Does Federal Way really work without an elected mayor? | Letter to the editor

Recently, the Federal Way Police Guild endorsed Proposition 1 (vote to elect a mayor), which will be on the November ballot.

In response to this endorsement, supporters of the group Federal Way Works have seen fit to disparage the endorsement as a political issue. Rather than seeing this endorsement as showing that something may be wrong with the current form of government, the group wants to make it appear that this is all political grandstanding and allude to the possibility that those who support Proposition 1 would give out political favors, rather than see to Federal Way’s actual needs.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Those who support ACT (Accountability Comes to Town) want to see a better functioning and running Federal Way that all its citizens can be proud of, and that when they do have issues that need addressing, they’ll have someone to go to in order to address those issues. This is how I see the endorsement by the police guild of Proposition 1. If the guild believed “Federal Way Works,” they wouldn’t have endorsed ACT’s proposition. If “Federal Way Works,” why wouldn’t the biggest group of employees within the city government believe as much? The reason is: Because the current form of government doesn’t serve the needs of Federal Way.

Furthermore, talk of insulating the chief executive of our city doesn’t allow for the type of transparency ACT is seeking. Such talk is more about making sure those who support the current form of government are able to get what they want, rather than what Federal Way needs. The opposition to Proposition 1 would have people believe that insulating the chief executive would allow for better policy to be made; however, how does that work exactly? Jerry Vaughn in his Sept. 26 article completely neglects the fact that as the current form of government stands, the city manager and the council members can hide behind excuses for not getting things done. The city manager, on one hand, can state he/she is only following the council’s direction; whereas, the council can stand back and state they’re just following the city manager’s recommendations. It truly baffles the mind how anyone thinks such a form of government works effectively for its citizens. An elected mayor wouldn’t be able to hide behind such shenanigans.

At the Sept. 15 city council meeting, those in opposition to Proposition 1 loudly proclaimed that having a city manager was the best possible form of government because they believe it allows for professionally trained individuals, who supposedly know how to run a city, to effectively manage. In fact, the opposition basically stated that no one within Federal Way was capable of running our government because for some reason, the opposition believes we’re too diverse a city to allow someone “untrained” to run it. Of course, this logical fallacy can be shown for what it is, given that many of the surrounding cities currently have elected mayors.

The opposition does have one thing right: Federal Way needs to work.

Barry Morrison, Federal Way