Letters to the Editor

Elected mayor debate might get ugly | Federal Way letters

Well, that didn't take long, did it? It was only just announced that the option to change the Federal Way council/manager form of government to a strong mayor/council form has been placed on the November election ballot. And, already, the subterranean residue of activists against Federal Way voters' efforts to elect a people representative or strong mayor form of government are, apparently, burning up the e-mail medium with their decision to get "ugly."

Who could possibly forget the total comfort with which their ugly assessment of we, the Federal Way voters, was so casually printed in the Tacoma News Tribune by their spokesperson, Barbara Reid. That was, "if allowed to vote, we would probably elect a sixth-grade dropout who couldn't balance a checkbook." And these people represent us?

I first want to commend my friend, city council member Jim Ferrell, who has immediately stepped in to lead the group, ACT (Accountability Comes to Town) and assured us if this measure passes, he will also run for the position of strong mayor. Rest assured, the ugliness will be directed at him personally as personal attacks are their method of operation, and that's the one thing we don't need is coy, smugly crafted statements for political positioning.

Instead of personal attack arrows directed at his character, Jim should be complemented for his candor as that has been woefully and, in some instances, shamefully missing in our current form of government of late. We need to demand candor from all those we elect. I have known Jim Ferrell for seven years and know him to be of the highest moral integrity, character and courage. He always speaks on behalf of the people he represents, but is constantly out numbered by those who think we voters would elect a sixth-grade dropout.

Contrary to ugly, personal attacks, instead, in the next few months, I would respectfully ask you to please listen to my friend Jim as he addresses the issues pertaining to why we need a strong mayor in our community. Four people, the tight little majority on the council, is just not enough to appoint a mayor which, seemingly, in its current state, is nothing more than a popularity plum passed back and forth between themselves in a sad little quid pro quo dance. That translates to "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."

But, as if we needed one, the crown jewel in our list of reasons for changing from a council/manager type of government to that of a council/independent strong mayor that will answer to the people form of leadership, the first, foremost and most telling endorser of the ACT movement is none other than the current mayor in Federal Way, Jack Dovey. How validating is that! Hmmm. I wonder what he knows that we don't?

Clara McArthur, Federal Way

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