August 19, 2013

INTENT: Show how the City Manager search can be used to turn the City around

Since the dawn of democracy, the podium has been used to engage government for change. Being inclusive by offering both hope and solution to the voters, is a powerful tool to engage recalcitrant governments. If you are thinking, “I don't know how to do that”, its quite easy. I'll explain as we go through the final four presentations.


The 7th Inning Stretch

At this point in my campaign, the weight of the dagger is becoming heavy. The Artist's Way shares a lot about self care. This is especially important in long campaigns for change like this. I am preparing to take a vacation. I will be using the Labor Day holiday plus a week to relax.


The Change Up

I am ready for a change up in my speaking style. I am certain you will be ready to drop the dagger after you reach this point in your campaign too. In the past, I was talking to the Council – now I will be talking with the Council.

I believe you will see the shift in speaking style in the video, the edge is gone. In the past it served a purpose, today it doesn't.

This change up would have occurred even if the former City Manager was still there. Showing how the City Manager selection process could benefit Burien was my intent, irrespective of who occupied the job.

In the past my audience was the community. Today, I am going to make a good faith effort to show what is possible to both the community and the Council. I have now stopped the “What is the 200 Million Dollar Problem” button ad campaign and have replaced it with “The 6 Questions”. Small shifts, yes, but definitely pointing the message towards solution. Each of the subsequent button ads will run for the whole time until the next presentation. Putting oil on the troubled waters takes the edge off of the issue. In doing so, I am inviting people to entertain the idea they can make a difference: there is an election coming up. No longer am I pointing to what needs to be dealt with. Now I am pointing towards the opportunities that exist from this selection process.


Published Early

Frequently, the B-Town Blog would run my presentations as a letter to the editor. For reasons unknown, my presentation was published before I arrived at the the Council. Several people commented on it as I was waiting to speak. I couldn't in good faith just read into the public record what was already published. I chose a different approach; I would amplify on the six bullet points, and make them more personal – more expansive.

This approach worked well and allowed me to connect my message. This strategy will also help me when I get into trouble in my next presentation.




We have two basic choices in this City Manager search that is before us:

  • We can accept whoever the recruiting firm suggests.
  • Or we can define what we want ourselves.

The second approach will require time, honesty and public input. The Council will have to spend several months listening to the homeowners and businesses in this town. This will will require the Council going out into the community to see what is really going on. There are no shortcuts to this kind of due diligence.

With this information the Council will be able to tell the recruiting firms about:

  • The condition of our neighborhoods and business district.
  • Where we want Burien to be in four years.
  • The support the Council will give the new City Manager in achieving these goals.
  • How they will define good faith effort on the part of the City Manager in implementing these goals.
  • How the City Manager is going to be objectively evaluated on the job performance.
  • What was learned from our past City Manager experience. Good and bad.

There are many people who specialize in turning organizations around. Burien is not beyond redemption. Our current situation is a great opportunity for a qualified candidate to make the changes we need.

I believe that a united Council will be able to answer all these questions and will attract a great City Manager that can turn this City around and make it a true jewel.

Tomorrow is not created by decisions made in the future, but rather by the decisions and choices we make today. The time for decision is at hand.




August 19, 2013

The direction the City Manager search is taking can be found in the Council Packet or better yet see the nuances in person by being there.

The reference to the neighborhoods and business district can be found in the Assessor's Office and the City Budget.

I am beginning to point the campaign towards solution. I am sharing the issues I see and how they can be used in the City Manager search. In highlighting what is possible, the community can see the past inaction of the Council, and evaluate a different course.




These final four presentations are critical. In them I will be asking clearly and directly for what I want. I will not just leave it up to chance, I must ask people to join me in change.

Throughout my campaign, I examined how each of the issues I was sharing affected the City and the residents. Not all people were affected by all of my presentation issues. However, in not demanding they blindly join me, I have the opportunity to get them to examine and explore how these issues are effecting them, even if its just one issue.

After this presentation I will be using the Vision Statement of Burien to point the way. Vision Statements are very local. They share what the City wants itself to be. The Vision Statement in your City will have similarities to mine and some decidedly different topics that are important to your City.

All Vision Statements essentially call for a better town. They are what we want our towns to be. They are grand visions of hope and possibility. It is easy to build closing arguments around them. Asking for the City Manager selection process to encompass Vision Statement implementation is logical.

If you tease these Vision Statements apart, you will find that they will do a variety of good things. In my campaign, I chose the Prosperity component because it was something that was sorely missing in the current administration.

The continued loss of individual net worth is not sustainable. Yet, there was a component in my City's Vision Statement that contained Sustainability. In today's non sustainable world it is easy weave these themes together in a coherent way that will attract attention.

Education is a cornerstone to healthy communities. I will be starting with that in my next presentation.