News

Council chooses Dovey

By ERICA JAHN

Staff Writer

The Federal Way City Council is full again after members Thursday night appointed a man who’s no stranger to the dais and who recently served as chairman of an important citizen committee that reviewed siting and funding options for a municipal facility that’s expected to be the largest expenditure in the city’s history.

Jack Dovey, a former council member, will be formally sworn in at the next council meeting Jan. 21.

He will serve until the end of former Position 5 councilman Michael Hellickson’s term, which expires Dec. 31 this year. Hellickson resigned Nov. 22 to move to Lake Tapps with his family.

Councilman Michael Park said Dovey’s prior experience as a councilman clinched the position for him.

“In 2003, we’re going to have a lot of decision-making process. His past experience will shorten the learning curve,” he said. “That will be essential.”

The nine months of research Dovey underwent as a member of the Municipal Facility Advisory Committee will make him a resource when the council undertakes the siting and design of a new cops, courts and city government building — expected to be one of the biggest issues the city will deal with this year.

As he said in committee reports to the council, he supports an open bid process so the city can “get the most for our money.”

While the committee recommended against building a new municipal facility downtown, saying it probably wouldn’t generate the economic development some council members anticipate, he said the city does have a role in encouraging economic development.

“The city has to facilitate and make it easy for someone from the commercial side to take the risk,” he said.

Still, he added, the city should move wisely and in conjunction with other investors and developers.

“Just to charge up the hill and hope everybody follows, you’d better be sure there are troops behind you,” Dovey said. “You want to lead, but you don’t want to be so far out in front that you take all the arrows.”

He declined to say whether he would have voted for the utility tax increase — “It’s voted on. Now move ahead and do it. You can’t continue to debate it,” he said — but cautioned the council to use the revenue wisely.

“Once the decision’s made, you better make it the best project possible, because if you don’t, everyone will second guess from now until eternity why it was done,” he said.

In addition to encouraging development in the business community, cities also should preserve quality of life for residents, he said.

Dovey was one of six finalists from an appointment process that began with 27 applicants. The other finalists were Hope Elder, Art Hagberg, C.T. Purdom, Pat Godfrey and Barbara Reid.

Elder and Purdom served on the facilities advisory committee. Reid and Hagberg are active in the community.

Staff writer Erica Jahn can be reached at 925-5565 and ejahn@fedwaymirror.com

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