As chair of the Washington State Public Stadium Authority, I had the privilege of serving with board member Benson Wong. The Public Stadium Authority is a seven-member board appointed by the governor to represent the public’s ownership of Century Link Field and Event Center. We were responsible for overseeing the construction of the $430 million complex, and then after completion, for protecting the public interest in the operation and maintenance of the facilities.
Benson served for 14 years on this board and exhibited thoroughness and thoughtfulness, always respectfully listening to citizens and other board members in tackling very complex issues. His attention to detail was appreciated by staff and board members alike. It’s fair to say he often caught potential problems and helped us respond appropriately. Through the efforts of the Public Stadium Authority and one of Paul Allen’s business entities, these two facilities were built on time and within budget.
Many years ago, I served as mayor of the city of Des Moines. The work we did on the Public Stadium Authority was very comparable to the necessarily collaborative work required of a city council. The issues are diverse, but must always be addressed with the public good as the paramount goal. I know Benson will be an extremely capable member of the Mercer Island City Council. He has demonstrated how much time and energy he is willing to devote to public service, and his significant role on the Public Stadium Authority is just one more example of how well served the citizens of Mercer Island would be with Benson working for them.
Former mayor, city of Des Moines