Best Mayor in the Making

Tim Burgess

Mike McGinn's improbable ascendance to City Hall in 2009, and the subsequent pothole-strewn two and a half years of his first (and only) term, carries a cautionary tale about electing as our mayor someone who has never held public office. Thirty-five years ago, it worked out well—to the tune of three terms—with Charley Royer. This time around? Not so much. Meanwhile, the anti-McGinn is serving his second term on the city council, and as a former cop (seven years as a Seattle police officer and detective), Tim Burgess is ideally suited to tackle the problem that SPD has become under McGinn's tenure, possessing the credibility and legitimacy with the boys in blue that Mayor Mike lacks. Formerly chair of the Public Safety committee, currently chair of the Government Performance and Budget committees, Burgess' five-year voting record on the council has been moderate and progressive; he's a good fit for the city's voter profile. His diverse background includes work in the late '60s and early '70s as a news reporter for KJR radio, work for an international relief and development agency, and a dozen years on the city's Ethics and Elections Commission. He's a Seattle native who grew up on Capitol Hill, attended Lincoln High School in Wallingford and the UW, and lives on Queen Anne. A down-to-earth guy who walks and rides the bus, he's one of us, in a way the Long Island-born-and-raised McGinn never could be. Will he run next year? Only he knows. But he should. MICHAEL MAHONEY

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