Council Roundup: May 16, 2022

City Manager Search, Proclamations, Grocery Worker Hazard Pay, New Community Engagement Programs, Transportation, Staffing Updates, Hybrid Public Meetings
Posted on 05/23/2022
Illustration of aerial view of road with cars, emergency vehicles, sidewalks, and green space.

The Burien City Council issued four proclamations, received an update on city manager search process, discussed major staffing updates, heard update from Chief Boe on video of police encounter with community member, discussed the Transportation Improvement Program, heard updates on new programs to engage community in civic processes, adopted new code governing format of public meetings, and discussed grocery worker hazard pay.

Citizen of the Year Tony Hayes Honored

Deputy Mayor Kevin Schilling read out a proclamation honoring Tony Hayes, owner of the Classic Eats restaurant, who was named a 2022 Citizen of the Year. Hayes was honored for his hard work and service to the local business community as well as his philanthropic efforts.

Mental Health Awareness Month Proclamation Praises Local Organizations

Councilmember Hugo Garcia sponsored a proclamation to acknowledge Mental Health Awareness Month. The proclamation highlighted some of the organizations that provide direct service to Burien community members who have mental illness.

Leann Rhys-Jones, LEAD program supervisor from Evergreen Treatment Services’ REACH program accepted the proclamation. She said:

“I want to acknowledge the … overwhelming sadness, anxiety, and loss that we’ve all individually faced throughout this COVID pandemic. We [LEAD] support people that are chronically homeless, often cycling through mental health services and addiction, often stemming from personal trauma or systemic trauma. We try to connect them to local mental health services. As we do that … we also support our frontline workers because it’s significantly traumatizing for them and is what we call secondary trauma. We help our staff look at self-care, taking a mental health day, to enable them to continue the work.”

Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month Celebrates Local Leaders, Recognizes Impact of Pandemic on AAPI Communities

Mayor Sofia Aragon sponsored a proclamation in honor of Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month. The proclamation highlighted prominent Asian American local elected officials and acknowledged the impact of the pandemic on Asian American and Pacific Islander American communities.

Davie Anne Ross, a student at Seattle University and a former member of the Burien Youth Council, accepted the proclamation. She said:

“I arrive today a joyful witness to the formal naming of selfless and continued contributions towards the benefit of the city from my fellow Asian Americans as well as Pacific Islander Americans. I especially want to call to attention those contributions specific to Pasifika friends family and neighbors as a Filipina American recognize that my identity is only a partial sum of the whole represented by AAPI. I want to urge any who engage in organizing under the umbrella of AAPI to revisit whether this label actively reflects your work and the communities you serve. Engaging the “PI” and “API” without intentional Pasifika inclusion and leadership in the engagement, it's erasure.”

She also commented on the recent presidential elections in the Philippines, calling on local organizations and elected leaders to support Philippine human rights efforts.

Proclamation Recognizes Contributions of Older Community Members in Burien

Councilmember Sarah Moore sponsored a proclamation in honor of Older Americans Month. The proclamation declared that our community benefits when people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities are welcomed and included.

Nancy Martin Hughes, a longtime participant in the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department’s programs, accepted the proclamation. She said:

“I'm a long time Burien resident. My husband grew up in Burien. We have seen a lot of positive change in Burien and I must say we and the city are maturing gracefully together, Burien has been a great place to raise our family and to spend our retirement years.”

Peace Officers Memorial Proclamation Honors Brother of Fallen Kittitas County Deputy

The Burien City Council issued a proclamation in support of Peace Officers Memorial Day, a day that honors the service and sacrifice of our law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty while protecting our communities.

King County Sheriff's Office Detective Aaron Thompson and Burien Police Captain Todd Morrell accepted the proclamation. Detective Aaron Thompson is a former Burien Police Officer, who continues to serve Burien on the King County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit. He is the brother of Kittitas County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Shane Thompson who was killed while responding to a road rage incident. Captain Todd Morrell said:

“I think a lot of times when we have memorials, we can be a little bit removed from it because it doesn't necessarily affect us, or it happens in another neighborhood or another community. This one hit really close to home because Aaron Thompson served Burien for many years. He continues to serve the citizens of Burien as a member of our Major Crimes Unit and I just want to extend my thank you to the city because this really resonates with the men and women of the Burien Police Department.”

