Press the ‘Play’ button to hear raw audio from the forum. NOTE: the batteries in our recorder died around the 58-minute mark; see full video below for the entire event.

Our second 2015 Candidate Forum for Burien City Council – featuring Darla Green and Austin Bell – played to a lively, full house of over 100 people on Tuesday night, Oct. 6 at the ERAC Building in Burien. Green and Bell are both newcomers, vying for Position #6 on the council. The approximately 90-minute forum was moderated by Senior Writer Jack Mayne, with Normandy Park Mayor Susan West serving as panelist. Our next and final Burien Candidate Forum will be Tuesday night, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. at the ERAC Building (15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW), and will feature incumbent Bob Edgar vs newcomer Holli Giffin, battling for Position #2. Here’s raw video of the event, courtesy Pat Lemoine: [youtube][/youtube] And here are photos from the debate, as taken by Scott Schaefer (click images to see larger versions/slideshow): IMG_3309P1160289P1160416P1160716P1160328P1160483P1160375P1160395P1160559P1160363P1160815P1160517P1160870P1160765P1160642P1160369IMG_3307]]>

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39 replies on “VIDEO/AUDIO/PHOTOS: Scenes from our second 2015 Candidate Forum”

  1. Darla will gets my vote. Clearly she has Burien’s best interests at heart.
    Unlike LB who brings her outside minions in to disrupt the proceedings.
    We need more people on the council like Darla Green and Lucy and Bob!!

  2. It is obvious who I am supporting! Still, I wanted to give this young person the chance to speak his mind. He was given the opportunity to deny his endorsement by Lauren Berkowitz, but instead he embraced it. He was asked how he has helped Burien, but said that he hasn’t had the opportunity. Yet, if you read his resume, you will see that he has volunteered outside our community in many ways. Also, there is the expired real estate license. That really wouldn’t matter, but why would you lie about that? Makes me wonder?

  3. I was unable to attend due to work, you know the part of life one commits to so to not end up a burden to society. Well, from the photos I can see a dejected Berkowitz and her sign carrying minions from out of Burien. The look on her face is priceless as she witnesses her boy getting thumped by Darla.

  4. Well in watching the first 20 minutes of this. I think someone needs to make a trip to guitar center for some new audio equipment. Also I have a couple problems with both Austin and Darla. Now I notice they both express the fact they want to fix and change things but before getting into how they will do this they turn to the next question. Then I also don’t agree with the protester in this situation but being against protesting in general is being against a right we have as being Americans. Both Darla and Austin said there against protesting witch makes me wonder what other rights of ours are they against. How do they feel about fire arm laws. What are there thoughts on I-502. Then they both think they can work together with all the council members and not bicker and get so much done. How long of a political career have both of these candidates had. Then Darla comments about being able to keep her business open during the recession. I am sorry you run a beauty shop or hair saloon yes women are going to get their make up and hair done no matter how the governments doing. I don’t want pick sides but I also get the feeling Darla does not understand how the prison system works and that low level criminals being sent to prison tend to become big times criminals by learning the wrong skills from other inmates. Now I know I have only watch 20 minutes of this so far I will finish watching it and maybe have a different opinion on some of these things who know’s.I would love to see how many things they say their going do and change and how many thing they actually do and change in the end.

  5. I attended the forum last night, Darla was a clear stand out on the priorities that are closely aligned with the majority of our community. I felt Austin came across as a professional politician, I find it strange that both him and Jon Scherer have not volunteered in any capacity in our city yet want to be elected to a council member position.
    The most disturbing part of last night was the fact that a sitting council member Lauren Berkowitz asked her protesters to attend and stood back there with them mocking Darla, shows me how misguided she is. Oh and by the way she’s endorsed Austin along with Holli Giffin and Jon Scherer.

    1. Absolutely appalling that she delves so low as to picket a future co council member. That face OMG!!!

      1. Part of the samurai honor code is to commit ritual suicide rather than fall into the hands of one’s enemies or when one has brought shame upon oneself. When Lucy, Bob, and Darla win the election I hope Lauren will do the honorable thing and resign.

