Irony and bad timing

We are recent Kent residents, having left Seattle as a result of severe budget mismanagement and oppressive tax increases. Their answer to everything: “Throw money at it – we’ll raise taxes.”

I hope I am wrong in this assessment, but it appears that Kent may be following suit.

On June 23, this newspaper printed a front-page article, “City of Kent faces ‘bleak’ financial future.”

Apparently, the Kent City Council counts on residents to have very short memories, given that less than three months later, last Friday, Sept. 15, this story – “Kent proposes $1.3 million in pay hikes for city employees” – appeared on the front page.

So, now we know that the city will be facing a nearly $10 million shortfall by 2021, but the City Council feels it’s important to go further in to debt immediately?

Quote from Council President Boyce: “I want to be clear, we need to pay our people or we will lose them.”

Guess what? There are many qualified people out there who would be happy for a job.

Do some of these Kent employees really need a $14,000 to $17,000 pay increase?

What is so ironic is that in this first article of June 22, Finance Director Aaron BeMiller is quoted as follows: “It’s absolutely a bleak picture.” Yet, we see in the Sept. 15 article that the deputy finance director is slated for a $13,716 pay increase to a $147,240 annual salary.

As I mentioned previously, we are recent residents of Kent and decided to rent before buying here to assess the many aspects that make the quality of life for which we are looking, i.e. the reasons we left Seattle.

I would like to make this a permanent home, but cannot support yet another financially misguided/mismanaged city.

– Julie Furlong

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