Pete von Reichbauer accepts key to city of Federal Way

King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer received the key to the city of Federal Way during the Federal Way City Council
King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer received the key to the city of Federal Way during the Federal Way City Council's January 21 meeting.
— image credit: courtesy of City of Federal Way

In a Federal Way first, King County Councilman and former Washington State senator Pete von Reichbauer was given the key to the city of Federal Way  Von Reichbauer received the key during the Federal Way city council's regular meeting on January 21, with Mayor Jim Ferrell listing the numerous projects and accomplishments von Reichbauer has been responsible for throughout the years.

"Today, for the first time in our city's history, we are giving a key to the city of Federal Way," Ferrell said. "As we talked about, one of the things we're going to be doing, a marquee of the next four years, is…remembering our heritage while looking towards our future, and Pete von Reichbauer fits both of those categories."

Ferrell recalled how von Reichbauer's public service started in 1973, when he was elected to the State Senate. Von Reichbauer spent 20 years in Olympia before being elected to the King County Council in 1993 and serving in that capacity ever since.

"He has contributed to so much. It was actually difficult, as I was sitting down and trying to type out, trying to think about…the number of contributions (von Reichbauer has made.)"

The mayor related how von Reichbauer was instrumental in his time in the State Senate in getting the I-5 Triangle Project moving forward. Along with that, Ferrell credited von Reichbauer for making the King County Aquatic Center a reality, and bringing the Goodwill Games to Federal Way in 1990.

"(The aquatic center) is such a fundamental part of this community, and it's hard to imagine what it was like before it got here," Ferrell noted.

Ferrell added that von Reichbauer, in his time in Olympia, was instrumental in protecting the Hylebos Wetlands. During his time on the King County Council, Ferrell said von Reichbauer's work with keeping Redondo Road open, the building of the Weyerhaeuser annex to the Aquatic Center, and his efforts in bringing light rail to Federal Way are all emblematic of the public servant von Reichbauer has been over 40 years.

Another important role highlighted by Ferrell was von Reichbauer's contribution to keeping the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle during the mid-90s. Ferrell credited von Reichbauer's ability to bring Paul Allen into the conversation as an integral part of keeping the team in the Pacific Northwest.

"I can tell you with absolute confidence that I would not be up here today, had I not met Pete von Reichbauer 24 years ago. And this city would not be where it's at, without the contributions of Pete von Reichbauer. He is a dear friend, a friend to everybody on this dais, and he is a friend to everyone in Federal Way," Ferrell concluded.

"Awards are nice, awards from people I've had a long-term relationship with are particularly gratifying," von Reichbauer said after accepting the key to the city.

Von Reichbauer drew from the Seahawks and the 12th man, in sharing his thoughts about his 40 plus years of service in the region and the state.

"12 has meant reaching out and bringing others into the process," he said. "It's not just the people on the field, it's the people in the community that come together and help everybody. And whether we sit at a dais as an elected official, everybody here makes things happen. We cannot accomplish anything sitting in our chairs up there unless we engage the people in this audience."

"I appreciate this very much Mr. Mayor, and I will put it in a treasured position," von Reichbauer said in reference to the key. "I want to thank everyone here for working on so many issues, and I look forward to the next four years of working not only with you, Mayor, but the deputy mayor and the city council. Thank you very much."

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