“Political story of the year” award goes to women voters and candidates. They produced three Democratic upset victories: Kim Schrier’s election to Congress, Claire Wilson’s and Mona Das’s election to the state Senate. They made the state House, Senate and King County more blue. Candidates in 2019 and 2020 be forewarned. The second-biggest story was Mayor Jim Ferrell’s lack of progress for another winter on providing a permanent homeless shelter in Federal Way for those in need. Five years and counting.
“You made us proud” award goes to our middle and high school students who demonstrated compassion and maturity in their march through downtown, and their school walk out, in solidarity with the students of Parkland after the shootings. They were wonderful learning moments for the students. More elected leaders should have participated.
The “Freshmen of the year” award goes to our two newest council members, Hoang Tran and Jesse Johnson who grew from the wonderment of election to changing the city direction to focus on those in need such as youth and homeless.
The “I found my voice” award goes to council member Martin Moore, who has been known mostly for pandering to Ferrell, and any voters in attendance at City Council meetings. But Moore finally found his own voice and joined other council members in pushing back on Ferrell’s attempt to bully the council on budget priorities.
The “I’m still a prosecutor at heart” award, goes to Ferrell, who despite five years in office still sees the world the same way he did when he was a prosecutor. Cops, guns and arrests are good, while homeless, social change, funding council efforts at youth crime prevention and outside police accountability are not, though some get a committee and photo op.
City staff thought I should add a new award “Most like Colombo”and thought senior mayoral adviser Yarden Weidenfeld would be a good winner as the representative of Peter Falk’s rumpled, but bright detective. Who else would be competitive?
The “I can only sing one note” award goes to council member Dini Duclos who sang “we need more revenue,” no matter what the question was.
The “what have I gotten myself into” award goes to new school board members Luckisha Phillips and Trudy Davis. Although by the end of her first legislative session, new Sen. Claire Wilson might be wondering the same thing. Good luck to all three. It will be a great learning experience.
“Most like President Donald Trump” award goes to Mr. Federal Way’s favorite “Frump,” and two-time winner, Ferrell. But Sen. Mark Miloscia was a contender after some awkward quotes resurfaced during the election.
Council member Lydia Assefa-Dawson, who sometimes gets confused about which political party she belongs to, gets the “Quick thinking” award as she watched another council member attach an amendment to the budget and followed with her own amendment and got $26,000 for housing.
And the award for the “biggest election surprise” goes to Democrat Sen. Mona Das in defeating Republican Sen. Joe Fain. Fain was a very good legislator, but may have paid the price for an environment created by Trump’s views on women.
The “We support open government award”, goes to Miloscia and House members Reps. Kristine Reeves and Mike Pellicciotti who all voted for more transparency in public records.
Miloscia, Reeves and Pellicciotti also get the “we brought home the bacon” award for schools, the Chamber of Commerce and the city! Although Ferrell forgot that legislators like the money they work hard to provide to be spent in their Federal Way district, not Burien.Oops!
Which gets Ferrell the award for “What legislative district is Federal Way in?” With that honor, he also gets a map of legislative districts to carry around as a reminder.
Serving in public office is not easy. Time away from your family, difficult “no win”votes, low pay and in partisan positions, special interests with deep wallets, and then those pesky reporters and columnists. Thank you for your service to former state Rep. and school board member Carol Gregory, and to the family of school board member Mildred Ollie who passed away recently.
Also, thanks to outgoing Sen. Miloscia, and even though they didn’t represent Federal Way, thanks go to state Sen. Fain, Rep. Mark Hargrove, Rep. Judy Clibborn and Congressman Dave Reichert who worked on issues of importance to us. Lastly, Deputy County Executive Fred Jarrett whose legacy is that the suburbs concerns were heard in the executive’s office and a new department on local service has been implemented for unincorporated King County. That’s a lot of talent to lose. Others will have to step up to the challenge.
Have a great 2019 and thanks for reading.
Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.