Federal Way voters have some superb candidates for their City Council and School Board on the Aug. 6 primary ballot. The top two vote-getters in each race will advance to the Nov. 5 general election.
The City Council races are for two seats currently filled by candidates who were appointed in January and now are seeking election in their own right.
In Position 2, the appointee is Kelly Maloney, a marketing executive with good ideas for improving the city’s image and bringing in more investment. She’s pushing to lure a private four-year college to Federal Way and to create an intellectual innovation zone.
Maloney has a strong opponent in Mark Koppang, the national accounts manager for a packaging supply company. They’re both longtime residents and fiscal conservatives who take, at most, a cautiously supportive attitude toward building a performing arts center.
Koppang – who has served on several city boards, including Parks and Recreation and the Civil Service Commission – has run for council before and sought the appointment that Maloney won. He’s a credible candidate, but we give Maloney the edge by virtue of her innovative ideas.
Also running is labor union official Anthony Murrietta, who neither interviewed with the editorial board nor participated in the Municipal League of King County candidate evaluations. (Maloney was rated “outstanding,” Koppang as “good.”)
For Position 6, a bright, energetic up-and-comer – Martin Moore – is challenging appointee Diana Noble-Gulliford.
Both are strong candidates, and each offers a distinctive set of assets.
Noble-Gulliford has long been a mainstay of the community. She moved to Federal Way in 1970 and has since served in many volunteer roles. She was among the civic leaders who helped the community become an incorporated city in 1990.
Citizens looking for the most experience in city affairs will want to vote for her.
We’re impressed by Moore, a park commissioner and legislative aide to state Rep. Roger Freeman. Moore – a Bulgarian orphan adopted by a Federal Way family – is brimming with enthusiasm for public life. It’s easy to see him turning into the council’s spark plug. He gets our endorsement.
Also on the ballot is Ryan K. Miller, general manager of a Federal Way hotel. He did not interview with the editorial board; he got an “adequate” from the Municipal League compared to “good” for Moore and “very good” for Noble-Gulliford.
Three candidates are running for the open District 4 seat on the Federal Way School Board. Only two – nonprofit director Carol Gregory and Medgar Wells, principal of a private church school in Auburn – appear to be seriously campaigning.
The third candidate in the field, Boeing project manager Kenneth Lance Barton, did not respond to an invitation to interview with the editorial board.
Wells is a solid candidate, but we think Gregory has a broader sense of the needs of a public school system. She’s been a teacher, a school district administrator and president of the Washington Education Association, the teachers union. She also worked on federal education policy in the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Gregory – who says she will retire soon from her job at Burst for Prosperity, an initiative of the Children’s Home Society – has a personal interest in the quality of Federal Way schools: Her grandchildren attend them. She’d be an excellent addition to the school board.To read more endorsement editorials, go online to thenewstribune.com/opinion/endorsements.