This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.
Federal Way voters have two races on their Aug. 16 primary ballot – for open seats on the City Council and the school board. Fortunately, they have some good candidates to choose from.
The two candidates receiving the most votes in each primary race will advance to the November general election.
Four candidates hope to replace outgoing Mike Park on the City Council, but only three deserve voters’ consideration: retired nurse Susan Honda, businessman Roger Flygare and sales manager Mark Koppang. The fourth, Scott Sparling, does not appear to be actively campaigning.
The three top candidates share many of the same concerns. All agree, for instance, that fostering a positive climate for businesses and job creation are priorities. Any of them would be a fine addition to the City Council.
Our preference is for Honda, whose activism in the community, youth and schools has been long and deep. A longtime PTA president, she currently chairs the city’s Arts Commission and Diversity Commission. While Flygare and Koppang are also solid, thoughtful candidates, neither matches Honda’s community credentials.
The Federal Way School Board District 3 race is a closer call. Voters really can’t go wrong with any of the three candidates: Danny Peterson, associate pastor at Grace Church; retired Todd Beamer High School Principal Elizabeth Drake; and stay-at-home mom Carrie BeSerra.
All three are well-educated, well-spoken and passionate about improving the educational experience for Federal Way’s children, improving test scores and increasing graduation rates.
We’ll give the edge to Peterson, who also has been endorsed by Tom Murphy, the district’s former superintendent. Peterson, who taught physics, biology and science in Federal Way schools for four years, has an impressive background of service. He’s gone on humanitarian missions in 20 countries, giving him an appreciation for cultural diversity that’s needed in a district where 112 languages are spoken.
A graduate of the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce’s Advancing Leadership program, Peterson could have a bright future beyond the school board.