Opinion

Endorsement: Jim Ferrell for Federal Way mayor | Editorial

In the November election, Federal Way voters will elect their city’s top leader for the first time. Voters should base their decision on the type of leadership that best serves Federal Way. Both candidates for Federal Way mayor — City Councilman Jim Ferrell and State Rep. Skip Priest — will do the job justice.

Ferrell created the opportunity for Federal Way voters to elect their mayor. In 2009, voters approved a polarizing initiative that changed the city’s form of government.

Almost one year later, the city seems to embrace the concept of a popularly elected mayor. The opposition against an elected mayor now seems like a footnote. That election marked a watershed moment for Federal Way’s government and maturation as a city. Ferrell was the first prominent city leader to publicly back the elected mayor effort.

Priest is backed by a history of leadership in Federal Way. In addition to city council service during Federal Way’s early years, Priest’s resume in the state Legislature includes fighting for fair education funding and strengthening sex predator laws. That same influence a few years ago helped stop the local construction of a facility for sex offenders. Priest has logged years of participation on a number of community boards in Federal Way. Priest is appealing as a candidate because of regional contacts and past business experience.

A difference has emerged in the candidates’ perceived leadership style. As a leader, Ferrell is more likely to risk rejection in serving the greater good. As a leader, Priest is more likely to court acceptance in serving the greater good.

Both of these leadership styles have their benefits and drawbacks. As a current city council member, Ferrell is immersed in the thick of city business operations. Ferrell has demonstrated the ability to take a stand regardless of whether that stand is popular. Priest has demonstrated the ability to take a stand while mostly avoiding any polarizing stances.

The primary duty of the elected mayor is to run the city, which means running a business that serves and protects the public. Leadership involves building teamwork, which would be a strength for Priest. Leadership involves the ability to make the tough decision and face the consequences, which would be a strength for Ferrell.

Both candidates want what’s best for Federal Way. Both candidates are worthy of becoming Federal Way’s first elected mayor.

But only one candidate has been on board with the concept of elected mayor from the start. One candidate has demonstrated the ability to rally for a cause, create positive change for the city and build on a vision. Through relentless passion, courage and conviction, one candidate has earned a chance to finish what he started, rather than riding on the coattails of someone else’s blood, sweat and tears — all shed in the name of making Federal Way a better place, right here and right now. For mayor, The Mirror recommends electing Jim Ferrell.

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