Council Roundup: November 15, 2021

American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month, State Legislative Agenda, Public Art, Budget, City Council and City Manager Salaries, Enhanced Services Facilities
Posted on 11/18/2021
Utility boxes with artwork wrap.

The Burien City Council issued a proclamation in honor of American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month and adopted a review process for Enhanced Services Facilities. They also discussed a process to hire the next city manager, the state legislative agenda, public art grant recipients, mid-biennium budget update, and city councilmember and city manager salaries.

Proclamation Celebrates American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

The Burien City Council issued a proclamation in support for American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. Donny Stevenson, Vice Chair of the Muckleshoot Tribal Council, accepted the proclamation.

“We have occupied this land for hundreds of generations and thousands of years,” said Stevenson. “To be able to be here tonight, and to share in the recognition, it is an incredible honor. I thank all the leaders of the city for the opportunity to be here.”

Process to Hire Next City Manager Discussed

Brian J. Wilson, Burien’s current city manager, announced his resignation last week. His last day will be January 15, 2022.

The City Council directed the city manager to identify and make a recommendation for the hire of an interim city manager. They also directed the city manager to prepare a proposal to hire an executive search firm to conduct the recruitment and selection process to hire the next city manager. The City Council will make the final hiring decision.

State Legislative Priorities Continues 2021 Agenda

The City Council discussed their 2022 state legislative priorities, placing their approval on the next meeting’s consent agenda. The priorities for 2022 focus on housing, tenant protections, homelessness, public and behavioral health, gang prevention and intervention, SeaTac Airport operations, Growth Management Act, transportation, funding for public infrastructure, public safety, and climate action.

The City Council establishes state and federal legislative priorities every year. A legislative agenda enables staff and the City’s contract lobbyists to advocate and support legislation that benefits the City of Burien government and the Burien community. The 2022 federal legislative priorities were approved on the consent agenda.

Public Arts and Culture Grants Recipients Selected

The City Council placed approval of the Arts Commission’s recommended list of recipients to receive Burien Arts and Culture Grants in 2022 on the consent agenda of the next regular council meeting. The City’s Arts and Culture Grant program allocates $20,000 each year to support organizations and/or artists who can provide arts, heritage, and cultural opportunities for city residents.

The Burien Arts Commission reviewed applications from 11 local organizations and individuals. Recommendations were guided by grant criteria that focused on artistic merit and excellence, organizational capacity and stability, and benefits to the Burien community.

The Commission also focused on funding projects that could bring their program to fruition with the funding that was available.

The following organizations will receive funding:

  • Burien Arts Association
  • Burien Actors Theatre
  • Highline Community Symphonic Band
  • Highline Heritage Museum
  • The Hi-Liners Inc.
  • Joyas Mestizas
  • Momentum Dance Ensemble
  • Northwest Associated Arts
  • Northwest Symphony Orchestra

Four Public Artwork Projects Approved for 2022

The City Council placed approval of $17,500 for four public artwork projects as part of the 2022 Public Art Plan on the consent agenda for the next regular council meeting.

  • Puget Sound Park Mural Project: Community member Natsiree Puttavon will receive funding to develop a mural project on fencing at Puget Sound Park that borders 1st Avenue.
  • Des Moines Memorial Drive Signal Box Project: 14 signal boxes along the historic Des Moines Memorial Drive will have artist-designed wraps that memorialize World War I. The City of Burien is working with Des Moines Memorial Drive Preservation Association (DMMDPA) and the Cities of SeaTac and Des Moines to fund and install the artworks.
  • Downtown Art Window Project: This is an ongoing partnership with Merrill Gardens Senior Living and Maverick Apartments. The art display windows at both facilities are provided to local and regional artists, as well as local nonprofits, to provide art and cultural experiences for the community.
  • Public Art Maintenance: There are several artworks in the City’s collection that require maintenance.

Mid-biennium Budget Update Discussions Continued

The City Council continued discussions of 5.5% increase to surface water management fees and a 1% property tax levy increase. Both items will be discussed again, along with the Human Services Fund rate, during a special meeting devoted to the budget on Thursday, November 18 at 6 p.m.

Increases to City Council and City Manager Salaries Adopted

The City Council recommended a 2022 cost-of-living increase for salary of the city manager consistent with the recommended cost of living increase for staff. They also recommended raising salaries for future city councilmembers from $600 per month to $750, and to adjust the mayor’s salary from $750 per month to $1,000 per month. This will only apply to councilmembers elect whose term begins in 2022. The $600 that councilmembers receive in a health savings account (HRA/VEBA) was also discussed.

City Council Adopts New Review Process for Enhanced Services Facilities

The City Council adopted a “Type 2” land use review process for applications for Enhanced Services Facilities in single-family zones in Burien. A Type 2 process involves a decision by the City's hearing examiner and is appealable to the City Council in an executive session. Senior living facilities are an example of another type of facility that goes through Type 2 review process in single-family zones.