      2. You’re kidding, Lauren Berkowitz was at the debate? And showed up with the protesters? Are you sure? I didn’t even notice. In any case, its obvious that the majority commenting here are for Darla Green. I truly hope that translates to the city as a whole. We shall see – she will be getting my vote.

        1. I bear witness to seeing Lauren Berkowitz coming into the meeting at the same time as the protesters ( about 10 minutes late ), wearing what appeared to be a protest shirt over her other clothing, stood mostly behind the most vocal protester, took some photos, was on her phone typing almost nonstop, and then left at the same time as the protesters (about 15 minutes before the end of the meeting). This all happened about 10 feet to my left.
          Please note I personally have no problem with protesting. In fact I encourage it. The important thing for myself is how it is conducted.

          1. What happened to the end of video it cuts off in the middle of darla expanding a situation involving the police and a criminal/trespasser at her business.

          2. I had to restart a couple of times while viewing it, too. But was able to view the whole thing. Just start where you left off.
            BTW – I thought Darla’s description of that ‘criminal’ event and her interaction with two of the audience ladies at the end, were quite ‘telling’ about her character and rather revealing about the limits of her compassion. This is to say nothing of her dismissal of increasing the minimum wage and /or rent control. You may have been on to something in your earlier posts. I also heard nothing about other locations in Burien beyond 152nd and Olde Town, beyond referring to ‘our neighborhoods’. God help us if we live, our have businesses on 1st Ave, Ambaum, DesMoines Way, 5 Corners or any other location.

          3. Jimmy, I just checked the video from my site, the B-Town Blog link, and as an anonymous viewer on YouTube. In all cases the video starts when the forum starts and ends when the forum ends. Either there is a problem with how you watch YouTube , or this is yet another example of your typical strategy of trying to create controversy where there is no controversy.

          4. Not try start anything just wondering if a memory card ran out or something no need for you jump to conclusions

  6. Thanks so much to everyone who is putting these candidate forums on and then making the video and recordings available here! Great work!! I like the format and in particular the moderating by Jack Mayne with help by Normandy Park Mayor Susan West. They did an excellent job of keeping things rolling with pertinent questions and comments in spite of the curious lot at the back of the room.
    I hope everyone will encourage their friends and family to view these videos if they are not able to attend the forums. It’s an excellent way to be more informed before voting day. Why not pop some corn and serve up a beverage or two and invite a few friends over to view them together!?

  7. It was very clear at the debate that Darla’s passion is for making Burien a great place to live, work & feel safe . She has no other personal agenda like that of her opponent in making this a stepping stone for his own career in politics. Bell did not come off like he cares about Burien, just a means to an end. Darla clearly has Burien’s best interests at heart.

  8. I just attended a wonderful coffee chat with Councilmember Nancy Tosta. One of the things that came up was the divisiveness in our city. I agree! The last 2 years have been unacceptable. Therefore, I will be voting for the three candidates that I know have the best interests OF ALL of Burien’s citizens: Darla Green, Lucy Kracoviak, and Bob Edgar. Thank you for your service to our great city!

    1. But will Nancy side with those three excellent candidates and Steve and Debbie for Burien progress? Or continue on her path of Berkowitz like disruption and slide further away from necessary civic responsibility and cooperation?

  9. ok I finished watching this video and If ether of these candidates would give a clear cut answer to any of these question at the debate. It may have help them to get a few votes. I did not like how either of them answer the questions. I also did not like they way they acted towards the community it’s seems like austin is a bit upper class jerk and Darla seems to think this debate was a lets act like a high school drama class debate. They both seem to talk down to the group or talk in a way to make seem like they have a upper hand on things. Then at the end of video Darla starts to explain a situation she had with a man looking in her window of her business and laughing so she decided to call police on this man. I am sorry but is laughter illegal in burien I mean yes this man may of had a criminal past but she did not know that at the time and from her explaining the situation this man didn’t really seem to be breaking any laws but she called the police on him. Then she goes on to explain that she ran into the same person a few days later now calling him by name if she was so concern for her safety why did she attempt to confront this man after knowing that he has a criminal pass. It seems as if she was trying to use this situation to benefit her cause. When it seems like her and this person had a back and forth conversion and she did not like it so she called the police to get rid of the guy. Then the police didn’t agree with her as much she would of like them to. Yes maybe this guy was a jerk for looking in her window and laughing but laughter is not illegal. I mean if this guy was touching himself or showing a weapon then I could see the need for a call to the police.

