Common Threads Northwest spoke with Mike Reilly, who is running for Ferndale City Council Position 3.

CTNW: Why are you running for election and why do you believe you are qualified for the position?

Mike Reilly: The reason I'm running [is] lately there's been a complete disconnect between what the city's doing and what I believe the people want. I served three terms on the city council; I never thought I'd be running again but I looked at the water situation and decided I needed to. What upset me and some other former council members [is] that we tried wells before. We had wells before and the water was hard. There wasn't enough of it. It's kind of familiar to what's happening right now in Ferndale. It was so bad in the past that we used to have a city worker stay all night watching the water tanks and making sure there was enough to put out a fire. That's why we went to the PUD, and I'm not quite sure why we left. I knew there was going to be a rate increase, but I believe the reason for that was that when the PUD did the water, most of the water went to the industries at Cherry Point. Ferndale, to make the water potable, had to have a second screening of it. Industry didn't. I believe that was one of the reasons why the PUD said: "we can't keep charging industry for a second filtering [of the] water that Ferndale needs."

This is pure conjecture on my part that this was one of the reasons. I don't know why we didn't negotiate with the PUD if that was the reason. Why we didn't say we'd do the second filtering ourselves. A lot of money's being spent in Ferndale that I feel needs to be spent in other places. [Ferndale] spent $35,000 for a new sign for city hall; you know, we didn't need a new sign. We're spending, I think, $32,000 for a study of Old Main that the school district already said [is] no good. So why does the city want to go into it now and spend [a lot of money] to get it up to par so we can use it? And reason [I'm running] is that city hall needs to be on Main Street. I keep hearing we don't have enough retail business. You take city hall off Main Street, that's another nail in the coffin for Main Street.

The other reason is [because] when I was on the council there was an individual [who] was going to develop, I believe it was 65 acres, on Axton [Road] across from WECU. The city—and there was a group in Ferndale that just wanted Ferndale downtown revitalized and nothing else--basically, it took so long to get that done that demand died before he could even break ground. That's the kind of thing I don't think should happen. Plus, we've got a lot of residential growth and the retail sales tax is not coming with it. A bedroom community [cannot generate enough money for the city to] make it. We must—for State of Washington cities—you must have a retail sales tax [base] and the property taxes; you can't just make it on [only] one of them. If you didn't have any residents and just had retail sales tax, it'd be fine, but right now we don't have [the] money [to pay] for the infrastructure and everything we need, because we haven't put the emphasis on [growing] retail sales.

CTNW: So in a nutshell, would you say then you're running because you do not like how the city's being run at the moment, and you would like to see more retail development in order to increase the tax base revenue? As well as you're qualified because you've already been on the Ferndale City Council?

Mike: [And] I think my work experience. I was the station manager of the Mount Baker station in Bellingham for the Post Office. I had approximately 80 employees that I worked with. My budget—when I was on the council before—for my office was higher than what Ferndale's was. So, I do have that qualification too as far as what I've done in the past.

CTNW: So, you may have touched on it already, but what is the city's biggest financial challenge and how should it be addressed?

Mike: I'd say right now it's the retail tax base. We don't have it, and unless we have that, we're never going to be able to provide for the residents like we need [to]. I mentioned before about that 65 acres across from WECU on Axton Road; we also have all of Portal Way that we [need to] put money into. This was when I was on the council; I haven't been on the council for 12 years and money went into that for the improvements for retail development. Because, at that time Thornton Road was supposed to go across to Newkirk Road. They put in new, on-and-offramps, [which] went just across the railroad tracks and that was it. The reason the Newkirk Road was done is because it would've opened Portal Way for retail development.

The second thing is, when you're going south--coming off Portal Way, there's a very short on-ramp, you really can't get up to speed going around the blind corner. [This happened because] when Interstate 5 was built, there was a contractor coming south out of Blaine, one coming north coming out of Bellingham, and a separate contractor for the bridge; they didn't line things up.

CTNW: Okay, so by addressing some of the infrastructure issues you believe you can get better growth?

Mike: I think we can get better growth with infrastructure, and a lot of the problems with downtown right now is basically there's only two blocks left. The zoning when I was on the council before, we zoned all the downtown area for retail. After I was off the council that was changed. Now any areas downtown that could be for a larger retail business coming in, [they're] filling that with apartments or condos. And I really don't understand why; it doesn't make sense to me. If you're all for downtown revitalization, why don't you keep those properties for retail?

The other problem we have is on the traffic downtown. That's cutting down on people [who stop to shop and see] what business we do have downtown. I grew up around here and I remember downtown Ferndale having Manor Chevrolet, Jarvie's Department Store, Mickey Irwin's Hardware, a bakery, an appliance store, Larson's Shoe Store. My second cousin Paul Matz had a drug store at Third and Main. There was Pollman's Drug Store at Second and Main. Across from that was Bob Flaherty's (my godfather's) market. He was a butcher, sold fresh meats and so forth. Thriftway grocery store was located on Third. Unless you have a grocery store, I don't think that downtown can make it, and we don't have one now in the downtown area.

CTNW: You've got Haggen's. Is that not considered downtown?

Mike: No. I would consider it downtown, but a lot of people don't. The downtown association really doesn't feel that it's downtown. I think we need to find a niche for it, and the larger retail go into Portal Way, off Axton [Rd]. There's not enough room and buildings down there to provide the sales tax base we need.

CTNW: That leads right into my next question: how do you propose, if you are elected, to build Ferndale’s tax base?

Mike: My first proposal would be to—if I'm elected, I'm going to look and see what the staffing looks like. I feel there's some staff positions that probably could be eliminated, that are not necessary. I would like to hire an economic development director who is strictly [working to] bring retail [into the city]. The city is bragging a lot now we've got 14,500 people living there. That many people, there should be [new] business coming in right now. That's enough base. I admit Bellingham is close, but the road travels both directions. And I [beleive] if we could put a person in that would oversee just trying to talk to businesses, bring them in, and [encourage to] get development started.

The other thing I'd like to do is take care of the downtown traffic. I've got a plan for that: we've got the railroad trestle that comes across the bridge which is 2-lanes, that's not going to change with the railroad trestle there, we can't put in 4 lanes. My idea would be to take—and this is taking a business away which I don't like to do—but if you look where Vista comes down and ends at Second Street, and then the railroad tracks go at an angle like this; well, if you come off the bridge and make a right hand turn lane only, take out Ace Hardware (you wouldn't have to take out the whole building but part of it) and you could run a road right into Vista and have [an additional block] of Vista alongside the railroad tracks. That would cut down the traffic going through there, which would enable more people to be able to stop [and shop] and not worry about getting back onto the road. Plus, it would bring back some additional parking. Because, Second Street would be closed from Main Street north, which is one block which [I believe Ferndale could develop to be] a park-like area, plus parking. So that would provide more parking plus a reason for people to come downtown and shop. The rest of Second from Main going south could be put back to diagonal parking again, which would double [the parking spaces there]. I believe that would help. There's just too much traffic for people to stop. So, if we could do that, I think it would enable it, especially if there was a park-like area with a gazebo or something like that where they could have music. People will come downtown if there's a reason for them to.

CTNW: So essentially the outer areas of the downtown core area are doing pretty good but the downtown core itself needs attention?

Mike: Yes, but like I said, there's not enough there to provide all the retail sales tax that we need. You know, when we traveled back from Idaho, we're traveling back and I look—every community I go through, you see it developed on the off ramps. Every community. Now there's some from Seattle to here where there isn't, but there's no community there. We've got probably the last pristine area that could be developed right off the freeway with people there, yet it's not being done. I cannot fathom why not. I do not [believe] we're selling ourselves good enough.

CTNW: What do you think Ferndale is spending too much on, and not enough on?

Mike: I think there's some things were doing, it adds up over time, a little bit here and there. Like I mentioned before, a new sign; we didn't really need a new sign. We need crosswalk signalization, from Vista to Sunrise there's a blind corner, kids are walking across [a street where] people cannot see [them]. And Seamont and Vista, I'd like to see, instead of doing that type of thing, is put in crosswalk signalization and have sidewalks in the areas where children walk to school. They're our most important commodity in Ferndale, yet they're walking to school [on the side of the streets] not on sidewalks. It just does not make sense. It's a safety issue.

