Federal Way's mayor candidates in their own words | Jim Ferrell

Jim Ferrell is a candidate for Federal Way
Jim Ferrell is a candidate for Federal Way's first elected mayor.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Mirror is providing an opportunity for Federal Way mayor candidates to speak to readers in their own words.


QUESTION: What is your first goal upon taking office, if elected mayor of Federal Way, and how do you plan to achieve that goal?

On my first day as your mayor, I will begin the process of a top to bottom review of each and every program and project that the city is currently undertaking. I will search for ways to save money and cut unnecessary programs or projects that do not serve the interests of all Federal Way citizens.

While doing so, I will keep in mind that the primary purpose of our local government is to provide for the safety of all of our citizens. That being said, the current budget proposal to cut 18 police officers in the next two years does not further that goal. I will find the resources to avoid those cuts, if that has not already been achieved in our budget discussions.

This will be a re-prioritization of city resources to be more in line with what the people of the community need and deserve.

I will accomplish this goal by scouring the budget documents, meeting with key staff members, conducting town hall meetings, and looking at other cities to find innovative ideas to deliver necessary services. I will also meet with each member of the Federal Way City Council and work collaboratively with them to ensure their ideas are brought forth and integrated into our approach.

Additionally, I will meet with the entire city staff to discuss my hopes and vision for the future of this city and relay how important they are in this process. I will instill an approach at City Hall that we work for the people.

Fast facts: Ferrell was first elected to city council in 2003, then re-elected in 2007. Last fall, Ferrell led an effort with voters that created the elected mayor position. He works as a King County prosecuting attorney.

Website: www.voteferrell.com

More about Jim Ferrell

Age: 44

Alma Mater: University of Washington, BA, 1989; Gonzaga Law School, JD, 1993; Yelm High School, 1985.

Family: Married to Wendy Ferrell for 12 years. We have a son, Benjamin, who is 3 years old.

Favorite book: "Profiles in Courage" by John F. Kennedy. President Kennedy wrote the book when he was serving in the U.S. Senate and received a Pulitzer Prize for it. It contains examples of U.S. Senators over the course of American history who stood up for what they believed to be the right thing to do, despite overwhelming pressure to do otherwise. Anyone who aspires to public service needs to read this book. I think of it often.

Who's your hero?

My brother, Phil Ferrell. He is the most giving and selfless man I have ever met. After my father died when I was 9 years old, he acted as a surrogate father and has always been there over the years to support me. He is the Deputy Fire Marshal for the City of Tacoma. He is a center of gravity for many people and always goes out of his way to help people. He bought me my first baseball glove, my first bike, took me camping (with my twin brother) and has taught me to be a better man. I would not be where I am today without him.

Where did you grow up, and what brought you to Federal Way?

I grew up here until the passing of my father in 1975. My family owned a home, with horses, near 373rd Street and Pacific Highway. My mother, Esther Ferrell, moved our family to Yelm, where I graduated from high school in 1985. After graduating from University of Washington and Gonzaga Law School, I moved to Federal Way to be closer to my mother, who had subsequently moved to a home near Five Mile Lake in unincorporated Federal Way.

What attracted you to public service?

I have always, as far back as I can remember, been interested in public service and politics. I am drawn to it, most likely, because it involves the future. Politics and public service, ultimately, is all about what the future of our community will look like and which direction we pursue. It's also about helping people and delivering needed services. I firmly believe that public service is a noble endeavor. My hope is to contribute my ideas and passion to the community that I have made a home.

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