Opinion

Money burning hole in city's purse | Q&A with Mr. Federal Way

Mr. Federal Way - File photo
Mr. Federal Way
— image credit: File photo

Q: Please tell me with the resignation of Cary Roe as the city’s top paid official that the city is going to bank some of this money to pay for the proposed Performing Arts and Conference Center, police and new temporary parks that I keep hearing about. Is this delusional thinking on my part?

A: Mr. Federal Way would say your thinking is not delusional, but certainly wishful.

After a number of years of “frugal innovation” under former Mayor Skip Priest, in which the city skimped and saved every penny they possibly could, it appears that one of two things was actually going on: Priest was overstating the city’s need to save and the money was always there, or our new affable Mayor Jim Ferrell finally got his hands on the city’s purse and now feels that money is burning a proverbial hole in his (and by extension, the taxpayers) pockets.

With recent announcements of Ferrell’s desire to bolster the police force and to pay for a new park in the downtown core (with an original price limit of $75,000-$100,000 and now moving well northward of those figures), it’s difficult to say if Roe’s departure means the city has more money, or if its a new administration splurging so the appearance of action is seen and hopefully felt by the constituents.

Q: The Legislature has passed a law requiring all public officials to undergo training on how to comply with the open disclosure laws. Great law, except state representatives exempted themselves from this training. Is this politics at its finest or are these guys so good they don’t need this training?

A: Mr. Federal Way thinks this is politics at its finest. For some odd reason, a popular chant of various protest groups throughout the years comes to Mr. Federal Way’s mind: “This is what democracy looks like!”

Q: Mr. Federal Way, what’s your take on the Performing Arts and Conference Center? Is this thing going to get built? Will I have to pay for it with extra taxes? Can you pay my share? I can’t afford it.

A: Mr. Federal Way thinks the center is an upper-class idea in a working-class city.

That being said, Mr. Federal Way thinks the center will likely get built. An entire generation of city leaders has been looking for something like this since the city was created in 1990 and they need something to show for their efforts.

As far as taxes are concerned, Mr. Federal Way heard some alarm bells going off in his head recently when the mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel suggested that the city should provide some sort of temporary funding “bridge” for the project.

Ade Ariwoola, finance director, happily explained that a surplus of funds from the Federal Way Community Center could be used in part of that funding bridge. Someone else also mentioned “creative accounting,” which Mr. Federal Way has learned to treat as a red flag throughout the years.

And no, Mr. Federal Way can’t pay your share. You could always try GoFundMe though.

Q: With all this talk of local politics recently, have you ever considered running for public office, Mr. Federal Way?

A: None of your business.

Got a question for Mr. Federal Way? Email mrfederalway@federalwaymirror.com

 

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