      1. I love burien I am sorry I can’t stand to watch this again ok . These two used pre type answer that did not really match the questions asked. They used political nonsense talk to get around the answers. They were more like what you see on a flyer instead of a direct answer. We have had these type of political people in burien before.Darla made comment that the council needs to act like adults but then she makes some childish remarks towards current and past situations in the council. Yes the council may have wasted some time on some things but these are things that come up in a city council and unfortunately needed to be taken care of. Also by the look on Susan West faces seem like she did not agree with a couple things darla had to say. I have to wonder to if ether of these candits have ever been homeless or have had a family member with a mental illness. How did they handle these situations in their life.
        I think what we need in burien is someone that is down to earth and not someone that going to use the same old political B.S to get a vote.
        Yes of course we want you to fight crime lower taxes blah blah blah but then a few years later when you haven’t done a dam thing and were all oh well let’s vote someone else in and see if they can fix this mess.
        Ok austin and Darla from day one you walk into your new office and your on the council what is your exact plan to fix and change things. Do you have a plan? Other council members in the past have said they’re going to change and fix things but have failed how are you keep from failing. Also how in the **** are you going state your against protesting when it is right of us citizens even if you disagree with the protester’s It is still a right any us citizen has along with are other rights.

    1. Jimmy. I don’t know where my earlier post to you on watching the rest of the video went, but it may show up sometime later and you will see, that you are not alone in your views. I just want to add the I heard ‘lip service’ about the quality of our police (aren’t they supporting her campaign?), but again and again also heard an unconscious disregard of their advice or skills, as you pointed out with the gentleman at her shop and, when she implied that they gave gift cards for the homeless out to drug addicts. There is a sort of ‘I know better than you, because I have been successful’ motif emerging. Which is concerning.
      As to Austin, we all have our burdens to bear and his may be ease of manner, birthright, age and heaven forbid education in political science! Oh My!. In an odd way, he seemed to me to be able to include a bit more of Burien in his views than I hear from most of the council and other candidates. I have not made up my mind who I will vote for, but I am not as offended by Austin as I was lead to believe I might be. He did take a while to warm-up, but once he did, he seemed to have thought about most of the topics brought up and in slightly new ways. Any way that was what I saw. I am sure I will hear all about what I don’t know! lol

      1. Jimmy and Sandy – I base my opinion on the fact that I work at the elementary school with the largest population of homeless children in the Highline School District. When our beautiful children tell me that they are not able to go to the parks and library because of the high level of crime taking place there, it is time to take it up a notch! When we have homeless youth coming to the city council meetings asking what they can do to help clean up the parks, it is time to take action! I am supporting Darla Green, Lucy Kracoviak, and Bob Edgar because they are as concerned about the safety of ALL of our citizens. We need council members that support our police and that are willing to work with them!

        1. I agree with you Lisa, with regard to supporting the police and say bravo to any kids who want to do something about the parks. But, that was not what I heard from Darla, especially if they happen to be homeless. There was very little regard for people in need of help, as evidences by the way she spoke of the mistake of giving out of homeless gift cards, and dissing of a place to take care of personal hygiene and/or laundry let alone a place to stay. She fobbed off such topics by changing the subject, rather adroitly. As Jimmy points out, anyone who has had people with drug or mental problems in their family, or has some idea of what that can be like, might not have used such a person as she did with her tale of ‘a criminal’ at her shop. She is probably ok, just not my cup of tea. I will not be too surprised if she has her eye on the mayor’s seat. In my opinion, she’s a climber and may not care whose back she stands on. Watch the video again, you might see things differently. Again, as Jimmy mentioned, watch other people’s expression, including the moderators when she is answering questions.

