By Mellow DeTray

Here’s our recap of the Kent City Council’s regular meeting, held on Tuesday night, April 18, 2023:

Bicycle Advisory Board

Mayor Dana Ralph began the meeting by appointing new and returning members to Kent’s Bicycle Advisory Board. The board advises the city on places around town that need improvements to bicycle safety, as well as hosting an annual Community Bike Rodeo. The next Rodeo is May 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the YMCA parking lot, and will include lots of fun activities to encourage kids to bike safely.

Centennial Central Gallery Artist Reception

On Thursday April 20 from 6-7:30 p.m., everyone is welcome to attend a free reception at the Centennial Central Gallery. One of the featured artists, Renee Hazen, will be present.

Public Safety Report

Officer Adrian Rojas-Medina was sworn in to the Kent police force. Officer Rojas-Medina came to Kent through a lateral move from Kitsap, meaning he will be ready for patrol much sooner than an unseasoned officer. Rojas-Medina, who has a medical background as well, said he chose Kent based on strong recommendations from some local friends.

Another officer, Autumn Heerspink, received the Life Saving Award after she administered two doses of Narcan to an inmate who was found unresponsive at the Kent jail. The inmate was stabilized and he survived.

Finally, Chief Rafael Padilla spoke about a terrible incident that had taken place just hours earlier, an officer-involved shooting. According to Chief Padilla, police were called to the scene where an intoxicated and angry man proceeded to drink gasoline, then pour some on himself. Firemen were called to the scene, but then the man turned on a circular saw and lunged at officers. Less lethal tactics were first deployed, but they didn’t stop him, and he was shot. Officers immediately deployed life-saving measures, but he did not make it. No officer was injured.

Harry Williams Remembered

After many years of generous service in the community, Harry Williams has passed away. Williams worked on the Chamber of Commerce, Kent Rotary, and at the food bank. He taught kids to fish, and cooked the fish with them. He had a true heart for service and the community will miss him.

CAO Gives Brief Legislative Update

Chief Administrative Officer Pat Fitzpatrick updated council on the state legislative session, which is nearing a close. The three items of strongest concern to Kent regard land use, drug possession, and police pursuits. Next week we will have final updates from Olympia, and there will be a full presentation to council in late May.

Three Bids for Construction Approved

Council approved three separate bids brought forward by Public Works Director Chad Bieren. One, costing around $199,000, will replace old plastic pavement markers, and came in far under the $347,000 estimate. Another, asphalt grinding, which comes before roads can be repaved, will cost about $87,000, again at about half the $175,000 estimate. The final bid replaces a number of old cast iron water mains and a section of pipe. This work will involve lane closures and cost $1.35 million, also under the $1.39 million estimate.

To stay updated on traffic advisories throughout the city, check this page, where you can also sign up to receive traffic updates. The DriveKent twitter page provides traffic advisories as well.

Mellow DeTray is a Seattle native who has spent the last 16 years raising her family in the region. She has volunteered at many local establishments over the years, including the Burien Library, Burien Actors Theatre, and Hot Feet Fitness. 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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