Opinion

Q&A with Mr. Federal Way: Politicians and pumpkin love

Got a question for Mr. Federal Way? Email mrfederalway@federalwaymirror.com. - Mirror file photo
Got a question for Mr. Federal Way? Email mrfederalway@federalwaymirror.com.
— image credit: Mirror file photo

Q: Mr. Federal Way, impressive couple weeks for the mayor of Federal Way and the president of the school board, right?

A: For some reason, Mr. Federal Way thinks you are being just a little bit sarcastic with that question, and that made Mr. Federal Way chuckle.

Federal Way School Board President Tony Moore and Mayor Skip Priest have both provided “front-page news” across Western Washington within the past week. And not the “good” kind of front-page news. Intentional or not (and that will be determined at a later date by people other than Mr. Federal Way), Moore and Priest have brought attention that the city of Federal Way didn’t need.

Obviously, we live in America and people are innocent until proven guilty. But Moore being arrested for allegedly stealing more than $150,000 worth of semi-truck tires, and Priest being under investigation for possible criminal theft after he was caught removing city-confiscated campaign signs late at night, just doesn’t look good.

Not at all.

It makes Federal Way seem like the wild, wild west or something. The perception outside of town is that Mr. Federal Way lives in a place where people in charge can do whatever they want.

Mr. Federal Way will take on the Moore case first. If convicted, the school board president faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, which is a very, very big deal.

One thing Mr. Federal Way has learned over the years is that Mr. Federal Way never wants to spend one minute in prison. Mr. Federal Way loves his freedom, to say the least.

Moore was arrested at SeaTac Airport as he boarded a plane to Amsterdam on a $50,000 trip sponsored by the school district. He was released from King County Jail on Sept. 20 after posting a $50,000 bond.

But the arrest isn’t what has everybody up in arms on The Mirror’s comment board. It was the Federal Way School Board’s taxpayer-funded trip to Europe that created most of the venom, which is weird.

Mr. Federal Way tends to not see the point of taking my tax dollars and sending elected officials to Europe. Moore, along with Superintendent Rob Neu, also made a trip to China in April at a cost of $33,350.

What’s the point? Mr. Federal Way has no idea. From the outside looking in, the trips seem like a giant waste of money that could be diverted elsewhere within the school district. Mr. Federal Way, who has kids going to school within the district, could come up with a very long list of different ways to spend all that cash.

Neu was quoted as saying that the global travel “will ensure our students are prepared for a more competitive, diverse and interconnected world than the one we grew up in.”

Mr. Federal Way would like our students to be prepared for life in Federal Way before worrying about China or Amsterdam. How does going to a physical classroom in Asia and Europe help students in Federal Way?

If you want to visit a classroom across the world, set up your smartphone and Skype each other. Wouldn’t that accomplish the same thing and cost a grand total of $0? Skype is a free app.

As Neu said, we need to ensure our students are prepared for an interconnected world, and nowadays, it’s very, very easy to be interconnected. And it doesn’t take jumping on a Boeing 747 to do that. All you need is an iPhone or a laptop.

Mr. Federal Way can sit at the computer and surf blogs and other websites that describe, in detail, the nuances of the educational system in Amsterdam, pros and cons. That’s being interconnected, folks.

The case of Mayor Priest is different than Moore’s predicament. That’s not saying Priest shouldn’t get into trouble if he really snuck into a gated area where illegally-placed campaign signs are stored.

But, if found guilty of sneaking into Federal Way’s “sign jail,” Priest won’t be spending any time in prison.

A Federal Way police officer had stopped by the city’s “sign jail” near City Hall when he observed Priest removing his campaign signs. The officer advised his supervisor because it looked like the signs were being stolen, and because the activity was taking place at night.

According to Priest, the whole sign debacle is a big misunderstanding because of the “silly political season.”

Priest claims he wrote a check for $120 the same day he was caught taking the signs from “sign jail,” and a city employee gave a statement that the mayor paid for the signs prior to retrieving them. However, that employee’s statement was withheld from release due to the investigation, according to a police spokeswoman.

Pretty crazy stuff. It’s also stuff that doesn’t make the city of Federal Way look very good.

Q: How about them Seahawks? Can you get me tickets?

A: The Seahawks are good. Really, really, really good, actually. Super Bowl good. And, no, Mr. Federal Way cannot get you any tickets.

But your question did make Mr. Federal Way check out how much getting tickets to a sold-out Seahawks game would be. Let’s just say it costs a lot. The cheapest tickets Mr. Federal Way could find to the Seattle-New Orleans game Dec. 2 at CenturyLink Field was $194.50 per seat.

Pretty aggressive. Mr. Federal Way will stick to watching the games on Mr. Federal Way’s high-definition TV and not paying $10 for a beer.

Go Seahawks!

Q: Hey Mr. Federal Way, why does the pumpkin only get “love” during the month of October?

A: That is a great question and something Mr. Federal Way has never thought about until now. Thinking a little more about it, Mr. Federal Way would love to eat and drink pumpkin-flavored delicacies all year long.

Who doesn’t like a big piece of pumpkin pie with a scoop of homemade whipped cream on the top? It’s perfect. Starbucks also sells an amazing amount of pumpkin spice lattes during the fall every year, but they are off the menu after Halloween.

Mr. Federal Way thinks the extremely short pumpkin window exists because the pumpkin is only “in season” during the fall. But that can’t be the case because Mr. Federal Way can buy corn and avocados all year round. Can’t you grow everything in a greenhouse or something?

It kind of reminds Mr. Federal Way of the Shamrock Shake at McDonald’s. The fast-food king only sells the mint-flavored shake around St. Patrick’s Day every year, and people can’t get enough of them. It would seem like a good business decision to offer the Shamrock Shake year round.

So, in conclusion, this question has got Mr. Federal Way thinking about a possible business venture to occupy one of the seemingly hundreds of empty storefronts in town. Mr. Federal Way will call it “The Pumpkin Patch” and it would sell pumpkin-flavored everything, plus a similar version of the Shamrock Shake.

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