City Council Special Meeting Summary: 09/12/2022

Roll Call: All members present, but S. Moore (late)

Agenda Discussion
  • Governor Inslee’s is ending the Covid-19 state of emergency on Oct 31, which ends Burien’s eviction moratorium as written in the ordinance.
  • Vote: Remove Eviction Moratorium Discussion from agenda – Passed unanimously
      Public Comment
  • Katie W. - A Registered Nurse representing the Transit Riders Union (TRU). The TRU has determined that ending the eviction moratorium directly impacts people’s health in the form of additional stress, no place to quarantine, homelessness. Called for stronger renter protections.
  • Amy K. - Called for expansion of permanent renter protections: capping move-in costs, late fees; banning social security requirements, as the city of Kenmore has done.
  • Ginele L. - Requested that ARPA funds be used for repair sewage/drainage in Blvd Park, even if the funds were only enough to start the repairs.
  • Devin G. - Part of a law firm that represents tenants; urged Burien to implement renter protections before ending the eviction moratorium. Ending it will displace people, worsen income inequality. There is no protection for renters who can’t afford rent and have nowhere to go.
  • Liz T. - Small rental property owner stating that the eviction moratorium ordinance is harmful to landlords; She issued discounts to her tenants and paid tenants to leave during Covid lockdowns. Landlords are refusing to rent when their property is not protected, affecting housing stock. Landlords will implement more stringent acceptance criteria and leave units vacant.
  • Jessica G. - Suggested a contingency homeless management program - pay homeless people for clean drug tests. the pilot program would provide further funding and resources to the city to help the homeless.
  • Qadra A. - Single property owner/landlord; hasn’t received rent in 3 months; can’t evict people who aren’t working, nor applying for rent assistance. Tenants know the owners can’t evict. She has no funds to cover her debts, problem is worsening and ruining her livelihood. Taking house off market.
  • Chance J. - Requested that ARPA funds be used to repair septic/runoff water issues in Blvd Park rather than spending money on projects that will not have enough funding to be completed.
  • Chestine E. - Stated that the Neighborhood Care Coordinator was undefined and questioned what their role would be. IT upgrades are convoluted and may not address fixing the broken City website; website does not list all city employee and points of contact. Address mental health programs rather than food bank funding. Neighborhood cleanup is grossly overfunded.
Business Agenda
Execute Distribution WA Settlement Agreement
  • Regarding Opioid Litigation against pharmaceutical distributors.
  • Burien receiving a settlement is contingent upon 37 jurisdictions in WA singing the agreement. $58,000 is on the table if all 116 jurisdictions sign (less if some don’t).
  • Attorney General has discussed paying $6000 to Burien by Dec 1; rest paid in installments over 17 years. No lump sum option at this time
  • The city council will determine how to use the funds: pooling with neighboring cities, send to the county, spend directly, etc.
  • Sep 23 is the deadline to determine how Burien will proceed.
  • Vote: Table discussion until next meeting – Passed unanimously*

ARPA Discussion – Review of Action Plan
  • 3.6 Million allocated
  • Possibility of taxes being increased and levies being proposed; unknown timeline.
  • Policing levy to address a $2 million deficit. 2023 will see a $1 million increase in the King County policing contract due to salary increases only.
  • Once action plan is approved:
    • Staff implements ARPA funding plan with Management Partners’ support.
    • Policy items relating to each project will be brought back to Council for review and approval by staff.
    • The projects will be added to the current budget or included in the next budget depending on timing.

BEDP Approved Fund Forecast
  • B&O proposed tax increase from 0.1% to 0.2%.
  • Proposed water/sewer tax increase to 10%
  • Proposed building/planning permit fee increase
  • Ballot items:
    • Property tax levy, total amount of $6.5 million
    • Public safety sales tax increase by 10.7%
    • Localized taxing per park for the Metropolitan Parks District

Discussion of BEDP Recommendations on Collaboration between Council and Business Community
  • Recommendation to add annual joint BEDP/Council meeting to the calendar.
  • Recommendation that council sends a representative member to attend BEDP meetings.
    Vote: Council members agreed to send one council member to attend BEDP meetings and implement the meeting. Passed unanimously. 
    ### Discussion of Implementing Limited Term Admin Assistant
  • Approval of limited-term Admin Assistant.
  • Vote: Council members agreed to implement the Admin Assistant position. Passed unanimously. ### Rental Housing Policies
  • Rental Housing Policy - RCW & BMC reviewed; City Attorney identified BMC conflicts with RCW; Survey of landlords requested
  • Further discussion of Rental Housing Policies added to future agendas. ### Discussion of Suicide Prevention Month Proclamation
  • Proclamation approved by City Council for the next business meeting.
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