The News Tribune logo

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Are Local Strong Mayor-Council Drives Truly Grassroots?

The approximate distance between the City of Federal Way and the City of Sea-Tac, Washington is somewhere in the general neighborhood of fifteen miles. There are times when the two cities feel much closer as during this period before upcoming elections.

In this respect the issues in fall campaigns in Federal Way and Sea-Tac more closely resemble a set of fraternal twins, fully distinct siblings at the surface, but familiar temperaments under all. Both cities call King County home and formally incorporated during the same year (1990). Both began lives with administration designed upon a City Council and City Manager mode of operation. Today, each city finds a group of vocal supporters loudly advocating at their front doors for initiatives which would result in a dramatic change in the style of community governance to one based on a Strong Mayor-Council format.

That both pro-measure websites and correspondence posted by adherents resemble each other in regards to slogans, sentence patterns and exhortations may well be linked to regional concerns or purely coincidental. However, it must be said while the issue appeared previously on the ballot in Federal Way only last year, a quick read of the letters circulated in Sea-Tac reveals such close sentiments that it's quite understandable how statements recorded in one locale might be easily compared or confused with the other.

What if much the same observation could be made for somewhat parallel if not identical like-minded campaigns now playing out in Columbia, SC and Sacramento, CA which came up on a simple Internet search.

(Go to part 2 for the rest of the story.)

No comments: