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Mayor Priest is the right person for the job | Election letters
In Bob Roegner’s column, "Mayor racks up mixed record,” he pointed out that Mayor Priest is our first elected mayor. He also gives credit to the fact that in one of our country’s worst financial crises, Mayor Priest was able to balance our city’s budget and keep our city solvent, where other cities and mayors failed.
This, in itself is quite an accomplishment, but particularly so, as every step he took was uncharted; he was after all Federal Way’s very first elected mayor. The fact that he had the ability to work with employees in making difficult city budget cuts reflects the strength of his leadership skills.
The issue with the police guild over health benefits is an interesting one. In a Mirror article of Nov. 2, 2011, the paper reported that the police guild rejected a new health plan that would have saved the city $619,000. While the rest of the city employees accepted the new plan and saved $300,000, the guild's decision, at a very critical time, cost the city $319,000. More recently, the guild has agreed to accept the plan. I will always wonder what was behind the guild’s decision. It does, however, make more sense as to why the mayor could not maintain or increase the number of police during that uncertain economic time.
Mr. Roegner also makes the point that under Mayor Priest’s leadership, we have lost businesses, but he also did agree that we have gained some. We did lose Orion Industries that paid minimum wages to most employees. However, we gained DaVita, a fortune 500 company, which provides 400 living wage jobs.
Mayor Priest's record may be mixed, but it appears that he was and likely still is, the right person for the job.
Ann Marie Clarke, Federal Way