Politics Blog

Ferndale mayor candidate J. Manuel Reta Q&A

Five people are facing off in the Aug. 4 primary election to become the next mayor of Ferndale. The top two vote-getters will move on to the Nov. 3 general election.

Ferndale mayor is a nonpartisan office with four-year terms. The mayor makes 90 percent of the average salary for mayors in similarly sized Washington cities, and will earn $1,690 per month in 2016. The position is part time.

The Bellingham Herald asked the candidates a series of questions about their qualifications and key issues in the city. Responses below are verbatim as submitted. Other candidates’ responses are available at bellinghamherald.com/politics-blog.

Candidate: J. Manuel Reta, 64

I was born in San Benito ,Texas and move to Washington in 1956.Drafted into the Vietnam era in 1970, made it back as a decorated veteran.

I am 64 years old.

Education, graduated in 1969 from Nooksack Valley ,two year term for restaurant trades at Bellingham technical instutions.I took some management courses at the Whacom community college

I have worked in the dairy farms, and agriculture farming. I started three Mexican restaurants, La lomita restaurants.We started Colima Design Alteration store in Ferndale.I have always volunteered to help Hispanics as a leader and some cases ministered to some.I founded the Northwest Washington Hispanic Chamber of commerce, and was asked to join and be a board member of the Association of Washington State Hispanic chamber of commerce, was asked to be a Domestic violence member.I was part of the Ferndale Downtown Association I was appointed by the governor to the Washington State Hispanic commission

Why are you running for Ferndale mayor?

The reason I am running for mayor is to bring a new chapter into a city that needs a new direction because of the fast growing enviroment . The experience I have obtain in life will help our young and seniors in our community.

Have you attended any Ferndale City Council or other official meetings in the last year? If so, which ones?

I have attended different city council meeting in which often I have have made comments. The Fiestas patrias is one that I commented and is still going strong.

What do you think of the plan to ask voters to approve a 50 cents per $1,000 assessed value property tax for a Metropolitan Park District?

The .50 and penny tax, the voters will have their say. My concern do they have a say in the Jail issue?

What have you accomplished in Ferndale?

When I started the Hispanic Chamber , I invited all police chiefs in the area to a meeting of building bridges in the community. As a bridge builder, I now host a radio show in Skagit and inform the communities of events happening in Ferndale. I have some government experience and contacts to help make Ferndale No 1

A plan to levy a penny gas tax in Ferndale to pay for roads and infrastructure failed at the polls last year. How should Ferndale pay for road improvements?

(Editor: See answer to Metropolitan Park District question)

What does the city of Ferndale need to tackle in the next four years?

The reason for the next 4 years is to change some of the rules or procedures in Ferndale government with help from taxpayers and city council

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