Burien City Manager finalists meet the public

By Eric Mathison

The five finalists for Burien City Manager met their potential constituents Friday night, Feb. 28 during a public reception at the Burien Community Center.

The five were to be interviewed by City Council members on Saturday, March 1. They will also face interviews with Burien’s leadership team and a panel of city advisory board members.

Burien lawmakers were scheduled to make their selection at another executive session before their regular meeting on Monday, March 3. The council’s public vote is not expected until March 17 after a contract agreement is reached. A special meeting possibly could be called earlier for a public vote.

The five finalists are Greg Baker, former Damascus OR city manager, Kamuron Gurol, Sammamish assistant city manager; Tim Hacker, former North Las Vegas city manager; Joe Hannan, Mukilteo city administrator; and Bill Monahan, Milwaukie OR city manager. Michael Matthias, project manager for redevelopment of the former Olympia Brewery site, was named a finalist but withdrew from consideration after receiving a two-year fellowship, according to Burien Human Resources director Angie Chaufty.

Before the reception, the finalists were given a tour of Burien by city staff.

At the reception, Baker said he sees Burien as a growth community with lots of energy and potential new jobs.

“The community has a lot of upside,” Baker declared.

Baker characterized himself as “high energy” and very loyal.

“I would be fully committed to the people and the city,” Baker noted.

Gurol declared, “Burien is a cool place, poised to do great things.”

He pledged to use his lengthy experience, communication skills and close engagement with the community if selected.

Hacker noted Burien has “real sense of place” with an established downtown and ongoing commerce unlike the desert southwest where he served as North Las Vegas’ city manager.

Hacker said his experience as a planner and member of regional coalitions would greatly help Burien. He also cited his “strong work ethic.”

Hannon said he has been a lifelong volunteer in the cities he has worked in. His biggest strength is his attitude, he said, and pledged, “complete community emersion” if selected.

In Mukilteo, he said he was involved in economic development with an airport and industry.

Monahan said he is also familiar with Burien, having “stolen” former Burien Police Chief Bill Dickinson to work as Milwaukie’s police chief.

Monahan said his best attribute is his willingness to work with the council and city staff.

Councilmember Nancy Tosta, who will be one of the seven lawmakers to hire the new city manager, said she supported the public reception for the finalists.

“We need the new city manager to understand what it means to engage the community,” Tosta added.

Andrea Reay, Discover Burien executive director, also praised the reception.

“It is absolutely a good idea to have them meet the community and see what the priorities are,” Reay said.

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