City Government

Press release:

The City of Tukwila’s Mayor and the Tukwila Metropolitan Park District’s Board of Commissioners will complete to become the first Tukwila Citizen to “Walk the Plank” or maybe they’ll choose to do a cannonball into Tukwila’s renovated pool.

The Tukwila Pool has been closed since November 2012 for a $1.66 million renovation: air handling systems, circulation and filtration systems, motors, pumps, locker room improvements, pool deck upgrades and a new pool liner are just some of the improvements patrons will notice. A generous Energy Efficiency grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce was utilized to provide energy saving upgrades.

Pool patrons will celebrate the re-opening of the Tukwila Pool on April 20, 2013, the community will also celebrate April Pool’s Day – a national water safety awareness event.


When I first filed my request with the city of Burien for the city manager's evaluation I was told it would take 30 days for it to be ready.

On April 1, 2013 when I got the information I was told it was a complete release of the evaluation documents. After reading through the materials I was given, it was clear the evaluation summary was incomplete. I contacted the city and asked for the missing information. When I was given a second release of evaluation information, I again noticed it appeared to be incomplete. After a third request I have been told what I have is final and complete now.

However, I still remain skeptical that I have received a complete release of information, as the section titled Overall is not formatted the same as the other sections. If supposedly all of the other council members made no comments in the Overall section, their names should be shown with n/a after their names. This is not the way the released Overall section appears. I suspect the media providers in the city may also have not received a complete release of information from the city either.


The Des Moines City Council is accepting applications for potential candidates for appointment to fill an unexpired term on the City Council.

Applicants must be a resident of the city for a minimum of one year, be a registered voter within the city at the time of filing, and be at least 18 years of age.

Applicants will be required to submit a resume regarding work and community service experience, respond to the questions on the application and complete a personal financial affairs statement from the Public Disclosure Commission.

Applications will be accepted until 2 p.m., Friday, April 19. Council members anticipate conducting interviews Thursday, April 25.

Contact the City Clerk’s office for a complete application packet at 21630 11th Avenue South, Des Moines, WA 98198 or call 206-870-6519.

The vacancy became available when Councilmember Dan Caldwell resigned April 4 for health reasons.


Construction on the new SeaTac south-end terminus station for link light rail will begin next month.

Sound Transit will extend light rail from the SeaTac City Center/Airport station at International Boulevard and South 176th Street, south another 1.6 miles via elevated double track guideway along the east side of 28th Avenue South to South 200th Street.

On May 7, “little” 28th Avenue South in the triangle section where the parking garage will be built will be closed for three years. A month later the northbound two lanes of 28th will also be closed. The two southbound lanes will be converted to one lane each way for traffic during construction. Work on the guideways will also start next month.

Construction activity will generally move south to north.

The new “Angle Lake” station will straddle South 200th Street with entrances on both the north and south sides of the street. It will feature a 700-stall parking garage, interim surface parking, passenger drop-off area, bike storage, and bus connections.

The elevated station will include passenger platforms with covered waiting areas, public art and an adjoining plaza.


(Editor's Note: This update reflects corrections to the previously-posted story.)

The Burien City Council rebuffed Lake Burien residents again April 1 in their efforts to have the city’s land use map changed to show the neighborhood as low-density use.

Mayor Brian Bennett and council members Jack Block Jr., Rose Clark, Gerald Robison and Joan McGilton opposed placing the request on the 2013 comprehensive plan amendments docket. Deputy Mayor Lucy Krakowiak and Councilmember Bob Edgar voted to place it on the docket.

The vote was not on approving the request but just on whether the city should consider the matter further.

‘It’s like the Supreme Court deciding which cases to take,” City Manager Mike Martin noted.

The council is expected to vote on the comprehensive plan amendments at the end of the year.

The City Council has previously rejected the proposal. The proposal is not eligible to be put back on the docket for another three years after rejection unless circumstances have changed.

During public comments a tag team of Lake Burien residents argued the neighborhood has markedly changed since 2010 when the request was on the plan docket.


At the Burien Council City study session on March 25, 2013, the city staff gave a report on the animal care and animal control non profit (CARES) that the city pays for, $120,000 per year-see the city packet of the meeting.

