There are 3 candidates for the Federal Way School Board Position 4, and for Federal Way City Council Positions 2 and 6. I agree with The Mirror’s endorsements for two of the three positions up for election.
The one exception that I must take is Federal Way City Council Position 2, where The Mirror endorsed Kelly Maloney and Mark Koppang.
Maloney is the incumbent, but I rate them equally because she filed a complaint against the city's mayor which became very controversial and instead of being fully investigated to determine if there was any validity to the complaint, it was conveniently dismissed by one of our city officials.
In endorsing these two equally-qualified candidates, The Mirror stated" “Maloney and Koppang present a stronger understanding of the nuances involved with public policy and economic development."
This is where they are wrong as they made a serious omission. These two candidates may have a slight experience/volunteering advantage to Anthony Murrietta (who has worked as a union official). However, I feel Murrietta has a better grasp on the city’s major problems and possible solutions, which gives him the decided edge.
It wasn’t mentioned in The Mirror’s article (regarding endorsements), but I was the one who asked the $64,000 question about the city’s biggest problem right now, and that is our slow traffic flow. Of the six candidates, Mr. Murrietta was the only candidate that really answered the question and in doing so, he “hit the nail on the head” (literally). He (correctly) pointed out that this problem affects all our citizens as we try to move from Point A to Point B and is a major inhibitor to attracting new businesses to our city (i.e., spurring our economic development).
A couple of candidates pointed out what the city is doing (such as widening streets), but this “band-aid approach,” which the city has followed for years, is not the answer because it does not solve the problem.
To give you a perfect example of what I am talking about: the state spent over a million dollars to build those over-ramps to make it easier for drivers to access I-5 north and south; however, it did absolutely nothing to solve the biggest traffic problem in Federal Way, which is the congested traffic flow at the intersection of Highway 18/348th Street and Enchanted Parkway (i.e. the Triangle intersection).
Unlike the other candidates, Mr. Murrietta did his homework because he came up with two “realistic” solutions to solve the problem that have worked in other cities such as Burien.
Finally, The Mirror stated “They (Maloney and Koppang) are hungry to solve Federal Way’s problems while building on what the city is doing right.” That same statement is more than true for Mr. Murrietta. Unlike the other two candidates, he is retiring and has made a commitment to work full time in solving our problems and making this city a better place to live for all its citizens. Additionally, at the candidates forum, he clearly demonstrated he has a better grasp of the city’s problems and is willing to do whatever it takes to find the right solutions.
In summary, there are big differences between Mr. Murrietta and Ms. Maloney/Mr. Koppang, which give the former candidate the edge. Therefore, I urge you to join me in supporting Mr. Murrietta for this very important position. The bottom line is he may be the “underdog,” but he is the best candidate for the position, and someone we desperately need to represent us on the city council.
Gary Robertson, Federal Way