Mon May 11, 2015
The new Billy McHale's - phone (253) 839-4200
1320 S 324th St A10, Federal Way, WA 98003
Mark’s campaign got off to a great start on May 11th that will not be forgotten! Once the challenges with the building were overcome and an alternative location was identified the event went forward successfully. Mark was very appreciative of Jim Ross and the staff at Billy McHale’s for their efforts to make the night a success.
Regarding the event, Mark had a great roster of speakers to start the night.
Shelley Pauls, who is both a longtime friend of Mark’s and a dedicated community leader spoke glowingly of her experiences working with Mark and her confidence in his ability to transition into serving on the council very effectively. She also spoke about some of the service oriented trips they had been on together such as traveling to Uganda where Mark had the opportunity to speak at a conference, Long Beach California where they worked with a team to build a community garden that began a community garden movement in the surrounding Long Beach area, and Nederland Texas where Mark joined a team to assist with recovery after hurricane Rita. She concluded by discussing Mark’s involvement locally with Habitat for Humanity, Reach Out, and the Federal Way Caregiving Network as well as his support for organizations such as the Multi-Service Center in addition to his work on the three commissions he serves on.
Mayor Jim Ferrell began his comments by remarking on Mark’s ability to bring diverse groups of people together. He continued by relating his experience with Mark while mayor and how much he appreciated his thoughtful and collaborative approach. As the Chair of the Parks & Recreation Commission there have been two projects in particular, Lakota and Town Square Park, where more collaboration with the mayor was required than is typical. Mayor Ferrell related how much he appreciated having a partner like Mark during the process of identifying workable solutions and how Mark demonstrated he is ready to serve on the council in the process.
State Representative Linda Kochmar, who has been a mentor to Mark from the beginning of his political career, spoke about the importance of taking a stand for what you believe in and reminded Mark that everyone has an ego, even him, and it is important to keep this in mind when pursuing solutions. She concluded by stating her confidence in Mark and his ability to serve as a member of the council by putting his ego aside and finding solutions that serve the city of Federal Way best.
The final speaker before Mark was former Mayor Skip Priest, who is now a senior policy advisor to the Superintendent of Public Education Randy Dorn. Skip began his comments by talking about trust and how important it is in public officials. He referenced his dad and his dad’s belief that you shouldn’t need contracts and that a handshake and someone’s word should be enough. He sees Mark as the kind of leader that you can shake hands with and know he will keep his word. He also mentioned his appreciation for Mark’s recent service chairing the Federal Way School Districts Citizens Superintendent Search Committee. He concluded by saying that Federal Way will benefit by having Mark as a member of the council.
Mark concluded the evening by speaking about the issues he believes are important and motivate him to run.
After expressing his appreciation for the speakers and everyone that attended that night he singled out the elected officials in attendance to thank them for their dedication and commitment to making Federal Way the city it is today.
He then stated his belief that we need more great paying jobs in Federal Way and that Federal Way can be a city of opportunity. By creating economic development zones for industries like healthcare, technology, green industries, and light-industrial manufacturing, we will encourage employers and entrepreneurs to come to Federal Way and bring the good paying jobs that will create long-term economic stability.
He then mentioned his personal interest in finding solutions that will serve the homeless here in Federal Way such as the proposed day shelter. The day shelter would give the homeless a place to shower, wash their clothes, have internet access to find employment, and even have a temporary address during the transition process. While he doesn’t believe the city should own and run this type of facility, he does believe the city should partner with organizations such as Valley Cities or Multi Service Center who have the knowledge and expertise necessary to successfully operate this type of facility and effectively serve this segment of our population.
Mark continued by stating that creating a vibrant downtown is a high priority and doing so will bring more jobs to Federal Way as well as provide an anchor for future development in the city. Mark is committed to promoting policies that encourage investment in our downtown and believes that by working with neighborhoods and developers, our downtown will be transformed creating opportunity and improved livability both now and in the future.
In conclusion Mark stated his interest in improving neighborhood safety. While the Federal Way Police department is one of the finest in the nation, there is technology available that can enhance their current effort to prevent crime. Along with continued support of our police department, Mark wants to see the Safe City program expanded to every neighborhood interested in a twenty-first century "block-watch".
Despite the unexpected requirement to change the location of the kick-off, Mark demonstrated the poise and resolve necessary to address adversity positively and partner with Billy McHale’s owner and staff to find a solution that worked. For those that attended it was a clear example of Mark’s leadership and another confirmation he is prepared to serve the city of Federal Way as a member of the council.