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SAFER PARKS | Police rev up safety patrols at city’s parks and trails [2]

VOL. 10, NO. 166




OPINION | Walter Backstrom: Republicans give conservatives a bad name [6] Tito Hinojos: Heed the words of Chavez [8]


BLAME THE FURNITURE | Valhalla Elementary delays start of school [3] ARTS | Local artist wins awards, and a hip-hop artist makes a video [12] SPORTS | Prep golf, soccer and football seasons kick off in Federal Way [14]

COMMUNITY CALENDAR | Upcoming events and happenings [10]

City predicts pain if Eyman’s I-1033 passes

Federal Way City Council member Jim Ferrell, left, and political consultant Steve McNey, shown at an office that was donated for a campaign to change Federal Way’s form of government. The unmarked office is on Pacific Highway South near South 324th Street.


ANDY HOBBS, Federal Way Mirror

Jim Ferrell’s Florida connection Council member leads campaign to change form of government BY ANDY HOBBS

Federal Way City Council member Jim Ferrell hired a political consultant and set up an office, determined to change the city’s government.

In November, voters will decide whether Federal Way should have an elected mayor instead of a city manager to conduct day-to-day business. If the measure passes, Ferrell said he will attempt to become Federal Way’s first elected mayor. The initiative was first rejected by about 55 percent of voters in February 2008. This year, Federal Way resident Roy Parke and his organization Accountability Comes to Town (ACT) led another signature drive to

send the measure before voters again. On Aug. 26, Ferrell opened an unmarked campaign office on Pacific Highway South, just south of 324th Street, across the road from Sparks Car Care. The single-room office was donated to ACT’s campaign by Wendal Kuecker, who owns the building. “He needed an office, I think Federal Way needs a change, so it worked,” said Kuecker, a Federal Way [ more CAMPAIGN page 5 ]

In a unanimous vote, the city council opposed Initiative 1033, saying it will do more harm than good in Federal Way. The measure — known for its attempts to lower property taxes and limit government revenues — was discussed during a public hearing Sept. 1. Mayor Jack Dovey was absent. Representatives from both sides of the measure were invited to participate and speak their views. “This really hurts cities like ours that have been proactive and conservative,” council member Dini Duclos said. The Washington State Office of Financial Management estimates that I-1033, if passed by voters in November, will reduce the state’s general fund by $5.9 billion, the counties’ general funds by $694 million and cities’ general funds by $2.1

billion by 2015, said Bryant Enge, City of Federal Way financial services administrator. The initiative is expected to increase Federal Way’s projected $15 million general fund deficit in 2015 to $17.3 million, Enge said. It will also limit the city’s ability to respond to emergencies, emerging issues and opportunities, he said.

The initiative I-1033 is co-sponsored by Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan and Mike Fagan. The three promise to lower property taxes and limit state, counties’ and cities’ abilities to spend wildly by putting restrictions on the amount of revenue directed to each entity’s general fund. It strikes balance between governments’ and citizens’ needs, Eyman said. [ more INITIATIVE page 4 ]

Schools sidestep permission policy with Obama’s webcast BY KYRA LOW

In January, students in Federal Way schools weren’t allowed to watch the inauguration of President Barack Obama without a permission slip. But all students will be able to watch Tuesday’s speech by President Obama — sans

permission slips. The district has taken another look at its policy, which requires a parental permission slip for all video or TV viewing in a classroom, and has decided that a webcast does not require parental permission. If schools have the technology, and the teachers can fit it in their schedule, they are

being encouraged to watch the webcast with their classes. “There’s no permission slip,” spokeswoman Deb Stenberg said. “The principals are being asked to notify parents and parents are encouraged to contact them. We looked a little closer at the policy and it doesn’t specifically speak to

webcast; it mentions video. We felt it was not necessary for parental permission.” Parents can call in and request that their student not watch the webcast; those students will be given an alternate assignment. President Obama announced on Wednesday that he will deliver a national address specifically to

students at 9 a.m. Sept. 8. The address is going to focus on President Obama students taking responsibility for their success in education. The speech can be viewed on

