Letters to the Editor

Eric Faison's leadership will be missed | Federal Way letters

When Deputy Mayor Eric Faison was appointed to the city council in 2001 to fill a vacant position, few really knew the level of scholarship, sagacity and experience he would bring to the job. Actually, he has been serving city residents since 1998, when he was on the Planning Commission. He was elected to the Federal Way City Council in 2001 and again in 2005.

He is currently on the council’s Finance, Economic Development and Regional Affairs Committee (FEDRAC). He represents Federal Way regionally on the county’s Growth Management Planning Council and three committees of the Association of Washington Cities (Housing Policy Advisory Group, Resolutions and Legislative). He has also been active with the Puget Sound Regional Council.

What these facts don’t reveal by themselves is Faison’s calm and thoughtful deliberation before he makes a decision. His incisive questioning during presentations to the city council precedes his carefully articulated decisions.

He had a vision about long-term growth and development in our city that often called for thinking outside the box. Like a turtle who gets ahead by sticking his neck out, Faison initiated the City Center Access Project. It would have given Federal Way a second cross-city road along S. 312th Street from the western edge of the city that would connect with I-5 and relieve pressure on S. 320th Street. Ultimately, it would make a connection down to Auburn in the valley.

Visionaries look for the best solution to a problem, one that might not have been considered before. Unfortunately, their ideas are frequently scuttled by reality. And that’s what happened to the City Center Access Project. Faison’s vision was scuttled by the highly negative citizen reaction to the project because of its impact on Steel Lake Park, increased neighborhood traffic on inadequate roads and a lack of short-term or long-range funding at any government level. Nevertheless, city staff and residents learned a great deal about the complexities of long-term transportation planning from the six-year involvement with project.

He will be leaving the city council at the end of December. I wish him well in all his future ventures. I thank him for his efforts on behalf of our city and the people of Federal Way.

H. David Kaplan, Federal Way

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