Federal Way's mayor candidates share mission statements | ELECTION 2010

Federal Way
Federal Way's mayor candidates, left to right: Mike Park, Jim Ferrell, Linda Kochmar and Skip Priest.
— image credit: Courtesy photos

The Mirror is offering Federal Way mayoral candidates an opportunity to speak to readers in their own words. Below, the candidates answer the question: What is your mission statement or vision for Federal Way, if elected mayor?


Mike Park

My vision is for Federal Way to be one of Washington’s best cities — a safe place to live and raise a family in, rich in diversity, with a strong economy.

I have overseen many changes during my 30 years in Federal Way. I have built the foundation of economic growth as chair of the Finance, Economic Development and Regional Affairs Committee by focusing on local, small business development, and I will create jobs by continuing my work attracting new business and investment to Federal Way.

While raising my two daughters, I worked hard for quality education, serving on the PTA, Superintendent’s Advisory Committee and Highline Community College Foundation’s Board of Directors. I advocated for teachers and the school district by waving signs in support of levies to benefit the students. I will continue encouraging community involvement in our children’s education.

As a council member, I helped establish the Federal Way Police Department, and as mayor, the department was nationally accredited. Federal Way is now the second safest city in King County, but I will not rest there. I will work with the police department to increase police presence on our streets and improve police response time to ensure public safety. One of my future goals is to expand the police department.

I will improve city services, making them innovative, cost-effective and customer service focused, without burdening the taxpayers.

Fast facts: Park was appointed to the city council in June 1995, and won re-election in 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007, and served as Federal Way's mayor from 2000-2001 and 2006-2007. He owns Midway Cleaners in Kent.



Jim Ferrell

In 2025, my son Ben will graduate from Todd Beamer High School.

I’ve learned that nothing motivates you to create a better future than welcoming a new life into the world, which is why I decided that this city desperately needed an elected mayor, chosen by the people.

My vision for the future of Federal Way is rooted in the desire to raise our children in a city that is safe, economically vibrant and full of potential.

If elected mayor, my vision will include the following key elements:

• Establishment of a vibrant city core. The first key to establishing a vibrant core is to recruit the proper mix of retail development, public green spaces and corporate investment that will provide living-wage jobs, which I will work tirelessly to achieve.

• Safe public spaces. As we rely more on public transit in the coming years for future generations, a police substation at the Sound Transit parking garage must be established to address the crime as it currently exists.

• Elimination of wasteful spending. As the elected mayor, I will ask two fundamental questions of new projects: First, given the current economic climate, is it a true necessity? Secondly, is this the role of city government? If both are answered in the affirmative, I will work with the council to achieve them.

• Finally, my vision includes a mayor who shows true leadership, listens to constituents and stands up for what he or she believes is right for the future of our city.

Fast facts: Ferrell was first elected to city council in 2003, then re-elected in 2007. Last fall, Ferrell led an effort with voters that created the elected mayor position. He works as a King County prosecuting attorney.



Linda Kochmar

As your mayor, my primary mission for the city will be first and foremost to continue to provide a safe environment for our citizens utilizing the city’s strong community based public safety approach. The vision of the city is to deliver quality services, promote economic development, improve transportation infrastructure and manage growth. As a designated urban growth center, Federal Way is expected to accept 40,000 more people by 2040. In order to move forward, we need to continue to establish Federal Way as an economic leader and job center by creating a vibrant urban city center. We also need to continue to improve our roads and provide for attractive parks, recreation, cultural arts and public facilities.

Providing a safe environment and vibrant economic center will be a challenge in this economy because of declining revenues. Also as your mayor, my focus will be to create economic development opportunities to provide the jobs that so many of our citizens need. Federal Way should be an economic leader in the region and work cooperatively with other jurisdictions to leverage scarce resources. We need to continue to focus on building the small business development center and developing the medical device accelerator business. The city should always be responsive to the needs of its citizens and as mayor, I will continue to move our city forward as a strong leader in the region, providing our community with attractive parks, safe neighborhoods and vibrant business centers.

Fast facts: Kochmar was first elected to the city council in 1997, and was appointed mayor under the current form of government in January. She works as a risk manager with Lakehaven Utility District.



Skip Priest

My vision for Federal Way is a city where businesses want to locate, and where families and residents experience an affordable, livable community that they are proud to be part of.

To achieve this, we need to provide a well-rounded community, offering quality schools, ensuring safe streets and neighborhoods through community-based policing, and maintaining parks that enhance our downtown and residential areas. We must also develop a vibrant local economy that provides high quality jobs for our residents and the revenues necessary to provide essential services. The city must do better to develop a "business friendly" culture that assists current businesses to expand while recruiting new businesses to the city.

There are critical actions that will help us achieve this goal, like making the permitting process more user friendly, and maintaining basic infrastructure such as roads, street maintenance and surface water management. Other targeted infrastructure investment may also be necessary, particularly to encourage redevelopment of our struggling downtown. In all cases, decisions at City Hall need to make common sense. With the fiscal crisis our city faces, we must use a priorities-of-government approach to city spending, aligning our expenses with our highest priorities, the same way that families budget their money.

I won’t allow the city budget to be balanced on the backs of homeowners. I’ll make sure city government is both frugal and innovative, constantly looking for more cost-effective ways to meet our citizens' expectations.

Fast facts: Priest served on the Federal Way City Council from 1991 to 1997, including two years as an appointed mayor under the city's current council-manager form of government. Priest was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 2002. He will forgo re-election to the Legislature in order to run for mayor of Federal Way.




The Mirror is offering Federal Way mayoral candidates an opportunity to speak to readers in their own words. Each candidate received a list of questions about their goals and vision.

Their answers will appear the next four Saturdays in The Mirror. A debate among the four mayoral candidates is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. July 19 at Federal Way High School.

Questions? E-mail

A debate for Legislature candidates is slated for 6 p.m. July 26 at Federal Way High School. Stay tuned for information about these candidates.

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