With the campaign for the KPPCSD Board in full swing, it’s time for What’s Up Kensington, a blog hosted by kensingtonca.org to illuminate the voting choices faced by Kensington residents this November. We will curate commentary that looks at statements of candidates and squares them with the facts that we hope will inform your choices.

In the election for Kensington’s police (KPPCSD) Board, there is a clear separation between: a) the two incumbents Rachelle Sherris-Watt and Chris Deppe, plus Mike Logan who are looking to build on the gains we’ve made in reforming town governance; and b) three non-incumbents who are continuing in the shameful tradition of scaring residents into letting the police and its union control our town.

Dakota McKenzie and Cyrus Modavi are cut out of the same cloth as the Old Guard that governed past Boards. They exhibit nostalgia for town governance that accepted a culture of police misconduct, intimidation and retaliation against whistleblowers. Their campaign is based on the same scare tactics that has spawned three anonymous mailers and littered Kensington’s streetscape with yard signs demanding, “Don’t Contract Out.”

In their own words:

We’ve seen no coherent justification to disband our police force and outsource police services.” (McKenzie/Modavi, Kensington Outlook, Oct. 2018)

… we believe it wholly unwise to gamble on the proposition of relying on outsourcing to fulfill such a fundamental community need.” (McKenzie/Modavi, campaign website)

Their minds are made up—there shall be no alternatives to the status quo, no matter what the consequences. They falsely claim that, “the Phase 1 of the Matrix report says we need to have what we already have.” (Oct 9, 2018 flyer)

That’s not just wrong, it’s dangerous. The same Matrix report pointed to serious deficiencies in our current police department including staffing levels, inadequate supervision and training, poor record keeping and internal affairs functions, out-of-date equipment, inadequate/inefficient support staff and poor utilization of proactive time (pgs, 32-33). To ‘keep what we have’ would require an additional $1 million in tax revenue to bring the department up to current police standards, according to the report.

And to do nothing would continue to expose our police to increased risk and our community to expensive lawsuits.

We need directors who are open-minded, deal in facts and analysis and seek creative, cost effective solutions to keeping our town safe.

Please vote for Rachelle Sherris-Watt, Chris Deppe and Mike Logan for KPPCSD Board.

David Tuft & Mabry Benson

Kensington Residents