CTNW: So, you want to make the downtown Ferndale area more walkable?

Mike: Yes, I would. But the problem we got right now the way the budget is—I can't say who told me—but right now, the City of Ferndale put $3,500 in this year for sidewalks, and that's not even repairing the sidewalks. And we've got a complete—there's a liability problem [there]. If you don't repair your sidewalks and somebody trips and falls, the city's responsible. Let alone having sidewalks for the children to walk on—$3,500 for a town of 14,500 people is ridiculous. Money's just not being spent right.

CTNW: So how do you believe Ferndale is doing with the balancing of infrastructure improvements and controlling their borrowing costs?

Mike: Terrible. I'll be honest, it's terrible. They won't say—you know, people are really up in arms in Ferndale about the water problems. It doesn't make sense. I'll just give you a history of the water a little bit: on Cedar Street was our water treatment plant. We'd have a million-and-a-half gallons we'd take out of the river. And for some reason—this was long before I got on the council—for some reason the city decided to go to wells. They gave that million-and-a-half gallons back to the state, which I don't understand why. So, we went to wells, and that's where I said in the past the water was all hard and there wasn't enough of it. So, [then] we went to the PUD to get our water, and I won't go through the whole explanation on that, but the problem I have with it right now: I know there was close to $7 million spent just between the study and getting started

CTNW: I believe that they have a new water aquifer that they have indicated—it's just not in yet, it's a much larger and much deeper?

Mike: Well they went deeper on it but it's brackish; it's all brackish. To me, that means it's not being replenished. They called it an aquifer, but I want to know why is it brackish? Is it not being replenished? They have no idea if it's being replenished or not, and it's hard to tell how long the water's been sitting there. In three years, it could dry up and we're in the same boat. And, they haven't got the state approval on it yet. They must put in a reverse osmosis system [which will] cost [Ferndale] $500,000 digging the well and probably 2-and-a-half to 3 million for the reverse osmosis. It doesn't make sense. When I was on the council, we [fixed the water issue when] we purchased the rights to the water that Cherry Point [were] using that they didn't need anymore.

CNTW: So, homelessness and poverty are big issues. How can Ferndale help to address homelessness and poverty since it is beginning to affect Ferndale?

Mike: It is. You know, I was reading on Ferndale Neighbors and Ferndale Uncensored [Facebook groups] some people were complaining about the homeless, the ones that are causing problems. We don't have the problem that Bellingham does, I know that. It needs to be addressed, and to me it's a Whatcom County issue rather than just a city issue. It should be Whatcom County addressing this, because whatever Bellingham has is going to flow into Ferndale and the other cities. I know Blaine has some problem with it, because they always have, in the past where the trains are stopped, and there's a lot of people that were on the freight trains, that end up in Blaine. So, there's a problem there too. It's a Whatcom County problem and I guess we're going to have to figure out some way to do it, rather than putting these people in jail, which a lot of times they are, and [that's] not cost effective.

CTNW: So, you want the council to work more with Whatcom County on this issue?

Mike: I think it needs to be done through the Council of Governments where all the cities have a representative there, along with Whatcom County, and I [believe] that's probably where it should be done. When I was on the council before, [we worked issues out together] and I was the Ferndale representative for three years on the Council of Governments, [that’s how things worked]. It is a Whatcom [county-wide] problem, because I know there are people living out in the rural areas that are homeless.

CTNW: What about the poverty issue?

Mike: I like the idea of self-help homes; that works out well. I think we need to bring more jobs into the county. I know right now Ferndale Grain's in trouble, and the farmers are in trouble with the lawsuits against them. I don't know if they're correct or not, but Ferndale Grain has provided good jobs for a lot of years. I admit it doesn't give a tax base to Ferndale because it's on a railroad line, so it's not tax for us. But I think the biggest thing is to bring in some good jobs. I'd like to see Cherry Point—because every good job you get at Cherry Point, (I believe it's something like 10 other jobs that are created) and that's the biggest way to reduce poverty is do it that way.