The city staff presentation packet seemed to skip a number of the points that should have been of concern to the city such as; currently animals that have bitten or acted aggressively to humans and domestic animals are being adopted to the public. This creates a huge liability on the placement agency and the contracting city for lawsuits. Also, if something happens to the animal control officer or the owner/director of CARES there is no one else available to take over the job and/or provide sufficient funding to keep CARES providing services to Burien.

Debi Wagner pretty well summarized many of the issues on CARES needing correction in her letter. -See


The annual private performance evaluation of City Manager Mike Martin reflects the deep divide evident publicly in the Burien City Council.

The four majority members of the City Council rated Martin outstanding or very strong in all five evaluated categories while the three minority members said Martin’s performance was not developed or underdeveloped in all areas.

Martin’s evaluation was obtained by a public records request. Lawmakers were not expecting their remarks to be made public so were quite candid about Martin and the dysfunction between council members.

Mayor Brian Bennett and former Deputy Mayor Rose Clark gave Martin the highest rating (5, outstanding) across the board.

Former long-time Mayor Joan McGilton rated Martin a 5 overall with 4’s (very strong) on community relations and communication. The other categories were intergovernmental relations, policy making/vision implementation and management of organization.

Councilmember Gerald Robison gave an overall rating of 4 (very strong) with the outstanding marks in intergovernmental relations and management of organization.


Two north Burien parks, about a half-mile from each other, have been identified as possible sites for an off-leash dog facility.

Steve Roemer, Burien Parks operations manager, told council members his department looked at parks owned by the city that were currently underutilized. He noted a city off-leash dog park would draw dog owners from within a 5-mile radius.

There are currently off-leash parks at Grandview in SeaTac and Westcrest in White Center.

Burien lawmakers at their March 25 study session indicated interest in a second dog park in the south end. Lakeview Park at South 160th Street and 6th Avenue Southwest was mentioned as a possible site

The two north end parks are Hazel Valley, 2.84 acres, at 251 S.W. 126th St. and Salmon Creek, 4.61 acres, at 700 S.W. 118th St. They were acquired by the Burien when the southern portion of North Highline was annexed in 2009.

Audit says CARES fulfilling contract, keeping pets healthy but recommends several improvements

Burien CARES.

Love it or hate it. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground.

Burien Community Animal Resource and Education Society (CARES) is a nonprofit group that the city contracts with for animal control and services.

Debra George, co-owner of the Mark Restaurant and Discover Burien events director, heads it. She is not paid as CARES director.

There doesn’t appear to be any softening of positions on the group even after the release of an audit report by Denise McVicker, deputy director of the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County.

During a City Council study session on March 25, Burien city officials characterized the report as affirming that CARES is performing its contract with the city and treating animals in its care humanely. City Manager Mike Martin noted McVicker had given some recommendations on improvements that may cost more and expand services CARES is providing.

“This is a classic, young community-based organization that is doing everything right,” Martin declared. “It is time to get behind it. It has been through some rough times.”

Debate on Burien CARES continues after audit report
Photo credit: 
Photo by Jerry Gay

Toasty perches on the shoulder of Animal Control Officer Ray Helms at the Burien CARES shelter. Toasty was found hiding in a car engine and brought to the facility.

Based on the Burien CARES Program Evaluation in the Council Work Session packet for tonight, CARES is not head and shoulders better than the King County Animal Control Program-see pages 25-36 of the online packet.

For the last year and a half, the Burien City Manager/Mike Martin has been standing up before the public and declaring that CARES (provider of Animal Care and Animal Control for Burien) is head and shoulders better than the King County Animal Control program. He has repeatedly made this statement at public meetings, at annexation meetings and to the media. Denise McVicker, the Deputy Director of the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County, has just completed an evaluation of CARES and here are some of her findings in the completed report that I believe will be glossed over tonight at the work session of the Council.

1. The staff is inadequately trained.
2. There is no coordinated mechanism for the pick up and reporting or description of dead animals in Burien so that the citizens looking for their animals can be apprised of information.

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