Throughout this election season, I have attempted to remain neutral on iLoveKent.net. As a journalist who holds herself closely to the SPJ Code of Ethics, I felt it was important to present both sides fairly which I have done. I have also refrained from stating my personal opinion regarding who I am supporting in the Kent mayoral election. Those who know me well know that I made my vote without reservation.
Before I continue, let me disclose my relationships with both Mayor Suzette Cooke and mayoral candidate and KSD school board president Jim Berrios. I used to be a contractor for the city. I am no longer working with the city on projects, but I frequently interview city officials and employees for articles for publication. I have also interviewed Jim Berrios for several stories I’ve written for publication, one local publication and a trade publication for the newspaper advertising industry.
Without divulging my personal choice for mayor, I ask you to consider the following when casting your vote (if you have not already done so):
- Each candidate’s record of service to the community: Mayor Suzette Cooke as our mayor for the last four years with numerous community and governmental achievements, and Jim Berrios as a community volunteer, business owner and president of the KSD school board.
- Each candidate’s behavior during the campaign. Did your preferred candidate conduct him or herself honorably, focusing on the issues (e.g., budget, flooding, economy) rather than minutia?
- When faced with difficult decisions like how to handle flooding, manage transportation issues, boost our economy and settle the school district strike, did your candidate act in the community’s best interests?
- Does your candidate of choice have a plan for the next four years? If so, do you understand and agree with it?
- Is his or her campaign platform clear and does it benefit the community at large, or primarily special interest groups?
- Do you have any reservations whatsoever about your candidate’s loyalty?
As you consider these items, I ask you to also consider the media coverage and debates that have taken place. There has been a fair amount of mudslinging and the race has gotten ugly in some instances. From where I sit, that mud is coming from one side more than the other, however. That tells me a lot about the integrity of the candidates and how I can expect them to represent me and the City of Kent into the future.
I invite anyone to comment on the mayoral candidates and how they have (or have made) their choice for mayor of Kent.
Thanks for listening,Dana Neuts, Publisher