News

'Common cause' puts Ferrell over top

By ERICA HALL

Staff writer

Unless there’s an election-turning upset in the uncounted absentee ballots,

Federal Way City Council Position 1 candidate Jim Ferrell will be sitting on

the dais next year.

As of Thursday, Ferrell had captured a majority of the votes at 52.52

percent of Tuesday’s general election balloting, or 4,611 votes, while 14-year council veteran Mary Gates held onto 47.48 percent (4,168 votes).

A little more than 20 percent, or 9,204, of the 42,174 registered voters in the city cast ballots. All 97 Federal Way precincts have been

counted.

While King County elections workers are still counting absentee

ballots, they expected to be 90 percent finished yesterday. The elections department

mailed out 18,223 absentee ballots to voters in Federal Way and expected to

receive about half of them back.

Officials expect to finish counting 95 percent of the ballots by next Wednesday and 100 percent Nov. 18, in time for the Nov. 19

certification deadline.

Percentages normally don’t change much after the first week, when all the

poll votes and 90 percent of the absentee ballots have been counted, though

some very close races have turned around after all the absentee ballots were tabulated.

Ferrell, who returned to work as a King County deputy prosecutor at the Regional Justice Center in Kent last week after taking leave to campaign, said he’s pleased with the initial numbers.

“We certainly hope the trend continues,” he said. “It was a really powerful

thing when that many people came together with a common cause.”

Gates did not return calls from the Mirror by Thursday.

On the council, Ferrell said one of his first tasks would be to “address some spending issues and make sure we’re on the right foot.”

He said the fact that revenues are down in the city is concerning.

“Do we really want to go forward with two major capital investments?” he asked, referring to the community center and city hall projects.

Another first priority will be to meet with the police officers guild to

address their needs and figure out how to get more officers on the street.

Ferrell said many of those who attended a town hall meeting he hosted last

month were concerned about the amount of money city officials were planning to spend on capital projects.

“We need to revisit” the size of the community center project, he said. “There are a lot of people who have that concern.”

Residents also said during the campaign that they wanted something done about traffic issues, like people speeding in their neighborhoods, he said.

Ferrell promised to continue with a move to ensure city residents are

heard.

“A common thread through all of this was people saying, ‘We’re going to city

hall and talking about these things. Why don’t people listen?’” he said.

Councilmen Mike Park, Jack Dovey and Dean McColgan ran unopposed and coasted to re-election Tuesday.

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

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