Who would have been Federal Way’s elected mayor?

By Bob Roegner, Inside Politics

  • Friday, June 13, 2008 7:58pm
  • Opinion

By Bob Roegner, Inside Politics

If we had voted to change Federal Way’s form of government last February, we would be asking publicly a question that was repeatedly asked quietly behind the scenes:

Who would have run for mayor?

The position would have been up for election this fall for a three-year term. The three-year term would place the position on the local election cycle so it would be up for election again in 2011 with city council seats.

The election campaign would have been put together on very short notice, effectively Feb. 20, so name familiarity and the ability to raise money would be huge.

So, who would have run? What names did I hear? Who were people speculating about?

First, let me say most of the folks did not specifically say they would run, although some were certainly considering it based on several scenarios. Others might actually be surprised to learn that voters were musing about their possible candidacy more than they were.

Two of the most logical and prominent names I heard were Superintendent of Schools Tom Murphy and Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Pierson. Besides their first names, they also have another similarity. Neither one lives here.

Pierson lives in Milton, a couple of minutes away. And through a quirk of fate when I was mayor of Auburn, the future growth lines were drawn so that Murphy actually lives in Auburn.

Sorry about that, Tom. If I had just known then what I know now. Oh well. So, the two Toms are out.

Three other names mentioned were State Sen. Tracey Eide (D), and state representatives Skip Priest (R) and Mark Miloscia (D). I never thought Eide would have been interested, but Priest and Miloscia would have had to give it serious thought. Besides, Priest previously served on the council and as mayor, and knows City Hall inside out.

Logic tells us to also look at the city council members. Jeanne Burbidge, Eric Faison and Jack Dovey probably would not be interested, but certainly would have weighed the pros and cons. Dini Duclos is a new council member and previously said she would not be interested. Jim Ferrell would have been a definite yes, with Linda Kochmar a strong possibility.

I could be wrong, but I think Mike Park would have had a hard time passing up the opportunity, although he may have been willing to defer to another candidate he liked and respected.

Other names that people speculated about were Mary or Bill Gates. Both are well known and respected. That would be a great dinner discussion.

Former school board president and current municipal court judge Dave Larson, former assistant city manager Derek Matheson, current city manager Neal Beets, Hope Elder, Bob Roegner and county councilman Pete von Reichbauer were other names mentioned throughout the community.

Most likely to run would be Jim Ferrell, Mark Miloscia, Skip Priest, Michael Park and Linda Kochmar.

Who would have won? It would depend on many variables. Important factors include who could raise the money, recruit the volunteers and commit the time.

While I think the citizens of Federal Way made the best choice in staying with the council-manager form of government, that line of candidates almost gets my political juices flowing again. Wow, would that have been fun to write about!

Oh well, idle speculation is almost as much fun. Besides, if Tom Murphy had decided to move inside the city limits, nobody else would have run, and that would be boring.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner, a former mayor of Auburn, can be reached at bjroegner@comcast.net.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Opinion

Opinion: Public deserves honest information on sex education

The Washington comprehensive sex education bill passed in the Senate on March 7.

Grocery store staff are working hard to keep the shelves stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic. File photo
Thank you grocery store clerks

Recognizing the sacrifices of our unsung essential workforce.

Federal Way trapped in a ‘Catch 22’

We are mediocre in a region that is rapidly becoming global, educated and economically relevant. We have a mountain to climb.

State of the City

Elections are next year, and with the high profile marketing for the event, the speech always sounds more like a “please vote for me” campaign kick-off.

Welcome to Olympia Mr. Johnson

Sometimes making a law isn’t pretty, and by the time everybody weighs in, that great idea may look completely different.

Mirror’s role in vetting Federal Way Council candidates

The Mirror conducted a background check on all 19 candidates who applied for the Pos. 2 vacancy.

19 want to join Federal Way City Council

The six remaining council members will decide who the new council member will be, and politics will play a role.

South King Fire and Rescue needs to think of public transparency

The “old boy’s club” that is our fire department doesn’t appear all that interested in having the taxpayers, who pay the bill, actually understand what is going.

Exploring Federal Way as a new frontier

Overcoming Federal Way’s general apathy toward exploring itself as a new frontier is essential for shedding the effects of being a hollowed-out corporate company town.

Short legislative session turns left

With a progressive agenda including comprehensive sex education, clean fuel standards and gun violence, Democrats will need to be cautious about overreach.

New state legislator reflects on Federal Way service

“My office and email address may have changed, but my values haven’t.”

Mayor’s style divides Federal Way community

Ferrell’s pattern of behavior is dividing the community in such a negative manner he needs to rethink his entire style if he hopes to be an effective leader.