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City council candidate: ‘Everyone thinks the city just wastes money’

Seattle City Council Candidate Gene Burrus. (Courtesy)

The perception that the city is wasting tax dollars and unfriendly to business has grown over the years, and it’s precipitated numerous residents to enter the fray, including Seattle City Council Candidate Gene Burrus, running for the District 7 seat.

He joined the Saul Spady Show on KTTH to discuss how a return to efficacy and fiscal responsibility prompted his run.

“I think there is there certainly is an atmosphere that the city just can’t seem to do anything effective,” he said. “I haven’t heard a single person say that the city needs more tax dollars and more revenue in order to be a great city. Everyone thinks the city just wastes money.”

Whether it’s issues like redevelopment or taxes, Burrus sees a prevailing hostility to business on the part of the council that misses the greater picture.

“If you’re talking about finding solutions for the Showbox, it’s not that dissimilar than what we went through with the head tax,” he said. “The city council seems incapable of realizing that businesses and property owners will act consistently with the incentives that you put in front of them.”

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“They don’t have to stay, they don’t have to do anything. The tax dollars won’t come if the businesses leave, the tax dollars won’t come if you don’t redevelop a lot.”

There’s a major upheaval expected on the Seattle City Council in 2019. Seven out of nine council seats are up for grabs, seemingly leaving the door wide open for new positions and new faces.

Downtown, Burrus sees businesses struggling to cope with crime and the ongoing homeless issue, and worries it will continue pushing people and businesses away.

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“Not only do they have losses every month from shoplifting, but they know their customers are increasingly complaining that they can’t get to their stores without stepping over people and stepping over needles and stepping over human waste,” he said.

“That’s not good for business. Even in the case with close by neighborhoods, I talked to people in Queen Anne and Magnolia, and they’re afraid to come downtown to go shopping. They drive to Bellevue.”

Learn more about his campaign at

Listen to the Saul Spady Show weekday afternoons from 6-9 a.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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