By Jack Mayne
After he was sworn in by Mayor Dana Ralph, new Police Chief Rafael Padilla Jr. said he was “incredibly thrilled” about the honor of taking over from previous chief Ken Thomas who, as it turns out, was also sworn into a new job this week as the new Chief of neighboring Des Moines.
Padilla said he has served on the Kent department for 21 years and has “gotten the opportunity to grow with the community, have meaningful relationships, see the challenges and the successes” in the city. “Kent is really my city and the Kent people are my people,” even though he does not live in the city. He noted he was proud of the men and women who work with the Kent Police.
Padilla said without his wife, Kent Police Commander Tracey Padilla (pictured, right), his elevation to chief “wouldn’t have happened.”
State Rep. Tina Orwall said the recent 90-day session of the Washington Legislature passed over 300 bills, covering everything from the homeless aiding housing trust fund to a “take-back-drugs” program she said was the first such legislation in the nation. Also the lawmakers considered student loans and K-12 teacher pay. Orwall said she voted against a measure that exempted legislators from the Open Meeting Act, but it passed the Legislature before being vetoed by the governor.
Orwall also told the council that legislation passed that gives cities the power to declare abandoned property and to clean it up if necessary, rather than having it just be an eyesore and possibly a danger to citizens.
The Council approved several proclamations, including one for National Police Week, another for National Public Works Week, another for Relay for Life – KentDays and one to proclaim Kent International Day which will be June 2.