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Ferndale Schools director and Ellensburg council candidate issues statement

Barbara Robles

FERNDALE, Wash. — A Ferndale School District director hired in July has issued a statement that was published by the District yesterday, November 1st, a day before the 2021 General Election. The statement (below) is in response to a recently reported discovery that after accepting the position in Ferndale as Director of Equity and Inclusion and purchasing a residence in Ferndale, Robles continued to campaign and accept contributions for a 4-year term seat on the Ellensburg City Council, 200 miles away.

Dear Ferndale & Ellensburg Community,

When I set out on this journey of public service, I did it with one thing in mind: to serve the public. Serving others has always been the number one driving force in my life. It has led me to amazing people and opportunities. I am grateful to Ellensburg and its residents for all the lessons, for the friendships, and the opportunities. Ferndale is now my home, and I am looking forward to continuing this work of creating equitable and inclusive spaces of understanding, of peace, and education for all.

After careful consideration, I have decided to discontinue my campaign efforts and the pursuit of my election to Ellensburg City Council, position 3. If elected tomorrow, I will defer to the City of Ellensburg to make an appropriate appointment to occupy the seat.

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As I close this chapter, and move onto another, I want to sincerely thank everyone that supported me throughout this journey. Being the first woman of color to aspire to this seat was an incredible honor and undertaking; one that I was ready to commit to wholeheartedly. Life surprised me with the opportunity to serve students and community in Ferndale as their new Director of Equity and Inclusion. It has been the best decision for me and my family. I have purchased a home and moved my family to Ferndale. I am fully committed to serving Ferndale Schools and thrilled to be a part of the Ferndale community.

Sincerely,

Bárbara del Mar Robles

A story published in the Ellensburg Daily Record on October 29th quoted Robles as saying, “I am not withdrawing from the race, and I am still running for Ellensburg City Council; Position 3.”

According to District records, the School Board approved hiring Robles along with others during a regular meeting on July 27th. Her first day of employment was August 1st, 2 days prior to the 2021 Primary Election in which Robles and another candidate advanced to the 2021 General Election, beating out a 3rd candidate who did not advance.

State law requires a person holding an elected city office be a resident of that city for the year preceding their election. According to Whatcom County Assessor’s Office database, Robles purchased the Ferndale residence mentioned in her statement on August 11th and, according to her statement, moved to Ferndale.

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A challenge has been made by an Ellensburg resident to determine whether Robles became ineligible to hold a city office in Ellensburg after relocating to Ferndale before the election date. A hearing with the Kittitas County Canvassing Board regarding that challenge is scheduled for November 19th.

If Robles does win the election and either resigns her council seat or is determined to be ineligible, the remaining sitting council will appoint a replacement until voters can elect someone during a special election or the next general election to finish out the term.

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