There has been much talk recently about the proposed Performing Arts and Conference Center (PACC).
A large, beautiful convention center, performance hall and multi-use facility built to compliment a lovely central city park and meeting place could be a tremendous blessing for the city — a "cherry on the top" of a very solid, booming, financial base here in Federal Way.
The PACC would provide exceptional space for a large variety of events. Touring companies, school activities, tech classes, plays, choral, band and orchestra competitions and performances, major speakers, lecturers, political events, hobby shows, travel programs, celebrations, fundraisers, concerts, ethnic festivals, bridge competitions, body building and fitness competitions with sports vendors could all be a part of it.
The mayor speaks with urgency about the need for business and economic development in our downtown core. He points out that our police force and other vital city functions are funded with business taxes. Property taxes alone cannot support them. As city council members have stated, there is a great need for a solid economic plan for Federal Way to get business booming and the funds coming in for the benefit of everyone. They see the PACC as a potentially important part of that.
When representatives of the Freedom Foundation met with our mayor and city council members recently (Diana Noble-Gulliford, Jeanne Burbidge, Susan Honda and Kelly Maloney, and a special meeting with candidate Mark Koppang and others) they reported that we have one of the best city councils in the state. They admonished us to appreciate the honesty, fiscal responsibility and balanced budget to date. They urged great care in PACC funding and lauded our council's decision to support the PACC with appropriate grants and private funds while refusing a city bond to pay for it — a unique and exceptional approach in the state.
Building our financial base first with free or reduced business permits, proper zoning and incentives to encourage new businesses should be our top priority. With a solid financial base, and a clear focus on free market job creation, public safety, crime prevention and much-needed basic city maintenance, we can safely consider moving ahead on tremendous projects like the PACC — from a more privately funded and operated, solid perspective. With these essentials, free from extra government controls and/or debt, and with citizens and businesses working together, nothing can hold us back.
Patricia Conant, Federal Way