This is an editorial written by Dana Ralph, candidate for Kent mayor. It has not been edited.
My name is Dana Ralph and I am running for Kent Mayor.
I learned early on in local politics my primary job is to advocate for my city – the residents and businesses. At the local level we do not have the luxury of being divided. There are not republican potholes and democrat parks. We are a whole city and my job is to make sure it is taken care. I have the responsibility to make sure that the taxes we are all paying are being returned to Kent and reinvested in our community. The only way to do that successfully is through working with all other levels of government – county, state and federal. It also means working with both republicans and democrats – especially in King County and Washington State. It doesn’t mean sacrificing my principles. These are the reasons I have the sole endorsements from our Fire Fighters, Kent Teachers and Kent Police Officers as well as residents, business owners, Republicans and Democrats.
I am a business owner. This is a benefit, not a weakness as has been inferred by one of my opponents. I have proven repeatedly since being elected to council, the work of the city is my priority. I already have a plan in place should I be elected mayor. My current employees will take over the running of the business and we will hire additional staff. Being mayor is a full time job and I am completely committed to that job.
I believe building consensus is the best way to get things done. As council president, I was able to bring a divided council together to pass a unanimous budget – this is virtually unheard of.
In the budget that was passed last year, which I could not vote for, a choice was made to drain the city’s reserves. There were options available to fund both street and parks maintenance, not drain our reserves and not raise taxes. Kent is going to lose a significant amount of state shared revenues. I believe we need to plan for that. A wait and see approach is not leadership. It is time to make a solid plan so we do not put critical city services at risk. Spending down our savings account is dangerous.
The sale of the Par 3 is another important topic of conversation. I am the only candidate that brought a plan to save the Par 3. There was real funding available that would have protected the open space and make the golf fund whole. I believe selling off the land was short sighted. Once open space is gone, it cannot be brought back.
We all want to live in a safe community. I was able to come up with a way to hire two additional officers this year because I know public safety is a paramount concern for all of our residents. I also believe in building community relationships. I have worked with our officers, resident, including our students to develop a sense of connection and trust.
If you have any questions or concerns or wonder if things you may have heard are true – please give me a call at (253)332-0760. You can also find additional information on my website www.danaformayor.com.
Thank you for your consideration – together we can build on the amazing potential of Kent.
By Dana Ralph
Submitted to iLoveKent.net for publication on July 27, 2017
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