By Jim Berrios/for the Kent Reporter
Hello, my name is Jim Berrios. I represent you on the Kent City Council and previously on the Kent School Board.
My family has called Kent home for 24 years, and we strongly believe in giving back to the community. My passion is seeing the residents of Kent succeed, and that is why I am running for mayor.
I have developed a reputation as a straight-talker, watchdog and advocate for making City Hall more open and transparent. I believe that those who choose to run for public office are there to serve those who elect them.
When asked what the major difference between myself and my opponent is, the answer is two-part: not only do I have a robust background in executive level financial and employee management, having worked my way up from a graveyard cook at Denny’s restaurant to vice president of operations; but as VP, I was responsible for more than 500 restaurants and a half-billion dollar annual budget. My experience is at an executive level just as the office of the mayor should have.
Endorsements are wonderful, but they are no replacement for experience and qualifications.
I am no stranger to hard work and building trust. Mentoring youth is a huge aspect of my life, and I find it very rewarding. I have mentored more than a hundred individuals.
I also share my passion in the gym. I am a competitive power lifter and hold several Washington state records. Promoting healthy habits and building goals for oneself, I believe, are the bedrock to success.
My priorities for Kent include addressing the “fiscal cliff” through prudent and fiscally conservative management. I do not take lightly that, as mayor, voters will be putting their trust and belief in me to manage the well-earned dollars that they pay through taxes. You, the voters, deserve economical and responsible management and collaboration in City Hall, and I promise to deliver that. I will work with all citizens of Kent to create a cohesive, fiscally-sound vision for our community.
Public safety is also my priority. We are understaffed in our police department for a city of our size. We must increase our police to a sufficient level to ensure the coverage needed to provide our citizens with a sense of security so that our community can thrive.
Kent is an exceptional place to call home and I‘ve been honored to serve our citizens. My dedication and passion show in the many awards and endorsements I have received. However, the two I am most proud of are being voted the Public Official of the Year and winning Community Volunteer award for the last three years – these two awards come directly from the residents and mean the world to me.
If you’re looking for a determining factor in who you want as your next mayor, you’ll find it in the difference in qualifications, record and experience.
Thank you for reading, and I hope I can count on your vote in November.