On Tuesday, April 24, Kent voters said ‘no’ to Proposition A, a police and criminal justice ballot measure that would have authorized the City to raise utility taxes from 6 percent to 8 percent on manufactured gas, natural gas, telephone and cable TV services.
The increased tax would have cost the average Kent household about $11 a month and raise approximately $4.8 million to fund 23 police officers and related criminal justice positions.
“Public safety is the city’s number one priority, so we are disappointed that Proposition A didn’t pass. We believe the community supports public safety, but other factors beyond our control worked against us,” said Mayor Dana Ralph. “On behalf of the City and the Kent Police Department, I want to thank Kent voters who said ‘yes’ to Prop A. We appreciate your support.”
Mayor Ralph said she would ask City Council to take the ballot measure back to voters later this year.
“Without this funding, we can’t provide the level of community policing that our residents want,” the mayor added.
Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas thanked his staff for continuing to work hard to protect the Kent community.
“The failure of this ballot measure means that our staffing levels will remain below those of neighboring communities,” said Chief Thomas. “In spite of that, the Kent Police Department is committed to doing the best we can with the resources we have.”
In the April 24 special election, as of 8:17 p.m. Tuesday night, 11,237 voters had returned their ballots with 4,640 (41.29 percent) in favor of Prop A and 6,597 (58.71 percent) against it, according to King County Elections.
Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority also put forth a proposition in the special election and had similar results.
Hopefully the Kent City Council in all their wisdom will deny Mayor Ralph the opportunity to submit Prop A second time to the vote of the people because:
1) They Respect “The Will of the People of Kent” on the first vote and unlike Mayor Ralph who has a vote of “no confidence” in the democratic system understand that although you may not agree with an outcome, the Majority Vote of the People of Kent is to be Respected and Up-Held.
2) The Kent City Council in all their infinite wisdom understands that the Mayor again is risking Loss Productivity and Delayed or Postponed other vital business of the city and police department administrative staffs by diverting their time and distracting their attention to work on a second campaign attempt to pass Prop A. How many Hours and Labor Dollars were lost the 1st time around? Just a “Sunk Cost”?!
3) The Kent City Council also recognizes not only the risk of loss city/police staff productivity and labor hours/dollars, but also the historical low probability (5% [+ or – 2%]) of passing an initiative second time around to overcome a 17% voting gap? The same voter demographics will participate, with the same opinion that they are already suffering under a large utility tax, and it will be the same outcome with the same vote!
4) The Kent City Council has to ask Mayor Ralphy to justify why thinks they can overcome a 17% voter deficit against Prop A (and Prop 1 for that matter), how can they change that many people’s opinion (more advertising dollar$?) and how can the Mayor justify the lost expense of committed resources with the same low probability of passage and same inevitable outcome!?
5) The Kent City Council in their Great Wisdom will set a Higher-Bar second time around and “see the true facts” and will Deny Mayor Ralphy the opportunity to put forth these Propositions again before the People of the City of Kent and recognize they are already burdened and at their “wit’s end” with over taxation! Why put forth all this effort and money for the same results?
I strongly agree with Elvis. The citizens of Kent have voted Prop A down clearly saying that they could not afford another increase in taxes this year. Prop A failed with no organized opposition to it and if the Mayor and City Council chose to ignore the vote of the citizens of Kent and present this again, there will be organized opposition to it this time! If the City Council present Prop A gain, it will be a slap in the face of Kent voters and clearly shows that the Mayor and City Council have no respect for Kent voters.