Crisis hitting close to home, Marchione says

“How low can you go?,” people are wondering, not in reference to a limbo contest but to our nation’s economy.

“How low can you go?,” people are wondering, not in reference to a limbo contest but to our nation’s economy.

It’s tense out there, with so much talk about layoffs and foreclosures and the worst holiday season since the Great Depression.

As we’re chatting with local business owners about the economy, we also sat down with Redmond Mayor John Marchione and asked for his thoughts.

“Last weekend, I was talking to a friend about a neighbor’s house that foreclosed — not here in Redmond, but on the Sammamish Plateau. I’ve since heard about two more foreclosures. This national crisis has become very real,” said Marchione.

“Human service agencies are very concerned,” he added. “The origin of Hopelink is that in ‘68-’72, Boeing had a big wave of layoffs. With companies like WaMu and Liberty Mutual going away, more people are needing help.”

The game and computer industries are doing well, he said. Therefore, many Redmond residents and workers have a more secure future than others.

We mentioned that folks who sell food are noticing more frugality from their customers.

“It’s interesting that you said that,” Marchione replied. As the former director of finance at Bellevue’s Meydenbauer Center, he looked at food expenditures there as “a leading economic indicator.”

“In good times, companies are spending $18 per person for food. In bad times, it’s $8 per person for food. Everyone’s more cautious. Everyone’s more on edge,” he agreed.

Interacting with citizens at City Hall and throughout the community, Marchione has observed that “E-mails are a little more cranky, people’s fuses seem to be a little shorter.”

We asked how businesses and city departments might work around that, to improve people’s moods and the local economy.

“I think residents turn more to coupons — and family rates or group rates help when the entertainment dollar is smaller,” he suggested.

City-sponsored events, especially those which are free, are increasingly appreciated, too.

“Attendance was way up at this year’s Derby Days, perhaps because of the ‘staycation’ trend, and a big turnout is expected for Redmond Lights,” Marchione said.

But as far as holiday shopping goes, “Even established businesses are lowering expectations for Christmas. Staples and hobbies will sell well. Others, big-ticket things, don’t,” said Marchione.

Concluding our brief meeting last week, Marchione reminded us that “the (city) budget comes out next week. I think you’ll see that we are able to live within our means, execute core services and deliver a top-quality product. A recession is not a time to raise taxes.”


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Business

2021 Ford F-150 Platinum. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum

By Larry Lark, contributor It’s always a call to action when a… Continue reading

The Cadillac CT4 is designed to appeal to a new generation of Cadillac buyers with its athletic design and astute driving dynamics. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury

By Larry Lark, contributor With apologies to Oldsmobile, “the 2020 CT4 Premium… Continue reading

2021 Mercedes E-350 luxury sedan. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Mercedes E-350 luxury sedan

By Larry Lark, contributor Mercedes-Benz occupies rarified air in the automobile pantheon.… Continue reading

737 MAX 7 Reveal - February 5, 2018. File photo
Boeing fined $2.5 billion for deceiving aircraft safety regulators

The Boeing Company has agreed to pay the Department of Justice over… Continue reading

Courtesy photo/Artists Sunday
Artists Sunday, following Black Friday, puts out call for participants before Nov. 29

The movement has a website that offers a free directory of artists and art organizations that participate

Dick’s Drive-In announces search for new Eastside location
Dick’s Drive-In announces search for new Eastside location

The local popular burger chain is looking for public suggestions on possible properties

PSE offering four businesses an energy upgrade
PSE offering four businesses an energy upgrade

You can nominate your favorite business by Oct. 18

Stock photo
Union files charges against QFC, Fred Meyer over Black Lives Matter button ban

Grocery store workers condemn ban; QFC spokesperson says wristband options available to employees

Facebook purchases unused Bellevue REI headquarters
Facebook purchases unused Bellevue REI headquarters

The companies will also each donate $1 million to the Eastrail

Courtesy Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce
Eastside businesses prepare for economic uncertainty with regional summit event

The Regional Business Summit, hosted by the Issaquah Chamber Sept. 10, will be held virtually due to COVID-19

Amazon adds more office space to Bellevue, now as many new jobs as HQ2
Amazon adds more office space to Bellevue, now as many new jobs as HQ2

The office space for an additional 10,000 jobs, making it 25,000 coming to downtown, is expected to complete in 2023.