Business owner takes open seat on Ferndale Council

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDNovember 11, 2013 

FERNDALE - Carol Bersch, the owner of a cake shop on Main Street, will be Ferndale's new City Council member next year. She defeated another political newcomer, Eric Kelton, for the seat to be vacated by Lloyd Zimmerman.

In the other city races, incumbents Brent Goodrich and Jon Mutchler won handily.

"We have three strong Republicans on that side of the council," Bersch said, referring to the council seating arrangement. Bersch will sit on the right side of council chambers, between Goodrich and Mutchler. Sitting to their left - not necessarily politically - are Paul Ingram, Keith Olson, Mel Hansen and Cathy Watson, who weren't up for election this year.

Bersch had more than 61 percent of the vote after the Whatcom County election office's Saturday, Nov. 9, count. Only a handful of ballots remain to be counted countywide.

Mutchler, who won his first term in 2009 over Ken Downey by five votes after a recount, won easily this time. He beat Robert Hakim with 78 percent of the total vote.

Goodrich defeated Stacy Miller, 57 percent to 43 percent. Both Goodrich and Mutchler were elected to second terms.

Bersch, the owner of Carol's Cake Designs, credited her victory in part to the time she spent knocking on doors. She said for some residents, her appearance at their doorstep was their introduction to the city election.

"They just seemed astounded someone knocked on their door," she said. "They had no idea who any of us are."

For those citizens prepared to speak on the issues, many were concerned about a new jail proposed on LaBounty Drive. That project passed another milestone last week when its final environmental review was released.

Another top concern was traffic, Bersch said, especially through downtown during rush hour.

"To me traffic has never been a big deal, even on Main Street," she said. "But it concerns everybody, so I have to keep an eye on that."

Reach RALPH SCHWARTZ at ralph.schwartz@bellinghamherald.com or call 715-2298.

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