Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.

A closer look at the Federal Way City Council finalists | Roegner

List of candidates has been narrowed from 24 to 5.

The Federal Way City Council will select a new council member to replace former council member Mark Koppang next week from a list of five finalists.

The council recently trimmed the list of candidates from 24 to 5 after an evening of interviews. The residents not chosen for the final group were a good reminder of the diverse nature of our community and of all the people who live here and count on the city for services. They were young and old, male and female, conservative and liberal.

Some had disabilities, others had been homeless. Others were thinking of civic duty. These were real people and they represented the very fabric that is Federal Way. They were a fascinating group to listen to, and they should think about continuing their interest in city government, as each has experience that would add to the council.

Each of the five finalists has something unique to offer as well, but it is different with each one. The most well known finalist is Jack Dovey. He served on the city council for 14 years and was mayor in the former council-manager form of government several years ago. Dovey has run for the Legislature as a Republican and may be the most knowledgable finalist about city government. He is from the private sector and wants a sustainable budget and “sensible city services,” although “sensible” could mean different things to different people.

The remaining four are a contrast to Dovey’s council experience, as none appear to have served on a city board or commission, but have valuable experience in other areas, offer a fresh perspective, and reflect Federal Way’s future.

Mehdi Sadri used to work for Federal Way in technology and is now information technology director at the city of Renton. He would be helpful to the council by providing insight into a difficult field as the city explores its technical future. Sadri has a degree in political science and a master’s in business analytics. He believes the city has good infrastructure in roads, traffic control and utilities, but is curious where downtown is going. Will it become pedestrian oriented around light rail, or will the light rail bring more traffic?

Renae Seam worked at Microsoft’s “Center for Intelligence” and currently works for Boeing Employees Credit Union as a risk manager. She puts citizen trust and safety first and would like to see the city expand its medical research areas. Seam has a master’s degree in business analytics and will look out for the “best interests of the residents.” She is a volunteer tutor and is supportive of building relationships between residents and police.

Jimmy Brown is an education consultant . He wants more diverse economic development that will appeal to younger residents. He wants to decrease crime and develop youth-centered opportunities, along with a focus on small business.

Leandra Craft is a deputy prosecutor for King County and serves on the board of Filipino Lawyers of Washington. In addition to her law degree, she has a degree in political science, and she supports the Federal Way Youth Commission. She believes that transit oriented development around the Sound Transit hub will help downtown. Craft would like to see the Day Center closer to downtown and wants to look for creative responses to crime and homelessness, such as increased community based social services.

Given the conservative nature of the council, Dovey is likely the front-runner. But there is a lot brain power in the final group and it is easy to understand why all made the finals.

Dovey has the most city experience and would need the least training. As noted earlier, Dovey’s city experience stands in contrast to the other finalists who have little or no city board or commission experience. According to their applications, five candidates who did not make the finals have experience on city boards or commissions, which is usually good training for the city council.

Some curious council observers have wondered if that was done by design to help Dovey secure the appointment as the most qualified? If that is not the reasoning, then the other finalists present a great opportunity for inclusion of unrepresented cultures, and to start the process of training the next generation of community leaders as a council member.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Opinion

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Local and county election forecast for 2021 | Roegner

With Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announcing she is not running for re-election,… Continue reading

Keith Livingston is a longtime Federal Way resident and community observer. He can be reached at keithlivingstondesign@gmail.com.
Key to reconnecting community amid the pandemic | Livingston

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis of 2020 is a change opportunity as well… Continue reading

Keith Livingston is a longtime Federal Way resident and community observer. He can be reached at keithlivingstondesign@gmail.com.
Let the 2021 political games begin | Livingston

The Legislature is in session starting Jan. 11. Let the 2021 political… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Local cities have progressive legislative agendas | Roegner

There are 281 cities that belong to the Association of Washington Cities… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
A legislative session like no other we’ve seen | Roegner

In even numbered years such as 2020, the legislative session is only… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Public officials say and do the darndest things | Roegner

As Will Rogers used to say, “I only know what I read… Continue reading

Courtesy photo
A Christmas card that was lost in the clutter | Guest column

While clearing out and boxing up my parents’ home recently, I discovered… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He recently retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Wind turbine blades become key ingredient in cement | Brunell

Would you believe in the future when a cement truck shows up… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Election reflections on mail-in voting | Roegner

Even though all the election results showed him losing, President Donald Trump… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Local governments to add racial equity staff | Roegner

The 1960s were about Black people getting the right to vote, and… Continue reading

Keith Livingston is a longtime Federal Way resident and community observer. He can be reached at keithlivingstondesign@gmail.com.
Let 2021 be a fresh start with kindness | Livingston

2020 has changed America as our country and the world at large… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He recently retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
E-waste reduction requires innovative approaches | Brunell

One of the biggest challenges of the 21st century is dealing with… Continue reading