Susan Honda is running for mayor of Federal Way against incumbent Jim Ferrell.
1. What fundamental infrastructure problems should be corrected in Federal Way to improve quality of life, and how should those be prioritized?
The infrastructure issues are crowded streets, lack of sidewalks, lack of bike lanes and not a walkable city. Crowded streets is the No.1 issue in how we can safely move people around the city in a timely manner. Sidewalks would be my next priority for pedestrian safety and developing a plan to increase our bike lanes throughout the entire city. Adding street lights throughout the city especially in neighborhoods and near schools is next.
2. What amenities other than the Performing Arts and Event Center or Town Square Park should be pursued in the downtown core to make it complete?
The amenities I would like to see in downtown Federal Way are a children’s museum, a historical museum and public restrooms. I would have increased public art that could be donated or borrowed throughout the downtown core. I would have shuttles from the retail areas to the PAEC to the parks, which would keep cars off the overcrowded roads and move people safer and faster, and I would increase our public safety by having more officers visible throughout the downtown core.
3. How do you think the Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce and city of Federal Way’s economic and community development departments should work together to enhance economic growth in the community?
I think the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic and Community Development departments should have regular meetings where information is shared, goals are shared and ideas are formulated that position Federal Way as the economic leader in South King County. Each organization has unique skills and knowledge, and we should all work together toward a common good.
4. What do you want the city to be known for? What is one way you would start to establish that reputation?
I want Federal Way to be known as a welcoming, pleasant and beautiful city where we are safe, friendly and caring. I want Federal Way to be known as an affordable city, with beautiful neighborhoods and a great school district. I’d like Federal Way residents to work in the city instead of commuting to work. I would use marketing that highlights our diverse community, our recreational assets, our cultural and historical events and become a destination location. I would work with the Chamber of Commerce and our sister cities to bring more sharing, understanding and business to our city.
5. What should be the city’s priority when working with Sound Transit in bringing light rail to the city, especially when establishing an acceptable route for the next phase of light rail from Federal Way to Tacoma?
The city’s first priority is to establish a working relationship with regular open meetings. We need to understand all of the issues surrounding funding from Angle Lake to Federal Way and from Federal Way to Tacoma. We should have public input into the routes that our residents want from Federal Way to Tacoma that will have the least impact on housing and businesses while preserving the fragile habitats we have in the south end of Federal Way.
6. When talking to people about Federal Way, what do you encourage them to do/visit while here?
We have an incredible, diverse community with some amazing restaurants and shops. We have the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatics Center that has hosted Olympic trials, PAC12 championships and local and regional swim and dive meets. We have Enchanted Village and Wild Waves, a summer time and holiday favorites. The Weyerhaeuser campus has many trails and the Rhododendron Gardens and Bonsai Museum. I would encourage people to visit Steel Lake Park and the historical society right next door. The newly opened Performing Arts and Event Center will feature regular performances, along with Dumas Bay Park and Centerstage Theatre. We are truly a beautiful city with a lot to offer.