Council Roundup: January 10, 2022

New Councilmember Oaths of Office, Mayor and Deputy Election, Interim City Manager Selection, Human Trafficking Awareness, New Staff Intros, Land Acquisition, Interlocal Agreements
Posted on 01/13/2022
New playground equipment at Lakeview Park in Burien.

The Burien City Council elected a mayor and deputy mayor, appointed an acting city manager, issued a proclamation to raise awareness about human trafficking, met new fire and police personnel, discussed acquisition of land for parks, and discussed interlocal agreements.  

Newly Elected Councilmembers Receive Oaths of Office

Judge Susan Mahoney delivered the ceremonial oaths of office for newly elected councilmembers Hugo Garcia, Sarah Moore, and Stephanie Mora. Jimmy Matta was sworn in for his second term of office.

New Mayor and Deputy Mayor Elected

Sofia Aragon was elected as mayor and Kevin Schilling was elected as deputy mayor. Sarah Moore and Sofia Aragon were nominated for mayor. Hugo Garcia and Kevin Schilling were nominated for deputy mayor.

“I’m incredibly humbled to receive the nomination and be supported in this role,” said Mayor Aragon. “Being a mayor is really servant leadership. I’m here to support the entire Council to make sure we function the best that we can as a whole.”

“I’m excited to be working with everybody on this Council,” said Deputy Mayor Schilling. “I think we are going to be making a lot of positive change together. And I’m excited to do that with respect, creativity, and a whole lot of hard work.”


The mayor is elected by the City Council to serve a two-year term. The duties of the mayor are detailed in the Burien City Council Guidelines and state law.

The mayor serves as the chair of the City Council and presides at all meetings, preserving order and decorum, facilitating concise discussion, and minimizing repetitive comments. This includes following Robert’s Rules of Order. The mayor also serves as the official spokesperson and attends agenda setting meetings every Wednesday prior to City Council meetings.

The mayor is recognized as the head of the city for ceremonial purposes and by the governor for purposes of military law. However, the mayor does not have administrative duties, which means they do not provide direction on anything related to the daily operation of the City of Burien, or anything that the City Manager or staff would be responsible for managing.

The deputy mayor is elected by the City Council every year, to serve a one-year term. In the absence of the mayor, the deputy mayor carries out the duties of the mayor.

Proclamation Raises Awareness about Human Trafficking

The City Council issued a proclamation to mark January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Burien. Washington State Representative Tina Orwall accepted the proclamation.


Law enforcement and several local organizations combat human trafficking in our community:

  • The King County Sheriff’s Office works with the Fusion Center, a network of law enforcement agencies that work together to share information. KCSO also works with the Department of Homeland Security to administer the T-Visa program, which allows immigration protection for victims of trafficking.
  • Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network (WARN), Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST), and The Lantern Project are working to stop human trafficking in King County.
  • Burien’s Human Services Fund helps support two organizations, King County Sexual Assault Resource Center and the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network, who help victims of sex trafficking.
  • The Port of Seattle launched anti-human trafficking training for its employees in 2019, to help ensure that Port staff, and others who work at Port facilities, have the knowledge and resources to recognize and respond to instances of human trafficking.
  • Cities, counties, transit authorities, airports, and seaports across Washington and beyond are combining forces to prevent human trafficking with the #NotAlone campaign, a statewide initiative to encourage victims of human trafficking to seek help.

If you need to get or give help, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

New Police and Fire Staff Introduced

The city manager introduced Captain Todd Morrell, the new captain for the Burien Police Department. He started December 1, 2021 and will serve as second in command of the Burien Police Department.

"[His experience] is indicative of the modern, trusted, collaborative approach to policing that is part of the major reform efforts that are taking place currently,” said City Manager Brian Wilson.

“I hold it as an absolute privilege to work in the city. I couldn’t have picked a better assignment,” said Captain Morrell.

He also introduced Ed Marrs, the new Community Response Team coordinator for King County Fire District #2.

As part of the Community Response Team, Marrs will help connect patients with health care resources that they might not already have access to. One effect could be lower call volumes for police and emergency services as well as connecting people to the right services.

“This will make Burien a safer and healthier community for everyone,” said Wilson.

The Community Response Team is a new co-responder team that pairs behavioral health experts with emergency first responders.

Landslide on SW 172nd St/Sylvester Road Update

City Manager Wilson updated the City Council on the landslide that is currently blocking the road where Sylvester Rd SW turns into SW 172nd St.

Carolyn Hope Appointed as Interim City Manager

The City Council selected Carolyn Hope to be the acting city manager. Carolyn Hope is currently the director of the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department. She will serve as acting city manager until a permanent city manager replacement is hired. She will become city manager effective January 16, 2022.

The City has issued a request for proposals for an executive search firm to assist the City Council in recruiting and selecting the next city manager. Proposals are due Friday, January 14, 2022. The community will be invited to participate in the selection process. The City Council is responsible for selecting the city manager. 

Memorandum of Understanding Details New Pension Contributions for Members of Teamsters

The City Council approved a memorandum of understanding between the City and Teamsters Local No. 763, who represents the Public Works maintenance staff, detailing new contributions to a pension fund.

Interlocal Agreement between King County and City for Seahurst Park Land Acquisition Approved

The City Council agreed to consider a resolution that would approve an interlocal agreement between King County and the City for open space acquisition projects funded by Conservation Futures, a voter-approved tax levy that helps jurisdictions purchase open space. This agreement is needed in advance of the spending of $3,450 to acquire a small sliver of land in Seahurst Park.

City Council Discusses Acquisition of Highline Public Schools Property for City Parks

The City has agreements with Highline Schools to operate parks on school district properties including Manhattan Park and Lakeview Park. In addition, the City had small easements from the district at Moshier Memorial Park.    

The City Council discussed extending a long-term land use agreement with Highline Public Schools at Manhattan Park and evaluating acquisition of Lakeview Park and two small parcels at Moshier Memorial Park.

The City Council supported the idea of applying for a Conservation Futures grant to help pay for the acquisition of the Lakeview Park property and agreed to consider a letter of support for the application. Pending the financial requirements of the Manhattan Park land use agreement extension and Moshier Memorial Park acquisition, they may be funded in the current 2022 budget or in the upcoming 2023-2024 budget.

City Council Approves South County Area Transportation Board Agreement

The City Council placed authorization on the consent agenda of the next City Council meeting for the city manager to sign an agreement to continue Burien’s membership and participation in the South County Area Transportation Board (SCATBd). The board brings together cities that have an interest in coordinated efforts to improve transportation in the South King County. Similar boards exist for East King County and Seattle/North King County sub-regions. The board shares information, builds consensus, and provides advice on plans, programs, policies, and priorities for countywide, regional, state, and federal transportation decisions. Dues for participation are $100 per year.

Enhanced Services Facilities and Eviction Moratorium to be Scheduled for Future Meetings

The City Council added to their planning calendar discussions about land use for Enhanced Services Facilities (ESFs) and a public safety levy. The full planning calendar, which details topics for future discussions, can be found here.

They also scheduled a special meeting for January 13, 2022 to discuss the City of Burien’s eviction moratorium.