The Kent City Council meeting on Tuesday night, April 16, 2024 recognized the dedication of public servants and local heroes.

Councilmember Bill Boyce was honored for his service, while members of Scout Troop #407 were celebrated for their life saving actions.

The meeting also highlighted a free community civics program, upcoming volunteer opportunities, and public comments on a pressing local issue.

Councilmember Bill Boyce Honored

In addition to serving his third term on the Kent City Council, Councilmember Bill Boyce was recognized for serving 12 years on the governance board of Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority. He received a plaque in recognition of his dedication to ensuring that high quality fire services are available in the community.

Life Saving Troop Celebrated

Scout Troop #407 was recognized for their members’ involvement in a notable number of lives being saved. Most recently, one member was able to use the Heimlich maneuver, which he had been taught in the Scouts, to save the life of a friend who was choking. There were a handful of other recent incidents in which members of this troop saved lives, including one boy who was able to use CPR to save his father. 

It was said that the purpose of scouting is to inspire the next generation of young leaders. If this troop is any indication, tomorrow’s leaders will be well versed in life-saving techniques.

Kent 101 Graduates Recognized

Kent 101 is a free 8-week course for residents and business owners in Kent, which aims to deepen understanding of local government and encourage civic engagement. The program originated as an idea in the mayor’s office in 2019, and since then there have been a total of 125 graduates. 

Thirty students completed the most recent session, which included 20 hours of program participation. Registration for the fall program will open in August. Classes are Thursday evenings at City Hall. See this link for more information.

Volunteer Opportunities

Earth Day is right around the corner, and to celebrate there is a Green Kent volunteer opportunity on Saturday April 20. The event runs from 9 a.m. to Noon at Clark Lake Park, and involves removing invasive species and planting native shrubs.

In addition, the spring Team Up 2 Clean Up event will be on Saturday May 4th, from 9am to noon, at various locations. The event will focus on litter and graffiti removal, and all necessary supplies will be provided. Groups will need to register their team ahead of time. Information can be found here.

Public Comments

A large group of refugees and advocates spoke during the public comments portion, each asking the council to allow the currently closed Econo Lodge Hotel to be used for asylum seekers. According to speakers, the hotel could provide emergency housing for 300 people. It was also mentioned that state legislators have slated millions of dollars to be used for housing refugees, so money shouldn’t be an issue. 

Among the speakers were many children, who explained that they were evicted from the Quality Inn 11 days prior, and have been sleeping in tents through the cold and the rain ever since. Council did not discuss this issue at the meeting.

Bids Approved

Two bids were briefly described and quickly approved for road maintenance projects. One was a pavement preservation project for $4.7 million, and the other an asphalt grinding project for $107,000.

Mellow DeTray

Mellow DeTray is a Seattle native who has spent the last 17 years raising her family in the region. For many years she published a moderately popular cooking & lifestyle blog, and she had a brief stint in political journalism during a local election. Clear and informative writing has always been a side hobby of Mellow’s and she looks forward to bringing you unbiased coverage of City Council meetings.

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