Seven people, including a few familiar faces, have applied for the open City Council seat to be vacated by the city’s mayor-elect, Jon Mutchler.
Mutchler, a City Council member, was elected Ferndale mayor in the 2015 general election, beating Cathy Watson, another council member, by just over 100 votes. Mutchler’s term on City Council does not expire until 2017, so the council must entrust a new member to serve the rest of the term.
The deadline for applicants looking to take the open seat was Dec. 28. Among those who applied was Watson, whose current term on council expires at the end of this year. Watson is a retired NASA meteorologist and aerospace engineer.
Here is a list of the six other applicants, with brief descriptions provided by the city of Ferndale:
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▪ Andrew “Drew” Paterson, a chemical engineer with 30 years of experience in the petroleum and petrochemical industries, and senior process engineer at Anvil Corporation since 2003.
▪ Fred Kennedy, owner and director of construction management at Tangible Assets Contracting. He currently serves on the Ferndale Planning Commission.
▪ Manuel Reta, a commissioner of the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs. He is also a board member of the Northwest Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and he and his wife own Colima Design in Ferndale.
▪ Matthew Durkee, a U.S. Army veteran, member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and member of the American Legion. He is currently a paraeducator in the Ferndale School District.
▪ Michael Jolly, owner of Karate Quest and Risk Solutions Unlimited in Ferndale, a Whatcom County Reserve deputy sheriff, and vice president of Washington Association of Legal Investigators.
▪ Victor Boulos Jr., operations manager for Keith Oil Company and Starvin Sam’s Mini Mart. He serves on the board of directors for the Ferndale Red Lions Soccer Club and the Ferndale Golden Eagles Booster Club.
Reta ran for mayor in this year’s election and lost in the primary. Durkee ran for City Council position 4 in this year’s election and also lost in the primary.
Five applicants — Paterson, Kennedy, Durkee, Jolly and Boulos — endorsed Mutchler for mayor in letters to the editor in The Bellingham Herald.
The open seat will be picked by the newly elected City Council at its regular meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 4, 2016. Each candidate will be given two minutes to introduce themselves, and the council will conduct a brief interview of each candidate in open session, said City Clerk Susan Duncan.
The council will enter executive session to discuss qualifications, then re-convene regular session for nominations and voting.
If a candidate is selected by a majority of the six council members, Duncan said, that candidate will be sworn in and begin serving immediately.
The number of applicants who endorsed Mutchler for mayor in letters to the editor was corrected Jan. 4, 2015.