National concerns about public safety, such as the Parkland, Fla., occurrence, simply remind us that we are responsible for supporting our own local institutions.
Proposition A, an increase in the utility tax for our community public safety resources, asks us to evaluate where we are. The city of Kent, like all institutions publicly funded, took a big hit with the national financial disaster of 2008-09. The city added the 20 percent increase in citizens with the 2009 annexation of Panther Lake.
The King County Council supported that surrender of that swath of citizens with aid to the city for the transition of responsibilities. But the reductions caused by the financial collapse prevented the city from recovering the staff to meet the needs of its area. While more officers were hired with county financial support, the police support staff faced continuing cuts. We are faced with a situation today, in which we have never returned to the staffing ratio from before the crisis.
Proposition A seeks the resources to bring us up to past levels of service. Besides additional patrol officers, it makes it possible to add support staff for crime tracking, needed jail personnel, and an additional prosecutor. More importantly, it makes it possible to drop the overtime required to deal with the lack of adequate patrol staffing. You can create a system to meet a fundamental need. But you have to adjust to the circumstances of that need, or service becomes strained. We are at that point. Please vote for Proposition A.
We need to keep Kent safe.
– Tim Clark, former Kent City Council member