Tukwila’s Steve Mullet: Spirit of public service

The passage of Tukwila School Board President and former Tukwila Mayor Steve Mullet is a humbling reminder of those who step forward to serve.

IN the midst of a busy election season and a chaotic national political scene, take a moment to honor the memory and service of Steve Mullet. He represents the selfless public spirit of those legions of little-known local citizens who step forward to serve us all.

Mullet was Tukwila School Board President when he died July 23 of a heart attack. He was most recently reelected to the school board in November 2015.

He was a former Tukwila City Councilmember, and had served two terms as mayor from January 2000 to December 2007. Annexation into Tukwila initially spurred his activism.

Mullet had the kind of civic resume that informs, educates and empowers elected officials to move from office to office and challenge to challenge. Such on-the-job training is sadly missing for many, many candidates on the ballot.

Mullet ran a construction business and celebrated a golden wedding anniversary with wife Bonnie in 2016. Together, they raised a family that includes a son who credits his father with inspiration for public service, state Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah.

All of the people serving on planning commissions, city councils, school boards, and a variety of other commissions and boards are due our gratitude and thanks. Pay attention, these offices are on the ballot in this odd-year election.

The work and tasks can be long, tiring, rigorous and boring, and they include the occasional rants and tantrums of those using the public comment period and perhaps an unfriendly local editorial comment. Don’t overlook the time away from family and missed meals at home.

The net effect, however, is to produce informed officials who know the facts and details of how government works, and whom to hold accountable when it does not. They provide the oversight for public spending.

The best candidates for higher office predictably have a hefty civic resume. One does not always have to agree with them to appreciate their service and vote for them. They represent insight, knowledge and experience that must be respected.

They also get that the public has a right to be heard. However rude those comment sessions might be, they understand the role playing out.

Steve Mullet and his kindred spirits make democracy work. Condolences to the Mullet family members for their loss. Deep gratitude to Mullet for…

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