We are celebrating 30 years of being a city. The City Council kicked off a year-long celebration of our anniversary through the reading of a proclamation in February. Meeting past councilmembers and mayors at the reading of the proclamation was a meaningful experience. Hearing directly from them about how our community has grown and changed reinforced for me how important the role your local government plays in preparing our city for the next few decades of growth.
It is not a question of whether Burien will grow, but how we manage the inevitable growth and change in our future. People will continue to move to the Puget Sound, and Burien’s convenient location and quality of life will attract newcomers (like myself!) to our city.
As we acknowledge and celebrate our history, we must also look to the future. Last year, we launched a coordinated planning effort to re-imagine the next two decades of growth in Burien. The outcomes of this planning effort will result in major updates to our Comprehensive Plan, including a focus on parks, recreation, public art, and transportation; and a subarea community plan for the Ambaum Blvd corridor and Boulevard Park commercial core. Our economic development team is sorting through the responses to a business survey, deployed in early winter. Those results will help inform the development of a new economic development strategy. These plans could lead to new budget and policy priorities, zoning changes, and new public investments. You are part of that conversation, and we hope you will stay engaged.
The City will face tough choices over the next three to five years. We need to chart a new financial path forward so that we can continue to provide the essential services deserved by our community. Our new strategic plan will help us prioritize the things we heard matter most by our community.
I’ve been here for eight months and I’ve observed that we have a stellar staff who are true public servants that provide professional and high-quality service with very limited resources. We also have many committed community members who work hard to make Burien one of the best communities in the Puget Sound to live, work, and play.
I have a lot of hope for the future, and I look forward to continuing to work in service of this community.