Letters to the Editor

Let's support Federal Way's long-term interest | Letters

The alchemy of making a community, city or major metropolitan area serve its residents and business well in the present while striving to be economically attractive for growth is a challenge all cities face.

I’d like to believe we elect our leadership with the goal of creating a superior quality of life for our residents, businesses and visitors while keeping a clear eye on building a solid foundation to the future.

To achieve this goal requires leadership, insight, and an open dialogue with the community, while conveying a positive vision for growth.

If all cities face the same challenge, why do some succeed and others stagnate? Is Federal Way a growth-oriented city with an eye toward the future, or a city built on a 1960s suburban model that wants to maintain the perceived benefits of suburban isolation?

Change can be hard, but change is a constant. Our leaders have many challenges on their plate, and while most seem to focus on the present, the most important aspect of their service on behalf of our community deals with transitioning Federal Way from a suburban city with an abundance of strip shopping centers for retail to a mixed business, residential and retail center core.

Very doable, but will Federal Way citizens support such a transition?

The reason I ask my questions is that recent letters and commentary in the Federal Way Mirror seem to favor a greater focus on law enforcement and negativity toward the city’s effort to revitalize its core retail district with the development of a performing arts and conference center (PACC).

When I see a shift in dialogue to include a greater focus on law and order, it must be the start of election season. Yes, Federal Way recently experienced a horrible incident of domestic violence that ended with the death of five people. Truly tragic, but the act of one misguided individual is not a reflection on the overall decency of this city’s residents.

We as a community must find a way to have the discussion about our public safety needs, and not make it fear based, while we focus on coming together as a community to have a full discussion about our cultural and business infrastructure needs.

With each election cycle, we as citizens get to decide who will best manage our resources in the present while facilitating our growth to a more prosperous future.

Economic development is critical for any city. However, economic development is more than adding new retail or poaching jobs from other cities by offering incentives and less expensive office space. They may come, but will they stay, and will their employees invest by purchasing homes and sending their children to our schools?

Cities that are succeeding beyond expectations tend to have top quality schools, several core businesses that create an economic synergy, good housing stock, easy access to art and cultural events, decent mobility resources, recreation opportunities, health care and quality retail.

While Federal Way has lots to offer, we all need to support what is in the best long-term interest of Federal Way, and as citizens make every effort to help our community leaders invest in the aesthetic, cultural and business infrastructure to make this city economically viable and the city of choice in the south Puget Sound Region.

Keith Livingston, Federal Way

 

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