When voting for Kent’s mayor, there are three qualities I consider most important.
Experience. Dana Ralph formed her own company and managed it for 22 years, but according to her company’s website it has only three employees. Jim Berrios was a vice president of Denny’s restaurant chain responsible for 500 locations, a budget of a half-billion dollars and thousands of employees. He currently co-owns the Golden Steer restaurant with his wife. For a mayor with actual executive experience, Berrios is the choice.
Integrity. Charmaine Kauth wrote a letter to the editor in Kent Reporter, saying that she approached council member Ralph with a safety issue and initially received some positive interaction. Some suggestions to improve pedestrian safety were presented at a community development meeting but no action plan was given. Months later, there was no followup by Ralph. Berrios began to consider the issue and visited the neighborhood four times to gain insight. Jim took ownership and kept in contact with Charmaine regarding how best to solve the problem. Jim is a man of his word.
Financial responsibility. As council members, both have faced city financial issues. The business and occupation (B&O) tax was levied on Kent businesses because the large trucks that cause the most wear and tear on the roads are primarily used to service these companies. As presented to company owners, the revenue of the B&O tax was to be used only for roads and pedestrian sidewalks. Ralph proposed that $2 million of the B&O revenue should be used for park repairs. Berrios investigated finances with the city accountants and discovered that $2 million could be taken out of reserve funds to pay for the park repair for the next two years.
Kent needs a quality mayor. Berrios is a proven performer and deserves to be elected Kent’s next mayor.
– Rich Brandau