Fellow members choose Satwinder Kaur as Kent City Council president

Will serve two-year term; replaces Bill Boyce, who nominated Kaur

Satwinder Kaur. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

Satwinder Kaur. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

Fellow members unanimously elected Satwinder Kaur ((pronounced Seth-win-der Core) as the new Kent City Council president.

Kaur, in her seventh year on council, moved into the two-year position at the Feb. 6 meeting. She replaces Councilmember Bill Boyce, who served as council president the last two years and has had the role six of the last eight years. Toni Troutner was council president in 2020 and 2021.

Boyce, in his 13th year on council, nominated Kaur.

“You’ve got some little shoes to fill,” Boyce said after Kaur’s election. “I’m sure you will do a great job and we are here to support you and make sure you are very successful.”

Kaur looks forward to her role as council president.

I want to thank you Councilmember Boyce for your leadership and being a good mentor over the last few years,” said Kaur, a 2004 Kentridge High School graduate. “As I start this I know all of us have the same goal of serving the community and making sure Kent is a better place for all of us.”

The council president works closely with the mayor to see what kind of support the council will give to issues and proposals. The council president also serves as the official spokesperson for the council.

“I’m very excited to work with you and to move this council forward in the next couple of years,” Mayor Dana Ralph said to Kaur.

Voters reelected Kaur to another four-year council term in 2021 when she ran unopposed. Voters first elected Kaur in 2017 when she defeated Paul Addis. Kaur worked as an executive assistant with the City Council in 2012 and 2013.

Kaur narrowly lost to Claudia Kauffman, of Kent, in the August 2022 Democratic primary race for the District 47 Senate seat. Kauffman then defeated Boyce, a Republican, in the November 2022 general election.

Mayor honors Boyce

Ralph toldBoyce during the council meeting how much she appreciated working with him.

“I want to thank you for your leadership,” Ralph said. “I consider you to be the glue. You are available to all of them (the council) and to me. I don’t know how many 5 a.m. phone calls we have had.”

The mayor continued.

“Bill has done an amazing job,” Ralph said. “His leadership speaks volumes. The role of the president is to get to a consensus, find what they can support, facilitate that debate, answer questions and provide guidance and leadership.

“In all my time on council and as mayor, I don’t know if I have seen anybody do it with so much grace and integrity, so thank you Bill, I’m grateful.”

Voters first elected Ralph and Boyce to the council in 2011. Voters elected Ralph mayor in 2017 and reelected her in 2021 to another four-year term.

“It’s been a pleasure working with you,” Boyce said in response to Ralph. “I know you love this city. You have a sign on your vehicle that says ‘Don’t mess with Kent.’

“You and I came on council together, we grew up together. In my eyes, you’re the best mayor period. I have never seen anyone who cares and has more compassion about this city and its people. Thank you for your leadership.”

Councilmember Brenda Fincher praised Boyce as well.

“Thank you to Council President Boyce for his leadership, and great skill in consensus building,” Fincher said. “We’ll be on opposite ends and he sees a nugget in common that you can get to. I really respect his leadership and thank you for being a good human.”

Assignments

In her new role, Kaur assigned council members to various roles after consulting with them.

Boyce will be the representative for Public Safety and the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee. Zandria Michaud will help oversee Human Services, Parks and the Firefighters Relief Pension Board. Fincher will represent Public Works and the Arts Commission. Marli Larimer was assigned to Economic and Community Development.

New Councilmember John Boyd, Larimer and Troutner will represent the city on the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority Board.

“I’m look forward to working with all of you and your guidance,” Kaur said.


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