Elected mayor movement: The sequel? | Mirror editorial

The elected mayor movement has officially returned. The latest attempt to overhaul Federal Way's form of government is headed toward the ballot in November.

Last year, the proposal seemed more like a solution in search of a problem. An elected mayor does not guarantee sound leadership or solid city management, and anyone can run for the position. About 20 percent of eligible voters turned out in a special election last year, rejecting the measure with 53.6 percent of the vote.

This time around, the issue deserves a closer look, for better or worse. Federal Way's leadership vacuum is more pronounced. No disrespect is intended for the current council members who were elected to serve. Their intentions are earnest, and their service is appreciated. However, it is fair to wonder what might become of the mayoral position if the job suddenly came with a handsome paycheck.

When the matter went before voters in early 2008, The Mirror recommended keeping the current council/city manager form of government. The Mirror also recommended exploring a hybrid system with both an elected mayor and city manager, similar to Tacoma’s government.

Regardless of the outcome in November, remember that the persistent group of citizens who started all of this will continue to chip away at the dam until it finally breaks.

Dumas Bay Centre

Kudos to the city for leading a recent discussion with residents over the future of Dumas Bay Centre. The city has shown a commitment to helping Dumas Bay Centre reach its potential. Unfortunately, the facility faces an uphill battle amid leaner economic times, as renovations could cost more than $3 million. Although the outdated facility continues to bleed money, it is refreshing to hear community input on how to keep a true gem alive in Federal Way.

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