I belong to Saint Joseph’s Church of Ferndale and I worked on the Project Outreach for the poor. You see these people coming in, a lot of them were working but they still needed help. It's one of those things, I'm not sure what the answer is, but I think it needs to be done through Whatcom County rather than just the city itself, because it's a county-wide problem rather than just the city. The rents are very high now which is causing a lot of it. You know, I don't believe in rent controls, but there must be some way that we can put up some smaller apartments that don't cost so much that we could have a decent rent for a lot of people.

CTNW: So would you like to take a look at how zoning, development permits, impact fees, all of those things, take a look at that and see it there's some way that the city and the county can work together to help bring down the costs?

Mike: Yeah, well I think the city could do that right now. We're reducing some of the fees for residential development, but it's not for low income. I don't quite understand that one. It's to get people to build, but people cannot—at the wages people get here now, a lot of them—they cannot afford the rent and food, they never get ahead. I look at the rent they're paying and it's higher than my house payment. Something needs to change. You know, I was lucky when I got my first house. I'm a disabled vet and so I had the VA with nothing down. If it hadn't been for that, I couldn't have gotten my first house. With the rent they're paying, how do you ever save the 20 percent? You don't.

CTNW: How can Ferndale strengthen neighborhoods and build community?

Mike: You know, I've thought a lot about that. Thirty years ago, I think they were better than they are now. Maybe we should get off our phones a little bit and [spend time] talking to our neighbors. I look at that and I mentioned once when I was on the council, why don't we look at something like asking people to have block parties and have the police come down. We did that once in the block I was on, not where we're living at now but another area of Ferndale, and the police stop by. We just had a barbecue and they stopped by and had a hamburger; and it was kind of nice because the kids got to [know] the police officer is not this big scary guy, he was just there. You know, I think the idea of community is—I think that starts with the city. And that's one of the first things I said: "There's a disconnect between the city and the citizens. I think if the people were happier with the city, the residents might be a little happier with each other." I got on the Ferndale Neighbors and Ferndale Uncensored—which I think is good [that] people are talking, but it's not your neighbor. I [did meet] a neighbor that was on there; it's somebody that I didn't know that only lived like 6-7 houses from me [and now] we're having a party this coming August; we're planning on it, there's like eight houses in a stretch and we're going to try to have some get-together's [with] all of us. [We're] doing that, but the community on a whole, I think a lot of it gets us back to the disconnect between what the city's doing and what the people really want.

CTNW: The City of Bellingham has made a recommendation for an ordinance that would require all new housing and buildings to be fossil free, and they're currently considering mandating that existing buildings and homes are to be retrofit before they are sold or at the time of sale. So, what does that mean to you as a council member in Ferndale? The timeline is 2025, 2030, and 2035. If you build a home or a building in Bellingham, you would not be allowed  to use natural gas for heating, for heating your water, everything will be required to be electric or solar panels or some other green energy.

Mike: The problem they got on the green energy; at one time I bought a house with the electric wall board [heating]: it was the highest rates I have ever paid. If Bellingham does that, I guess we're going to have to look at a lot more infrastructure and a lot more growth in Ferndale. Because I don't see Ferndale doing that. I do not understand. The U.S. emissions are a lot lower than they were in 1990.

CTNW: You do understand that Governor Inslee has signed an executive order for the state, looking at doing almost the exact same thing by 2045? The difference between Bellingham and the state is that Bellingham wants to do it 10 years earlier.

Mike: I disagree with both of it. And I admit that Seattle probably runs the state. But I disagree with it. Natural gas is clean. I don't think we're there yet for clean coal technology, I don't think it's there yet. But natural gas and hydroelectric power, Washington State must be one of the best in the country already. And your earlier question about affordable housing: that is going to make it ten-times worse. It'll make it ten-times worse, and if I get elected on the council and it comes up there, I will fight tooth and nail against it. If somebody wants to put solar panels on their house themselves, that's fine.

CTNW: How can Ferndale create more opportunities for young adults? And by young adults, I mean high school graduates, graduates from the technical college, community college and the university.

