Arts given more emphasis in final Burien visioning statement
Although the Burien City Council did not add arts and culture as a separate "core value", lawmakers strengthened language about arts in the final visioning statement approved July 11.
In the overall defining statement, the council added arts as a second value immediately after diversity.
The approved statement reads, "Burien: A vibrant and creative community where the residents embrace diversity, celebrate arts and culture, promote vitality, and treasure the environment."
Council members also strengthened a section on creativity to read, "Burien promotes and supports its rich palette of arts, culture, and heritage."
The visioning process, which included a consultant, steering committee, affinity groups, surveys and several public forums, was designed to provide a sense of direction and framework for evaluating future policy decisions, according to city staffers. It will also be used to help shape Burien's long-term future.
Besides the defining statement, council members approved seven "core values." Each core value contained three "concepts."
The core values are community, diversity, environment, prosperity, education and youth, health and safety, and governance.
Lawmakers did some "wordsmithing" to the final draft submitted to them.
Councilwoman Rose Clark voiced concerns that some residents in north Burien do not live close to supermarkets and clothing stores that meet some of their basic needs.
Other council members were unwilling to commit the city to meeting the basic needs of all its residents.
So a compromise was worked out that states. "Burien strives for stability by encouraging provision of basic services for all of its residents."
There was no controversy in substituting "natural environment" for "ecological systems in a concept that states, "Burien conserves its natural environment and public waterfronts."
During public comments Linda Dougherty of the Burien Arts Association urged council members to include arts and culture as an eighth value.
"I feel very strongly that you should capture in writing all the appreciation and value you hold for arts in the community," Dougherty declared.