Federal Way public official awards for 2019

The “It’s the Right Thing To Do” Award goes to Mayor Ferrell as he agreed to fly the pride flag.

At the end of each year I retreat from the serious and test the level of political humor of our leading public officials. In December you will recall the “quotes and comments.” In January we have unique awards for the previous year.

The winners don’t actually win anything but the opportunity to enjoy the humor for a moment. And know they are not alone.

The “Odd Couple” Award goes to Federal Way Council members Jesse Johnson and Martin Moore. A Democrat and Republican who jointly sponsored an initiative to help renters that passed.

The “What Party Do You Belong to This Time“ award goes to Martin Moore. Moore used to be a Democrat then switched to being a Republican. Now he is running for the state Legislature as an independent-Republican. Doesn’t that make him a pseudo-Democrat?

The “We Want Accountability” Award goes to two of our legislators, former Rep. Kristine Reeves, supported by Sen. Claire Wilson, who expressed their displeasure to Mayor Jim Ferrell for not starting a culinary program at the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center. The program was the only reason Reeves supported state funding for the PAEC kitchen upgrade. The city has the kitchen but the community still does not have a culinary program two years later.

The “Welcome Back Kotter” Award is a test of your generation memory and goes to Linda Kochmar, who much like the Kotter of yesteryear television fame who returned to teach at his former high school, has returned to the council to share all the knowledge she learned in the state Legislature.

The “I Love the Northwest” Award goes to new Highline College President Dr. John Mosby. A California transplant who has discovered snow, colds and a new language: “What does the Mountain is out mean?” And how do you pronounce “Puyallup” and “Tukwila?”

The “It’s the Right Thing To Do” Award goes to Mayor Ferrell as he agreed to fly the pride flag after the City Council rejected his proposal to box them into making the decision, and delegated the decision to him.

The “You Are Entitled to Your Own Opinion, But You Are Not Entitled to Your own Facts” Award goes to Ferrell, who despite being told orally, and in writing, by the Mirror editor that the facts in my Dec. 20 column were accurate and the Mirror stood by my column, still had his communications person send a letter to the editor with his own opinion of the facts. That’s truly stubborn. The Mirror put an editor’s note above the letter to further make the point.

The “I Dodged a Bullet” Award goes to Mark Koppang who withstood a good challenge from Jamila Taylor to retain his seat on the council.

The “Strangest Council Race I Have Seen” Award goes to Susan Honda and Sharry Edwards. Edwards inaccurately accused Honda of taking bribes in the form of campaign donations, and was then censured by her own political party.

The “The Truth Hurts” Award goes to Chamber of Commerce CEO Becca Martin, who compiled a report expressing the concerns of several members of the business community about the city permit process, which the city then dismissed as statistically insignificant. If the city had listened they might have learned something and avoided recent problems.

The “But the Crime Rate is Down” Award goes to Ferrell, who likes the 2019 statistics. But when the new year started with several murders and armed robberies, fewer residents believe the numbers.

The “The Leadership” Award goes to Federal Way Public Schools Superintendent Tammy Campbell who handled herself in a professional manner in standing up to the mayor’s attacks, when others have been afraid to.

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