Mayor's Newsletter

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Mayor Armondo Pavone's weekly newsletter.

Mayor's Newsletter for Feb. 14, 2020

“Toasting” our water maintenance staff

Rolling Hills Pump Station

The immaculate pumping station at Rolling Hills reservoir

Mayor's Newsletter cover for February 13, 2020When you turn on the faucet to get a glass of water, aren’t you glad that you don’t have to give it a second thought? The delivery of safe water for domestic use is one of the most important jobs of a city. And the fact that you take it for granted is probably the greatest compliment you can give to our water maintenance staff.

I’ll admit, as a life-long Renton resident, I never really thought about the water that comes out of my tap. But recently I asked our public works crews to walk me through the journey our water takes from the ground to your homes and businesses.

A little background—Renton’s water comes from one of three sources: city-owned wells, Springbrook Spring or Seattle Public Utilities. In fact, the vast majority of the water we use comes from the three wells pumping right under our noses in Liberty Park. There’s another set of wells under Maplewood Golf Course, which also hosts the city’s main water treatment facility.

The source determines the type and amount of treatment, where the water is continually monitored and tested for purity. Using immaculate pump rooms, monitored treatments, built-in system redundancies, water reservoirs designed to react to earthquakes, and pride in their work, our water maintenance crews leave nothing to chance.  Water is then pumped up to one of 10 reservoirs around the city, a number that will soon grow to 11 with the addition of the new tower in Kennydale. Then with the help of gravity, pumps and a lot of engineering, clean water is delivered at the perfect pressure to your house or business.

So the next time you enjoy a glass of water, please join me in “toasting” our water maintenance staff for their tremendous care in delivering  the safest and best drinking water.

Prevention and response key in response

Williams Bridge over the Cedar River in Renton

 The Williams Street bridge over the Cedar River on Feb. 6, 2020

The amount of rain we received last week was significant and caused both the Cedar River and Green River to reach phase 4 flood stage. Fortunately, thanks to years of planning and preparation by city staff, we escaped with limited damage. Even though our weather has cleared, river flows will remain higher than normal for several days, so city staff will continue to monitor several situations.

Where we have felt an impact is on the Cedar River Trail between the Cedar River Dog Park and Riverview Park. The swift-flowing Cedar River eroded its bank, encroaching to the trail’s shoulder, forcing us to close the trail between the two parks for safety reasons. Our Community Services Department will bring in experts to determine our next steps, but unfortunately we do not have a time when it will re-open. We have placed closure barricades across the trail and ask for your cooperation in not going beyond them.

At Carco Theatre, timely sandbagging by parks and facilities staff, and their subsequent 24/7 monitoring from Thursday to Sunday, kept the river away and limited damage by some ground water in the basement. The over-flowing river forced Maplewood Golf Course to close four holes over the weekend, but they have resumed normal operations. A portion of the Cedar River trail that travels under Hwy. 169 near the golf course was also closed due to flooding. 

Any storm that causes damage to public property allows us to possibly qualify for reimbursement from the federal government, thus lessening the impact on the city budget. City staff are currently working together to document these damages. 

Similarly, if your home or business was damaged because of the storms you can file a report. These reports will help show FEMA that we need assistance. The federal government makes the final determination whether to approve financial assistance.

Responding to an event like last week’s requires a high degree of coordination and teamwork between several city departments. Thank you for all your hard work.

Train for disaster response through CERT

One of the many meetings I had during the storms was with our emergency management director. We agreed that when facing a disaster of any type, one of the keys to a successful response comes from neighbors helping neighbors. Our team offers that training through their Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) training. CERT classes provide hands-on training showing you how to safely and effectively deal with emergencies before the professionals arrive. The next CERT classes start on April 23, and you’ll learn basic fire suppression, searching a damaged building, treating disaster injuries, and more.

Celebrating Black History Month

Black History Month proclamation

Rev. Dr. Linda Smith of SKY Urban Empowerment and Transformation Center, Efrem Fesaha, owner of Boon Boona Coffee, and Teresa Johnson and Shelley Gaines owners of Sax Hair Salon accept the Black History Month proclamation.

The celebration of Black History Month has been going on all month. Last week I attended a virtual tour of Renton’s African American Historical sites hosted by the Renton History Museum. The presentation allowed you see and feel how Renton’s African American pioneers helped grow and shape the city we see today.

At Monday’s City Council meeting the council unanimously passed a proclamation designating February as National Black History Month in our city and celebrations will continue. The museum will host Black Fashionista!, a history of Black women fashion designers on March 5. Renton African American Pastors (RAAP) and the city will present “Celebrating Black Excellence,” a special event with speakers, drama performance, and a panel dialogue on February 26 at 6 p.m. at SKY Urban Empowerment and Transformation Center. The downtown Renton and Renton Highlands libraries are also hosting several events during February.

If you have the time, I urge all our residents to attended one or more of these presentations and learn more about the rich history of African Americans and their contribution not just to Renton, but to our country.

Census outreach to use trusted messengers

2020 Census

Providing accurate and timely information is a key part of our efforts to ensure we get a complete count of Renton residents during the 2020 Census.


One of the many ways we’re reaching out to the community to explain the significance of the census and answer your questions is by utilizing trusted messengers. These messengers are members of our community who are interested in helping Renton get an accurate count. They’ve attended an informational meeting and will receive training. As we move closer to census invitations in the mail, we’ll have several “information centers” around Renton staffed by trusted messengers. These centers will be a place to get your questions answered and, if needed, receive help in completing your form. If you’re interested in becoming a trusted messenger, please contact the city's census program manager Ginna Hernandez via email or 425-430-7728.


Comments, questions or suggestions, or just want to share all the great things that are happening in the city, please email me. Thanks for reading.


Mayor's Newsletter wins National NAGC Award

NAGC national first place award

The Mayor's Newsletter has been awarded a 2018 Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Award for First Place for External Newsletters by the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC).

The committee looked at submissions from all over the country and judged them on purpose, goals, objectives, target audience, and special factors.

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