REPORTER FILE PHOTO

REPORTER FILE PHOTO

City to hire racial equity consultant

Council agrees to ‘workable’ resolution

On Monday the Auburn City Council decided by a vote of 6 to 1 to contract with the Racing to Equity consulting group to provide city leaders and staff with racial equity training and help it develop policies.

A significant change from last week’s study session when, with only Councilmember Larry Brown absent, the council split 3 to 3.

Bill Peloza was the only no vote on Monday. His objection was that the council had not had enough time to study changes to the plan, which he noted, had arrived in their city hall boxes only shortly before the 7 p.m. meeting.

No, more delays, said Councilmember Yolanda Trout-Manuel.

“As I’ve said several times, the cost of this could be greater, like lawsuits, if we didn’t have this training in our city,” Trout-Manuel said.

Last week, councilmember Largo Wales objected to what she had considered the prospective plans overly narrow focus on racial iniquities when, she said, such an effort could also examine and address bias against other groups that deal with discrimination every day.

Wales had likewise questioned where the city would get the money to cover the costs of the program at a time when its tight budget situation and its inability to adequately meet the maintenance needs of its own street system are well known.

Councilman Claude DaCorsi, while supportive of racial equity training, last week questioned why the three council members who won’t be there after the new year – Wales, Peloza and John Holman – should be sitting for all that training.

Why not, DaCorsi suggested, delay training for a year to benefit the three freshman council members who will be there in 2020?

But a series of sweeping changes to the plan effected by city staff and others over the last week turned Wales and DaCorsi into enthusiastic yes votes, Candis Martinson, Direct or Human Resources and Risk Management for the city of Auburn, explained what the revised plan does:

• Trims the original $400,000, three-year plan to two years at a reduced cost of $141,150;

• Delays council training under the plan until 2020 so the three new council members can participate;

• Defers original community engagement measures in favor of revisiting them when the plan has run its two-year course. to allow recommendations about moving the plan forward;

• Delays the train-the-trainer program to “institutionalize” the training, that is, to bring it in house, until after the relationship with Racing to Equity ends.

“I’m in awe, in that I had a number of concerns, and every one of them you very aggressively dealt with in what I see as a positive way, and how you’ve sequenced the funding of it so we can make mid-term additions and subtractions,” Wales said to Martinson.

“I appreciate the effort that you and the mayor and others have taken in presenting us tonight with a resolution that I would say is workable,” DaCorsi said.

More in News

Wilson invites constituents to 30th District coffee hour on Oct. 21

Sen. Claire Wilson, D-Auburn, hosts a Constituent Coffee Hour from 5:30 to… Continue reading

Kiwanians present inaugural 5K Purple Sock Walk/Run on Oct. 26

The Kiwanis Club of the Valley, Auburn, presents the inaugural 5K Purple… Continue reading

Entenman to host coffee, conversation Oct. 19 in downtown Kent

State representative to be at Cafe on Fourth

Utility work to affect West Valley Highway N | UPDATES

On Wednesday, Oct. 16, and Thursday, Oct. 17, utility work by Cannon… Continue reading

King County is considering ways to increase both the supply of and demand for compost to help divert organic material from the landfill. File photo
King County wants to boost composting market

In 2018, around one-third of material sent to regional landfill could have been composted.

Bellevue is the most expensive place in the region to rent an apartment, according to a new analysis. Courtesy photo
King County cities are among most expensive to rent in Northwest

Bellevue has highest apartment rents; Renton, Kent and Federal Way all saw increases in 2019.

Motorcyclist killed on southbound SR 167 near Renton, Kent | Update

Driver in Oct. 11 crash identified as 59-year-old Grays Harbor County man

Dane Scarimbolo and Dominique Torgerson run Four Horsemen Brewery in Kent. They were almost shut down in late 2017 by King County, which after years of letting them operate a brewery and taproom, decided they were in violation of county code. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Proposed winery ordinance irks King County farmers, neighbors and businesses

Concerns include more traffic, higher land prices, code enforcement and compliance.

Swenson joins Highline College Board of Trustees

Gov. Jay Inslee recently appointed Sharmila Swenson to the Highline College Board… Continue reading

Most Read