Krakowiak ousts Clark as Burien deputy mayor
With the absence of council members Joan McGilton and Gerald Robison at the Jan. 7 Burien City Council meeting, Rose Clark was replaced by Lucy Krakowiak as deputy mayor.
Councilmember Jack Block Jr. nominated Krakowiak while Mayor Brian Bennett nominated Clark.
Block, Krakowiak and Councilmember Bob Edgar voted for Krakowiak. Bennett and Clark voted for Clark.
McGilton and Robison usually vote with Bennett and Clark to make up a council majority while Krakowiak, Block and Edgar often form a voting block.
City Manager Mike Martin suggested the deputy manager vote, normally scheduled for the first council meeting of the new year, be postponed until all members were present.
Block noted he was not present last year when the council voted for mayor and deputy mayor. Bennett is serving a two-year term as mayor.
Noting the absence of the two council members, Block said, “It is unfortunate but city business must gone on.”
Clark argued the council has a history of not voting on important issues when members are absent.
Mayor Bennett revisited the issue near the end of the meeting. After discussing council policies and procedures, Bennett suggested a written provision be placed in the council procedures that the council would postpone action on items that are important to an absent member. He said the council had previously had a “handshake agreement” but that had been “thrown out the window.”
Bennett specifically referred to a meeting last Thanksgiving week when he and McGilton were on vacation. Block moved that Burien withdraw North Highline as a potential annexation area. The motion was approved with Krakowiak and Edgar joining Block in voting for it.
Block then moved that an election be held in April to allow Burien voters to decide on changing the city’s form of government to an elected-mayor style. Clark, presiding over the meeting as deputy mayor, abruptly recessed the meeting before a vote.
At the Jan. 7 meeting, Block agreed with Bennett that the handshake agreement is no longer in practice.
Referring to his actions at the November meeting, Block characterized them as “wholly appropriate and timely.
“I am committed to going forward,” Block said.
Krakowiak suggested the council members discuss the issue at their retreat.
The council will also hold a public hearing Jan. 28 on proposed north Burien zoning map amendments. The hearing is at 7 p.m. at council chambers, 400 S.W. 152nd St.
The Burien website gave the following biography for the newly-elected deputy mayor:
“Lucy Krakowiak was elected to the Burien City Council, Position 2, in November 2003 and is currently serving her third term. She was elected by the Council to serve as Deputy Mayor in 2013. Lucy has lived in Burien since 1988 and has had a massage therapy business located in Burien since 1994.
“She was born and raised in Kailua-Oahu, Hawaii, and graduated from Oregon State University with a bachelor's degree in biology and a minor in chemistry. Lucy explored the field of science as a high school biology and chemistry teacher and a field researcher at the University of Washington School of Forestry before settling down to her massage and craniosacral therapy career.
“Lucy cares about her community. She believes that to make a community a great place to live, work, and play, and it starts with the individual. She rolls up her sleeves, learns about the issues and then participates with effective action. Lucy has been the chief organizer of Clean Sweep and a member of the Burien Business and Economic Development Partnership Advisory Board.
“One of Lucy's goals is to enhance Burien's economic well-being with the revitalization of downtown, the preservation of neighborhoods, the enhancement of education, and the boosting of community services for our diverse population of all ages. Another is to encourage and welcome more Burien citizens to become involved with their community. She hopes to see more folks attending public meetings and taking an active role in the shaping of Burien's future.”