Eight-year McColgan era comes to an end


The Mirror

It was the end of an era for Federal Way City Councilman Dean McColgan as he attended his last meeting Tuesday.

After eight years as a council member, including stints as deputy mayor and mayor, McColgan chose to retire, rather than seek re-election when his term is up at the end of the year.

Tuesday’s meeting served as a fond farewell to McColgan as council members and citizens alike, spent time reminiscing about his tenure.

“I think all my council members can relate to waving signs at 6 in the pitch black trying to get elected,” McColgan joked, referring to his beginnings.

Jeanne Burbidge, a council member since 1997, two years before the start of McColgan’s term, brought out a large plant, over 7 feet tall. The plant had been given to her as a seedling shortly after McColgan’s election by his wife.

“I wanted to show the people something that gave a visual as to how long eight years is,” Burbidge said.

The council also gave McColgan a foul ball from Safeco Field signed with all their names.

Mayor Mike Park presented a plaque to McColgan for his years of service and called him an “outstanding citizen of Federal Way” and said that he was invaluable.

During his time on the council McColgan saw the building of the Community Center, the new City Hall, the reconstruction of 320th and Pacific Highway South, downtown development and, most recently, the potential purchase of Camp Kilworth.

“It’s been a great eight years, eight years I wouldn’t trade for anything,” McColgan said. “It’s been my honor and my pleasure to serve the city of Federal Way.”

McColgan was elected to office in 1999. He served as Deputy Mayor from January 2002 through December 2003. He was re-elected in November 2003 and then served as Mayor January 2004 through December 2005. Dini Duclos was elected to take McColgan’s position.

McColgan will still be busy, even without the obligations of a council member.

He will continue working with kids — he coaches baseball and is a board member of the Boys and Girls Club. He is also involved in various charities around the area.

“I’ll take a little break from government and local politics but I have lived with it for the last eight years, so I won’t get too far away,” McColgan said. “I’ll spend some more time with my wife, there’s some things we want to do.”

McColgan does have some advice for the new council.

“Continue to work together, respect one another and your opinions and remember why you’re there, not for yourself but for the city,” McColgan said. “I think this group already does that, but I have seen others that don’t agree and it hurts the city.”

As for his time, although McColgan admits that not everything would always go his way, he still has no regrets.

“I have no regrets, nothing that I can think of that would detract from the eight great years,” McColgan said. “Sometimes I had to sacrifice some family time but I understand that and so did my family.”

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