By Jack Mayne

The Burien City Council at its Mar. 16 meeting discussed its police services contract with the King County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office currently provides the City of Burien police manpower and services under a contract that covers eight other cities, including SeaTac, but not Tukwila, Des Moines or Normandy Park. All of the contracted officers are King County Sheriff’s deputies, but their primary duty is in Burien and subject to the directions of the Burien City Manager, Brian Wilson, who selects the police chief subject to direction of the Council.

King County Sheriff’s Capt. BJ Myers of the Sheriff’s Contracting Unit and Burien Police Chief Ted Boe attended the virtual Council meeting Monday. Boe was selected for the chief’s role from several other Sheriff’s deputies and officers.

Boe said the Burien presentation was one of eight the Sheriff’s office was providing Burien and other contract cities. Burien was one of the cities that signed the contract in 2001.

It is the primary law enforcement agency for all unincorporated areas of King County, as well as 12 cities and two transit agencies which contract their police services to the KCSO under an automatic renewal “unless one party takes action” and this year SeaTac did take that action of possibily terminating in 18 months but many expect that it will eventually be satisfied to remain in the contract.

Lowest policing cost
The agreement provides financial scales and local control, said Boe, and efficiencies of economy of scale. The interlocal agreement is updated every four years.

Burien, he said, has the “lowest cost, per resident, for policing for all of south King County.” The contract means Burien has local control of the police and many residents don’t realize the officers are county deputies.

“Under the agreement the county should provide, at a reasonable and predictable cost, efficient, high quality appropriate law enforcement services supported by technology that furthers the goals of both the city and the county.”

He said the contracts were standardized for all parties, “so there is one local agreement signed by each represented city that was last amended in 2000 and Burien signed onto the agreement in 2001.”

Economic Recovery Programs
Representatives of the Port of Seattle updated the Council on the “South King County Fund.” The program was created to support “services for immigrant job seekers impacted by COVID-19 in the aviation industry” and to continue a “youth green jobs training program started in the summer of 2020.”

The Environmental Grants Program had 15 proposals submitted; 14 proposals were recommended and $218,000 was awarded. The group tried to reach underserved communities the area of the airport. “Eight community liaisons representing Latinos, African American, Somali, Congolese, Korean, Bhutanese, Filipino and Pacific Islander communities.

Parts of the program have granted money to several groups, including the African Community Housing and Development, $99,902; the Asian Counseling and Referral Services, $100,000; Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking, $100,000; and the Puget Sound Welcome Back Center, $90,839.

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Support those disabled
Another portion of the Economic Recovery Program, has $99,902 to support people with disabilities and low incomes to realize their purpose, potential, and strength. Then there is the Connect for Success project to support BIPOC, an acronym which stands for Black, Indigenous, People of Color, communities, living around Port of Seattle’s facilities to enter and successfully complete pre- apprenticeship programs in Port related industries.

The Environmental Grants Program supports the expansion of the Airport Community Ecology program where projects must take place on public property in Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Normandy Park, SeaTac or Tukwila.

There is a $20,000 project cap, that requires a three-to-one match.

The Burien Council was told there will be an economic recovery program in the coming summer, and in the fall an environmental grants program of $250,000.

COVID-19 virus report
Fire Chief Mike Mars said the virus vaccine is being given to seniors in congregate living facilities in the city after shots were given in other types of senior living facilities. Soon they will expand to the homebound elderly who cannot get to a place where shots are available.

He said they are using the one shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Food Trucks in Burien
The Burien City Council voted to approve a food truck pilot program at its March 16 meeting, but then decided to discuss it again in 20 days at the April 5 Council meeting.

The Council also has a 45-day period to consider and perhaps to modify the program. The proposal was made by Councilmember Cydney Moore, and seconded by Councilmember Pedro Olguin.

As we previously reported, the Business and Economic Development Partnership (BEDP) recommended that a food truck pilot program be authorized for 12 months to assess the efficacy of operations in Burien. Program guidelines were developed to ensure local restaurants, community members, and food truck operators benefit from the program.

Councilmember Moore said adjustments can be made because there is a 45-day period before the food truck authorization is in effect and specifics on the operation of the trucks is not in the ordinance.

Moore moved for approval of the food truck authorization, along with Schilling, Marx and Tosta. Councilmember Aragon voted against it, joined by Matta.

Even so, Council decided the issue will be discussed again on April 5.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We have covered the food truck issue before, including a petition from restaurant owners opposing the idea – read our previous coverage here.

New city staff
City Manager Wilson introduced two new staff members, Anna Cruz was promoted as Burien finance manager and Rebecca Hodge is the new city finance analyst.

Senior Reporter Jack Mayne passed away in December, 2021. In his honor we have created the Jack Mayne Journalism Scholarship.