On Tuesday night (Sept. 26), The B-Town Blog held its first 2017 Burien City Council Candidate Forum at El Dorado West Retirement Community (an Advertiser). This first forum featured candidates for Burien City Council Positions 1 and 3:

  • Joel Manning vs. Pedro Olguin
  • Jimmy Matta vs. Debi Wagner
This year our Moderator is David Ruby, a Civics teacher at Highline High School. He asked relevant local issue questions, which mostly came from Reader submissions (NOTE: you can still submit questions for our final forum – coming Tuesday, Oct. 3 at Merrill Gardens – by emailing electionquestions2017@gmail.com) before 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 2. Overall, 15 questions were asked, in addition to opening and closing statements. Click below to view the full, raw footage of Tuesday night’s lively debate (running time 1 hour, 30 minutes):
8:10: The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” Please tell us whether you agree or disagree with that, and why. 12:45: I would like to hear the candidates speak about how they plan to work with people (both fellow city council members as well as constituents) who do not support their personal views. 17:15: Where do you live, how long have you lived there, and why are you running? 22:49: With our proximity to Seatac airport, what do you see as some of the major challenges and solutions over the coming years of growth (for instance with respect to issues such as noise and air pollution)? 28:33: Parking is a problem in the downtown of Burien and the city will need a new parking structure in the downtown very,very soon. How would you plan to finance that structure? 33:14: During your time living in Burien, what have you already done to make your neighborhood a better place to live? 38:49: Do you support CARES for animal control or would you prefer to have the Regional Animal Services of King County operate this service? 41:42: With other communities raising the minimum wage do you support Burien raising its minimum wage and if so, to what? 46:38: What is your favorite book, apart from religious texts? 48:13: We cannot forever have a divided Burien; if you are elected to the city council what will you do to break the current 4-3 voting status? 54:12: Do you believe homelessness is a problem that Burien can alleviate or reduce, and how should the city handle the problems of homelessness? 1:00:48: What programs exist in other cities or states that you believe could be implemented in Burien to alleviate our drug addiction problem? 1:07:13: Burien will add at least 400+ residents when both new Town Square buildings are built. Youth, families, elderly and students already living in the city complain about the lack of recreational facilities, and over 80% of the residents in the city can’t swim. How would you fund and deal with the city’s recreational needs? 1:12:10: What is your plan to outreach and engage our growing immigrant communities & bring them into the conversation about Burien’s future?

NOTE: At 1:16:08, candidate Joel Manning’s answer to the above question elicited the strongest reaction of the night.

1:18:14: Suppose $500,000 materialized in Burien’s budget. You do not need to build consensus with other members of the council – how would you spend it? (moderator clarifies it as $500,000 per year for 2 years). 1:22:19: Closing statements. 1:30:15: Forum ends. Time to stack up and load out the chairs!
Our next – and final – Candidate Forum will be held this coming Tuesday, Oct. 3, at Merrill Gardens at Burien (another BTB Advertiser), with the following schedule:
  • 6 p.m.: Doors open
  • 6:30 p.m.: ‘Meet & Greet’ the Candidates
  • 7 p.m.: Forum starts, and runs until 8:30 p.m.
Since we first starting holding forums in 2010, our goal has been to provide an independent, fair, civil and safe event to allow residents to meet and hear from candidates, as well as for candidates to have a place to share their thoughts/opinions on relevant local issues with residents. It is our intention that our final forum will also be broadcast live on our Facebook page, as well as video and audio recorded for later playback/posting on our website. SHOUTOUTS/THANKS Putting on a successful Candidate Forum is a LOT of work – from organizing/scheduling/confirming the candidates to finding a location to the finger-smashing fun of moving ~100 chairs in a rented truck and much more…so we’d like to give a HUGE THANKS to the following:
  • Katalia Alexander, Organizer/Producer (and student at Mt. Rainier High School)
  • All Burien City Council Candidates
  • David Ruby, our Moderator (and Teacher at Highline High School)
  • Nghi Lam, Volunteer Timer (and student at Highline High School)
  • El Dorado West Retirement Community Executive Director Lori Crow, Semko Avdic & crew
  • Theresa Schaefer for all her help, including moving/returning all those heavy chairs
  • Dick West, who lost an entire fingernail while helping load/reload chairs
  • Matt Moeller for loaning us the PA System
  • Paul McDonald & Bryan Shickley, who helped with video/technical
  • Matt, who helped with security at the event
  • Our very civil ~110 person Audience!
Merrill Gardens at Burien is located at 15020 5th Ave SW (near Burien Town Square, just north of City Hall): ]]>

