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Pay attention to bottom line
Thank you, Federal Way City Council member Linda Kochmar, for continuing to bring items to light that have not been well-communicated to the public. In the article (Nov. 2, Your Turn), it was identified that the cost of building a police facility on land adjacent to the existing city hall would be on the order of $11.3 million, with $7.1 million already set aside. Whereas, some of the sites currently under consideration by the advisory committee may cost upward of $25 million. While this is not breaking news, it is important that citizens are aware of the details, and that decisions are being made.
Yes, the Municipal Facilities Advisory Committee is still deliberating on final site recommendations. And yes, there is an opportunity for the public to comment at two upcoming meetings. Unfortunately, meeting notices alone typically do not provide the level of detail needed to spur participation of a proportionate cross section of the public.
People may not realize, until after the decisions are made, that they are paying for a mega-municipal facility, when they were told their money was to be used exclusively for a police station.
The disturbing part is at last Tuesdays City Council meeting, there were two voices that continue to ignore the populace. One council member has repeatedly stated that we live in a republic, not a democracy; that we place our trust in elected officials for the duration of their term. If we dont like the decision, at the end of four years we can vote them out. Yes, but that does not mean the elected official, especially at the local city level, should not temper his own preferences with that of the vast number of constituents that he represents. Mr. Faison, even the strong-willed senators of the powerful Roman republic realized they had to abide by their constituents desires occasionally. Another ex-council member spoke of moving on, moving forward despite public outcry, and being embodied with a great vision for the city. There was even some bizarre attempt at equating our local council members to Thomas Jefferson.
Should the council decide on what is likely to be a (pre-destined) downtown municipal facility, they need to provide accountability to the public. Where is the data to show we are not a city growing beyond our current means? Where is the specific data that shows a downtown location will spur measurable economic growth? Has this been irrefutably proven, or is it just a hunch, like the branding process?