ELECTIONS: Your letters on local candidates
June 13, 2008 · Updated 4:13 PM
We need Amye Bronson-Doherty:
We need Amye Bronson-Doherty on the Federal Way School Board.
She is the mother of children in our schools, has contributed her time and expertise at both the district and state level, and received leadership training from the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce. She is knowledgeable and articulate. She is able to weigh information and reach a conclusion based on facts rather than view decisions from a personal, pre-determined agenda.
Dana Turcott, Federal Way
Bronson-Doherty deserved endorsement:
Was your decision not to endorse Amye Bronson-Doherty the result of attending a debate or two where her opponent Evelyn Castellar came across more polished or slick (no doubt shes less concerned with sticking to rules of time guidelines)?
Amye's thoughtful and reflective presence could be mistaken as a disadvantage rather than for what it is modesty and fair-mindedness. Veraciously intelligent, Amyes kind nature prevents her from coming across as arrogant (which is often confused for strength).
I hope Amye breaks the first-time-runner's curse and wins. It would be great having a representative able to attend all meetings, not to mention one who is actually experiencing the Federal Way School District at each level through the lives of her kids. Amyes pragmatic approach to parent engagement, improving communication and preparing our kids would help ensure our future success as a city. Experience cant overshadow a candidate like Amye who would be up to speed in a heartbeat.
Shes that stand-out advocate we could all be proud of.
C.O. Minassian, Federal Way
Schools need Len Englund:
In the last few years, the Federal Way School Board has borne the brunt of substantial ridicule. From clearly partisan endeavors to ban legitimate science curriculum to vacuous discussions on the drawbacks of flip-flops in the classroom, many of our current directors have sometimes been considerably less capable than the students who are their charge.
On Nov. 6, the voters of Federal Way will have an opportunity to set educational policy on an improved course. I've known Len Englund for more than 30 years. He has spent his lifetime in this community, having been educated in Federal Way, and has a valuable historical perspective that he can bring to the board. He was a student in the 1970s who directly experienced the effect of substantial funding inequities on educational opportunity in this district. As a result, Englund can be a strong and convincing voice in the district's effort to seek more equitable funding from the state.
Englund has seen this district change in the past 30 years from a white suburban district to a culturally and racially diverse district with the same challenges that any urban area would find daunting. Diversity is a key component of Englund's life he's married to a leader in the Korean community, and he and his children enjoy the traditions of both Asia and America. In a district in which many children do not speak English at home, that outlook is critical.
Englund doesn't have a partisan agenda. He carries no allegiance to any influential community organizations. Englund would be an independent voice, a dedicated advocate for all children in the district, whether they are intellectually gifted, struggling with English as a second language, poor, or the kid next door.
As a member of the board, Englund's advocacy would be on behalf of all children in Federal Way not just his own. He is running for the board because he believes all our children have the capacity to succeed in school and that the board must ensure both the classroom environment and the administrative support exist to ensure they do.
Len Englund will be a fresh, rational, independent voice. Vote for him on Nov. 6.
Ginny Vanderlinde, Federal Way
Maher supports Larson:
I am writing to respond to a question that has been asked so many times that I can no longer count.
People ask me: "Renee, what didn't you run for the Federal Way School Board?" The people in our community know that I am passionate about education and our school district, and my response has been the same for quite some time. The reason I didn't run? Because I live in Dave Larsons district and I believe that the best person for the job currently has the job.
I have been a Dave Larson fan since he was first appointed. He is bold and straightforward with his decision-making. He doesn't shy away from the hard decisions and he has led the way in the fight for fair and equitable funding.
The Federal Way School Board reaps the benefit of Dave Larsons long professional career and his brilliant legal mind. He truly is an advocate for our school district and we all need him to continue his great work.
Renee Maher, Federal Way
Support for Duclos, Freeman and Gates:
Recently, as I was driving home on 320th, I saw a sign that read "We Need Hope."
While I recognized it as a campaign slogan for one of the candidates running again for City Council, it occurred to me that the one thing that we do have plenty of in Federal Way is hope.
I hear, see and feel it everywhere I go around here. In fact, I would venture to say that today we have more hope than we've had in the 25 years since my family and I moved here. What we need now more than anything else is "action and results." And we can only get that through the unprecedented strategic planning, community cohesion and development that will turn hope to momentum.
Dini Duclos is the person I believe will assist in doing just that. She possesses the vision, the insight and the demonstrated ability to make the tough collaborative decisions to move this city forward. I have seen her in action in my role as a member of the Multi-Service Center board, where she is currently CEO. Although that is her professional capacity, she has been equally as passionate and convincing as a community servant in Rotary, on the Planning Commission, as a member of the Chamber of Commerce and many other community organizations.
