After 12 years serving on the Federal Way City Council, Dini Duclos has stepped down to enjoy her retirement with her partner.
Duclos said she is grateful to the Federal Way community for electing her to help speak up for them.
Overall she has worked as a public servant for the city of Federal Way for 16 years, including her time as CEO of the Multi-Service Center, and she has tried to live up to the trust the citizens have put into her for all those years.
“I am very thankful to the people of Federal Way for electing me for three terms to the council… and for putting their trust in me,” said Duclos, who is the Mirror’s Citizen of the Month for December.
She said she isn’t the type to brag about herself, but she was still very honored and surprised to receive a Key to the City at the Dec. 3 council meeting.
She initially wanted to become a council member because, after serving the city on two separate committees, she thought she could bring some different viewpoints to the council.
“Having been the CEO of the Multi-Service Center I had a different look at things than others, especially about the needs of low-income people.”
Of all her years serving on the council, she said her favorite part was working with all of her fellow council members. She most enjoyed listening to the different thoughts and opinions of her peers and working together to create a resolution for the issues at hand.
“We didn’t always agree, but for the most part we all tried to work together for the best outcome for the people of Federal Way.”
During the Dec. 3 council meeting, Duclos was honored with a plaque for all of her service and with a Key to the City to mark the end of her time as a council member.
“Dini has been a true friend to everyone up here on this dais, a true friend to the city of Federal Way, and to the people of the community,” said Mayor Jim Ferrell before he presented Duclos with the key.
Ferrell said he first met Duclos over 24 years ago, when she appointed him to the board at Multi-Service Center after she became CEO.
He said that the MSC hiring Duclos was the best decision they could have made.
“She will always tell you the truth, and that’s what a good friend does,” he said.
On top of the many successes Duclos has had as a council member, she has also achieved many great things outside her public servant role.
Duclos said that one of her biggest accomplishments during her 12 years as a council member was working as chair of the Finance Committee, FEDRAC, and getting to work alongside Finance Director Ade Ariwoola to do that. In working with him in that role, she was able to ensure the “one-time funding” option became a line item in the city’s annual budget, which is still done to this day.
Duclos also said that she is thankful for the chance to engage with her fellow council members and take time to understand where each person was coming from. This was especially helpful when hard decisions needed to be made.
“It helped us all work together and understand where we were all coming from.”
In 2014, she published her first book, “Danger from Fifty Feet Below,” a book all about her adventures and experiences as a master scuba diver. In an interview with the Mirror in 2014 about her book, she said that scuba diving was her escape from some of the harder realities of her life.
When she was under water, all the stress of being a council member floated away as she did.
Duclos grew up in small rural communities outside of Boston, Massachusetts where she was surrounded by families from Italy, Ireland and Poland. She also lived in Connecticut for a time and moved to Downers Grove, Illinois after her husband at the time got a job in that area.
Duclos holds a Masters Degree in social work and worked as a social worker during her time in Connecticut.