Gary Wood for Burien City Council

“I’m not a member of a political party, a union organizer, community activist, a single issue ideologue, a lifelong politician, a libertarian, nor looking for a higher future political office.”

Background

I am married to my wife Mika and have two children from a previous marriage, my daughter Erin who is married and has two daughters; my grand children; Jacee and Hannah. My son Jeremy is married to Missy and they live in Georgia. I have lived in Seattle area since 2000 when I came to work for Microsoft and we moved to Shorewood on the Sound neighborhood over 3 years ago.

I grew up south of a small town in the Arkansas Ozarks, Heber Springs, Arkansas with a population of 2,500 living in a double-wide trailer on 25 acres where my mother had a love for horses.   I graduated from Heber Springs High School with a small class of only 25 girls and 25 boys.   I was the only one in my family that went to college and I graduated with a degree in Accounting and Quantitative Analysis from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. This is where I started my life of problem solving as accounting and computer science is nothing more than solving unanticipated issues.

I wanted to work in the software industry because my father was an engineer for Western Electric and I naturally enjoy solving complex issues and creating solutions.  I managed the creation of the public employees and teacher retirement software systems for State of Arkansas.  I helped develop the banking systems still being used for processing checking accounts for Bank of America and was an international development manager for Alltel Information Services (aka Fidelity National Financial) where I spent over 8 years traveling around the world from London to Singapore installing banking software, supporting customers and talking them at regional conferences.

I’ve continued growing my expertise and was recruited by Microsoft to Seattle in 2000.   I still work at Microsoft as a engineer building systems that analyze telemetry coming from Windows 10, and providing recommendations on how to improve Windows reliability and customer experience.   Maybe, a background in analyzing data, coming up with solutions and excellence in execution is something that’s needed in local government?

Some of my passions in life have been coaching children’s soccer from ages 5-12 when my son was playing soccer.  I created swimming software for children’s recreation swim teams that is marketed as WinSwim Meet Software and have volunteered for music festivals in the past. I like to acquire vintage amplifiers and rebuild them to like new condition as a hobby.

Why Am I Running?

Burien is going to be rapidly growing in the next few years.   The population and economic success of the greater Seattle metropolitan area is expanding into Burien increasing economic growth and higher population density that brings with it both new opportunities; job opportunities and businesses, and problems; such as gang violence, crime and homelessness.

It’s going to be extremely challenging for city leadership in the next few years where politics as usual isn’t going to work in the residents interest.   Therefore, I’m getting involved to apply my years of creating innovation in the software industry to the Burien City Council and give back to the community.

I’ve lived in a few Seattle area neighborhoods and found Burien to be very special and close knit evolving community that I love like many of you.  I have lived in other Seattle neighborhoods that have had uncontrolled economic and population growth through gentrification; displacing lower income residents, creating urban sprawl, lining neighborhood streets with cars, attracting more crime and increased homelessness.

I just couldn’t sit back any longer and see Burien represented by right-wing, left-wing, union and single-issue ideologues leading and polarizing Burien’s future.  It’s time we start choosing leaders that are qualified and can represent all residents of Burien without allegiance to political parties, alliances & union organizations.   So, I decided to step into something unknown and enter the race for Burien City Council.

Therefore, I’m totally independent of special interests and not beholding to any group other than representing the Best for Burien.  I look forward to understanding these issues, talking about them and understanding the your priorities and concerns.

Contact

I look forward to hearing from everyone living in Burien about what you’d like to see the city starting doing more, stop doing and improve upon!

Don’t hesitate to use the form below to let me know about issues in the community that as a candidate for City Council I should be aware of.