Servant leadership: The civic dignity and results of Tim Burgess
In seven years in elective office I’ve learned the ease with which our society gravitates to the anti. Anti-government rhetoric flows freely and consistently even when it is occasionally undeserved. Our democracy can take it. But today’s candidates at virtually every level of government take positions on the extreme pretending it’s without implication and it’s the new common sense.
Yet, somehow through it all, governing on the local level continues and garbage trucks arrive when promised, pot holes are filled, electricity turns on, water is safe to drink, firefighters respond to a 911 call, and teachers embrace the learning of their students in the classroom.
Today the challenge is to quietly sift the ‘anti’ from the deeper nuance of an engaged local government that respects civic society. To me, few people represent the integrity of what local government can be when it is responsive, reflective, strategically focused on quality of life more than Tim Burgess.
Tim Burgess is more than my colleague in public life, he is the representation of what we say we want from our civic leaders. To me, as I’ve watched him tackle major public policy issues and hear the silence as well as the noise of politics, I’ve come to believe deeply that Tim reflects the dignity and quiet integrity that is the very soul of servant leadership.
I’ve engaged in late-night phone calls with Tim about complex policy problems worth hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars impacting both Seattle and Olympia; I’ve listed and learned that his servant leadership is about being in favor of solutions not pretending there is an easy way out; I’ve seen him move the agenda forward not just on the front page issues of the day but the complex, unglamorous details behind the scenes that make a city work and help real people living real lives.
My personal hero in political life was Warren G. Magnuson. His favorite notion of politicians was that there are workhorses and show horses. Tim Burgess is a workhorse. But much more he’s a dignified servant leader who cares deeply about–and delivers unprecedented results on–the pressing issues of our day.
The honor of your consideration for your vote for Tim is deeply appreciated.
Your partner in service,