Kent City Council seeks volunteers to write pro, con statements about police ballot measure

City leaders plan to put proposal in front of voters on April 24

  • Thursday, January 18, 2018 3:35pm
  • News

The Kent City Council seeks volunteers to write pro and con statements regarding Proposition A, the police and criminal justice ballot measure, that is likely to appear on the April 24 ballot.

The council’s Public Safety Committee discussed the measure earlier this month and is expected to vote Jan. 30 on a ballot measure proposal that would go to the full seven-member council for approval on Feb. 6. The King County Elections deadline is Feb. 23 to submit measures for the April 24 ballot.

If approved by voters, the ballot measure would authorize a 2 percent increase (to 8 percent from 6 percent) in existing utility taxes on electricity, manufactured and natural gas, telephone and cable television services. The tax increase would raise an estimated $4.8 million per year and be used exclusively to fund police and criminal justice services, including the hiring of as many as 31 officers to increase the force to 180 from 149.

The council will appoint up to three members each to Pro and Con committees, which will write statements no longer than 200 words. The statements will appear in the King County Voter’s Pamphlet, mailed to registered voters prior to the special election. Statements must be completed by the committees and submitted to King County Elections no later than 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 27.

Interested volunteers must submit a statement in writing or complete an online application by noon on Tuesday, Jan. 30 to be considered. Application forms can be found online at KentWA.gov/police-and-criminal-justice-ballot-measure, or by visiting the City Clerk’s office at City Hall, 220 Fourth Ave. S. Applicants can call 253-856-5725 with questions.

All completed applications will be submitted to the Kent City Council for review and appointment at their Feb. 6 meeting. Selected appointees will be notified by the city after the meeting, and their information will be submitted to King County Elections by 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 23. King County Elections will contact each committee for their statements.

Arguments prepared by the Pro and Con committees will be made available on Feb. 28 to the opposing committee for rebuttal statements that must not exceed 75 words. Statements rebutting the opposing side’s statements must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. on March 1.

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