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Candidate Walsh: Pattern in council election is troubling
I want to thank all of the citizens who took the time to vote, and in particular, I want to thank all of my supporters in my race for Federal Way City Council. I made many new friends who were willing to brave the elements sign-waving. I met many business leaders who were seeking an understanding perspective. And, I discovered a police force that has been neglected by our city leaders and is not able to protect us properly.
While I didnt prevail in the election, I feel that the citizens of Federal Way benefited from my involvement in the process. By calling attention to the dismal business environment and lack of decent jobs in the city limits, hopefully a pro-business environment will be possible. By giving voice to our understaffed and underfunded police force that is doing the best it can while the crime rate in our city remains unacceptable, hopefully it will get the attention it deserves. By running, all of us had a choice on election day.
On the downside, I believe the election results for the past two council elections are somewhat distressing. Four out of the seven positions in the last two years were unopposed, which does not speak well for a city of our size. Only one challenger has managed to unseat an incumbent, and it took three times the money spent in my campaign against an opponent who didnt fight back only to win by a few hundred votes. Im concerned that in the future, many people will not want to nor will have the financial means to take on these incumbents, especially if voter turnout continues to remain low.
I am proud of how well I did in my first election, given that I was a relative unknown going against an eight-year incumbent. Again, I thank my dedicated supporters for helping me achieve this success, and especially the Papke family for being there every step of the way. It was a great experience!
As of the date of this letter, only 39 percent of the registered voters in Federal Way took the time to vote. I thank them for their effort and wish more had done the same. Unfortunately, with the current council in place for at least another two years, it is unlikely any real positive change can occur. I still think we can do better.