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In Dysfunctional City Council Meeting Cydney Moore Says She is Still Bypassing City Rules

by Martin Barrett

The August 7 Burien City Council Meeting brought more of the dysfunction we have witnessed over the last 3 years since Cydney Moore became a member. This time, however, Moore was joined by Council Member Sarah Moore (no relation) in an attempted humiliation of City Manager Adolfo Bailon.

During the City Manager’s report, Bailon outlined the explosive homeless crisis that began to take over Burien in January of 2023. At that time, two tents popped up at Burien City Hall. Over the next two months, according to Bailon’s report, another two or three were added. During that time, complaints were coming from city residents who said they did not feel safe coming to the Library, which shares the building with Burien City Hall. Sometime in March, the problem began to escalate. Over the next six weeks, the number of tents increased from two to 20, with an estimated 40 people living in them. City Manager Bailon noted that crime reports were also increasing, as well as complaints and comments at City Council meetings regarding safety issues increasing. With residents not being heard, John Kannon, a local attorney with an office on 152nd, who regularly walks his dog and had encountered the mushrooming problem, announced that local residents were filing a lawsuit against the city for failure to maintain safety. 

What was most telling in the account is what finally moved the city forward in pressing the condo association (which has control of the building and the immediate 15 feet around it) to act. It was not the citizens’ fears and lack of safety. The city only moved forward once the city staff complained they felt threatened and did not want to come to work. It was an example of the tone-deafness that many sense and experience from the city staff and Council. 

Bailon then chronicled a couple of months searching for a site to move the tent encampment to. Conversations with King County, Highline School District, Seattle City Light, Port of Seattle, and others were not fruitful. 

With the March 31 City Hall sweep approaching, a number of churches ramped up efforts to build relationships in order to invite the tent dwellers to come to a 72-hour detox center. Early in the project, the churches had brought the Burien Human Services into the process, asking for their help. The city was silent until two days before the sweep, sending a letter to the lead pastor telling him it was not legal, he needed permits. So instead of sending the homeless to a safe place, Cydney Moore and Charles Schaefer sent them to the toxic dog park at 152nd and 6th. The tent city grew to 50 tents, and crime escalated.

This led to moving them next to Dottie Harper Park. Then to 152nd and 4th. And also Ambaum. And wherever the tent city went, crime increased.

City Manager Bailon stated in his presentation that prior to January 2023, Burien’s homeless were dispersed in a single or just a couple of tents; in January, that changed, and we began to see tent encampments in the city. Council Member Sarah Moore questioned Bailon on how he could claim “no camps” before January. Bailon asked Sarah Moore what her definition of a camp was. This discussion went back and forth for no purpose. Then S. Moore wanted to know when Bailon knew the NERA site was toxic and unusable, implying that Bailon knew from the beginning that it was not a viable homeless site. S. Moore pressed this issue as a waste of council member time. Through it all, Bailon was calm and walked through the directive he had been given by the Council to find a government agency but non-Burien-owned land for which a partnership might be developed. 

Then Cydney Moore jumped in, accusing City Manager Bailon of not notifying the Council of possible tent encampment solutions. Bailon walked through the process once more and sought to define what is a confirmed and actual offer vs. hearsay and oral conversations. C. Moore questioned Bailon regarding the availability of 116 beds in Renton. At this point, C. Moore stated that she had been in discussion with King County Regional Housing Authority, who said the beds do not exist. (This is another example of C. Moore creating confusion in her ongoing refusal to follow city guidelines and council rules.) In the end, C. Moore finished with a pouting statement complaining about how much time had been wasted going over the past. 

It is very apparent that the Burien City Council will continue struggling to function in an adult way with the current mix of members. 

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  1. One way to help resolve this issue is to vote Cydney Moore out of office. This is a real solution for Burien if citizens actually care enough to participate in democracy and vote.

  2. I totally agree, she needs to be removed! We do not want Burien, mirroring Seattle, and Ballard!
    In your article with Stephanie
    Moreland, she said we have an addiction problem, not a homeless problem. I couldn’t agree more!!

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