Opinion

EDITORIAL: Mirror's endorsements for mayor and city council

The Mirror’s editorial board endorses the following candidates in the 2013 general election.

Mayor of Federal Way: Jim Ferrell

In the hotly contested mayoral race, The Mirror endorses Jim Ferrell, the city’s current deputy mayor. Ferrell will bring a much-needed sense of urgency to the office, along with a willingness to acknowledge the city’s problems and recommend solutions. Ferrell vows to strengthen public safety and police presence, both of which contribute to residents’ overall well-being and quality of life. Ferrell’s vision for developing the former downtown AMC site, with a park and retail complex, presents a more realistic short-term solution that will strengthen the city’s economy — and reduce long-standing blight in the downtown core.

Ferrell is willing to hire a staff member to run the day-to-day operations of the city, with the intention of freeing up the mayor to recruit new businesses and pursue long-term goals for Federal Way. Ferrell’s tenacity helped create the office of mayor in 2009, and in 2013, that tenacity is what the office needs.

The incumbent, Skip Priest, deserves praise for his years of community involvement and the guidance he gave the city during the economic downturn. However, Priest lacks the urgency to move the city forward. Priest tends to paint a picture of a rosy Federal Way while glossing over what needs to be fixed. At this time in the city’s history, voters should go with a candidate who’s keeping his eye on the ball and is ready to lead Federal Way forward. That candidate is Jim Ferrell.

City council pos. 2: Mark Koppang

Both candidates in this race promise to focus on job creation and economic development. Both are intelligent public servants with a history of community involvement. Mark Koppang gets the edge because he presents a more realistic approach for addressing the city’s immediate short-term needs. Kelly Maloney has good ideas such as a “college initiative,” but right now, the proposal to build a college is a tall order that may take years to materialize. Koppang wants to make the most of what the city has today and leverage those amenities to attract more businesses. The city needs a pragmatic approach at this time, and Koppang comes across as more of a consensus builder. That said, the public can’t go wrong with either candidate.

City council pos. 4: Jeanne Burbidge

Jeanne Burbidge’s experience and history of service are hard to beat. As a highly visible public figure, Burbidge consistently represents Federal Way on the local and regional stages. Her opponent, John Fairbanks, has good intentions, and makes the argument that Burbidge has served too long (16 years). However, there’s a reason why voters continue to re-elect Burbidge. She builds relationships and is engaged in all facets of Federal Way — from business to arts to policies to transportation. Burbidge is the quintessential Federal Way advocate, and as long as she’s willing to serve, voters will benefit by electing her.

City council pos. 6: Diana Noble-Gulliford

Diana Noble-Gulliford brings insight, maturity and specific solutions to the table. One clincher for this endorsement is her advocacy for a full-time economic development director. A business and real estate background allow Noble-Gulliford to approach decisions with more foresight. She knows where the city came from, and she knows where it’s going. Her opponent, Martin Moore, has a contagious passion for public service. Federal Way needs more young leaders like Moore to step up, and Moore should definitely run for office again. However, voters are best served by Noble-Gulliford’s experience and attention to detail.

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Contact the editorial board: editorialboard@federalwaymirror.com

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