Two honorary street signs to be named after two important people

City Council made two proclamations on Oct.22 to name two honorary signs after two men who have influenced Maple Valley in more ways than one.

During the Oct. 22 Maple Valley Council Meeting, Mayor Sean Kelly and the rest of the council made two proclamations to name two honorary street signs after two men who have been involved in Maple Valley for many years.

Both Jim Flynn and Congressman Dave Reichert were big contributors to the community, according to Laura Philpot, Maple Valley City Manager.

The honorary street sign, “Flynn Way” will be placed on 225th Avenue Southeast North of state Route 169, it stated in the council meeting packet.

Jim said this is the same street he and his family live on.

“The street that it’s going on is the street that we live on, so it’s kind of a nice little personal. You know, ‘Hey, we live on Flynn Way,” Jim said.

One thing he wants to make apparent about the naming of the street is that it’s not about just him, but about his entire family.

The Flynn family has been an “amazing community contributors for a very long time,” Laura said.

According to Jim, this is very true. His family moved to Maple Valley in 1954, the year he was born.

During that time, Jim said his dad started their family business.

“My parents (in 1954 bought) the Wilderness Tavern on the corner of Witte Road and the Maple Valley Highway. And at the time there was a tavern, a gas station, a small restaurant and nine little rental cabins,” Jim said. “My mom ran the tavern and my dad kind of developed the property and got the first grocery store here, the first bank, the first drug store, you know on and on, while we were growing up.”

He said he and his family lived in that tavern until 1962, then his parents built a new house across the street from the shopping center,which is now his office.

On top of being apart of creating some of the first businesses in Maple Valley, Jim said his dad founded the Chamber of Commerce in the 1960s.

“I remember that happening right at our dining room table. He and some other people got together and put that together,” Jim said.

Now, Jim and his sister have taken over the family business, Wilderness Village Properties, and built their homes next to their parents house.

”We have our little compound here, we call it Flynn-Ville,” he said with a laugh.

According to Laura, Jim has been a part of his fair share of things in Maple Valley as well.

He was on the incorporation committee for the incorporation of Maple Valley, which led him to being on the first city council, Jim said.

He said during his time on council, from 1997 to 2007, he was the deputy mayor.

Jim is also on the Board of the Community, he was the president of the Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and he belongs to Rotary.

“Just kind of pressed on both me and my sister that’s what you do. When you live in a small town and especially when you have a business here you support it because the community supports us,” Jim said.

According to Jim, he had no idea the council wanted to name a street after him and his family.

”Yeah, that was kind of a surprise. We weren’t really expecting it and then Laura and Sean Kelly got a hold of me and said they wanted to do this. It’s a little bit embarrassing,” Jim explained. “We’re not really into drawing attention to ourselves and when I say us, I’m talking about our family. So I kind of had to be talked into it.”

Philpot said Congressman Dave Reichert has been a huge supporter of Maple Valley for many years.

Before Dave was a congressman, he said he worked as a sheriff.

As sheriff, he made two very close friends to him — Sam Hicks and Mike Raburn — that both died in the line of duty, which led to the naming of Precinct No. 3 after them — Hicks-Raburn Precinct.

“The precinct named after Sam Hicks and Mike Raburn meant a lot to me, but it also meant a lot to the people of Maple Valley because that was the precinct, that’s the police department they could go to,” Dave said.

Unfortunately, the precinct was closed as a price saving measure, according to a YouTube video published by King County.

This hit Dave hard and he wanted to do something about it.

So with the help and support of the community, Dave was able to be apart of reopening that precinct.

“We worked with the city and were able to reopen that precinct and refurbish it and get the Hicks-Raburn sign back up,” Dave said.

According to the council packet, “Reichert Way” will be on Southeast 231st Street between SR 169 and Witte Road.

“That precinct is on ‘Dave Reichert Way’ with my friends and my very good friend’s name on that precinct,” he said.

According to Sue Foy, chief of staff for Dave, he has done a lot more for the community of Maple Valley as well.

Including, getting $1 million for SR 169 and SR 516 improvements and other important projects in Maple Valley.

After many years of service, Dave is now retiring to spend more time with his family, he said.

“It was time for me at 68 years old and a grandpa of six to say, ‘life is precious, life is short, I’ve served and I want to spend some time with my family,’” Dave said.

He said he had no idea the council was planning on naming a street after him to honor him for all he has done.

“I was totally blown away. Shocked and surprised would be two adjectives I would say are understatements. It’s just a very humbling, honoring feeling.” Dave said.

According to Laura, the honorary signs should be going up on those streets within the next few weeks.

Courtesy photos from Maple Valley Mayor Sean Kelly

Courtesy photos from Maple Valley Mayor Sean Kelly