          1. Sandy – I believe we are comparing apples to oranges here. I have personally talked with Darla about the issues facing Burien. We have four seperate issues we are talking about here: criminal behavior, drug addicts, mental health, and homelessness. Some of these coexist, but not in all cases. Dispensing gift cards helps the homeless, but it does not help the other three. If you listen again, you will hear her saying this. We need to work on solving the issues and not debating them. We need to come together as a community. That is my intent.

          2. Enjoy your choice Lisa. I hope she supports your ideas. It is very likely that she will be elected. I am all for coming together once the election is over. But, I am also for free conversation about the candidates and ones impressions of them, prior to election day as long as it is not intentionally false. I have lived in several other places and seen how some new candidates ‘take on’ the idea of being on a city council. It will probably be another year before we will know what we have with any of the new CMs. And who knows with a little luck, Berkowitz will loose interest in being on the council, now that her cover is blown and we will have another new face when she departs. So it goes.

          3. Yes, I agree Sandy. It is very nice that the Btown Blog provides us the opportunity to share our ideas. I am hopeful about future elections, as well. We have a beautiful city that is full of wonderful and kind people. I look forward to us coming together as a whole.

          4. ok so youtube glitch (I guess) I now just seen the actual rest of video. Umm what is the highline performing art center Darla says we need a performing art center in burien. If the city is not already using the highline performing art center then I bet they could make a simple phone call to highline and ask hey can use this and what will it cost. Ta DA Oh yeah there used to be a hotel in burien it was right between were the honda dealership is now and the pizza hut. It close down do to lack of business because all up and down pac highway from the border of tukwila to federway and beon are hotels motels and guess what type clientele those bring in umm prostitution drugs.
            Also I wonder if someone from blog might want to find out what police officers were involved in the situation with the guy at darla shop . See what the police have to say about the guy and action taken to remove the guy also if they have and any other run ins with this guy doing similar things around the city. Darla should have a copy of the police report with the officer’s name or badge #.

          5. Hey Jimmy, I’ve wondered about the ‘hotels in Burien angle’ of bringing in revenue and wondered what crimes you bring in with them, ie prostitution, theft, gambling? Darla spoke of something a little more up-scale in the line of boutique inns, restaurants, theatres, but I see a disconnect when it comes to staffing such establishments, if you are not willing to pay $15.00 minimum wage as other King Co areas. (One wonders if that may be why NERA has been dropped in our area.) Future employees will see Burien as a down and out area that is not prosperous. Those who choose to live here will be those who ‘can’t cut it’ in other areas. I get that business owners will be struggling to cover such wages initially, but that’s what business is all about, figuring out how to make a profit for you and your employees to be happy to work together. A decent wage not only limits turn-over, which is costly, but it also means more money will be spent in Burien by those employees, to say nothing of bringing in more city revenue for services. At the same time if we can keep housing affordable, we could see people looking for options to the high cost of housing in downtown Seattle, looking our way. It is also in our over-all interest to encourage our smaller business districts to prosper, not just 152nd. If Burien can see itself as an area composed of several neighborhoods with unique business districts that shares services, rather than a couple of blocks of newish buildings with the need to incorporate ‘those other areas’ for revenue, I think it would find itself rather marketable. But then, that’s just how I see it.

  10. Sorry, I made a typo. I should have said largest population of homeless children in Burien. I apologize. Thank you.

  11. Darla’s decision to run was an organic response to issues in our community, on the council and probably the protesters brought to her business BY LAUREN BERKOWITZ. Keep that in mind, this sitting council member brought protesters to a local business.
    On the other hand, Austin Bell comes from the Jeff Upthegrove group. Jeff Upthegrove was the campaign manager for Lauren Berkowitz and is campaign manager for Austin Bell. He also consults for the Scherer and Giffin Campaigns. To be clear the campaigns of Bell, Giffin and Scherer are a planned and coordinated effort to put more members on the council aligned with Berkowitz to further their delusional socialist vision. And in so doing further degrade the quality and safety of our community. As a added bonus they will be spending our money to do it.
    In no way should Bell, Scherer or Giffin receive your vote.