Mike: I had a friend tell me this many years ago, he said: "Mike, until Cherry Point Industries came to Ferndale, if your dad wasn't a fisherman, owned a business or was a farmer, you had to leave Ferndale to find work; there was no work here." I'm for the importation of Bakken oil. If we don't refine it here, it's going to be done in California, which is supposedly the real environmental state, but they will be refining it down there, Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana; because our two refineries out here are very small in comparison to what they have [in those states]. It doesn't make sense to me, because Alaska's flow of oil is starting to slow down, [there's] not as much coming in. So, I do not understand the problem with bringing Bakken oil in to keep those jobs here, and like I said, every good paying job out there is 10 other jobs in the community. I believe in Bellingham Technical College and Whatcom Community College, too. I had a daughter-in-law that just graduated from the nursing program there and now she has a very good job; you know, it started at $35 an hour for a registered nurse. We need more of that. The high schools, I don't understand—everybody can't go to college. When I went to school it was always: "you need to go to college." So, I did, and I'm glad I did. But not everybody's made for college or ready for it right away. The classes they did away with in Ferndale didn’t make sense to me. They did away with the Home Economics teacher, and everybody needs to know how to—they need to be able to get out on their own and [know how to] do it [successfully]. I'd like to see every high school put a one-semester class in to teach students how to do a checkbook, just the basic things you need to know if you go to college or you don't go to college. And Western is great for somebody that wants to be a teacher, you know, for a four-year institution. I think we're lucky here that we have the community college and the Bellingham Technical College. I'd like to see the high schools maybe get a little bit more into, like, welding and things like that. Teach people how to do that because there is a need for it.

CTNW: So, you'd like to work with the high schools to find a way outside of the regular school day to use the facilities to do things like that?

Mike: Yeah. I mentioned a long time ago [about] Ferndale High School, you know the library was closed at night. I said, “this is ridiculous.” You can have sports after school. I said, “there's a lot of kids that—now they all have computers, they're always on computers—but not all kids have computers.” I said, “there's computers in the library, why aren't you spending a little bit of money to keep that library open for all the students to use.” It's an asset that's not being used.

CTNW: Part of the reason I asked that question is because, like you said, you need to leave Ferndale to get a job. It's true for most of Whatcom County. So, are there ways to help improve it so they can stay.?

Mike: We need more jobs. I guess the county council's talking about tying up Cherry Point again. Which I don't understand. I don't know where they're coming from. I guess there's a new election this year. Maybe it'll be different [with a new council].

CTNW: So, what do you believe is Ferndale's biggest economic development opportunity?

Mike: Well I think it's Portal Way and the acreage off Axton Road. To me, it's the last area from Seattle to the border within a city that hasn't been developed. You look at Mount Vernon, you look at Burlington. Even though Burlington and Mount Vernon are close, both have their businesses. There's no reason why Ferndale can't have that even though Bellingham is close. We had in the past. I admit, I-5 made it a lot faster [to travel to Bellingham]. But, we should be able to get some retail development and that's why I said, “if any position I'd [promote, we need] somebody to try to bring retail development in there.”

CTNW: Another area that we've talked a bit about: what basic services need improvement in Ferndale, like water?

Mike: Water's number one. I have a real question about the sewer plant right now. Basically, the government changed back in 1998 because of what the city did with the sewer plant. We went from the "city manager/weak mayor" form of government, to the "strong mayor" form of government in '98. I was a code chairman on that campaign and after I was elected to council, I threw myself out of office. I was the only one re-elected, but I threw myself out of office because after 9-months sitting there and I saw what was going on, I said it can't keep going like this. I'm afraid we're back [there] now. Water is the same kind of issue that we had with the sewer back in '98.

The other thing is infrastructure. We've got to do something about the streets. As I said earlier, "$3,500 for sidewalks? How ridiculous is that? I would like to see at least a thousand dollars go towards sidewalks and crosswalks and signalization.”

Also, I'd like to have the budget process changed for the city. Right now, the Mayor presents them budget to the council at the end of November. According to the state, you have to have it approved by the end of December. You have to have two public hearings, so you can't really say: "go back and do it again." You have to try to work with it. And if I get elected, I'm going to have the council tell the mayor and the heads of the departments: "these are our priorities. We want these in the budget. You fit the budget around our priorities." Too many times, I'm looking at, there's priorities I would rather have in the budget. I probably voted against half of the budgets, that's would put us in trouble with the state, because the council really had no input. And the council has to have a little input in it. Since the property tax moratorium or [1%] per year on that initiative, we know how much more money we're going to get, so why not let the council say in July or August: "these are our priorities; we want these put in the budget." And right now, it's not happening. You get a budget submitted to you and you don't really have time to make changes to it. Because they give it to you in the end of November, you are required to have two public hearings and it needs to be approved by the end of December. The council doesn't have a chance to do anything with it. We need to put our priorities up ahead of time.

