Seattle City Council veteran Burgess won’t seek reelection

Burgess -- and friends -- celebrating Prop. 1's election night victory in August (Image: CHS)

Burgess — and friends — celebrating Prop. 1’s election night victory in August (Image: CHS)

Seen by some as one of the few mature adults on the Seattle City Council and by others as one of the body’s most conservative voices, Tim Burgess has announced that he’ll serve his final year in the council chambers in 2017 and will not be part of the campaign for his seat next fall.

Burgess posted about the decision Monday:

After considerable and, frankly, agonizing thought, and after multiple conversations with my family, I’ve decided not to seek re-election to the City Council in 2017. In the end, it was clear to me and Joleen that its time for someone else to fill my seat. I’ve been elected citywide three times and will have served 10 years at the end of this term next December. When my term ends, I will be just a couple months short of 69. Time turn my focus to the next chapter for Joleen and me.

“What an honor is has been to serve the people of Seattle,” his statement concludes. “I look forward to continuing that service for another year and beyond in some capacity.”

So far, potential replacements for Burgess haven’t yet emerged though housing advocate Jon Grant has launched an exploratory campaign he hopes will be powered by the city’s new campaign voucher program.

Burgess began his time on the council before the change to the new district system and ran a successful campaign for one of the two at-large seats in the new structure in 2015. After serving as the council president, he has chaired the committee responsible for affordable housing, neighborhoods, and finance this year. Burgess has occasionally found himself as one of the lone voices in committee sessions opposing more progressive attempts at creating affordable housing solutions including the recently passed $29 billion housing bond plan. Still, he was with the crowd hooting inside Optimism Brewing this summer as Prop. 1 to renew and expand the city’s housing levy rolled to a landslide victory.

Fellow Burgess adult (to some) voice of the establishment (to others) Ed Murray has already begun fundraising and campaigning for a second term as mayor. Candidates in that race won’t yet be eligible to take part in the new voucher fundraising, by the way.

In February 2013, Burgess opened his campaign headquarters on E Pike as he made a short-lived bid to challenge Murray for the mayor’s office.

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5 thoughts on “Seattle City Council veteran Burgess won’t seek reelection

  1. Tim, we will miss your consistently rational mind… unfortunately a trait that seems to be in increasingly scarce supply in elected office these days.

    Thanks for helping this city out with our insane multitude of problems.

  2. This City is so eff’d. Tim has been great. Add Jon Grant to the Council, another activist hostile towards all business and this City is finished. Why are we so dumb? Someone please help me understand.

  3. I don’t have a problem with Burgess, but this line from Tim and others about being “the only adult in the room” is so freakin patronizing. People may disagree on policy issues and outcomes, but it is clear that we have a bunch of elected officials that are trying serve the public good. There are plenty of councils that are nonfunctional and full of prima donnas – that isn’t the case here. I don’t love them all or agree on everything, but it’s so unnecessary to be demeaning towards people trying to represent us.

  4. Tim, I want you to know that you truly represented the city of Seattle! Your steady hand and moderation was a great bulwark to the good hearted but not well thought through ideas from the liberals on the council. Thanks for your service Tim and many successes in your future!