Letters to the Editor

Skip Priest and character | Election letters

Dave McKenzie wrote the other day saying we need “bottom lines” to assess the race for mayor. I agree. Mr. McKenzie was promoting Jim Ferrell and listed his accomplishments and awards as proof that his character better enables him to lead our city.

I believe Skip Priest is the best person for the job. As board president of Friends of the Hylebos, I worked with Skip and got to know him well. Mr. McKenzie is right that you can learn about character based on a person’s accomplishments and awards, and I offer a list of Skip’s for a closer look at his civic concerns.

Active community service shows a person’s willingness to put his time where his mouth is and indicates his depth of caring for the place he or she lives. Since moving to Federal Way in the 1980s, Skip has served on the boards and advisory committees of the Multi-Service Center, Advancing Leadership, St. Francis Hospital/Franciscan Fellowship, Federal Way Kiwanis, Federal Way Communities in Schools, Friends of the Hylebos, and the Federal Way Schools Construction Oversight Committee.

His service was not passive; he has raised money, personally volunteered at events, worked in booths serving food and helped clean up afterward as recently as last Saturday night at an Advancing Leadership dinner.

Skip served the community as a Federal Way City Council member for several years and went on to represent us in the state House for four terms. He was a leader in the Legislature and served on the Education and Ways and Means committees.

He authored and co-authored several bills, but two stand out. First, he served on the Boeing Task Force that authored the legislation that kept Boeing and its jobs in the state in 2003. Skip and Senate Majority Leader Pat Sullivan were the primary authors of the Education Finance Reform Act of 2009, and Sullivan endorses Skip as mayor. He also served on several governor-initiated task forces on education.

Fuse, a state organization that honors people who “create change on issues that matter,” gave Skip a Sizzle Award in 2008: “For working across the aisle, Rep. Priest is a leader in his caucus and has worked with Democrats to generate bipartisan support on conservation, child care and affordable housing.”

Skip has a history of leadership and working with people to accomplish important goals. His numerous awards offer strong support of this and include: “Education Champion” Award by the League of Education Voters; Recognition of Dedication and Support by the Public School Employees in 2007; Legislator of the Year Award by the Wash. Assoc. of Career and Technical Education in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009, a Distinguished Service Award by them in 2008 and a Lifetime Achievement Award by them in 2010; a Superstar Award by the Washington State Skills Center in 2007; a Recognition of Dedication and Commitment to People with Development Disabilities Award by Arc of King County in 2007; a Guardian of Small Business Award by the National Federation of Small Business; a Recognition of Support of Low Income Individuals and Families Award by Washington State community Action Partnership in 2006, a Making a Difference Award by the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network in 2006; a Friends of Children Award by the Washington State PTA in 2010; a Champion of Children Award by the Children’s Alliance of Washington in 2009; an “Environmental Champion” award in 2005-6, 2007-8, 2009-10 by Washington Conservation Voters, a “Golden Hip Boot” Award in 2008 by Friends of the Hylebos, “Outstanding” ratings by the Municipal League in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013; and finally he was voted “Best City Leader” by readers of The Mirror in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Skip also has extensive business experience with major corporations and small business. For more on his experience, background, and endorsements, I recommend going to his website at http://www.skippriest.org and click on resume and endorsements.

Not to mention that Skip Priest is our first elected “strong mayor” and has pulled the City of Federal Way through some very difficult economic times without sacrificing important and valuable city services.

The bottom line, as Mr. McKenzie puts it, is few people work as tirelessly or well on behalf of this community as Skip Priest. Please join me in voting for him as mayor of our city.

Margery Godfrey, Federal Way


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