Burien discusses how it will divvy up money to fight violence

BURIEN, Wash. - Burien residents had a chance Tuesday to weigh in on the upcoming city budget during a community meeting.

Much of the spending is focused on enhancing public safety through preventative measures.

The spending was prompted in part by the tragic drive-by shooting death of Gabriela Reyes last month, among many other violent crimes there.

On Monday, Mayor Jimmy Matta and the city council met to hear how funds may be allocated.

At Tuesday’s meeting, pie chart showed that 53 percent of the budget would go toward enhancing public safety, which some residents say is a high priority.

The most money, $45,000, would go to the group New Futures, which is dedicated to youth mentoring and after-school services for kids 5 to 19 years old.  They also provide family counseling, and behavior-modification classes.

Another $25,000 would go to Para Los Ninos, which focuses on mainly spanish speaking immigrant families, with the goal of developing leadership and civic engagement.

"I have concerns about our neighborhood,” Burien resident Vicky Hartley said at the meeting. “ … A couple of months ago, a neighbor - a young man - shot his friend accidentally. You know gun safety is certainly a problem.”