Kent City Council members from left to right: Satwinder Kaur, Les Thomas, Bill Boyce, Toni Troutner, Marli Larimer, Brenda Fincher and Zandria Michaud. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

Kent City Council members from left to right: Satwinder Kaur, Les Thomas, Bill Boyce, Toni Troutner, Marli Larimer, Brenda Fincher and Zandria Michaud. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

Kent City Council to discuss budget, homelessness, race and equity

Agenda set for annual retreat May 7 at Kent Senior Center

The Kent City Council will discuss public involvement in the budget process, housing and homelessness, a police co-responder program, race and equity and other topics at an annual planning session.

The meeting will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, May 7 at the Kent Senior Activity Center, 600 E. Smith St. This meeting will comply with the governor’s requirements for in-person business meetings, including masks and physical distancing, according to a city of Kent email.

While the public is invited to attend, public testimony will not be allowed unless listed on the agenda or approved by the council during the meeting.

The agenda:

GOALS:

1. Discuss strategic issues of interest and importance to Council members.

2. Identify issues that the Council anticipates could be topics for future discussions.

8:30 a.m. Welcome! Review Meeting’s Purpose – Council President Toni Troutner

8:35 a.m. Review and Approve Agenda – Council / Facilitator Jim Reid

8:40 a.m. Public Involvement in the Budget Process – Council / Mayor Dana Ralph / Paula Painter

While preparing for today’s retreat, Council members expressed this interest:

• Ensure that public engagement in the City’s budget and American Rescue Plan Act processes is meaningful.

We’ll discuss the ideas listed below that have been identified for achieving that interest and solicit and discuss additional suggestions.

• Budget Road Show

• Participatory Budgeting

1. Are there other ideas to add to this list?

2. For each idea, what is it? What role would the public play in it?

3. Which ideas is the Council interested in pursuing?

4. What are the next steps in moving forward?

10 a.m. Break

10:10 a.m. Housing and Homelessness – Council / Mayor / Derek Matheson / Chief Raf Padilla

During this session we will discuss:

• HB 1590 Implementation: In February Derek updated the Council on the status of implementing the City’s new one-tenth of one percent sales tax for affordable housing.

1. What is the current status of implementing the legislation?

2. Does the Council have questions, interests, or concerns?

South King County Co-Responder Pilot Program: At the February retreat we also briefly discussed this pilot program. The concept is that when people call 911, Valley Communications will dispatch police and/or mental health responders from the City or King County.

1. What decisions have been made to further define the program and provide its

structure?

2. What are the Council’s and Administration’s thoughts regarding whether Kent should participate in the regional program or work one-on-one with a service provider?

3. Does the Council have additional interests or questions?

• Issues on the Horizon:

1. Are there other housing and homelessness issues or initiatives that Council members want to mention as potential items to consider in the future, possibly at next year’s Annual Planning Session?

11:30 a.m. Race and Equity, Part 1 – Council / Mayor / Uriel Varela / Teri Smith

Uriel is developing a Race and Equity Strategic Plan with the Cultural Communities Board’s assistance.

1. What’s the status of the development of the strategic plan? What is the timeline for producing it? What might the plan include?

2. What is the status of engaging the public in the plan’s development?

3. What projects or actions comprise the Board’s work plan?

4. Does the Council have additional interests or questions about the strategic plan or the Cultural Communities Board’s overall mission and efforts?

Council members have expressed an interest in a workforce that reflects the community’s diversity.

1. What is the City currently doing to recruit, hire, and maintain a diverse workforce?

2. What strategies and actions does the Council suggest to diversify the workforce?

3. What is the City doing to incorporate race and equity principles and practices into its procurement policies?

4. Are there “best practices” from other agencies that the City has or could learn from?

12:30 p.m. Lunch

1:15 p.m. Race and Equity, Part 2: Community Policing – Council / Mayor / Raf

In preparing for the retreat, Council members expressed these interests: a) Ensure the safety of all Kent residents and businesses; and b) Strengthen the relationship between the Police Department and the community, particularly communities that have a history of not interacting with or distrusting the police.

1. What impact will recently enacted state legislation have on equitable policing?

2. The Police Department is implementing the Community Immersion Law Enforcement Program (CILEP). What is it? How is it intended to benefit the relationship between the public and department? What is the status of the program’s implementation? And what should the Council expect through the end of this year and in early 2022?

3. What is the status of hiring the consultant to gather data the state is requiring?

4. How is the Police Race and Equity Advisory Board operating? How might its work, including the Charter and goals the Board is developing, help advance the above interests?

5. What other ideas do Council members have for achieving their primary interests?

6. Are other issues related to race and equity and policing that the Council sees on the horizon?

3 p.m. Break

3:10 p.m. Land Use Notifications – Council / Mayor / Kurt Hanson

The Bridges Neighborhood comprehensive plan amendment process indicated to some Council members that it may be necessary to notify a greater number of potentially affected people/households about potential land use changes than current policy requires.

1. What are the current requirements? How were they applied in the Bridges Property case? What lessons did we learn?

2. Is there interest on the Council in changing the current requirements?

3. If so, how do we proceed?

3:30 p.m. Other Issues on the Horizon – Council

• Are there any other issues to discuss today?

• What are other issues of interest for possible future Council discussions? (We won’t discuss them but instead will list them as issues that Council members anticipate could be of interest in the future.)

3:55 p.m.What are We Taking Away From the Meeting? – Council / Mayor Ralph / Executive Leadership Team

• Does the Council approve using the guiding principles we used today to guide discussions at their meetings until next year’s retreat, at which time they could be reassessed?


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