The Mayor’s corner

Budget season, pedestrian improvements and general election on the horizon in Covington this fall

  • Sunday, September 8, 2019 1:30am
  • Opinion

We have just over two weeks of summer left to enjoy and then fall will bring us shorter days and cooler weather. Covington’s summer event season has wrapped up and, as your mayor, I am proud of all of the residents who willingly participated in our summer events including the Covington Days Festival, Summer Concerts in the Park Series, KidsFest, Sausage & Cider Fest, and the Outdoor Movie. Now, as summer winds down, the kids go back to school, football starts and budget season is upon us!

We have had a busy year so far at the city and it’s not letting up. The next few months promises to be just as busy! Let’s take a look at what is in store for us.

At all times, but especially with school back in session, it is all of our responsibility to drive safely around our children and to follow all traffic laws including those specific to school zones. To that extent, I am excited to report that the 164th Pedestrian Improvement Project is finally coming to fruition. The project includes building a sidewalk on the east side of 164th Ave Southeast from the vicinity of Southeast 269th Street to Southeast 264th Street, which completes a sidewalk from the school to the library of about 1,900 linear feet.

The total construction cost for this important project is $1,124,000 and I am happy to say that $850,000 of the cost is being paid for by state and federal grants, and $225,000 is being paid for with SWM (Surface Water Maintenance) Funds due to the required stormwater treatment improvements being made along the sidewalk/roadway. The project is expected to be complete this December.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Covington Domestic Violence Task Force (CDVTF) will host their annual “Take a Step Against Domestic Violence” 5K Walk/Run and Purple Light Nights Tree Lighting Kick Off Event to remember lives lost to domestic violence and honor survivors. The event includes a free BBQ, spirit awards and the tree lighting next to Pier 1 Imports on Saturday, Sept. 28. Anyone can register for the run online at with proceeds going to the CDVTF to provide direct services to victims and their children as well as to educate the community.

Currently, we are also in the midst of our annual budget planning process. On Saturday, Oct. 26, City Council will sit down for our annual budget workshop where we will review budget strategies, receive department presentations, review the budget forecast, and dive into meaningful discussion and deliberations to help create the best budget for Covington. The budget workshop will also be followed by public hearings at subsequent council meetings in November to receive any public testimony about the proposed 2020 budget before final decisions are made.

Our budget workshop and public hearings are open to anyone wishing to attend. I highly encourage any residents who would like to get a more in depth idea of what goes into the budgeting decisions to attend. In the meantime, we make our most recent budgets available on our city website at as well as our financial transparency tool that allows you to navigate through the budget and other fiscal information for the city.

Finally, I would like to remind everyone that fall is also the season for voting! Nov. 5 marks Election Day and Covington residents will be asked to vote on five city council positions among other measures that may be proposed by the county and state. I hope that all residents who are eligible will let their vote be counted!

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Opinion

Cartoon by Frank Shiers
Editorial: Stopping COVID is now up to each of us

With a resurgence threatening, we need to take greater responsibility to keep the virus in check.

Valley police chiefs of King County release unified message in response to death of George Floyd

Police chiefs of Des Moines, Tukwila, Renton, Federal Way, Kent, Auburn, Algona, Pacific, Black Diamond and the Port of Seattle pledge to stand with communities.

Back to the wild — a whole new outdoor recreation world | Guest editorial

When enjoying the great outdoors, continue to socially distance and be aware of how else COVID-19 has changed our world.

KCLS is stepping up its commitment to patrons

KCLS has expanding its online resources so patrons can continue to learn, build skills, stay entertained and remain mentally and physically active amid the pandemic.

How using a face mask to cover my Asian face could put me in danger

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, Asians and Asian Americans have been targeted.

Opinion: Public deserves honest information on sex education

The Washington comprehensive sex education bill passed in the Senate on March 7.

Covington Mayor Jeff Wagner.
COVID-19 and Covington: Message from Mayor Jeff Wagner

By Jeff Wagner, Mayor of Covington Many of us have friends, family… Continue reading

Grocery store staff are working hard to keep the shelves stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic. File photo
Thank you grocery store clerks

Recognizing the sacrifices of our unsung essential workforce.

To our elected officials: Be bold, be consistent, be honest, be helpful

By Patrick Grubb, Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Governor Jay Inslee has been… Continue reading

Working to communicate with all residents

It may only be February, but some great things are already happening… Continue reading

Letters to the editor for the week of Feb. 20

Reader is wary of possible new tree code Dear editor, The Covington… Continue reading

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Despite ruling on Public Records Act, we need to keep a close eye on Olympia

Washington Supreme Court upholds that state legislators are subject to the Public Records Act.