Chamber opposes ‘mayor-council’ proposal

Voters will decide Feb. 19 whether to change Federal Way's form of government

From staff reports

The Federal Way Chamber of Commerce made public its recommendation to vote no on the proposed change to Federal Way’s form of government.

A six-person subcommittee comprised of Chamber members and board directors reached the conclusion after examining both sides of the controversial issue, said Tom Pierson, Chamber CEO.

“The relationship that we’ve had with the city council has created a more friendly business environment and helped work toward common goals we have at the Chamber,” Pierson said. “With a change in this form of government, it’s a risk as to whether that would be beneficial to enhancing the business community as well as the whole community.”

Voters will decide Feb. 19 whether to change Federal Way’s form of government from the current council-manager system to a mayor-council form involving an elected mayor.

Proponents say an elected mayor will lead to increased accountability for citizens as well as a focal point for city government. Opponents say changing Federal Way’s council-city manager system could be a costly mistake, citing that a hired professional city manager has proven to work best.

The Chamber’s opposition to the proposal does not mean it accepts the current status quo. Some subcommittee members said a change is necessary, just not the proposal that’s up for a vote Feb. 19.

“There needs to be a debate about our form of government. We need to explore others,” said Pierson, using Tacoma’s hybrid council-manager system as an example. The Tacoma City Council consists of an elected mayor and eight elected council members. The council also appoints a city manager who handles daily operations and helps carry out policies. This setup, said members of the Federal Way Chamber subcommittee, allows voters to elect a mayor while keeping a form of government that works.

“Tacoma has had great outcomes with a current government similar to ours,” Pierson said.

More in News

Metro revises timeline for RapidRide bus expansion

After originally aiming to build 20 additional fast-service bus lines on high demand routes by 2040, King County Metro has changed its construction timelines and put 13 of those projects on hold.

Halloween happenings to scare hunger in Federal Way

Enjoy a free Halloween display, pumpkin patch and fall foilage festival.

Jailbreak: Cities criticize Federal Way’s decision to leave SCORE

Federal Way mayor responds sharply to criticism leveled at that decision by partner cities.

Rape allegation against Sen. Joe Fain divides King County Council

In a recent interview, Councilmember Kathy Lambert blamed Fain’s accuser for the alleged rape. Then Lambert’s colleagues distanced themselves from her comments.

Mother of man fatally shot by Federal Way police files lawsuit against city

Suit claims man was experiencing a mental health episode and not a danger to others.

Longtime community volunteer starts nonprofit to help families, students

Organization helps with diapers, student expenses.

Paul Allen, shown in 2015. Courtesy of the Herald
Paul Allen dead at 65

Microsoft co-founder, developer, and philanthropist struggled with cancer for decades

Most Read