The Issues

June 17, 2013

Letter to the Council

Dear Council Members,

I propose that when the City Manager leaves, that an interim City Manager be hired until January 2, 2014. The hiring of an interim City Manager will save the City approximately $14,000 in termination fees (RCW 35A.13.130) that would otherwise be paid to a permanent City Manager who may not represent the ideas and ideals of the new City Council. With an interim City Manager, the day-to-day affairs of the city can be managed while the political process plays out. Additionally, the City Manager should be tasked with implementing the BMC proactively during this transition.

Recently, the City Manager was heard to say, the City would need new revenue to beef up code enforcement to make the City proactive. I propose the following alternative:

  • City Council direct the City Attorney to notify the Washington State Legislature in writing that Burien will not be pursuing annexation of White Center.
  • City Council direct the City Manager to not devote any further staff time to Wards until after the election in November.
  • That all employees who quit be given an exit interview. Copies of these interviews shall be forwarded to all members of the Council. I believe, that the cost associated with staff turnover, is harming our city.

For every 40 hours of staff time spent on wards and annexation, the city could have cleaned up one bank repo or slumlord dwelling. The city would have realized $35,000 in new revenue from this cleanup and the community's net worth would have increased in excess of $20 million. Total cleanup of Burien would take 2000 – 4000 man hours. Whatever merits annexation and wards had, has passed, and the time to direct the City Manager to focus on making Burien the first priority, has now arrived.

The choice before us is the continuation of the $200 million dollar problem or the $1 billion dollar solution. Again, I choose solution. What is your choice?

Dick West



RCW 35A.13.130

City manager Removal Resolution and notice.

The city manager shall be appointed for an indefinite term and may be removed by a majority vote of the council. At least thirty days before the effective date of his or her removal, the city manager must be furnished with a formal statement in the form of a resolution passed by a majority vote of the city council stating the council's intention to remove him or her and the reasons therefor. Upon passage of the resolution stating the council's intention to remove the manager, the council by a similar vote may suspend him or her from duty, but his or her pay shall continue until his or her removal becomes effective.

[2009 c 549 § 3028; 1967 ex.s. c 119 § 35A.13.130.]