Bob Roegner brings up interesting points about Mayor Skip Priest’s managerial responsibilities regarding Branches Garden Center.
I was originally most impressed with mayor’s first few weeks in office. He hired a few talented people (from the outside) to organize things and set the stage for the way our city will be managed.
Unfortunately, I was extremely disappointed in the “side-stepping” manner in which the Branches Garden Center issue was handled. The near closure of this business was sad to us as longtime customers. South King Fire and Rescue alleged that Branches’ garden roof was now a fire hazard. Wow — the same Branches garden roof has been there for a number of years, even before the new owners of Branches took over. Why pick on them now?
Further, why is this type of roof currently used by other nursery and garden centers in our area? The city made it a big deal to close the business. Yes, they continued to use the same non-business tactics with the same Federal Way compliance officers.
We questioned why our city really wanted to put Branches out of business. It didn’t seem fair to close or run off another successful Federal Way business. Fortunately, after several months of news reports and outside input, the mayor (with a great deal of “toe tapping”) worked out a compromise deal. Branches owners will replace their extremely expensive roof over the next two years.
The question remains: Is this really what the citizens of Federal Way voted for in a strong mayor? Will we continue to see the same old city non-business game playing? Can Priest really make better business decisions going forward?
Neil Corbin, Federal Way