This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.
Federal Way voters have a lot to decide on their Nov. 8 ballot, with open positions on both the City Council and school board.
In addition, two very good incumbents – Jack Dovey and Dini Duclos – are hoping to be re-elected to the City Council. Voters would be wise to keep them.
Dovey, who owns a wireless GPS company in Federal Way, is seeking his fourth full term. His history with the city and the council – he was a force behind creation of Celebration Park and the city’s Police Department – will be useful as Federal Way evolves from a council-manager form of government to strong mayor.
Dovey’s opponent is retired Army engineer Bob Celski, a manager with a Tacoma fuel distributor. He’s a sharp candidate, but he doesn’t make the case for replacing a very strong incumbent. Voters should return Dovey to Position. 5.
In Position 7, challenger Keith Tyler is no match for incumbent Duclos, the CEO of the Multi-Service Center who is seeking her second term on the council. She’s been a force in Federal Way for years, having served on the Parks and Recreation Committee and for seven years on the Planning Commission. She’s chaired the city’s Chamber of Commerce, was a founding member of Communities in Schools and is current chair of the Regional Policy Committee.
Duclos takes a no-nonsense approach to policy and budget, but that is tempered by her commitment to helping the less fortunate.
Tyler, a software engineer, has been active in local Democratic politics and blogged about Federal Way. He would do well to get the kind of civic seasoning Duclos had before she ran for council.
The open Position 3 seat being vacated by Councilman Mike Park is sought by retired nurse and community volunteer Susan Honda and business owner Roger Flygare.
Either would be fine on the council, but Honda has more extensive community credentials. She’s currently chair of both the Arts Commission and the Diversity Commission and is a past PTA president. She would bring that invaluable experience to this office.
Two political newcomers to elected office are running to fill the District 2 open seat: homemaker and volunteer Gail Crabtree and Claire Wilson, executive director of early learning with the Puget Sound Educational Service District.
Wilson has been much more involved with Federal Way schools than Crabtree; her volunteer work includes service with the PTA and on the Family & Community Partnership Office and Budget advisory boards. She’s well informed on the issues facing the district, from a tight budget to implementing Standards Based Education. She’s a good choice for the school board.
The other open seat, in District 3, is an easy choice: Danny Peterson, associate pastor at Grace Church. He was our choice in the three-way August primary and he’s the only real candidate now that his opponent, Elizabeth Drake, has pulled out of the race to take a principal’s position in the district.
Drake’s name will still be on the ballot, so voters should be aware that a vote for her will be wasted. If by some fluke she wins, she won’t be able to serve. The board would have to appoint someone to fill the position until another election could be held in November 2012.
Peterson – who taught physics, biology and science in Federal Way schools for four years – is a fine candidate who will make an impressive addition to the school board.