Council at-large race incumbents win all 3 seats

Jessica Rothschuh

The three incumbents were re-elected in Kent City Council’s at-large race yesterday.

“I’m pleased, of course,” councilman Rick Hawksley said. “It’s an honor, and it’s humbling. It tells me we’re doing something right.”

Kent’s voters re-elected Democrats Hawksley, Michael DeLeone and William Schultz over non-party candidate William Anderson and two no-party-designation candidates, John Bard and William Tarver.

DeLeone said council is a “team effort,” and with the three incumbents on for another four years, it will be able to proceed with plans already in motion.

Council will “stay the course,” Hawksley said. “There are a lot of irons in the fire.”

All three winners mentioned the city’s financial situation as an important issue to address in the upcoming term.

“The budget issue is obviously primary,” Hawksley said, adding that it would be difficult. Council will have to “bring the community to the table,” and strike a balance between raising taxes and lowering service.

It is hard to know exactly what the city will want because Kent is a diverse community with diverse incomes and priorities, Hawksley added.

“I’m looking forward to the city manager and council working together,” DeLeone said of Dave Ruller, Kent’s new city manger. “He’s a ball of energy, and he’s just waiting to go.”

The three winners used various campaigning strategies, including door-to-door campaigning, newspaper advertisements and mailings. DeLeone said he spent three hours Election Day evening collecting his yard signs around town.

Schultz said voters re-elected him because he has served for a long time and the community knows him. And though voters don’t always agree with what he says, they respect his integrity.

“I’ve received a lot of goodwill from the community,” Schultz said.

Students should also feel welcome to participate in the local government because they are part of the community, too, DeLeone said. “If they have a problem, I wish they’d call us.”

City Council comprises nine members – the three at-large members and six others who represent their respective wards. The new terms begin Jan. 1, 2006.

Contact public affairs reporter Jessica Rothschuh at [email protected].