Deputy mayors and pander bears | Q&A with Mr. Federal Way

Mr. Federal Way questions the council members’ rationale over deputy mayor drama.

  • Friday, January 12, 2018 10:37am
  • Opinion

Q. Mr. Federal Way, what do you think residents can expect from the Federal Way City Council this year?

A. Hold on, Mr. Federal Way has to dust off his trusty old crystal ball for this one. Lucky for you it’s still working because Mr. Federal Way clearly sees high entertainment value coming this way.

In fact, it’s already started. Take the vote for deputy mayor, for example. Councilwoman and mayoral challenger Susan Honda won the honor by a slim 4-3 margin. Who knew the title of deputy mayor was so prized and glamourous it would receive as much attention and speculation as Oprah’s political aspirations for the next presidential election? Jeanne Burbidge must surely be scratching her head at that one. Really, though, what does the deputy mayor do that is so enticing that it would cause such a ruckus? Presuming she doesn’t buy herself a fancy tiara and pin on a Federal Way Deputy Mayor sash, truly all Susie Q will be doing is starting the City Council meeting when Mayor Jimmy is running 10 minutes late — yeah, as if Jimmy is ever going to let Susie get her hands on that gavel by arriving late or calling in sick again. She’ll likely get secondary introduction honors at the monthly Chamber of Commerce luncheon when the illustrious city officials are introduced, so that’s something. She may even get to practice her parade wave, hold the ceremonial scissors and maybe even say a few words at ribbon cuttings should Ferrell’s mayoral duties require him to focus on more serious matters. Likewise, she’ll be the face of Federal Way at regional and community functions when there’s a dearth of reps.

Other than that, the title of deputy mayor nets her jack squat. Unless she outlasts him on the dais, Mr. Federal Way doubts she’ll even get a key to the city.

She certainly isn’t going to hold the key Jimmy’s heart. Or Councilman Mark Koppang’s. Or Councilman Martin Moore’s.

Moore made that abundantly clear when he actually stopped talking about himself for five minutes — and how grateful he is to the public for re-electing him and how aware he is of the trust they are placing in him — and instead shared with anyone still listening how he had reservations and concerns about Honda and her ability to yield Jimmy’s gavel or be trusted to not run with those oversized scissors she undoubtedly won’t know how to use at ribbon cuttings.

Should Moore’s statements actually be a harbinger of what’s to come and not unspoken lobbying to become the City Council’s unofficial mascot, “the pander bear,” Mr. Federal Way expects contentiousness between council members to make upcoming meetings even more lively.

But as long as nobody starts bragging that their microphone is louder, city leaders will likely still do OK by Federal Way residents.

Given their easily recognizable intelligence, compassion and desire to always act in the city’s best interests, Mr. Federal Way has no doubt officials will be able to share and play nicely in the sandbox and work together to generate rational, reasonable ideas to improve the city’s homeless situation, reduce crime, guarantee the Weyerhaeuser property has both trees and a welcome mat for only suitable companies, and create a downtown that is both visually appealing and functional.

All without throwing one grain of sand.

Or Mr. Federal Way’s crystal ball could be broken. In which case we’re doomed.

Q. Mr. Federal Way, how did you and Mrs. Federal Way plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day?

A. None of your business.

This column is staff produced. Got a question for Mr. Federal Way? Email

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