News

State troopers back Ferrell

By ERICA HALL

Staff writer

The Washington State Patrol Troopers Association has formally announced its endorsement of Federal Way City Council candidate Jim Ferrell, citing his experience as a deputy prosecutor.

Trooper Raymond Moss, executive board member of the association, said the decision was unanimous.

Ferrell’s “commitment to service with honor and integrity are principles that our members demand,” he said in a prepared statement.

The troopers have joined the Federal Way Police Guild, the King County police guild and a local business association called Prosperity for Federal Way in endorsing Ferrell. He’s running against 14-year City Council incumbent Mary Gates in the Nov. 4 general election.

The State Patrol works across the state, but Moss said the agency takes an interest in local elections because troopers live in individual communities. “Our troopers are citizens, also,” he said.

Because the association focuses much of its energy on trooper wages and benefits, association members are interested in ensuring local governments aren’t putting extra burdens on troopers who live in their jurisdictions, he said.

While the Federal Way council wouldn’t be likely to pass ordinances affecting the State Patrol, the council does pass the city’s police budget and contract. State troopers work closely with Federal Way police, Moss said, and local laws affecting the police might indirectly impact the State Patrol.

Ferrell’s understanding of law enforcement issues as a King County deputy prosecutor led the association to endorse him.

“His vision for working together with law enforcement –– that’s important,” Moss said.

When a candidate applies or is recommended for endorsement, the association’s endorsement committee, formed by Moss last year, evaluates them on records and stances on certain issues.The committee ultimately decides whether to lend the association’s endorsement to the candidate.

“Not everyone who requests an endorsement gets one,” Moss said.

Ferrell didn’t attend an Oct. 16 candidates forum hosted by the Federal Way branch of the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters, citing prior obligations. His wife, Wendy Ferrell, sat in the audience and offered to answer questions informally on his behalf.

At the forum, Gates reiterated the importance of retaining her council seat, a position she’s held since the city incorporated in 1990.

“Those of us who have had 13-year-olds in our houses do not want to leave them alone,” she said. “A city in its adolescence is vulnerable.”

Gates is on several local and national committees that set policies and hand out funding, including the Puget Sound Regional Council, the Sound Transit board, the Metro Transit committee and the National League of Cities.

She has represented Federal Way and spoken for its projects. Losing her seat could cost the city in prioritization and funding, she said.

“I sit in places where the money for transportation is handed out,” she said. “All of those appointments go away if I’m not re-elected.”

During her time with the city, she said, the police force has more than doubled.

Some business owners have accused the council of making it hard to do business. But Gates said the number of business licenses issued has been higher this year than in 1999.

And she said the city has worked to improve the business climate, including conducting an environmental study downtown, passing tax incentives for developers and improving customer service.

Staff writer Elizabeth Ciepiela contributed to this report.

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565, ehall@fedwaymirror.com

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