Letters to the Editor

Performing arts/civic center: Right call for city | Federal Way letters

I would personally like to congratulate Joann Piquette in her perseverance, dedication and passion for her leadership role to establish a performing arts/civic conference center in Federal Way.

There are many times at city council meetings where people express their feelings during the public comment time allotted. I have always appreciated everyone’s comments when backed up with factual information, and most appreciative of those who actually volunteer on committees and commissions to correct and assist their reasons for the complaints they have entered.

We are in a difficult economic situation. The people’s views should be presented to the city council as a way for them to assist in making hard decisions. I believe that the council who represents us votes for the best for our community. Not all of us are going to agree with the council’s decisions, just as we have the same question-and-answer situations within our own families.

The acquisition of the property purchase and sales agreement that was on the city council’s agenda, dated Nov. 16, was an instrumental decision for the future of Federal Way. Many changes are occurring with our newly elected form of government and the respected leadership of mayor-elect Skip Priest. I have heard from friends who have expressed their views both for and against this acquisition of property.

I was recently at a Federal Way Chamber of Commerce luncheon that hosted the mayoral candidates. A gentleman sitting next to me mentioned that he had just moved from California and was not quite settled in his Marine Hills home. During the candidate forum, he whispered to me that the term “city core” had been discussed several times, and he was unsure of where this “city core” was.

As a recent retiree of the Federal Way public school system, I remember being asked the same question by a fellow co-worker about a year ago. Do we want our community to constantly be identified as a bedroom community between Seattle and Tacoma, and have our citizens ask where the “city core” is? I believe that the Nov. 16 council decision to acquire this property, and Joann Piquette’s dedication to have a PACC/civic conference center in the location of what was discussed, is an exemplary answer to these questions.

Since the city has been incorporated, there have been many controversial items. Examples: Our current City Hall building, Celebration Park, the Community Center and St. Francis Hospital. If these acquisitions had not taken place, would we have another strip mall or apartments in these locations? Do we want to remain in this same status quo in terms of development at this time in our short history, and not take advantage of the better public-private bidding environment?

On Nov. 13, the Historical Society of Federal Way and the Noon Kiwanis Club presented a community Veterans Day observance at Todd Beamer High School. Hopefully this event will continue to grow and a performing arts/civic conference center would be a logical expansion choice. We were proud to have the Jet Cities Chorus perform at this ceremony, as two weeks prior to the event, they were at a national competition in Seattle. Because of Joann’s efforts, that national competition, as well as Kiwanis conventions, participation with the Federal Way School District, Federal Way Symphony concerts, Martin Luther King, Korean and Hispanic ceremonies, etc., can now be held in Federal Way in the near future.

Joann Piquette and our current city officials should be credited for their vision and promotion of not only arts and culture, but the local, regional, state, national and international influx of future activity and investments with the acquisition of this property for a PACC/civic conference center.

Maureen Hathaway, Federal Way

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