By Mitchell Roland

During Tuesday’s (Feb. 2, 2021) bi-monthly Kent City Council, meeting Mayor Dana Ralph declared February as Black history month in Kent, while Kent Police Chief Rafael Padilla corrected remarks he made last week and the council recognized Bill Boyce for an appointment to a new position.

Black History Month Declaration
At the meeting, Ralph read a proclamation for Black History month, which noted the accomplishments of Kent residents, which included two current city council members. In the proclamation, Ralph said that “Kent’s Black residents have regularly shattered ceilings through their accomplishments.”

Ralph noted that Bill Boyce was the first Black city council member in Kent when he was elected, and that Brenda Fincher became the second soon after when she was appointed to the council.

“The Black residents of Kent have regularly overcome barriers in the business community, the nonprofit community and in public service,” Ralph said in the proclamation.

In the proclamation, Ralph also encouraged the Kent residents to “educate themselves on the history on Black Americans and work toward transformative solutions to promote equity and justice for all.”

Police Chief corrects remarks in a brief appearance
During the meeting, Padilla corrected a statement he made during a Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

“When I stated that if you are able to talk then you can breathe, I was absolutely, 100% incorrect,” Padilla said. “That is outdated information, it’s a misnomer, and I’m wrong and I apologize for that.”

Padilla thanked Council Member Marli Larimer, “for pointing that out, and holding me accountable to that, so I could come back and get it correct.”

Padilla said that while he was wrong, Kent Police officers receive the correct information in their training.

“The training we send out in our training article, and in our bulletin online, it clearly outlined the fact that simply because you can talk, does not mean you can get enough oxygen to sustain life,” Padilla said. “I want to make sure that the public is aware that I’m correcting the message.”

Councilmember Boyce appointed to Harborview Board of Trustees
Several councilmembers, as well as Ralph, recognized Boyce for his recent appointment to the board of trustees at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Boyce was appointed to the position by King County Council Member Reagan Dunn.

Boyce said the position will be a “big responsibility.”

“I’m very excited about that, it’s a huge honor,” Boyce said. “Harborview is the number one trauma center in the whole northwest area.”

Ralph gave Boyce congratulatory remarks during the meeting and said, “we know that you will represent south King County well in those conversations.”

Scott Schaefer

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