Five years doesn’t seem like a long time? Through the forbearance of three different publishers, one hearty editor, several patient Mirror staffers and, of course, you as readers, I have been writing this column for that long.
The time has gone quickly. In retrospect, many things have changed and others simply recycle.
The Sonics left the region, but the manner of their departure was bigger news then their actual leaving. The Huskies basketball team easily replaced them. The Huskies football team’s ineptitude has been replaced by a winning season and a bowl game victory — almost returning to past glory.
We had a Republican president with a Democratic Congress and we seemed surprised that they frequently disagreed. So in our wisdom to improve things, we elected a Democratic president and a Republican House of Representatives. That doesn’t seem to be working out quite the way we anticipated either.
Seattle is on its third superintendent of schools and maybe looking for a fourth. Federal Way just replaced one longtime superintendent in Tom Murphy with one in Rob Neu, who looks like he has the skills to be around equally as long. Seattle’s impatience also surfaced in City Hall as the voters dismissed a good mayor in Greg Nickels for a neophyte in Mike McGinn, who will have to turn things around quickly if he doesn’t want to join the superintendents on the “former” list.
Federal Way has changed as well. We hired a new city manager only to fire him because it wasn’t a “good fit.” Shouldn’t that have been figured out during the interview process?
We voted against changing our form of government, then we voted for it. Good move? The jury is still out.
The Federal Way City Council thought it would be a good idea to have elected judges rather than appointed judges. The implementation was just a bit rocky.
Five years ago, improving Federal Way’s downtown was a priority to all the candidates, particularly after seeing Kent Station. It still is. Will it still be a campaign issue five years from now or will we finally “see” the downtown we want? We built a beautiful new Community Center. But we didn’t put it downtown. Of course we didn’t put City Hall, the police department or the court downtown, either.
Ron Sims was King County Executive, but he headed off to the other Washington. He’s back now. Dow Constantine is the executive and at some point in the future may be governor.
The Federal Way School Board was controversial, but has mostly settled down. Will it last?
Pluto lost its status as a planet. You may have missed that one.
I wrote a tongue-in-cheek story about toll roads in Indiana, and now they are here.
Five years ago, we were arguing about the viaduct. We still are.
The economy was hot then, and the Legislature was adding teachers and talking about how important K-12 and college were to our children’s future. Now the economy is anything but hot, and they are laying off teachers and cutting educational funding.
Five years ago, King County government was partisan. But we voted to take the Democratic and Republican labels away because we thought that would increase cooperation. Has it? If you’re confused about the answer, it’s no.
Many of you have gone through job changes and personal challenges in the past five years. So have I.
But I still get on that stupid treadmill every morning and have improved from 3 mph to 3.75 mph and elevation from 7.0 to 9.5. So that’s better. But I still don’t like it. So that’s the same.
Apparently praying only goes so far, as I still can’t seem to get my golf handicap below 12, unless I’m the one keeping score.
And I still occasionally rewrite a sentence if I think FUSION founder Peggy LaPorte might shake her finger at me for being too hard on one of our elected officials.
Some things change for the better and somethings don’t change at all. Five years from now, let’s hope everything is better. Thanks for the emails and comments — even the ones I don’t share with my mother. More important, thanks for reading.