Letters to the Editor

Look behind the mayor's rah-rah words

In the Feb. 12 Mirror was an article headlined, “The mayor says ‘we delivered what we promised.’” Wait! The general public might miss some very important points, given the rah-rah tenor of her words.

For instance, certain members of the Federal Way City Council do not appear to be working in the best interest of the citizens, nor do they consider their input. And it is unfortunate that the majority of the council members are able to override the efforts of the council persons who do work diligently to protect the citizens’ interests.

Celebration Park is an example of that: Overriding the will of the public. It was put to a vote and lost when it was a $4 million- plus piece of property. Yet, our infamous council majority pushed forward their plans anyway (public be damned) and cheerfully paid almost $14 million of our taxpayer dollars for the same property a year and a half later. Wow, who do you suppose made all that money?

In the Feb. 12 article, Mayor Jeanne Burbidge also says the city (the council majority) will continue seeking funding for transportation improvements. Undoubtedly, those transit improvements include the Silo site, where, although they deny it, Link Lite Rail will be located. Councilwoman Mary Gates, of council majority fame, was on the Transit Blue Ribbon Committee and has now been appointed to the transit committee which decides where the funding will go. Hmmm, cause for worry. (It has been noted in the larger newspapers that people holding like positions which make such powerful decisions have not, heretofore, had to stand for election, but should).

I was at the council meeting Nov 5, 2002, at which I watched Gates descend from her seat, approach Ron Gintz, our former mayor, slap him on the knee and say, “We just bought the Silo site!” Actually, we the taxpayers just bought the Silo site, which escalated in price some $3 million in about a year. All this while my IRA is tanking.

The artist’s concept of the new transit center printed in the Feb. 8 edition of the Mirror shows a glass-like bridge aiming off toward what appears to be the Best property. I’m having a vision here. Is it possibly aiming at the new municipal facility? The same facility for which there has been strong citizen opposition and even stronger opposition from the Municipal Facilities Advisory Committee, the committee appointed by the council? MFAC spent untold hours researching the best sites for a new city hall, and the city core was not one chosen. In a last-ditch effort to position the facility in the core, the council majority is proposing it be combined with the senior/civic center and swimming pool at a low-end cost of $34.1 million instead of the $18 million if built at MFAC’s strongly recommended current location. If this proposal is true, this decision was made before MFAC had even submitted its report, and the council majority was only going through the motions of public input.

The mayor states while some council discussions are heated and meet with disagreement, she and her colleagues listen and weigh carefully what the residents say. Further, “we want the citizens of Federal Way to know your opinions do matter and are considered seriously, even if we choose to do something different.” Well, duh. Citizens of Federal Way, we have just been prepped with the facts. Can anyone doubt the core location?

The mayor also states the council majority will continue looking at property east of Interstate 5 for annexation. I wonder how many ballooning millions the city (the taxpayers) will be lining someone’s pockets with there?

Just when I thought our infamous council had done it all to enrage their constitutents, it wanted to use a Tacoma/Pierce County newspaper to print its legal notices. It’s not because the cost would be less. No, it would cost the taxpayer double what it now costs. Why? Would less readership net them fewer complaints because fewer will read what they’re up to next? You bet. Not a wise move, council majority, you’ve just made many more enemies.

Please, write or e-mail the council –– especially the majority consisting of Mary Gates, Jeanne Burbidge, Eric Faison, Dean McColgan and Mike Park –– before we are taxed out of our homes in an economy even worse than in 1929. The next time they stand for election, remember their intransigence in the face of public opinion. They’ve run amok once again.

Sheryl Nevers

Federal Way

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