This endorsement editorial will appear Thursday in the print edition of The News Tribune.
Jack Dovey and Hope Elder
for Federal Way City Council
An incumbent and former deputy mayor are the best in a strong field of candidates.
Things must be going pretty well in Federal Way these days.
Three incumbents on the Federal Way City Council are up for re-election this year, but only one of them drew a challenger. When two incumbents (Jim Ferrell and Mike Park) get a free ride back into office, it’s generally a sign that citizens are reasonably content with the direction their city is going.
The incumbent who did draw a challenger is Jack Dovey. His Position 5 opponent is Roger Freeman, an attorney who has served four years on the city’s Human Services Commission.
Freeman is a fine candidate who has worked hard to forge links to the Federal Way community, where he has lived for six years. But he doesn’t make a good case for replacing Dovey, who has lived in Federal Way since 1968.
Dovey’s roots run deep. As a young man, he worked as a surveyor on what is now the Commons at Federal Way mall. As the owner of a cellular telephone company, he brings a valuable small-business sensibility to the council, which is trying to do more to develop and retain that important sector.
Dovey, who originally sought office to get Celebration Park built, seeks only to serve Federal Way. Freeman acknowledges that he sees serving on the council as the first step in a political career. Voters would do well to give the experienced Dovey a third term.
An open seat on the City Council attracted a field of four in the August primary. The two survivors are Hope Elder, who served on the council from 1994 to 1997, and Dini Duclos, CEO of the Federal Way Multi-Service Center. Either woman would do a fine job on the council.
Duclos has strong ties to the city’s business community and is vice-chair of the Planning Commission. Elder currently chairs that commission and has been active in civic and regional issues for many years.
This is a close call, and voters won’t go wrong either way. But Elder has the edge given her earlier experience on the council and 25 years of involvement with Federal Way. She lost a bid for re-election in 1997 while she was serving as deputy mayor, due in large part to her willingness to vote for an unpopular utility tax to build Celebration Park.
That turned out to be a gutsy, visionary move. Elder deserves another chance.