Monday, October 23, 2017

The Political Desk - Lighting up a Kent

You know what I really like? An election with candidates that both have strong points. For example, in Seattle itself, former US District Attorney Jenny Durkan is squaring off against local activist Carry Moon. I like Moon, but feel OK with the establishment candidate in this one, because they would both make good mayors. This is the way elections are supposed to work.

I just wanted to get that off my chest, because I am less sanguine about Kent's choices this year. Both candidates. former councilbeings Dana Ralph and Jim Berrios, failed to impress me during the primaries. It is really little things, I will admit, but it got my goat enough at the time to sour me on both candidates.

Back during the primary, I got a robocall from Dana Ralph's campaign toting about her not being a politician, despite a) being a councilperson, and b) running for political office. Both of those kinda make you a politician. (Also making you a politician - campaign contributions). Jim Berrios, on the other hand, in a debate played down that we're going to lose a chunk of municipal cash because in a change in the state sales tax, which sounds like wishful thinking and makes me nervous as well.

So for this year, I give NO RECOMMENDATION. Ultimately, I'm going to have to figure it out, but I don't feel comfortable directing people in one direction or the other, so you're on your own. Hey, it's my blog, I'll do what I want.

More locally still, let's see who we have for the city council: We don't get enough general information on this because, other than the Kent Reporter, there is not a lot of raw data. I almost want to hire a private detective, some hardened gumshoe which the assignment to patrol the bars and paw through the old records to see who has the most parking tickets or the secret support of Old Man Burns who lives up on the hill in his mansion (the one with the hounds). Lacking that, I'll go with recommendations I made for the primary - Satwinder Kaur for Council Position No. 2 and Tye Whitfield for Council Position No. 4. And since I'm in the neighborhood, let me re-recommend Denise Daniels once again for Kent School District No. 415, Director District No. 4  (interestingly, Agda Burchard, who came in third in the primary for this position, also endorsed Ms. Daniels/

Now for most of these positions, the statements in the voter's guides are veritably identical - lived in Kent for X number of years, putting citizens first, importance of enough officers on the beat while keeping Kent an affordable place to raise your kids, and of course they are honored to be running. So it was a breath of fresh air to see Russel L. Hanscom, candidate for the Council Position No, 6, to lay out his own opinion. Here's a direct quote from the guide:
Frankly, I'm not really sure I want this job. The pay is crummy, it takes time away from my family, and it's pretty thankless a lot of the time. 
However, my lack of enthusiasm does not diminish my competence or honesty.
I'm writing this statement on August 4 and I'm right in the middle of starting a business. If the business takes off like it's supposed to, between now and November, I sincerely doubt I'll have enough time to be an effective representative for your concerns. 
I honestly don't know what else to say. This is the reality I'm facing today.
And while I can admire the honesty (he said later that he was writing this on a particularly bad day), I'm going to take him at his word and go with Brenda Fincher, and hoping that Mr. Hanscom's new business has taken off.

More later,