Saturday, October 24, 2015

Political Desk: Kent

And now back to the show:

Let's get local. Very, very local. I write this up knowing that fives if not tens of people will be reading it. We're talking about the Kent City Council.

The Kent City Council is a body of seven people who govern Kent with the mayor. And I will be honest, they've done well in the past - measures like establishing the Kent Commons downtown, dealing with having to sandbag the Green River when the Hanson Dam was in trouble, and absorbing our Panther Lake neighborhood into the larger community. Downsides? I worry that they are more concerned with the valley than the surrounding neighborhoods on the hills, and tend to be a bit pro-business, but that just comes with the territory.

So, we have two positions currently up, plus an incumbent challenged by a write-in. The match-ups are: Toni Troutner versus appointed incumbent Brenda Fincher, Tina Budell versus Hira Singh Bhullar for an open seat, and incumbent Les Thomas, who is challenged by a write-in candidate Gwen Allen.

And for most of us, what we know about the candidates is a bunch of red, white, and blue lawn signs and (if we read them), the write-ups in the voter's guides, which tend to be a bit innocuous. Missing major scandal, there are no "throw the dastards out" movements, and finding some light between them is kinda challenging, though not through lack of trying. The Kent Reporter put out a questionnaire on major local issues, and has covered questions about the fireworks ordinance (more on that later), so here goes.

Tina Budell vs. Hira Singh Bhullar was pretty much dead even in my mind the last time I looked, and the additional information hasn't moved either one of them down in my estimation. I will go for Tina Budell due to previous experience, but shan't be offended if Hira Singh Bhullar gets the votes.

My opinion on Toni Troutner vs. Brenda Fincher was very influenced by the questionaire, in which Ms. Fincher went into detail on his positions, even if her position and that of Ms. Troutner were similar. Also, Ms. Fincher is both pro-marijuana store in Kent (Indeed, the fact that localities can block such legal outlets results in things like illegal growhouse operations still being effective in South King County), and anti-fireworks, while Ms. Troutner wishes to bargain on the first issue, and equivocated on the latter. Let's go for Brenda Fincher.

Les Thomas has been in the council for as long as anyone, and if one is going to run a write-in campaign, it will be an uphill fight, if for no other reason because Mr. Thomas is the only name is on the ballot. Still, I like what Gwen Allen has to say on the issues, again coming down on positive for marijuana use and negatives for private fireworks. Take the extra five seconds and write in  Gwen Allen.

More later,