His office is now largely empty, void of nearly 10 years of memories at City Hall.
“It’s been an honor to serve the people of Seattle for the last 10 years,” said Tim Burgess, sitting behind the Mayor’s desk Monday afternoon with just a few hours left in his term.
Burgess took office in the wake of Ed Murray’s resignation, at the same time abruptly ending a distinguished City Council career.
“We accomplished a lot in our 71 days,” said Burgess with a smile about his brief run as mayor.
He says he believes he accomplished a lot in a short amount of time, including police reform and framework for a Seattle retirement plan and renovations at Seattle Center. It also gave him new perspective on his time at City Hall.
“It’s very different. The mayor’s job is really a manager position,” he said. “It is much faster paced than what we experienced down in the legislative department at the City Council.”
While at the second floor, Burgess served as the Public Safety and Budget Chair, as well as City Council President. He also carried an unofficial title at City Hall: “The Adult.”
“I was clearly the oldest,” he said with another laugh. “I’m a screamer at Husky football games.”
Burgess says his approach to governing is that it is “serious business. It is not to played with; it requires maturity.”
That’s why he laments what he considers to be one of the current shortcomings at City Hall.
“We will have people who will not come to City Council Chambers and give testimony now, because they’re afraid of being intimidated and bullied,” he said. “There are some who perpetuate and encourage that kind of behavior.”
“I think we could do a better job in the public discourse that we allow," he continued. "I think it’s very unfortunate the Council Chambers have turned into a place where you can intimidate people into silence. That’s shameful behavior and unfortunate.”
Burgess also says he wish he did a better job of “building a bridge between the business community, especially small business and the government.”
He says Amazon, which has grown tremendously under his 10 years at City Hall, has “done some amazing things.” Burgess says criticism of Jeff Bezos and Paul Allen in particular should not be without praise.
“These are individuals who have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into our city, and I'm very thankful for that," Burgess said. "Amazon in the last four to five years has started to do more.”
On Monday, he signed the mayor’s desk, a tradition dating back decades. On Tuesday, the office gets officially turned over to new Mayor Jenny Durkan.
As far as Burgess is concerned, his time in the civic arena is not over.
“I don’t think I’ll step away," he said. "I’ll be a good observer.”