Council Roundup: April 18, 2022

City Manager Search, Public Safety, Minimum Wage, Downtown Parking, Lakeview Park, Proclamations
Posted on 04/25/2022

Council issued proclamations in honor of Earth Day, Arbor Day, and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. They discussed progress on the search for a new city manager and heard an update on a collaborative approach to public safety. They also began discussions on a minimum wage for large businesses and recommendations for parking in Burien’s downtown. They adopted a resolution to acquire Lakeview Park from Highline Public Schools.

Earth Day and Arbor Day Proclamations Call for Commitment to Sustainability and Environmental Justice

Councilmember Sarah Moore sponsored proclamations in honor of both Earth Day and Arbor Day.

Daija Tramble, a sustainability intern with the City since 2019, accepted the Earth Day proclamation. She has interned for the City since she was 15 years old. She will be attending Gonzaga University in the fall Tramble accepted a full scholarship to attend Gonzaga University where she plans to study environmental science.

“I’m really grateful to work in a city that values youth voice and cares about its environment and not only the environment now but also the needs of the future,” said Tramble.

Luke VanHouten, a local Eagle Scout from Troop 284, accepted the Arbor Day proclamation. He completed his Eagle Scout project in 2021. For his project, he cleared out a large patch of ivy at the Burien Community Center, created signage for the Downtown Burien Tree Walk, and created seating areas that could aid in teaching about area’s habitat.

Proclamation Raises Awareness on Sexual Assault

Councilmember Cydney Moore sponsored a proclamation in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Laurel Redden, communications director for King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC), accepted the proclamation, speaking to why her organization is focusing on the theme of “Building Safer Spaces Online”.

“Young people are the age group that are most at risk from sexual assault. They are also the group that is most savvy about connecting to the world online. … We believe it’s necessary and relevant to make sure members of community understand that real harm can start online or can take place entirely online … during this month of awareness, we are encouraging parents and caregivers to have conversations with the young people in their lives about boundaries, consent, and healthy communications. We are also urging parents out there to take it seriously. If they hear or see their child is experiencing abuse or questionable behavior online, we at KCSARC say we can’t change what we can’t talk about it.

She continued, “What you are doing here tonight, is important. You are talking about sexual violence. And by doing that, you are sending an important message to survivors. That message is you are not alone and your story matters. That’s very important for survivors to hear. You are also sending a message your community needs to know and that is we can prevent sexual violence, but it takes everyone’s involvement.”

Collaborative Programs Boost Public Safety in Burien

The City Council discussed the status of new investments, approved by the City Council in 2021, to address gaps in the spectrum of public safety services available to meet the needs of Burien.

The City has filled the new position of neighborhood care coordinator to serve as a resource for community members in need of services in the downtown Burien neighborhood. The new coordinator begins work in May and will be working during business hours.

The new Community Response Team, which pairs mental health with emergency medical professionals, will begin working in the King County Fire District 2 region (Burien, White Center, and Normandy Park) starting in May. They will work four ten-hour shifts during the week. The Burien Police Department is also working on bringing on board an additional community response team, in partnership with the King County Sheriff’s Office who will provide funding of the additional team. The second team will pair a specially trained police officer with a mental health professional, working for overnight and weekend shifts to the Community Response Team.

Deputy Mark Hayden, Burien’s new downtown storefront resource officer, began working full-time on August 16. He will focus on downtown Burien, offering high visibility support for local businesses and community members during daytime hours.

City Manager Search Progresses, Interviews Will Occur in Open Session

The City Council held a public hearing on the city manager search process. They agreed to hold interviews in public session. They also encouraged continued efforts to ensure the process to recruit the city manager was done as transparently as possible.

Public Hearing Held for Street Vacation Request of Portion of 11th Pl SW

The City Council placed on the consent agenda of the next regular meeting adoption of Ordinance 793, vacating a portion of 11th Place SW in Jordan's Acre Gardens Addition adjacent to Lots 1 and 2 of Block 3. The vacation request is being made in conjunction with a land use review for a 32-unit townhouse development.

BEDP Makes Recommendation on Minimum Wage for Large Businesses

In 2021, the City Council directed the Business and Economic Development Partnership (BEDP) to study the feasibility of a higher minimum wage for large businesses in Burien. Members of the BEDP and economic development staff presented the results of that study, which included a review of minimum wages in neighboring jurisdictions and an academic study of the impact of the higher minimum wage on city of Seattle.

The BEDP made three recommendations to the City Council:

  • Define large businesses as having 500+ employees worldwide. This would include 7.2% of Burien businesses.
  • They recommended that the state minimum wage, which is $14.49 and the highest in the country*, as sufficient for Burien at this time.
  • Should the City Council consider any changes to the minimum wage, that outreach be required to large businesses and the employees affected by a minimum wage change.

The City Council directed staff to invite the consultant who assisted with the study to present to the City Council at a future meeting. No policy action was taken.

Study Looks at Current and Future Parking Needs in Downtown Burien

Members of the BEDP presented the results of a study they conducted on the parking needs of downtown Burien. The study identified current conditions and made several recommendations to improve parking in the neighborhood.

The study evaluated current conditions and BEDP made the following recommendations based on the study:

  • Continue offering curbside pickup spots for local businesses.
  • Educate business owners and employees on parking concerns and on nearby parking options for employees.
  • Plan for future parking needs of a downtown Burien workforce.
  • Increase time limits on nearby side streets to three- or four-hour time zones.
  • Conduct outreach to business owners prior to any major parking policy changes.

The City Council directed staff to bring back options for implementing all of the recommendations from the BEDP’s downtown parking study.

Acquisition of Lakeview Park from Highline Public Schools Approved

The City Council approved a resolution to empower the city manager to negotiate with Highline Public Schools to acquire Lakeview Park.

Terms of Interlocal Agreement in Support of DESC Burien Development Discussed and Approved

The City Council pulled from the consent agenda approval of an interlocal agreement regarding the DESC Burien supportive housing development being planned for downtown Burien. After discussion on the language of the interlocal agreement, the City Council adopted the agreement with no changes.