Different approaches, different strengths

Last November I contacted Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke and City Council member Dana Ralph about some safety concerns with regard to a new housing development going in near me.

There are already issues with safety with poor lighting and pedestrians on the road. And when the development is finished, there will be increased traffic, making it even more dangerous.

At first, the interaction with the City Council was positive. Ralph invited me to a community development meeting where I was able to voice my concerns, and she compared my issues with similar ones she experienced in her own neighborhood. Some suggestions were made that might improve pedestrian safety, but no agreements were reached at that time.

After a few months, and no real followup from Ralph, Jim Berrios began to look into the issue. He took a hands-on approach and visited the neighborhood four times to understand the challenges and concerns we had, and he has continued to have ongoing conversations with me about how to best address the problems, and then fix them.

To my knowledge, Ralph has not visited the neighborhood.

For me, it comes down to a difference in approach between these members of the City Council. Ralph seems to have good intentions and tends to delegate rather than be hands-on in finding solutions. Berrios is the type to take ownership when he decides to take on finding solutions to the challenges he is faced with, and he is excellent at following up with people on the progress he is making.

We all have different strengths, and in Jim’s case, I feel those strengths better serve the community at large.

– Charmaine Kauth

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