While running for office and since serving on the council Mark has had the opportunity to talk with his neighbors across the city. Doing this has provided him with a wide range of opinions on where we are as a city and the priorities that are important to them. Mark has also spent a lot of time speaking with colleagues in other neighboring cities to understand what they have done to improve both their services and infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of their city.
Things have certainly changed since he first moved to Federal Way in 1976. Back then Federal Way was a community of about 20,000 but growing fast. Since then, Federal Way has changed substantially and there is no signs of change stopping or even slowing. Understanding this, Mark is committed to getting ahead of the changing needs so we can strategically adapt and direct change instead of being forced to respond to it and remain behind the curve wishing we had taken strategic action.
In the 90’s Tacoma made a decision to embrace the changing technologies and became a “wired” city. Along with the influx in businesses interested in taking advantage of the latest connectivity infrastructure enhancement the University of Washington built a Tacoma campus which transformed Tacoma’s downtown and bring in wonderful new amenities such as the Washington State History Museum, Convention Center, and Chihuly Museum of Glass. More recently Kent saw an opportunity and partnered with the business community to redevelop an underdeveloped area of their city by building ShoWare Center. As a result of this investment, Kent Station was developed which has brought in people from Kent and the surrounding cities. Another example is Auburn, which recognized the advantage they have being in proximity to rail lines to create economic zones to encourage business development such as warehouses and light industrial development.
Each of these cities recognized opportunities to spur economic growth and took action. While the jury may be out on some of the decisions each city made, the net effect is that they took action and the citizens and businesses are benefiting in some way as a result.
Understanding and accepting that change is the only constant in life, Mark believes we should embrace it and direct it as much as we can. With Sound Transit coming to our City and redevelopment coming on the former Weyerhaeuser Campus, we need to learn from the successes and failures of our neighboring cities and employ our unique vision to realize a future that is desirable and unique to Federal Way.
Mark will continue to promote what is great about Federal Way by preserving and improving our policies to to create balanced business-friendly policies that encourage economic development without sacrificing livability. By keeping an open mind to the many possible solutions available, Mark is committed to moving our city forward to create a better quality of life for ALL members of our community.