Clarifying city’s role as Prop A comes before voters

I have received a lot of questions in recent weeks from Kent residents who are unclear about the relationship between the city of Kent and the Kent School District. They are concerned about the school district’s direction. They are asking why the district is laying off employees after both of their levies passed, and they’re concerned the city will do the same thing if Proposition A passes.

First, I’d like to clarify that the city of Kent has no direct relationship to the Kent School District. While we appreciate their financial struggles, the Kent School District has its own elected board of directors, and the city has no control over their budget or the decisions they make in how to manage it. This includes the elimination of 45 positions announced in February or the 127 job cuts announced in March.

Second, I want to clarify questions I’ve received about Proposition A (KentWA.gov/PropA), the police and criminal justice ballot measure that will be on the ballot April 24. If Prop A passes, the city will increase utility taxes by 2 percent on electricity, manufactured and natural gas, telephone and cellphones and cable TV services. It is not a property tax, and it will impact those in Kent who use the utilities mentioned, including businesses.

The utility tax will raise approximately $4.8 million annually, and cost the average Kent household about $11 a month. This revenue will be used exclusively to pay for 23 commissioned police officers (21 patrol officers and two sergeants), two police corrections officers, two police records specialists, one prosecution attorney, one prosecution paralegal, one public defender, one judicial specialist and one probation officer. All funds received from the 2 percent increase in utility tax revenues will be segregated from other funds of the city and accounted for separately.

Public safety is the No. 1 priority for the city of Kent. If Prop A passes, we will not be laying off police officers. If Prop A doesn’t pass, we will not be laying off police officers. That is a promise.

– Mayor Dana Ralph

More in Letters to the Editor

Why not investigate Joe Fain rape accusation?

The last two Auburn Reporters reported about the investigation into the rape… Continue reading

Homelessness requires care, accountability

Responding to Michael Colasurdo’s comments in a letter to the editor, “Stop… Continue reading

Brighter side of Trump

I agreed with much of a previous letter writer telling us how… Continue reading

Are Democrats ready for change?

There’s hardly any point of having a two-party system in theory when… Continue reading

Where are our leaders?

Our nation and the world cannot understand what is happening to the… Continue reading

I-1631? Just another government money grab

I thought the Reporter did a decent job of breaking down the… Continue reading

Trust in government

As of this writing, on Nov. 6, your City Council plans on… Continue reading

Thanks to all who supported pursuit of restoration grant for historic building

Kent Downtown Partnership would like to thank everybody who voted for the… Continue reading

Dino has my vote for Congress

Watching the debate between Dino Rossi and Kim Schrier on YouTube was… Continue reading

Don’t be misled, vote yes on I-1631

Let’s dig into the “special interests” that wrote and support I-1631. These… Continue reading

Race for Congress: Fresh Face vis-a-vis Old Pol

Electing Kim Schrier will bring to the office “pluses” sorely needed in… Continue reading

I-1639 is a bad law that attacks our rights

If you value your civil rights, then please vote no on I-1639.… Continue reading