As communities on the Eastside continue to tackle issues related to growth and maintaining a healthy business environment, Goodman Real Estate CEO George Petrie says Bellevue has set an example of how to do it right. The city council recently approved a new operating budget that closed a $16 million budget deficit without increasing taxes.
“Economies are fragile,” Petrie said during a recent Focus 15 podcast interview with Lens. “I think that legislators and sometime city leaders…don’t recognize that they are fragile. All businesses have a choice of where they locate. Consequently, when policies are put in place that fail to recognize that government is second and business is first…those cities are really at risk.”
He added that “Bellevue I think is doing an excellent job in helping navigate those items. There’s a tension that exists, but Bellevue got that tension right. Seattle clearly does not. “I think iron sharpening iron is an important concept. There is a tension that should exist. There needs to be advocacy on both sides.”
Yet as others have noted, Petrie said what happens in Seattle affects the entire region – for better or worse. “We’ve never legislated or regulated our way out of something. We have to recognize that groups like Amazon need to be navigated with or negotiated with but advocated for, because they employ so many people. If they choose to truly more their headquarters…we will all rue the day that that happens.”