Opinion

Election View: J. Manual Reta offers life, business experience in mayor’s race

J. Manuel Reta is running for mayor of Ferndale.
J. Manuel Reta is running for mayor of Ferndale. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

The reason I am running for Ferndale mayor is that I have had different businesses and have been involved with government and waht to provide fresh ideas to make Ferndale friendly and No. 1 in the county.

I believe the responsibilities of the position are very serious.

A mayor must be just in the decisions for the taxpayers, and be able to hire and fire upon the needs of the community. Transparency is a must.

The ability to change the structure of city hall for it to be more accessible and friendly to all nationalities is important.

I plan to carry out those responsibilities by engaging the community business leaders.

I would meet with a core group of business individuals to master-plan ideas for economic reform for Ferndale.

I expect issues to be raised, but plan to work through and resolve them: The planning department must be more efficient with permits, continue having a strong law enforcement with a fire department that meets the needs of our community. This can be accomplished by working closely with the city council and other city government entities.

My current and past work and political, life and education experiences and accomplishments will empower me to perform well in this position.

At age 13 I put a down payment on my family’s house, that was my first business transaction. My experience as a Vietnam veteran taught me the importance of following chain of command. My 21-plus years at Alcoa taught me to be flexible and to adjust to different departments and responsibilities. Ownership of three restaurants allowed me to grow as my first major leadership role.

Presently, my wife and I own an alterations business where I experience the same daily issues that my fellow local business owners and taxpayers encounter.

I am also currently Washington State Hispanic Commissioner for Whatcom and Skagit counties and serve on the board of the Northwest Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In both of those positions I have had the opportunity to work with building relationships with local political figures and government agencies. I feel that these connections will help me achieve my goals if elected.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

This is one of a series of commentaries from candidates in the Aug. 4 primary election. J. Manual Reta is one of five challengers in the non-partisan election for a 4-year term as Ferndale mayor. Incumbant Mayor Gary Jensen is not seeking re-election in Ferndale. The two candidates who get the most votes Aug. 4 will advance to the Nov. 3 general election.

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