With the primary on Tuesday, I would like to discuss taxes in relation to the race for mayor of Kent.
As one who has a background in finances, I understand well that a city must live within its means just as a family must. The difference between the two is that if the mayor decides a city needs more money, he or she doesn’t necessarily have to prioritize the money currently received, but can call for new taxes.
What many in the past have failed to take into account is that these new taxes are coming from the bank accounts of the hard-working taxpayers of the city.
I would like to present two examples of one mayoral candidate who understands that our money is limited, and that good stewardship of them is essential.
Jim Berrios, currently on the City Council, discovered that funds were being used from one city department to pay for services in another. Many in the bureaucracy were willing to just write it off, but Mr. Berrios insisted that the money be repaid to the correct department. He even went so far as to bring it to the public’s attention. That is unheard of in politics today.
Recently, the city needed some additional funds for parks. The current mayor wanted to raise taxes, another mayoral candidate (also on the council) wanted to take funds from the roads budget, but Jim Berrios sat down with the budget and found enough reserve funds to take care of the parks, while not jeopardizing the reserves. How very refreshing.
I would like to strongly encourage my fellow residents of Kent to vote for Jim Berrios in the primary on Aug. 1.
– Lisa Bartholomew