1. We do need leaders that can lead. It does appear these elected official are not doing what they should for our city. They seem to focus on non issues that get them in the news. We as citizens of Burien need to focus on our city, Police and Fire, Long term economic plans, Sea-Tac and Crime. Growing and showcasing our city and our citizens .

    2. Dick West, you came to my house many times, telling me you were going to change Burien for the better. Now is your chance. Tosta is the only one of the three you complained about who is up for re-election. Filing continues through this Friday at 4 pm. It’s time for you to walk the talk Dick. File and run against Tosta. Burien would benefit from the political conversation.

    1. What would that do? We still are part of king county. Are police officers are contracted king county officers. King county has the same policy or similar. We have use this policy for years before the president made it a issue.

      Now it has been said their will be no lost in federal funding. I am for getting rid of illegal aliens who commit crimes with felony warrants . But if there someone just trying to make a better life for them selfies or family. There working and paying bills and local taxes for items. I don’t feel their a harm to the community.

      Now some crime in burien has been a issue in the Spanish community. But that’s not necessarily illegal aliens. That’s just people making bad choices in life.

      1. Captain O, Though reading your posts can leave one wondering if they have gotten on to the freeway going in the wrong direction – reference use of ‘ there, their, they’re’ as examples, if I read you right, I believe I agree with you. Not all aliens are bad. Most are in fact trying to fit in to our crazy society. Many were scared to death in their home countries, just as any of us would be given the same circumstances. Do we have some people committing crimes, of course, lock them up and send them home when that is the case. From everything that has been said by King County Law Enforcement that is just what is happening.

        1. Sorry for the issue with there’s and their . Sometimes I use auto correct and it picks the wrong one. I also have issue with witch one is right for with situations.

          Then some times I have run on sentences.

          1. Well gee Richard now that would be a little bit of a captain obvious. Not that matters who I am. If you want waste time on that subject that’s your own issue. I don’t see how it has anything to do with the topic at hand. But then again you felt the need to bring it up.

  4. I wonder if dick west is going to make run for a council members spot. You criticize the council so much. You have a monthly if not weekly letters to the editor about what the city is doing wrong and how they can change it.

    So why not make a run for a spot

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