Ferndale mayoral and city council candidates, including those running unopposed, answered questions posed during a public forum Tuesday, October 13th, at the Pioneer Pavilion Community Center hosted by the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce.
Each candidate was offered 2 minutes to respond to questions asked. Ferndale High School social studies teachers, Scott Browne and Jennifer Kubic, served as moderators. Many students could be seen in the crowd of nearly 70 attendees.
The following is a depiction of the questions and answers. In some cases responses have been paraphrased. This is not to alter the intended meaning or emphasis but due to limitations with hearing and recording.
First, the candidates first took turns introducing themselves:
Keith Olson – I’m the incumbent for city council position #3. A retired Border Patrol agent. This is my 3rd time running for city council. I’m a proponent of new business which generates sales taxes since that in turn alleviates the need for more property taxes on citizens.
Greg Hansen – I am running for city council. I am a “Ferndale kid,” having grown up here. I have worked in the area bucking bales and even worked at Simplot. I don’t consider myself an “angry politician” like some who would run for office. I am running because I want the best for Ferndale.
Cathy Watson – I am running because I want to do more with the day-to-day operations of the city. I likes working with people and am experienced managing people and budgets. Among other things, I have served as president at the Ferndale Kiwanis and volunteer at the school district.
Glenn Stewart – I am a 20 year resident of Ferndale. I have run campaigns for others, but never run for office myself before. I have an extensive background in retail and construction management. I have built many projects including hospitals, retail centers and even a jail. I have a propensity for “grandiose projects.” I want to ask who we are going to allow to set up business in our town.
Teresa Taylor – I have lived in Whatcom all my life. I was one of the first to help clean up the pavilion after the fire when it was home to the Boys and Girls Club. The reason I am running is I see a lot of exciting things going on including the jail, coal trains, a big box store and road projects and I want to step up and do whatever I can.
Jon Mutchler – How many in the audience, by a show of hands, are undecided about the mayor’s race? I was asked by a friend to start a church in Ferndale 28 years ago. Since then I have raised 7 kids who now work and live in Ferndale. I prevailed in my first election by a mere 5 votes. Current Mayor Gary Jensen suggested that I run for mayor. I have been serving/helping families for 3 decades and wants to keep doing that.
Rebecca Xczar – I am a residential real estate appraiser. I have served on the parks advisory board. And, like Greg, I am not angry about any issues.
Paul Ingram – I am seeking my 3rd and final term on the city council. I have been serving the city since arriving in town. My military background makes me a good leader and I find himself leading all the time.
Click here to read the candidates’ answers to the next forum question…