Council Roundup: April 15, 2019

Advisory Board Appointments, Affordable Housing Week, LEAD, Comprehensive Plan, StART
Posted on 04/17/2019
Deputy Mayor Austin Bell proclaiming May 13 -17 as Affordable Housing Week

Council made advisory board appointments, issues a proclamation in support of Affordable Housing Week, heard a presentation about the Burien Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program, and more.

Proclamation on Affordable Housing and Earth Day

Deputy Mayor Austin Bell read a proclamation declaring May 13–17 as Affordable Housing Week. Councilmember Tosta read a proclamation supporting April 22 as Earth Day.

Community Members Appointed to Burien Advisory Boards and Commissions

Council appointed 16 people to four boards and commissions. There is still one open position for Parks and Recreation Board and one open position for the Arts Commission. Apply at Council appointed the following people to the following boards and commissions:

Arts Commission

  • Shelley Brittingham
  • Missy Douglas
  • Putsata Reang
  • Elizabeth Countess Stekovic

Business & Economic Development Partnership

  • Phoenix Cavalier
  • Lorraine Chachere
  • Hugo Garcia
  • Joshua Halpin
  • Anthony Hayes
  • Nancy Scholl
  • Rose Symotiuk

Human Services Commission

  • Daniel Magpali
  • Aretha Miller
  • Kelsey Stefanik-Guizlo

Parks and Recreation Board

  • Kate Kelly
  • Sarah Moore

Sea-Tac Stakeholder Advisory Round Table

Larry Cripe was appointed to be the Burien community representative on the Sea-Tac Stakeholder Advisory Round Table.

Burien LEAD Program Set to Start June 4

City Attorney Lisa Marshall presented an update on the Burien LEAD program. The program complements the Community Court program, providing more intensive case management. LEAD’s goal is to improve public safety and public order, and to reduce the criminal behavior of people who participate in the program. The Burien LEAD program will divert people who have committed certain misdemeanors into community-based treatment and support services—including housing, health care, job training, treatment and mental health support—instead of processing them through the traditional criminal justice system. All referrals to LEAD will be screened and approved by law enforcement.

Outreach workers will be on-call 24-7. Case managers will be expected to handle up to 25 cases at on time. It is expected that the program will serve up to 100 people per year.

The LEAD program is currently searching for an office location in Burien. Burien Police officers are receiving training in early June, and the program will officially launch June 4.

Update on Crime Trends in Burien

Chief Boe provided an update on crime statistics for January through March this year. Chief Boe stated that that there is “no doubt that there is crime in the city, but there are some positive trends.”

Chief Boe shared a heat map that detailed calls for service by geographic area. He stated that the work of the High Visibility Team, Navigation Team, and Community Court are making an impact in the downtown area, and that calls for service from 1st Ave S have gone down over time.

Chief Boe has instituted emphasis patrols along the Ambaum corridor. Police are patrolling in cars, on foot, and in bicycles, making regular visits to local businesses, and being present in the community talking to people. This proactive work resulted in the recovery of several illegal firearms. Chief Boe stated that removing illegal firearms in Burien will help reduce violent crime and that more focus needs to be placed on those efforts.

Chief Boe also stated that the fear or perception of crime is important to address. Environmental factors, like litter and graffiti, as well as rumors on social media, can lead to an increased fear of crime.

Update on the Burien Annex

Burien Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director Steve Roemer detailed steps his staff is taking to address issues in Burien parks, including installing more security lighting, frequent maintenance visits to parks, making repairs to vandalized City-owned buildings, and more. He and other City leaders are working with Transform Burien and other Annex tenants to address complaints. He stated that his staff are losing 25 percent of their time to cleaning up encampments and that the City is exploring options to supplement their resources, including more staff or a contract service to help with camp cleanups.

Comprehensive Plan 2019 Docket Adopted

Council approved the 2019 Comprehensive Plan docket, which acts as the work program the Planning Commission and City staff will follow regarding 2019 Comprehensive Plan updates. The docket includes:

  • Three subarea plans: Burien’s urban center (downtown), Ambaum corridor, and Boulevard Park.
  • Individual Comprehensive Plan Map amendment.
  • Ongoing processes that must be followed to be in compliance with state and regional laws. These include integrating required elements of the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Vision 2040 and compliance with State Environmental Policy Act. There will also be efforts to streamline the plan by combining or eliminating the goals or policies as needed.

City Manager Report

City Manager Wilson announced the retirement of Community Development Director Charles “Chip” Davis. Council received a summary of community feedback received on proposed rental housing policies and an update on the 2020 Census.

Council also directed the City Manager to organize briefings on an upcoming Emergency Medical Service Levy and Washington State Initiative 976. Council also requested discussion on alternatives to Burien’s current fireworks ordinance.

Council voted to keep Burien’s representation on the South King Housing and Homelessness Partnership (SKHHP) Executive Board as the City Manager with the Human Services Manager serving as alternate. Council also directed the BEDP to bring forward a recommendation on whether a summit that would bring together the Highline School District, Port of Seattle, Washington State Department of Transportation and other stakeholders to discuss Burien’s economic development is feasible.