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Renton Mayor Denis Law Delivers 2015 State of the City Address

March 5, 2015

For more information contact:
Preeti Shridhar
, Deputy Public Affairs Administrator 425-430-6569

The State of the City today is great

RENTON: Renton Mayor Denis Law delivered his 2015 State of the City address today before a packed audience at a luncheon organized by the Renton Chamber of Commerce. The State of the City address emphasized the various accomplishments the city has achieved, including the highest quality of service and several new initiatives.

“Several years ago, thanks to our former city leaders, a transformation began at City Hall that moved Renton to become a model city in this state for our customer service and permitting process,” said Mayor Law. “This commitment to improving our community continues today.”

“With a workforce of 686 people, we provide services to nearly 100,000 people spread throughout a 24-square-mile community. Our employees are responsible for providing a variety of vital services every day that citizens have come to expect,” said Law.

The Mayor emphasized some of the key services provided by city employees:

  • Public Works staff maintains about 675 miles of roads, delivers nearly 2.5 billion gallons of water, services
  • 223 miles of sewer lines, and gets rid of your unwanted waste.
  • Fire fighters put out fires, conduct rescues and extrications, and handle more than 10,500 calls for medical assistance.
  • Police officers risk their personal safety every day to serve you and keep you safe. Our parks division maintains over 1,200 acres of park land, while our recreation programs serve thousands; we have more than a million visitors at Gene Coulon Park alone each year.
  • We also offer specialized services for seniors and local youth, and assistance to our vulnerable populations.
  • Our popular aquatic center serves more than 70,000 people each summer. And every year thousands enjoy Renton River Days, the Farmers Market, the 4th of July celebration and Neighborhood Picnics.
  • We license businesses and review hundreds of plans.
  • We also operate an airport where more than 100,000 annual flights take place.

“Last year we set a goal to be the Best City in King County and established four areas of priority for special focus,” said Law. “We’ve made great progress in each of these areas.”

The Mayor highlighted the city’s key accomplishments:

Serving Our Vulnerable and Diverse Populations

  • Provided training for all of our employees on race, equity and inclusion.
  • Strengthened our relationship with our community liaisons; working on an equity lens to evaluate several internal systems and emphasize inclusion.
  • Working on the needs of our aging population.
  • Working closely with local churches to address the needs of our homeless and vulnerable populations.
  • Created Center of Hope, a shelter at City Hall to help provide services to homeless women with children.
  • Collaborating with local leaders, community groups, and regional law-enforcement organizations to improve communications and relationships between our police officers and members of our diverse.

Enhancing Productivity and Customer Services

  • Created an environment that accepts change and embraces creativity and performance improvement.
  • Our management team provides on-going vision, leadership, training and motivation.
  • Created a culture committed to solving issues for our citizens—multiple departments work together.

A Strong and Sustainable Fiscal Strategy

  • Instituted a Business and Occupation Tax to help overcome the structural deficit in our budget.
  • Received $118 million dollars in state and federal transportation grants for large infrastructure projects such as Rainier Avenue improvements.

City Is Safer Than A Few Years Ago

  • Multi-department strategy addressed local establishments that were a huge public safety concern resulting in every one of the problem businesses closing down.
  • Partnered with the Renton School District to reinstate School Resource Officers at our high schools.
  • Fire department’s Renton Heart Month has provided free blood sugar and blood pressure screenings for over 55,000 adults and children and found 18% at risk.

Economic Development and Building Our Community

  • $300 million dollars in new projects underway and another $300 million dollars of projects planned. A total of $600 million dollars of private investment in this community!
  • New Group Health Cooperative to develop 12 acres of land at Longacres and bring 1,000 new jobs.
  • Luxury hotel under construction on Lake Washington and a new 736,000- square-feet Class A office space.
  • Renton Honda recently opened a new showroom. Hampton Inn and Marriott Residence Inn to build new hotels across from Gene Coulon Park.
  • Two new libraries to be completed this fall; aerospace training center at the airport under construction soon.
  • PACCAR is currently constructing a new, 200,000-square-foot parts distribution center.
  • Our downtown revitalization emphasis is moving forward including a five-story complex at S. 2nd and Main Avenue S. with 101 units and 4,000 square feet of retail space; and a new Piazza Park.
  • Transformation in the Sunset area of the Highlands, including a new library, multi-family housing complexes, new housing units for low-income families and a 3.7-acre park.

The Mayor acknowledged the City Council for their role.

 “We’re very fortunate in Renton to have strong leadership from the City Council, who are committed to setting policies that are vital to the future of this community,” said Law.

“This city has earned a positive reputation throughout this region. Our future is very bright.”

The Mayor’s address will be broadcast on Renton’s TV channel 21 and video-streamed on rentonwa.gov. To read the Mayor’s State of the City message, click here.