It has been my privilege to write the “Inside Politics” column for the past 15 years.
I was in Auburn recently — where the voters had elected me mayor three times — to have work done on my car. The staffperson helping me had no idea I had been mayor. But she recognized the photo that often goes in the Auburn Reporter — along with the Kent Reporter and Federal Way Mirror — that was sitting on a coffee table for customers to read.
I also served as chair of the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) when I was mayor and two five-year terms on the Highline College Board of Trustees. In each location, I felt like I was surrounded by family.
Working for Sound Publishing has had the same feel. It probably started with former Federal Way Mirror Publisher Rudi Alcott. I remember when the Mirror was on the first floor of the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce building, and Rudi and I both served on the board of the chamber.
I miss former Mirror editor Carrie Rodriguez, who is now teaching at Auburn Riverside High School. Some of my favorites over the years at Sound Publishing have been memorable, such as Olivia Sullivan, who is now assistant editor of the Mirror, and former reporter Haley Donwerth, who ended up teaching in Spain. Another favorite has always been the Mirror’s multimedia sales manager Cindy Ducich, who could sell snow to Alaska. Local columnist Robert Whale writes some of the more entertaining and off-beat material. Current editor Andy Hobbs has to put together at least six different Sound Publishing papers every week including those for Federal Way, Kent, Auburn and soon Renton. Always enjoyed the political banter. Another favorite was former creative artist Marcie Shannon because I liked her humor. Carol Greiling, the current advertising director, was always fun, as was Marie Skoor, multimedia sales manager.
Are there stories I should have gotten to? Of course! I usually got reasonable questions and if I could, I would explain the reason I took the opinion I did. But I won’t miss those readers who would just want to be disagreeable. I had to explain on several occasions that I wasn’t a reporter. I was only a political columnist with too much time on his hands. Being a reporter actually takes talent.
For the past 15 years, the intent of this column was to improve everyone’s understanding of politics and how things really work by giving them a ringside seat. Thanks for the memories.
Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.