Politicians are just like the rest of us; sometimes they say and do things they should have thought about more carefully. President Donald Trump has become his own cottage industry and is keeping late-night comedians employed.
Here’s an example: Trump said, “Bill O’Reilly’s a really good person,” upon hearing that O’Reilly had settled a lawsuit filed by several women who had accused him of sexual harassment. At the same time Trump was proclaiming “National Sexual Harassment Awareness and Prevention Week.”
On a more somber note, a byproduct of Trump’s immigration order regarding Muslims is that the stock in the Tacoma Tide Flats Detention Center went up. Other politicians were noting the 75th anniversary of the internment of Japanese-American citizens.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was photographed by a television station with his family on a beach that he had ordered closed to the public due to a budget battle with the legislature. When the press asked if Christie got any sun, his staff said, “He didn’t get any sun. He had a baseball hat on.” Humor didn’t stop Christie’s approval rating from dropping.
Our local officials joined the trend at the annual Mayor-Council retreat.
Apparently expressing his frustration with Federal Way’s image, Councilman Martin Moore said, “When I’m driving, I hear about Auburn on the radio. Why don’t I hear about Federal Way?” Ah, because commercials cost money, and the last time Federal Way got free publicity as a big news maker, it was about a fish warehouse, and nobody liked it.
And speaking of our image, some don’t like that we are occasionally called “Felony Way.” But City Hall’s announcement about our gang problems may not have been the best way to correct that misconception.
And in addressing Community Development Director Brian Davis, Moore said, “Housing is important, Brian. I’m sure you know that already. It is one way to prevent homelessness.” Why hasn’t anyone else figured that out?
And Councilman Bob Celski, in attempting to thank the parks staff for a good meeting said, “The food was as good as Denny’s.” Sue, his wife, needs to take him out more often.
During a discussion about city attempts to obtain grants to help purchase some Weyerhaeuser property for conservation, it was learned that Tom Messmer, on behalf of IRG, was refusing to sell as he was annoyed with city officials. To which Councilwoman Lydia Assefa-Dawson asked, “Can someone refuse to sell to a buyer?”
Mayor Jim Ferrell has made much of his efforts to attract new business. Some critics, hoping for higher family-wage jobs, have expressed dismay over the number of hamburger stands that have sprung up on Ferrell’s watch. On a night when the council meeting’s big story was to be a report from the Violence Prevention Committee, Ferrell gave more emphasis to his hosting representatives of Dick’s Drive-In, a Seattle hamburger stand, and their search for a South King County location. Now it looks like the mayor will have to sharpen his sales pitch. When interviewed by KOMO, Dick’s Vice President Jasmine Donavan said, “We have been to Renton, Burien, Tukwila, Des Moines, Kent … I think that’s all of them.” If only we were memorable!
You can tell it’s an election year. Ferrell said, “We are blessed to have the Mirror newspaper. They keep an eye on our government.” Quite an upgrade from Ferrell’s former Chief of Staff Brian Wilson who refused to answer questions from the Mirror’s kindly old Mr. Federal Way and who publicly attacked former Federal Way Mirror columnist Matthew Jarvis for daring to state his own opinion. Wilson wasn’t much for feeling “blessed” or others’ opinions.
Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former Auburn mayor and retired public official. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.