Photo by Matt Wendland
Council Member Nancy Tosta stands at the entrance to Burien Press following an interview on January 10th. Because of its proximity to Burien City Hall, Burien Press will be the first location for Tosta’s monthly meetings with Burien citizens.

Newly elected Council Member Nancy Tosta to host monthly public coffee meeting

By Matt Wendland

Newly elected Council Member, Nancy Tosta, was only sworn in to her position on the Burien City Council at their meeting on January 6th but she has already announced a change to traditional Council Member/constituent practice: Council Member Tosta announced Monday that she will began hosting monthly coffee meetings around Burien where citizens will have the opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns and ask questions.

Tosta, who made improved communication with constituents a key tenant of her campaign, will be hosting the first of her coffee meetings around Burien at Burien Press, a local and independent coffee shop located just across the street from Burien City Hall and Burien Town Square Park at 423 SW 152nd Street.

Tosta explained her reasoning behind the meeting in an interview at Burien Press last Friday. “I want people to feel like they have access to Council Members without having to attend evening Council Meetings… I know that the entire Council is interested in improved communications and citizen engagement and we all want to see a culture of better communication in Burien."

The first meeting will take place on Saturday, January 25th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Burien Press. According to Tosta, other Council members have expressed an interest in the approach and are discussing other options for how to engage the community more effectively. Her vision is to see meetings held all over Burien at whichever businesses are willing to host them and will be asking for suggestions for future meeting locations at the first coffee meeting at Burien Press on the 25th.

Tosta was one of four residents sworn in to the Burien City Council at their meeting on January 6th at Burien City Hall. In last November’s general election, Tosta, Berkowitz, Armstrong and Wagner were chosen by voters over long time Council Members Rose Clark and Jack Block, Jr. and Burien’s longest running former Mayor, Joan McGilton, as well as Burien Planning Commissioner Joey Martinez. Mayor Brian Bennett chose not to pursue a reelection to a second term.

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