  12. Sandy S.; you are not who you say you are. You are not a older man or woman who lives in NERA, is a care giver and just wants sewers. Your last letter to jimmy is evidence to that.
    Your agenda is very different than that.

    1. Chuck you got this fool, SS, pegged. Whatever SS is, it is associated with a line of bull 130 miles long… I suspect the real initials are CE! Go figure? These postings from SS are from a fool…ignore them and give thumbs down as 75% of readers do. SS, the readers aren’t stupid…you are…your simply sad!

  13. RBD says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    October 8, 2015 at 6:56 pm
    Who is Austin Bell anyway?
    1. A guy who claims to be a real estate professional for many years but has no license.
    2. A guy who claims to have a passion for Burien and planning but has never been involved in any political or civic volunteerism in the supposed 25 yrs. he has lived in Burien.
    3. A guy who has put out a campaign flyer which says that he is endorsed by many Buiren groups but is standing next to a lookalike fire engine that is NOT a Burien fire engine.
    4. A guy who says he has been studying planning at the university for years but only just recently was admitted to the UW school of planning and won’t graduate until 2017.The UW planning program is only a two year planning program.
    5. A guy who claimed that he didn’t know that Lauren Berkowitz endorsed him when her letter of his endorsement was put in a Burien City Council packet.
    6. A guy who has photographed with Lauren Berkowitz at her protests. Check out Berkowitz’s Twitter.
    7. A guy who supported Berkowitz and her arranged thug protests on the Trespass ordinance.
    8. A guy who claims he supports the police but is opposed to helping them with the ordinance they requested the city write and pass.
    9 A guy who would support annexation again.
    10. A guy who plays very loosely with the truth to try to get votes. As is evidenced by his flyers and campaign page.
    I will be voting for Darla Green.

  14. The moderator Susan West talked more than anyone. With all her opinions and comments, I think she is running for office. How about next time just ask a question and let the candidates answer rather than you express your opinion and views on how Burien should be run.

    1. Greg, perhaps you missed the introduction. Susan is the mayor of Normandy Park. She was there not only to assist as a moderator, but also to get a feel for any interest in working together in certain areas as we do with our fire dept. She asked things like, would we be interested in sharing a theme or activities that would bring people to our area. But she was very low key and I am surprised that you were offended by her. I thought her views were pertinent and I would like to see her at the next forum.

  15. Chuck, I have opinions which are apparently different from yours. I do not have an agenda. I am in fact a full time female caregiver for a family member who requires 24/7 care and have been for several years. I have business experience, but am now semi-retired. I have had the good fortune to have lived is several other areas in my lifetime. Our property is not in NERA but is near enough to have been unfavorably effected by the years or airport creep and now NERA. We have had 4 schools, numerous businesses and many, many families and their homes taken from our neighborhood. These were people who raised kids together and went to each other’s gatherings. A true neighborhood. We have lost many of the birds and flora and butterflies that we used to see regularly because of loss of near by wet lands. This was a desirable area to build and live in not many decades ago. But many of the newer homes were the first to go along with the schools and the businesses. As these developed properties were demolished, the port has left a land scape not unlike something years after a war had taken place. This of course devalued everyone else’s property. In more recent years the aging of septic and drain field systems has become an issue for many of the older remaining residences. People are generally unaware of how much this effects the salability of their homes until they wish to put them on the market, Our sewer district refuses to inquire of our area if they might like to upgrade to sewer. This is a heavily traveled main road of the Burien area. So that is my dilemma with regard to that issue.
    I understand that the sewer district is a privately run business and we are at their mercy. But, I have lived in other areas where the incorporation of the town meant access to not only police, fire districts and water but also sewer lines. As this is a general up-grade of the value of property it is seen as a good thing for the town as well as the individual. Generally, people who do not want to hook-up when the pipe is laid in the street, do not have to, but a somewhat lower rate at the time of the initial installment brings many property owners on board.
    As a side note, I think it would be highly advisable for all of the properties that are near the sound to be put on sewer lines as soon as possible to benefit the sound and near by ground water.
    So yes, if you think these ideas are foolish, then you may think that I am a fool. too.

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