Burien Washington

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How Is Burien Governed?

Burien is Governed Under a Council-Manager Form of Government.

The council-manager form consists of an elected city council which is responsible for policy making, and a professional city manager, appointed by the council, who is responsible for administration. The city manager provides policy advice, directs the daily operations of city government, handles personnel functions (including the power to appoint and remove employees) and is responsible for preparing the city budget.

Under the council-manager statutes, the city council is prohibited from interfering with the manager's administration. The city manager, however, is directly accountable to and can be removed by a majority vote of the council at any time.
The mayor in council-manager cities is generally selected by the city council. The person selected must also be a councilmember. In optional municipal code cities or first class cities, the mayor may be directly elected by the people. The mayor presides at council meetings and is recognized as the head of the city for ceremonial purposes, but has no regular administrative duties.


Special Purpose Districts

What is a Special Purpose District?

In Washington, special purpose districts are limited purpose local governments separate from a city, town, or county government. Generally they perform a single function, though some perform a limited number of functions. They provide an array of services and facilities including electricity, fire protection, flood control, health, housing, irrigation, parks and recreation, library, water-sewer service, and more recently stadiums, convention centers, and entertainment facilities that are not otherwise available from city or county governments. Over the years, the Washington legislature has enabled more than 80 different special purpose districts. The number of special district statutes counted may vary depending on the definition of a special district. The purpose of the following information is to give an overview of these special purpose districts.


Authority for some districts has been repealed, some special district statutes have been consolidated, and most all have been amended to accommodate changing conditions. Once thought of as existing only in unincorporated portions of counties, many district statutes allow the inclusion of cities and towns. Some districts have provisions for a county-wide district, some are multi-county, while others provide for interlocal cooperation agreements. The multiplicity and variety of special districts within a local area can be confusing.

Special Purpose Districts Within Burien

400 SW 152nd St, Suite 300  /  Burien, WA 98166  /  Ph: (206) 241-4647  /  Fax: (206) 248-5539
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