Reader says candidates are not stating facts
I have been reading the voter pamphlet statements by the people running for Covington City Council and I am concerned about the misleading and incorrect information in those statements. Two of the people attempting to unseat incumbents claim the city plans to spend $40 million dollars on a new city center but this absolutely not true. The plan is that a developer will cover the major portions of the town center build out. Because the property was just purchased, no plan with a developer has been finalized and therefore no costs on the city hall/police station have been agreed to. Right now the city spends $45,000.00 per month to rent space in the current city hall and by building a new city hall that $45K would be paying off a mortgage and not filling someone else’s pocket.
One of the other so called concerns is the condition of some of the roads and streets. Right now the road budget is spent for repairs. What the candidates are saying is that the citizens of Covington voted down a small tax increase to fix all our roads, twice, and that had nothing to do with the incumbents.
More police would be nice and while adding a new officer costs over $220,000, the city has hired four in the past five years. The city has been aggressive in hiring in recent years but right now, there are no officers available to hire from King County Sheriff’s Department.
Retain our current City Council.
Reader supports Sean Smith’s reelection
This is a time of considering candidates and also doing what ‘we’ can to make our lives and this world better. I think the best way to do that is to look around you, literally, your home, your workplace, your neighborhood and make changes there.
Sean Smith is one of those people who understands this value and works diligently to change the spaces he resides in, which makes our community better. As you are combing through candidates, I wanted to note that in looking for change around you that will spread outward, re-elect Sean Smith to the Covington City Council. You too will be inspired to do what you can, right where you live and together we will change the world. I believe it!
Reader says current council best for public safety
I was happy to learn about the great work of our Covington Police Department (Covington Police have a busy Monday, October 1, 2019). Their capture of the shopping center purse snatchers, the community package thieves, the suspects pointing guns at cars on a Highway 18 overpass, and the students who brought a gun to Kentwood High School all illustrate how our police keep us safe every day.
As Covington residents, we are fortunate to have 16 dedicated men and women on our police force. I have heard candidates who are running for city council repeatedly assert that Covington has only one or two officers, and that is why I am writing this letter to the editor. That is clearly not the case. In fact, when factoring in that Covington’s budget pays for King County services such as SWAT support, Special Emphasis Teams, major crime investigations and dispatch, I have found that we have the equivalent of almost 24 officers dedicated to policing our city.
Covington’s police officers have a commitment to excellent police service, which flows down from the top. Our chief and the City Council have created a culture that values a highly trained and professional police force. Crimes such as burglary, assault and car theft are on the decline.
I have been impressed with City Councilmembers Marlla Mhoon, Sean Smith and Jennifer Harjehausen. They are committed to public safety, and over the past five years their leadership added four officers to our police force and secured additional resources such as a new unmarked squad car.
Recently, the council completed the purchase of the historic Covington Elementary. This site will soon be the location of Covington’s first fully dedicated police station.
I realize that protecting public safety is an ongoing process. In speaking with the council, I know they share my belief that as our city grows additional officers will be needed. Thanks again to Covington Police and the city council for doing the necessary work to keep Covington safe and a desirable place to live!