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

8 replies on “VIDEO: Here's raw footage of The B-Town Blog's first 2017 Candidate Forum”

  1. On a Thursday near the Farmer’s market a while back, I had the opportunity to talk to some of the candidates. I asked all of them the same question: on what issue do you depart from your traditional constituency? (in other words, are you a rubber stamp for an ideology, or are you an independent thinker). I got some interesting answers.
    Jimmy Matta answered that he had different views on the minimum wage. He said that we cannot ask small mom and pop businesses to pay $15 minimum wage. I was impressed with his answer, but wondered if he would oppose those calling for $15 minimum wage when push came to shove.
    Fast forward to the candidate forum and he seems to unequivocally support a $15 minimum wage for Burien, which goes against what he told me that Thursday at the farmer’s market. I can respect someone who has a different point of view from mine. But when they tell me one thing, then say something different later, I question their transparency.
    Is this the kind of person we want on the city council? Someone who tells a voter one thing, then tells other voters something totally different ?

    1. Oh Peter
      Ye of the “stop the personal attacks of my candidate” When it comes to a reader in a letter pointing out Darla’s flawed comments on No Activists! You stated that calling out a valid concern about a candidate’s mindset and use of language is a personal attack.
      It’s ok to have opinions about how voters should critique candidates, but you need to follow the same standards yourself. I believe some self-reflection is in order on your part.
      You are completely mischaracterizing what Jimmy Matta said. He very clearly stated that language must be in place to protect small businesses. No different view there from what he told you at the Farmer’s market. In the audio I don’t hear a 100% blanket endorsement of $15.00/hr. Your statement is not accurate.
      You are twisting this to then impugn his character as duplicitous. A personal attack. Pot meet Kettle…

  2. I would like to thank candidate Joel Manning very much for his common sense statement and position during the forum regarding teaching English.
    English should be the official language of Burien and I do not patronize any business who’s signage is in any other language.

    1. Wow!Dudley do-WRONG
      Way to fly your xenophobic flag high… well, that of course is your right, but you just don’t know all the good stuff you are missing out on. Bakery Nouveau is definitely out for you then. French is all over their 12-15 foot high mural. Just leaves more delicious chocolate for the rest of us.
      Guess you forgot that this country imposed English on many indigenous peoples? Do you avoid Tukwila and Puyallup for the same “English only” reasons? What about San Antonio, Minneapolis, Wisconsin, San Francisco or Los Angeles?
      What a foolish and bigoted mindset.
      Thanks for pointing out what/who NOT to vote for.

      1. I am a foreigner and business owner. We came here and build an (international) business and we use English as language (not our home language). In the subsidiary in our home country we use the local language and products that ship to Canada are labeled in English and French.
        That process is pretty simple and straightforward. You don’t need to call someone a xenophobe for that. When visiting Japan, Middle Eastern countries or China do you expect everything in English without calling them xenophobes? Get a grip.

        1. Well Seahurst Resident
          I really wish I could understand how your argument relates to the point I am making?
          What I really hear is that you do not like the fact that I am pointing our the xenophobic quality of Dudley-do-Wrongs’s statements and rules for patronage.
          NO! I most assuredly do not expect businesses in any other country to all include English. In fact I would say that I have sometimes chosen the place with no English while on foreign travel, in order to avoid a “tourist trap” experience in favor of a more authentic one.Yet, there are often many businesses I see during my travels, who choose to use English, Japanese, Chinese or many other languages, in addition to their own language of origin…why? Because it is good for business, not to mention welcoming and kind.
          As a business person you know this.
          So what you really object to is the term Xenophobic, but what else can we call it? Anglo- centric? White Nationalist? It is definitely not inclusive, open-minded or really dare I say, kind?
          By their acts they shall be known. The act of refusing to patronize a business which uses anything other than English for their signage displays a very clear anti-foreign bias. That is undeniable. Not to mention, most likely falsely reported by Mr. Do-Wrong, unless of course Mr Do-Wrong never goes to the airport or many malls or hotels. Heck even government offices. Good luck getting a passport, although somehow I doubt he will ever need one.

  3. I think it is pretty sad when citizens might not go into a shop because of the language of signage. I guess they are scared- that might be the kindest interpretation. You are missing out on a lot of pretty wonderful places that way. I guess Bakery Nouveau will be a pass for you…

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