Letters to the Editor

Skip Priest and the Big Toy | Election letters

Skip Priest has always had long-term vision for city projects. A case in point is the Big Toy placed in the children’s playground near the lower soccer fields of Celebration Park.

He was the “go-to” person who set up a meeting with Kompan in Olympia. The undersigned had a rough idea of how much money we would be able to raise by selling sponsored banners to line the Celebration Park entrance road from 2001 to 2004.

At first, we found that all of Kompan’s existing Big Toys cost more than we would raise. Then it was suggested that perhaps a newly created unit could be field-tested in Federal Way. Fortunately, our timing was perfect, because Kompan had just completed a brand new unit and was looking for a location to place it.

The unit was untried by users. Difficulty of assembly had not been tested. Kompan agreed to place the newly conceived Big Toy at Celebration Park. Since there were so many unknowns Kompan agreed to sell the Big Toy to Federal Way a bit above cost, with Kompan absorbing the delivery, assembly and installation costs. Skip’s negotiating skills made this all a reality.

The Big Toy is still in use. If you want to see what some of the banners looked like, go down the hall of the Community Center towards the basketball/track room. Sample banners hang overhead. And a plaque on the wall commemorates the individuals, companies and organizations that made the project succeed. But the plaque doesn’t have Skip Priest’s name on it, at his request. We feel he should be properly recognized and thanked again for his crucial role in this project that will benefit our children for many years to come.

Skip’s creative thinking, vision and “can do” spirit are essential ingredients of Skip’s leadership. We support the re-election of Skip Priest as Mayor of Federal Way.

Barbara Reid, Bob Kellogg and H. David Kaplan, Federal Way

 

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