Do the math on arts center | Letters
February 15, 2013 · Updated 10:52 AM
At the Feb. 11 special city council meeting to discuss the progress of the performing arts and conference center (PACC), they pointed to a survey in 2008 conducted by the National Citizen Survey that had several questions that had to do with “What is the single most important thing the City of Federal Way can do to make this a better place to live?”
One question/statement said “use city funds to build a (performing arts center) in downtown to spur economic development and growth.” 62 percent of the survey’s participants agreed with that statement, so let’s do the math. 62 percent of 562 total participants = 348
348 divided by 88,000 residents = .00395 percent of the total city residents.
It was not mentioned whether or not all participants were actually residents of Federal Way.
Should 348 people’s choice on a survey be a gauge as to how we as a community spend $35 million? While yes, the economy is chugging its way back, is this the right project for now without better data regarding interest from the community’s residents as a whole and not a select few who are pushing for this?
If this project is important to the community’s future, then let the community decide at the ballot box, not some pre-economic crash survey. The city council, if they believe this is the right project, should get out of council chambers and take their pitch out to the community in a forum larger than 30 people and sell it.
Yes, Federal Way needs a centerpiece. This would draw people to the city and generate revenue. The only other concern is size. The discussion was for the theater to be a 540- to 700-seat auditorium. Why not 1,000 seats? There was nothing mentioned about drawing big-name entertainment like that of the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma. Far more community engagement should be required.
Randall Smith, Federal Way