Council Roundup: October 16, 2023

B&O Tax, Budget, Strategic Plan, Advisory Boards, Proclamations
Posted on 10/25/2023
Road with construction workers applying fresh asphalt.

The Burien City Council continued discussions on the mid-biennium budget update with a focus on the Capital Improvement Program, discussed business and occupation tax, and placed on their next meeting’s consent agenda approval of the 2023-2028 Strategic Plan and new bylaws for the Planning Commission. They issued proclamations recognizing Filipino American Heritage Month and Italian American Heritage Month.

Business & Occupation Tax Increase Discussed

The City Council heard a presentation on a potential increase to the business and occupation tax. Increasing this tax was identified as part of the City’s long-range financial plan as one of three council-action options that have been presented to help close a forecasted revenue gap.

Discussions regarding the council-action revenue options will continue this fall.

Mid-biennium Budget Discussions Continue

Staff continued to present an overview of the 2023-2024 Mid-biennium Budget. The presentation highlighted the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) which supports infrastructure and other facility projects managed by the Public Works and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services departments. Other funds, such as the Art in Public Places Fund were also discussed.

City Council Supports Five-year Strategic Plan

The City Council placed approval of a five-year strategic plan on their next meeting’s consent agenda. The plan’s purpose is to help both the City Council and staff identify areas where we need to focus our efforts and will set the tone for budgeting priorities and staff work planning. The plan lays out goals and strategies to achieve four strategic directions: Achieving Financial Stability, Advancing Racial Equity, Centering Community Accountability, and Reshaping Community Through Smart, Mindful Development.

Arts Commission and Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Temporarily Join

City Council placed on the consent agenda of their next meeting approval of the decision to temporarily join the Arts Commission and Parks and Recreation Advisory Board into one advisory board, effective October 24, 2023 through March 31, 2024. Their first joint meeting will be held on October 24, 2023 during the regularly scheduled time and place of the Arts Commission meeting.

By joining the two advisory boards, staff can continue to work with the members to develop a recommended draft of the Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan to be presented to the City Council in January. This allows the City to meet the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office’s (RCO) deadline for final submission of the PROS Plan. Staff will recruit new members to both boards starting in early 2024 as part of the regularly scheduled advisory board recruitment process.

Planning Commission Bylaws Updated

The City Council placed on the consent agenda of their next meeting approval of updated bylaws for the Planning Commission. The bylaws were updated to identify the commission’s scope and source of authority, clarify sections related to conflict of interest and appearance of fairness, and changing the length of public comment to two minutes.

Proclamation Celebrates Filipino American Heritage Month

The City Council issued a proclamation in honor of Filipino American Heritage Month, recognizing the contributions made by Filipino Americans to Burien.

Alex Rolluda of Rolluda Architects accepted the proclamation. He shared his family’s journey to the United States:

“We’ve been in America a long time and our early ancestors, as we call manong, these are the pioneers and immigrants that came here in the late 1800s and [early] 1900s to pave the way for the descendants, ourselves, so that we could have a better life. Leaving their country where they were comfortable to a city where they were cold and to come here and make a life for themselves. My dad said he came to America in 1929 at the age of 17 to find the tree of money and wealth. And after living here he realized that that tree and fruit of that tree wasn’t money, it was his daughters and sons that he eventually could put through college. Thank you very much on behalf of the Filipino community.”

Proclamation Celebrates Italian American Heritage Month

The City Council issued a proclamation in honor of Italian American Heritage Month, recognizing the rich heritage of Italian American community members, past, present, and in the future in Burien.


City Manager Report

The City Manager shared the following during his report:

  • King County has expressed that their current revenues do not match need and that cuts in service may be necessary. Some of those cuts could come from law enforcement.
  • Burien Brat Trot, a fundraiser for Highline Public Schools Foundation, was a successful event.
  • Staffing updates included new staff hired to the City Clerk’s Office and more new staff hired and internal promotions within the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department.
  • Councilmembers were encouraged to apply to serve on Association of Washington Cities and Sound Cities Association boards and commissions. They also will be holding training sessions for elected officials.
  • Jake Johnston has been hired as the City’s new federal lobbyist. He will join Lyset Cadenas, the City’s state lobbyist, at a future meeting to help the City Council establish their legislative priorities.
  • City Manager provided an update on the process to secure a contract with The More We Love, a nonprofit that provides homeless outreach services. Contract remains in negotiation phase. The City Manager will provide a briefing on the full contract once the contract negotiation phase is complete. The draft contract uses the same contract requirements that were established with Evergreen Treatment Services’ REACH program and includes requirements that all contractors who work with the City must follow. The More We Love is participating in meetings with outreach agencies performing work within Burien to ensure that all outreach efforts to our homeless population include the same information.
  • Work has begun to issue notice of Ordinance 827 to our homeless population.

Council Reports

During their Council Reports portion of the meeting, councilmembers shared the following:

  • Councilmember Sarah Moore shared updates from the King County – Cities Climate Collaboration (K4C) elected officials meeting including information about Washington State Department of Commerce climate programs.
  • Councilmember Jimmy Matta shared information about the Northwest Symphony’s recent “Music from Latin America” family concert. He also shared information about SeaMar Community Health Center’s Renacer, a new inpatient behavioral health facility in the South Park neighborhood.
  • Mayor Sofia Aragon met with Enumclaw Public Schools to discuss a multi-sector program that receives funding from King County to prevent opioid use among youth. She also shared an update from the AWC Legislative Agenda committee who is setting their 2024 legislative agenda.
  • Councilmember Hugo Garcia shared an update on the open house hosted by King County Metro to gather community input into a transit-oriented development project in downtown Burien. He also shared information about a holiday pop-up sale on October 21 for the Shark Garden.

Consent Agenda

The City Council approved on their consent agenda Ordinance 825, Donation of Surplus Property and Ordinance 827, Technical Amendments to Ordinance No. 818, Unlawful Public Camping.