The Kent City Council passed a unanimous resolution on Tuesday, declaring the city to be “Not That Bad, Really.” Putting aside their differences, council members united behind the initiative, which is aimed at improving Kent’s image in the Puget Sound and across the country.
“Some people seem to think that Kent is a desolate wasteland, devoid of even the most basic human necessities,” Councilmember Les Thomas said, “but we really want to get the message out that it’s really not that bad.”
“Sure, we’re not as sterile or as white as Bellevue, but Kent has almost a dozen Starbucks, and we even have an Ann Taylor Loft over in Kent Station,” said Councilmember Debbie Raplee, referring to Kent’s so-called contemporary urban village. “Occasionally, you even encounter a few good drivers on the freeway during the 90-minute commute to Seattle,” she added.
Although Kent city council elections do not take place in 2008, the move is seen by some as an early attempt to pander for votes in the 2009 elections, in which three of the seven council members will be defending their seats.
“With the ridiculously early start of the presidential election season last year, even local politicians seem to be getting into the vote-grabbing mood sooner and sooner,” commented Kent resident Mike Ikerson, “But I do agree with the council,” he added, “Kent really isn’t all that bad.”
Local political observers are calling the “Not That Bad, Really” resolution a bold move, and a good step by the council toward recovering ground that has been lost to Renton in recent years in the ongoing battle for positive public image.
At their next meeting, the council will consider a pair of dueling measures, one of which would fund a campaign to reduce the number of junker cars on lawns per capita, while the other seeks to use the same funds to increase community college attendance among Kent residents.