Cheers and jeers: Civic engagement edition | Editorial

Cheers to the civic engagement displayed at the July 19 debate for Federal Way mayor candidates. More than 200 people packed the Federal Way High School theater, and many submitted questions for the candidates. Be sure to attend the July 26 debate for District 30 state representative candidates (position 2) at the same place. The primary election is Aug. 17, and ballots for the all-mail election are on their way. On July 31, The Mirror will make recommendations for voting on the mayor race, Legislature race and Proposition 1, the service benefit charge proposed by South King Fire and Rescue.

Jeers to the crime spillover affecting Villa Capri Apartments. The crime originates primarily from duplexes across the street from the apartments, 28621 25th Place S. Residents are dealing with harassment, prostitution, empty beer bottles and used condoms on the street. That area has long been on the radar of Federal Way police. However, police cannot solve the problem alone. In late 2009, Villa Capri participated in crime prevention classes with the department. Villa Capri residents owe it to themselves to continue this proactive approach and form a block watch group. Any effort to improve quality of life is an effort well spent.

Cheers to all letters received by The Mirror. The number of letters suggests more civic engagement, especially with elections under way. The Mirror prints as many letters as space allows, then posts the rest online. Thank you for contributing to the community dialogue.

Jeers to the potential pitfalls of partnerships with other cities. Federal Way and Des Moines leaders recently discussed ways the two cities can save money by combining resources for certain public services. But is a piggyback mentality good for any city? Even if Federal Way and Des Moines benefit from mutual backscratching, each backscratch means a favor is owed. Federal Way must strive for self-sufficiency across the board, strengthening the foundation within its borders, all while minimizing outside help. This does not mean a rejection of outside help, nor does it mean a rejection of partnerships that enhance quality of life. However, these partnerships should be a last resort. The cost of success is the struggle to get there, and any struggle only makes the city stronger. One must ask whether this potential partnership is a strategic deal — or an easy way to avoid a struggle.

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