Letters to the Editor

I support Skip Priest for mayor because ... | Election letters

I am supporting Skip Priest for mayor because the city has done pretty well on his watch.

Skip successfully guided us through one of the most economically difficult times in our nation's history with a sure and steady hand. He rolled up his sleeves as the elected CEO of this city and has done the work of the chief administrative officer without incurring the significant costs associated with another level of bureaucracy in a city administrator.  He has the experience, knowledge and confidence to manage the city in a prudent and professional manner.

One by-product of the difficult economic situation is that it was simply not financially feasible to launch a number of new signature projects he could point to and say "I built that" which might be politically beneficial at election time. For those who know him, even if we had built them he would never claim the credit for it because he works in a cooperative and collaborative way with others and knows how to function as a team member sharing credit rather than seeking personal recognition. That is a reflection of mature and effective leadership that can get things done without the ego needs of showing people who is boss. He remains positive in the face of unrelenting negativity and an undercurrent by those who are convinced the city can't do anything right and undermining from others with their own political aspirations.

The theme of "Character Counts" has been inserted this election. One sure sign of character is that Skip has refused to wallow in the gutter slinging mud in spite of a well organized campaign to smear his name, attack his integrity and character and a concerted effort to paint him as an abuser. The Mirror has been part and parcel to that effort by deliberately using inflammatory, incendiary language to paint the worst possible picture of events and promoted widespread regional negative publicity in the process. Hopefully WSP will complete its investigation in a timely and expedited fashion in view of the election and the facts will show this situation to be one that was exploited by political opportunist. However it turns out, a speedy resolution is in everyone's best interest.

The economic future of this community is foremost on everyone's mind. There are no simple solutions and whatever happens is highly dependent on the private sectors willingness to partner and participate. Off the cuff pie in the sky statements about how to build a downtown serves no real purpose if they aren't grounded in reality. There is truth in the old saying "nothing is impossible for the person who doesn't have to do it themselves."

One thing we absolutely don't need is more years and years of bickering over every proposal and doing nothing while vacant lots and abandoned buildings drive the impression and reality of what Federal Way is all about. There were those who were just as adamant about not building the Community Center and Celebration Park but one look today clearly shows what high value they brought to the city.

We can always do better. I believe Skip Priest has been and is committed to always trying to do better. The difference is it's not a campaign slogan for him. It's the daily performance of his duties in a resolute and competent way without being distracted by the arrows flying overhead.

Jerry Vaughn, Federal Way


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