Letters to the Editor

Council majority getting its way

Here we go again. It was reported that the state House of Representatives voted to give local governments (counties and cities) the power to raise taxes. With the Federal Way City Council majority’s track record, I can imagine they’re up in the air clicking their heels at this news.

The majority on the council –– Mary Gates, Mike Park, Jeanne Burbidge, Dean McColgan and Eric Faison –– budgeted $24.5 million for a Taj Mahal (the new municipal facilities building) in the core of our city in the face of almost total opposition and before their own advisory committee had submitted it’s report, and only backed off when the public became aware of the offer of the Paragon Building for over $15 million less. In fact, there has been such an outpouring against some of the council majority’s more recent actions that they have had to back off and are now bombarding the local press almost weekly with feel-good articles trying to recapture a little respect and undo some of the damage.

In a recent article in this paper about the problems in the Des Moines City Council, it was reported the majority there is accused of voting in a block for over a year and a half without compromise, cooperation or accommodation, and it was called ridiculous. Does that ring a bell, folks?

Federal Way Councilman McColgan, in his recent feel-good article (“Newspaper decision one of the toughies,” March 22) said, in effect, we wouldn’t have to go far to find a really bad council (referencing, I’m sure, the Des Moines mess).

Well, he’s certainly right there; we won’t have to go far at all.

Let me elaborate on what I have been calling the two “be-damneds”, only it just grew to three. And these are just examples of what seems to be a pattern.

The voters overwhelmingly voted down Celebration Park, and voters be-damned, we got it, anyway.

The citizens overwhelmingly, through letters, speeches before the council, e-mails, etc., criticized the core location for the new municipal facilities building but, taxpayers be-damned, the majority budgeted for it, anyway. On this one they did, however, meet their comeuppance, at least for the present, as Councilman Faison said. He insists it will ultimately be in the core area. Of course, they still control those saved millions of our tax dollars, and we shouldn’t lose sight of that fact.They also not only kept the “temporary” utility tax but raised it and added an entertainment tax, among others, in the worst economy in memory.

Now, I just read some quotes by Councilwoman Gates in the Tacoma News Tribune referring to the transit project in the core area where a 1,500-car parking garage is to be built, –– without, I might add, any public input. This will be located by what has been known for years as the infamous 320th Street traffic problem. People have protested en masse, lawsuits have been filed, surveys have been demanded, so we got a survey. That analyst said 1,500 cars will not significantly impact traffic. Can you believe such an incredible statement? And, guess who this analyst works for? Yup, Sound Transit.

In the Tribune article, Gates says “citizens who protest are costing the city money and reflect badly on the city, but it won’t stop the project. In a way it’s too bad. But, they have their right of due process.” Due process be-damned! In other words, protest all you want, it won’t stop the project!

Well, folks, this is an election year. and Mary Gates, Mike Park and Dean McColgan are running for re-election. Perhaps this is the year and the time to say to certain members of the council majority, be gone!

Clara McArthur

Federal Way

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