Recruitment Closes for City Manager, Evaluation of Applications Begins

The application for the city manager position closed on May 13 with 55 applications received. Recruitment closed over the weekend. There are 55 candidate applications received by closing date. The recruiter is reviewing the applications and will share them with City Councilmembers on June 1.

During an executive session on June 6, the City Council will discuss the applications and identify four to six candidates for interviews. Later that evening, the number of candidates selected for interviews will be announced during the regular business meeting. The community will have an opportunity to meet the candidates and provide anonymous feedback during an open house at the Burien Community Center on June 9.

Heather Dumlao Now Serves as Interim City Clerk

Interim City Manager Carolyn Hope announced that the city clerk, Megan Gregor, is leaving the City for a job in the private sector. Heather Dumlao, who was serving as the deputy city clerk, will now serve as the interim city clerk. Dumlao has a degree from the University of Washington and is in the process of earning her certification from the Certified Municipal Clerk Program. The City Council also approved a pay increase for the interim city clerk.

Burien Police Chief Boe Provides Update on Video of Encounter with Burien Police Officers

Burien Police Chief Ted Boe presented information about a video showing an encounter between a community member and two Burien Police officers, who were responding to a 911 dispatch. The video, which shows an edited version of a five-minute encounter and has been widely circulated on social media, prompted an investigation. The investigation, which among other steps includes review from the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight (OLEO), is expected to be concluded within the next three to six months.

Transportation Improvement Program Prioritizes Investments for Next Six Years

Maiya Andrews, public works director, introduced the updated Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), a mid-range planning document that represents a list of the City’s transportation projects that may begin work in the next six years.

The primary importance of the TIP is to act as a planning tool for the development of transportation facilities within the City. It is used to coordinate transportation projects with neighboring jurisdictions, Burien utility districts, and other agencies.

Staff evaluates the TIP annually, and aligns it with new transportation needs, updated policies, and the Transportation Master Plan. In most cases, local projects must be included in the TIP to be eligible for state and federal grant programs. The Transportation Master Plan is scheduled for a major update this year.

The City Council held a public hearing on this year’s updates to the TIP. There were no public comments. They are scheduled to potentially adopt a resolution accepting changes to the document during their June 6 meeting.

New Programs Aim to Connect and Engage More People to City Planning Processes

Interim City Manager Hope and Communications Officer Emily Inlow-Hood gave an update on new ways the City is working to help the City Council and staff involve the community in civic planning processes. The key new methods they presented included:

  • Burien Community Hub: City staff are developing a new digital engagement hub that will provide a one-stop place to learn about current ways to inform and connect with city planning and decision-making processes. While the full-featured site is developed, a temporary site is now available at
  • Community liaison program: The City hired BDS Planning to help develop a community liaison program that would recruit and train community members who speak Spanish, Vietnamese, or Amharic to become community liaisons, helping the City reach community members who may not have engaged with civic planning processes fully in the past. This program also involves reaching out and engaging with existing community-based organizations.
  • “Shape Your City” coordinated planning efforts: The City is embarking on several major community planning processes including a major update to the Comprehensive Plan, an updated Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces plan, and an updated Transportation Master Plan. Additionally, more targeted planning is also occurring around a new three-five year strategic plan, updated tree regulations, specific park planning, and more. To facilitate a better outreach process, City staff are coordinating these major planning efforts under an umbrella process called “Shape Your City”. Information will be distributed soon regarding ways to get involved.
  • Return to in-person community engagement: City staff are planning ways to bring back in-person community engagement opportunities. These include tabling at community events, including the Burien Farmers Market, as well as scheduling in-person workshops and community conversations. Two community conversations are scheduled for May 26 in support of the new strategic plan. An in-person open house to introduce the community to candidates for the city manager position is scheduled for June 9. More details will be shared soon on other opportunities to connect with City staff and City Councilmembers in person.

Grocery Worker Hazard Pay Discussed

The City Council discussed whether to rescind the grocery worker hazard pay ordinance. A motion was made and seconded to end hazard pay on May 31, 2022.  However, the Council voted to postpone action on the motion until their June 6 meeting.

Hybrid Meetings and New Scheduling Options Codified

The City Council adopted a new ordinance stating that City Council meetings be offered through a hybrid format. They also voted for a change to scheduling, allowing the City Council to re-schedule meetings that fall on a holiday and added options for holding council meetings during emergencies. Previously, meetings falling on holidays would have been automatically canceled. May 23, 2022 is the first meeting where full hybrid participation was offered.