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the White House Web site as well as on C-SPAN and local cable channels. The U.S. Department of Education is also providing [ more WEBCAST page 4]

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[ CAMPAIGN from p. 1] business owner since 1969. If elected, Ferrell would leave his current full-time job as a King County prosecutor who supervises the domestic violence court. “This is something I really believe in,” said Ferrell, who turns 43 this month. “We’re going to bring true accountability to Federal Way.” Political consultant Steve McNey relocated from Lakeland, Fla., late last month to help Ferrell. McNey worked on Ferrell’s failed bid for the state Senate in 2002 against Mark Miloscia, along with Ferrell’s successful city council election in 2003 against Mary Gates. McNey has worked on campaigns for current King County Council member Reagan Dunn, and was once chairman for the 30th District Republicans. McNey will be paid by campaign contributions to coordinate this recent effort, Ferrell said. Federal Way’s form of government currently operates under a city manager, who is hired by seven elected city council members. An elected mayor would replace the city manager and work with a seven-member city council. If the initiative passes on Nov. 3, an election for the mayoral position must be held within six months. In 2007, when ACT started the elected mayor movement, Ferrell got behind the effort, but soon withdrew public support. He sees this present opportunity as a second chance. “I made a mistake,” he said of stepping back last

year. “I didn’t want it to appear self-serving. I didn’t want to alienate my colleagues.” Federal Way Works is an organization that has re-grouped to maintain the city’s current form of government. The group said the proposal will increase operation costs for a full-time mayor and staff. According to Federal Way Works, the proposal “moves the city backward, not forward” and leaves an elected mayor susceptible to special interests. “Removing an ineffective elected mayor would require a costly and drawn out recall election,” Federal Way Works said in an Aug. 26 letter. “A strong mayor in charge of day-to-day city operations as the city administrator could seriously impede the proper implementation of a policy or ordinance.” Ferrell said the current council-manager form of government is a “corporate structure superimposed on government.” “I think we can actually save money,” he said, adding that an elected mayor has more incentive to watch over city affairs and establish an agenda that’s closer to the voters. He said an elected mayor brings more responsive government and executive-driven leadership. “You can’t fire a mayor? Ask how Greg Nickels feels,” said McNey, pointing to the former Seattle mayor’s third-place finish in the August primary election. “Federal Way is a blank canvas. It has a ton of potential.” Stay tuned for details on a public debate between supporters and opponents of the initiative.

come worship with us this week…

WORSHIP DIRECTORY Rissho Kosei-kai of Seattle’s

Get on the bus An annual inspection by the Washington State Patrol has brought back a rating of “outstanding” for the Federal Way School District’s buses. This is the second year in a row Federal Way has received the mark.

State SAT scores For the seventh consecutive year, Washington SAT score averages were the highest in the nation, in states where more than half the eligible students took the test, the College Board released. The ranking is based on students who were 12th graders

in 2009. Washington ranked first in critical reading and math, and fourth in writing.

WWU scholarship

Junior’s Award and took second in the state DECA Quiz Bowl. Magnuson was a member of the Decatur High School Drill and Dance team and volunteered as a peer tutor.

Basic training

Western Washington University student NaTasha Magnuson, Army Pvt. Mattew M. daughter of Jeffrey and Carrie LeTempt has graduated from Magnuson of Federal Way, IN OTHER Basic Combat Training at received a $2,000 President’s Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla. Scholarship for the 2009During the nine weeks of 2010 academic year. Magnutraining, the soldier studied son, an incoming freshman, the Army mission and received a earned a 4.0 GPA at Decatur High variety of instruction and training School and is interested in majoring exercises. He is the son of Norman in environmental studies. MagnuLeTempt of Federal Way. son received a Masonic Outstanding


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Initiative will change city’s government

September 5, 2009 [5]


the White House Web site as well as on C-SPAN and local cable channels. e U.S. Department of Education is also providing In January, studen...