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Tim Burgess deserves our thanks for his leadership on policing in Seattle. He has the background in public service and policing experience, the confidence to listen to others and to learn in public to provide the required leadership on this issue.

But of equal longterm importance is his leadership on preschool. He committed an eight-to-10 year effort in this area to help Seattle’s kids, especially those living in challenging environments or not succeeding in our schools. This meant small-scale starts using the Families and Education Levy to learn how to succeed in our Seattle environment, then traveling the country from Boston to Oklahoma to learn about best practices. It meant doing the hard work of finding a right balance in commitment of resources between teacher training, facilities, teacher compensation and educational materials. It meant struggling to get an evaluation plan that was helpful for our children’s progress as well as classroom and program excellence.

Then, he marshaled the political leadership to pass the first preschool levy.

Thank you, Tim Burgess, on behalf of our city. This will make our city great.

We can also thank Burgess by passing the second preschool levy this fall.

John Pehrson, Seattle, 10-year veteran of Families and Education Levy Oversight Committee