HIGHLINE COLLEGE |Fri, Nov 15, 2019


Federal Way council candidates stress safety

By Emmitt Sevores - Staff Reporters



Public safety is the main topic being talked about by candidates for Federal Way's city council election.

Positions 3, 5, and 7 are up for election.

•In Position 3, the candidates are Sharry Edwards and incumbent Susan Honda.

Susan Honda has lived in Federal Way since 1979.

Even though she is retired she puts in at least 20 hours each week, some weeks are "over 40 hours" for her city council position, being deputy mayor, and volunteering around town.

Honda is a registered nurse and attended the University of Puget Sound and Tacoma General Hospital School of Nursing.

One of the reasons Honda says she is running for city council is because she "asks many questions and others do not."

"A council member represents all people and must be able to understand and communicate what our citizens are concerned about. I believe I do that," she said.

Honda says one of her biggest issues is how Federal Way will deal with change, specifically with the light rail stations being added to the city.

"With 10 years of construction of the train stations we can lose tax revenue. People may not come and shop and eat. Businesses may close. We can't let that happen," Honda said.

The construction could affect small businesses but she says that she has reached out to some owners and the city's economic developer to plan for these changes.

But even with some smaller businesses being planned for, "the council and mayor must decide on new revenue streams."

This could help pay for the $2 million worth of salary, benefits, equipment, and training to hire seven new police officers, like the chief of police has asked for.

She also believes that her experience and ability to ask questions make her suited for the job.

Sharry Edwards has lived in Federal Way for 15 years.

She attended Bates Technical College School of Practical Nursing and has been a home and community health nurse for Kaiser Permanente for nine years.

She takes visiting patients in their homes that are too ill to get out to the clinic to see their doctors.

Edwards is running for city council because she views "city council as a seat to run for to further serve the community."

She believes that one of the biggest issues is the opioid and heroin crisis.

"I am strongly against the Federal Way council candidates stress safety message that drug use is okay or healthy. I do not believe that legalizing or making, selling, and taking drugs is a pathway to success," Edwards said.

Edwards said she is opposed to the marijuana industry moving into Federal Way and donating thousands of dollars to politicians and political leaders.

"I am committed to being a strong voice on the council to help solve this problem, starting with push-back on the marijuana industry," Edwards said.

•The race for Position 5 is between incumbent Mark Koppang and Jamila Taylor.

Koppang has lived in Federal Way for 29 years, moving back and forth, and is finishing up a term on the city council.

As well as having a bachelor's degree in theology, Koppang works for TC Transcontinental Packaging in business development.

"I have always found a way to serve and have found my service on the Federal Way City Council to be a very rewarding experience," Koppang said.

Koppang said his experience is a difference maker when it comes to his particular race. He said that there is no way for someone that has only lived in the city a few years "can understand the nuances of the community, the inner workings of City Hall, or the myriad of information I have assimilated during my time of service," Koppang said.

One of the issues Koppang would like to resolve is public safety.

"I'm interested in adding officers while also looking at innovative ways to address the enforcement issues our city faces," Koppang said.

He said that police deal with the homeless population and he would like to provide them with additional social services support so they can more effectively address the needs of this population.

He also wants to focus on the redevelopment of downtown Federal Way, including the addition of the Sound Transit station in 2024.

"What it will look like and how successful it will be depends, in large part, on the decisions we make today," Koppang said.

He also said he wants to promote the creation of family wage jobs in Federal Way.

Jamila Taylor has lived in Federal Way for about five years.

She has a bachelor's degree in sociology from Virginia State University and a law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law.

Taylor is a statewide advocacy counsel for Northwest Justice Project managing a program of attorneys helping crime victims, including domestic violence survivors, with their civil legal needs throughout Washington state.

Taylor is running for council because she wants to help the Federal Way community reach its potential.

"It is important that everyone be able to live in a community that is safe and affordable," Taylor said.

"I have the skills and experience to bring new voices to the table, and to work toward finding solutions so that everyone's needs are met," Taylor said.

Taylor said that one thing she wants to do in office is to help find the root causes of issues like homelessness as well as public safety.

"Addressing these challenges is a shared responsibility between the residents of Federal Way and the government," Taylor said.

•The race for Position 7 is between Linda Kochmar and Tony Pagliocco.

Linda Kochmar has lived in Federal Way for 36 years.

She was on the Federal Way City Council for 14 years and served as the mayor in 2010.

She also worked two terms as a Washington state legislator. Kochmar said that her experience will help her "get the job done."

She said she believes that one of the biggest issues facing Federal Way is the homeless population.

"I would like to create a police navigation team to treat the homeless with compassion and help them find stable housing and to help the drug addicted get treatment," Kochmar said.

Kochmar said one of her goals is to attract large businesses to Federal Way so that the city is not so dependent on service sector jobs.

She also said she believes that another big problem is solving the city's budget deficit.

If that is resolved Kochmar said she would like to add new and exciting programs to Federal Way.

Tony Pagliocco has lived in Federal Way for six years.

He has a bachelor's from Arizona State University in computer science and is currently working on his master's degree in public policy from the University of Massachusetts Dart-mouth.

He currently serves as the manager of product management for the Analytics and In- formation Management Solutions team at Boeing.

One of Pagliocco's main motivations to run for city council is to make Federal Way a safer place.

Pagliocco's daughter was hit by a car while she was walking home from school, leaving her paralyzed. The car was driven by an opioid addict.

"After my daughter's accident, I saw how hard she worked, yet she cannot even go from point A to point B safely. I see this being a problem much bigger than that and realized that for us to meet our potential, we have to provide the safety, the resources, and the collaboration to face them head-on," Pagliocco said.

Pagliocco said the biggest issues in the city are all coupled together in very discreet ways, issues like public safety, crime, homelessness and mental health.

"My prerogative is that if we increase the resources sur- rounding public safety, we will be more attractive to business growth and tourism growth," Pagliocco said.

The council needs to not be afraid to try new ideas in a rapid and iterative fashion to see what could work and what won't work to help face these challenges, he said.

"At the end of the day, it's going to require the council, the mayor, and the residents to work together with one focused goal. One person cannot do it by themselves," Pagliocco said.

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