Covington council candidate doesn’t want her town to become like Seattle
When homelessness and crime upticks in a city like Seattle, people don’t notice to a great degree. But when it happens in a relatively small, peaceful town like Covington, the change is more apparent.
Republican Kristina Soltys is a newcomer to politics, and is taking on an incumbent for Covington City Council. A mom and community activist who’s lived in Covington for well over a decade, she joined the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to discuss how a growing sense of unease on the streets motivated her to run.
“Well over a decade ago, it (Covington) was just this beautiful, strong, secure non-toxic city, and it was easy to raise your family there,” she said.
“What really awakens a mother, and someone whose parents are in city and someone who works primarily with seniors who are telling you that they don’t feel safe walking into Safeway and Fred Meyer after dark, that hits me in a soft spot,” she continued. “I have done a couple of ride-alongs with our police throughout the night … and it’s these trails one after another where homeless camps are, things you would not have heard of before.”
For Soltys, it’s not that Covington is becoming a place where gangs roam the streets or anything of the sort, it’s simply that with added growth, the city is not able to handle some of the issues that come with growth, and needs to add more police and take a more aggressive role in solving safety issues.
“At many hours and throughout the night, there’s only one police officer patrolling Covington. That is not OK from a family standpoint and not OK from just a citizen standpoint,” she said. “Our parks are beautiful, but they’re not going to be beautiful if they’re full of tents and tarps and needles, which people tell me they are as I’m door-belling.”
At the core of her campaign is the fear that Covington will become like Seattle and inherit its problems because of the city’s complacency toward crime and homelessness.
“I’ve spoken to hundreds, probably thousands of people at this point. Everyone I tell that I do not want Covington to become like Seattle, they shake their head, they roll their eyes and say, ‘Neither do we,'” she said. “The Seattle Council has to take ownership of what has been done there … But so do we.”
“Our seniors or the children or their grandchildren, they have to grow up here, and I don’t want to get pushed out of Covington by crime. That’s why I’m here, and that’s why I’m running.”
To learn more about her campaign, head to www.kristinasoltys.com
Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.