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Dana Ralph chosen as new Kent City Council president

Dana Ralph will serve as Kent City Council president the next two years. - COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent
Dana Ralph will serve as Kent City Council president the next two years.
— image credit: COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

The Kent City Council unanimously voted for its new council president Tuesday at its first meeting of the new year.

Councilmember Dana Ralph, who is midway through her first term, received an unanimous vote by the council for the two-year position. Ralph’s new role requires her to set the council meeting agendas, attend regional meetings to represent the council’s views and to represent the city of Kent as Mayor Pro Tem in the mayor’s absence, according to a city of Kent media release.

Ralph thanked the Council for the trust placed in her, and promised to do the best she can to represent them and the residents of Kent.

“I will always make myself available to hear questions and concerns," Ralph said. "I look forward to continuing the progress we’ve made as the economy improves and keeping the lines of communication open."

Outgoing Council President Dennis Higgins said even though he and Ralph ran against each other four years ago, he’s glad citizens of Kent elected her.  “Dana works very hard and is at every meeting and event,” Higgins said.  “I am honored to cast a vote in her favor.”

Re-elected incumbents Mayor Suzette Cooke, Higgins and Municipal Court Judges Karli Jorgensen and Glenn Phillips took their oaths of office during the meeting as well as newly elected council member Ken Sharp. Jim Berrios had an excused absence and will take his oath of office Jan. 21.

In her first action as Council President, Ralph announced the following Council Committee chairs and assignments:

City Council Committees

• Economic and Community Development – Chair Bill Boyce, Jim Berrios, Dennis Higgins

• Parks and Human Services – Chair Deborah Ranniger, Higgins, Ken Sharp

• Public Safety – Chair Berrios, Dana Ralph, Les Thomas,

• Public Works – Chair Higgins, Ralph, Sharp

• Operations – Chair Thomas, Boyce, Ralph

Special Committee Appointments

• Arts Commission – Ralph

• Firemen’s Relief and Pension Board – Thomas

• Human Services Commission – Higgins

• Lodging Tax Advisory Committee – Boyce

• Regional Fire Authority Board – Boyce, Higgins, Thomas

City Council members are elected to four-year terms. The Councilmembers are paid $13,752 per year for their part-time positions. The Council president receives $14,496 per year.

Their terms are staggered, with elections held every odd-numbered year. The Council meets at 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month. The meetings are broadcast live and rebroadcast on Comcast Channel 21 and can be streamed live or downloaded from KentTV21.com.

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