Opinion

Cheers and jeers in Federal Way: City manager search, court drama, litterbugs and cameras

Cheers to the Federal Way rumor mill for those juicy updates on the city manager search. A common concern is whether the city manager should reside in Federal Way — and live under the policies he (or maybe it's a she) sets for Federal Way. There are exceptions to the rule. Confirmed among applicants on the list is Federal Way Chamber CEO Tom Pierson, who resides in Milton, but has deep roots in South King County. Regardless of who gets the job, let's have faith the public will actively participate in hiring the next city manager.

Jeers to the cancerous attention attracted by the Federal Way Municipal Court. The media may stare at the fire, but controversy keeps this fire burning. The current disagreement: Where to draw the line of accountability between the court and the city it depends upon. Judges are respected and well-paid public officials whose positions demand great responsibility. Federal Way's judges — Michael Morgan and David Larson — are intelligent men. Both judges vigorously defend the court and their roles. Morgan's role in this controversy is more entrenched because of concerns about his behavior. However, the workplace drama was born long before Morgan's arrival. The city council even pitched a long-shot proposal to terminate the municipal court, and instead contract with the district court. Remember that amid this controversy over workplace behavior, the public has yet to see complaints or reprimands regarding the judges' performance from the bench. It's important to note that the judges seem to be doing a fair job in actually judging cases.

Cheers to Federal Way's foray into the Safe City program. With 27 surveillance cameras capable of monitoring nearly every nook downtown, the program offers a sophisticated tool for enhancing public safety. The cameras can help deter crime while assisting police with evidence. For this perception of safety, the public pays a small price in the form of a creepy feeling that somebody somewhere might be watching you. Welcome to the 21st century.

Jeers to these two litterbugs who each dumped fast-food garbage one day earlier this month in a Federal Way parking lot at South 324th Street and Pacific Highway. Jeers to the rest of the city's litterbugs who somehow can't find a trash can on their map at the moment. Perhaps the new Safe City camera system could help stamp out a few litterbugs in Federal Way. Slap the worst offenders with a hefty fine. For a more creative penalty, try waterboarding.

Cheers to the launch of Federal Way First, a campaign by the Federal Way Chamber aimed at encouraging residents to spend their money locally. Estimates show that if everyone in Federal Way spent 1 percent more within the city's borders each year, the sum would equal $22 million. Any efforts to strengthen local businesses will ultimately trickle down to Federal Way's schools and standard of living.

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