Elections

Federal Way's mayor candidates share proudest accomplishments | 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 proudest accomplishment in public service?

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Mike Park

One of my proudest accomplishments is having served as chair on the Finance, Economic Development and Regional Affairs Committee.

There, I helped manage the City’s budget since 1995 in a fiscally conservative way.

A pro-business environment that promotes small business development is key to short and long-term economic growth.

I have continued to strive to make Federal Way a prime location for business by hosting the Developers Forum as Mayor twice, inviting developers, architects and stakeholders to discuss how to make Federal Way attract new business.

I facilitated this process by getting them to work together, resulting in a one stop City, Fire, and Utility Permit Center in City Hall.

I have brought numerous small businesses and investment opportunities as a business leader in the community, which resulted in revenue for the city and job opportunities for every citizen, such as the recently opened Hampton Suites, which created 40 new jobs.

As chair of the Public Safety Committee, I participated in the foundation of Federal Way’s Police Department. While serving as Mayor, our police department met the tough standards of national accreditation; only 3 percent of the nation’s police departments pass.

As your new elected mayor, I will continue my work to keep our families’ safety a top priority.

I am proud to have been inducted into the Highline Community College Foundation Board of Directors’ Circle of Honor, an honor given to members who have supported educational excellence by giving scholarships to talented, motivated and intelligent young people.

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.

Website: www.votepark.com

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Jim Ferrell

My proudest accomplishment in public service is the passage of Proposition 1, to give you the right to elect your mayor for the first time in our city’s history.

I led this effort because I believe that while we had good people occupying the positions of city government, the system was failing us. People support what they help create.

Unfortunately, we had absolutely no say in how our mayor was selected. Instead, we learned every two years what had long since been decided.

The passage of the elected mayor proposition has given the people of this community the ability to choose its leader, and by extension, our destiny.

Now, there will be debates, such as this, where we can hear the different positions of the candidates and review them in the light of day.

In leading this effort, I drew a share of criticism. But no great endeavor comes without risk. I accepted it because this issue was simply too important to stay silent.

We need leaders in government who do not simply put their fingers in the air to see which way the wind blows, but stand up for what is right, regardless of personal consequences.

I am the only candidate in this race who stood up for your right to vote for this office, because I believe this change is vital to ensure that Federal Way is a city that we all believe in — and one where you truly have a voice in determining its future.

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.

Website: www.voteferrell.com

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Linda Kochmar

In my 13 years serving you on the City Council, I am privileged to have had a part in the planning and development of our city.

We’ve widened our streets, added street trees and lights, provided a street overlay program, completed Celebration Park and the Community Center, developed neighborhood parks, created the Municipal Court, hired more Police Officers, defined the city center and worked on economic development, as well as the Safe City Program.

I’ve lobbied for money for the city in Washington D.C., successfully obtaining $12.5 million for transportation projects. We’ve also worked to create jobs through the recently opened small business incubator and the planned medical accelerator program.

The accomplishment I am most proud of, however, is the development of City Hall.

Rather than creating a new building in the downtown core in 2004 at a cost estimated from $20 to $25 million upwards, the council agreed to redevelop an existing building in the West Campus area at an approximate cost of $15 million.

The City Hall today is completely paid for, which is a good thing in this down economy. This location also proved to be a good choice because the new school administration building is being developed directly across the street, which will provide a central location for government buildings.

Perhaps the most important thing we can all be thankful for, however, is the way our citizens volunteer every day to make our community a better place to live and one that we are proud to call our home.

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.

Website: www.lindakochmar.com

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Skip Priest

My proudest public service accomplishments are a result of my 20-year leadership on efforts to keep our community safe for residents and businesses.

In my first City Council race, I ran on a platform of making neighborhood safety a major priority of our new city. Later as a councilmember and Mayor, I championed the city’s decision to start our own police department and helped lead its startup.

Now, as then, I believe that community-based policing is absolutely essential if our citizens are going to have the quality of life that they deserve.

More recently, working with Police Chief Brian Wilson, I authored major auto theft legislation in Olympia that resulted in a state-wide reduction in auto theft. With the tools it provides, our Federal Way police have been able to dramatically reduce car thefts and lock up offenders.

After the tragic death of Zina Linnik, I led the fight to strengthen our sex predator laws. As a result, the Legislature passed critical legislation designed to update our laws to better monitor sex predators and create added protections for our families.

Finally, I’m also very proud of my leadership, as a State Legislator, in stopping the proposed Peasley Canyon sex predator facility. The state was considering housing some of our worst sex offenders in a residential neighborhood just outside our city limits.

Working with a passionate coalition of citizens, community leaders, and other elected officials, we forced DSHS to change its plans and move the facility to downtown Seattle.

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.

Website: www.skippriest.com

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LEARN MORE

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 three 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 editor@federalwaymirror.com.

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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