Message from the City Manager (Fall 2023)

I look forward to working with our community to find more ways to support a vibrant and prosperous Burien.

Where are we headed as a city over the next three to five years? A new strategic plan for Burien, designed to help focus our efforts, is close to completion. At the time of this writing, City staff will have just presented an implementation plan for the four strategic directions approved by the City Council last year. We can already report progress on the four strategic directions.

Advancing Racial Equity: Two years ago, a group of staff formed an internal committee to help guide the difficult and important work of advancing racial equity within the City of Burien government. This group recently led the hiring of a consultant to evaluate current city programs and processes, and to offer opportunities for ways to improve equity.

Reshaping Community through Smart, Mindful Development: We are making progress on long-range planning efforts to accommodate growth in several areas of our city. Shape Your City is an initiative to re-imagine the long-term future of our whole city through a coordinated planning effort combining major updates to the Comprehensive Plan, a new Transportation Master Plan, and an update to the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan. This fall, we’ll be sharing draft plans and hosting a community open house. We have also begun work on a new economic development strategic plan and targeted efforts to attract new businesses and investments in Burien.

Achieving Financial Stability: As you read in the message from the City Council, they are discussing new options to raise revenue, which will help prevent an upcoming budget deficit without requiring us to cut staff or services. However, we cannot expand or enhance our current services, including increasing the number of police officers or afterschool programs, without raising more revenue. The City Council has directed staff to explore a ballot measure to raise essential revenues.

Centering Community Accountability: Our staff are working on new online systems to improve customer service in key areas. Our Community Connectors program and other community engagement efforts continue to bring new voices into our decision-making processes.

I’m proud of our hardworking and dedicated staff who are always looking for ways to do more with less. I look forward to working with our community to find more ways to support a vibrant and prosperous Burien.

Adolfo Bailon
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