I don't need to tally up all she's done or is doing for this community; to all who have crossed her path, it's obvious. All I want to point out to you is my belief that she stands head and shoulders above her opponent in the proven capacity, the breadth of knowledge and the leadership ability to listen to you and to help you make this city the great city that you hope it will be.
To that end, I urge you to vote for Dini Duclos for City Council. You won't regret it.
There are two other candidates I believe we cannot afford to lose; Bill Gates and Roger Freeman. I'll start with Bill Gates, a long-term Federal Way community servant. He's not the billionaire, but his contribution to this community is worth as much or more to the citizens of this city. He's one of the incumbents on the board of fire commissioners and has brought with him to that position a sense of purpose, leadership and governance that has helped to lift and sustain our fire services to a level of competence and respect that is recognized and emulated throughout the Washington state.
We don't hear much about the fire commission, but the citizens' approval rating as evidenced in the recent six-year lid lift levy was testimony enough that you as citizens know and appreciate the importance of a first-class fire department, and Gates is right in there making sure that's what you get. He was a major force in convincing the Legislature to approve the 6-year lid lift, which immediately resulted in over a half million dollars savings to our community. You should know that he has a background in finance, so he is intimately aware of the need for fiscal discipline as well as operational efficiency and effectiveness. We can't afford to lose Bill Gates. It would create a vacuum on the commission that cannot be filled by his opponent. Let's keep him there. He knows what we need and we can count on him to deliver. Vote for Bill Gates for fire commissioner.
I'll close with a high thumbs up for the new kid on the block, who is a very impressive young man: Roger Freeman. He and his family have lived here for less than 10 years, but he has his fingers on the pulse of the community and his heart appears to be in the right place. I think he will work hard to do what he says he will do. He hails from a comparable-sized Midwest community and strongly believes that he sees the future of Federal Way and wants to help shepherd it to reality. He's a defense attorney, who also sees himself as an Advocate for the community. That's a rare combination and one that I think we all can wholeheartedly support.
He exudes confidence; he's unpretentious and he's focused; but most of all he listens intently. Those are characteristics we're going to need more of in our legislators in Federal Way if we're going to go and grow. We are in need of new talent in this community that doesn't just look down the street, but has the unique ability to see around corners, something you can only do when you're willing to talk to the people who live and work around those corners, not just pass them on the street,or stop by when you're out door belling for another term. He says he will get out often during his watch and seriously talk and listen to people in the community; and he didn't blink. I'm inclined to believe he will.
He may be new, but he strikes me as being far from naive. He's done his homework and he deserves a chance to prove it. His opponent is formidable, but not invincible. It's time to change. Seriously. A vote for Roger Freeman will bring about that needed change.
Bob McKenzie, Federal Way
Let's keep Gates as fire commissioner:
Retaining Bill Gates as our commissioner for South King Fire and Rescue is the right choice. Gates has served our fire department for the past six years with outstanding leadership, and we need him to continue.
Commissioner Gates brings sound business and finance skills that have guided our fire department to become the largest and most cost-effective in our state. Under his leadership, our fire district has obtained the best fire protection rating in the state. Only Seattle, Bellevue and Spokane received the same rating.
Gates has a remarkable history of service to Federal Way over the last 30 years. He has served as board president for the Boys and Girls Club, King County Library Board, president of the Federal Way Chamber and board president of our local community theater. Gates was active in bringing us the local hospital, the aquatics center and Hylebos State Park.
My recommendation to retain Gates comes from experience, not just from friendship. I was a Federal Way fire commissioner from 1987 to 1997 and know what it takes to be effective in representing the interests of the people of Federal Way. I have served in many community organizations in Federal Way and know of no better person to represent us as fire commissioner for another six years.
To often the people we elect serve their own interests and not ours. This is not so with Gates.
Jack Stanford, President, Stanford Insurance and past fire commissioner 1987-1997
Vote for Duclos:
I will take this very appropriate occasion to ask everyone to support Dini Duclos for Federal Way City Council when you vote.
Her credentials are impeccable. She has worked endlessly, productively and honorably for Federal Way for years. And she is the personification of common sense. Now, isn't that concept a timely idea for a change? Please get active and help put a stop to the private property boondoggle which could escalate to several hundred thousand dollars, and remember, which the city apparently hasn't even considered, being nature, it'll just be back next year and the costs will have escalated!
Clara McArthur, Federal Way