The other thing I want to do is—it'd be too late if I'm elected because I don't take office until the first of January—for the 2021 budget; have a zero-based budget. Let the department head justify his own job along with all others. Because the priorities of yesterday are not the priorities of today.

CTNW: What do you believe that Ferndale should do to improve the environment and parks?

Mike: Well, I'll probably get in trouble on this one. We have Hovander Park right now which is a very big park. We have a lot of parks already in Ferndale. I'd rather see our money right now go into the sidewalks and infrastructure rather than adding more parks. I know I'll lose some votes on this. I'm fine for trails if they want a developer to put it in. But if [Ferndale] needs to spend money on a trail or a sidewalk for the children, it goes to the sidewalk. You can walk on a sidewalk just as well as a trail. And when they talk a lot of times about Ferndale not having enough parks, I admit Hovander is a county park, but that's not included in the stats when they say our park area. I'm not against parks; I'm fully for it. But they also cost a lot of money. I think our parks director makes over $100,000 a year, and he only supervises two employees. That's why I want to go to a zero-based budget.

CTNW: What style of leadership would you bring to the Ferndale City Council and that you believe the city needs right now?

Mike: Let's put it this way: my first time around for the council, it was still under a city manager form of government. I went down and was complaining, and a council member said: "This is the way it is. I'm here to rubber-stamp what the city manager says, and if you don't like what I'm doing then you can run against me." And he said: "and I'll beat you." I said: "you don't really mean that, do you?" And he said: "yeah I do." I said: "fine, I'll run against you." Well I beat him.

I try to listen, but also—I'm not going to be a rubber-stamp to anything. If it gets down to the point where I feel we're wasting money, spending money wrong, I'm going to say what I think. And I believe I had a lot of respect from people before because I do say what I think. I don't try to buffalo anybody. I admit, I didn't make everybody happy. And probably that's why I lost my last election—[but only] by 18 votes. You know, we were building a new library, and it ended up that the residents of Ferndale had to pay for that. The library was saying there were 45,000 people that were using the library. Well, there were only 10,000 people living in Ferndale. I said, “why don't we form a library district, and everybody can pay for the library then?” I think the library people were pretty upset with me [for that, which] is probably why I lost the election. Also because of the Downtown Association, too. I wanted that development to go in at Axton Road. I believed it was important for the city, and the reason it took so long for the Downtown Association was because of infighting. It’s made me feel kind of good, because it's been 12-years since I've been on the council and I've had a lot of people tell me, "about time you ran again, we really need you back." But that doesn't mean I'm going to get elected. Since I've lived here most of my life, I probably know more people in the cemetery than I do in Ferndale now. If it was in Chicago I'd probably win for sure! But I think I did have respect from a lot of people.

CTNW: So basically, you know the people, you know the issues, you want to listen, but people should know that you won't be a rubber stamp?

Mike: Yeah, I'm not going to be a rubber stamp.

CTNW: Governor Inslee declared the State of Washington a "sanctuary state." What does that mean to you? Do you agree or disagree with it, and our local compliance on this issue?

Mike: I have to say I disagree with it. I'm not a lawyer or anything like it, and I don't pretend to be. I took some constitutional law classes when I was in college, and I was under the assumption—maybe I'm wrong—that federal law always superseded state law. I'm not sure how it's constitutional.

CTNW: So, what would you like to share with us that you wish that we had asked you about?

Mike: There is one thing that I'm running on: on the disconnect between Ferndale and its residents. As my third proposal, [I'd like] for Ferndale to go to the ward system. And either we could divide into seven-wards or have five-wards and two at-large positions.

CTNW: Like the county has district-only and you still want to have the at-large as well?

Mike: I'm in favor of the seven, but some people said: "well there might be people that are really qualified and they're all in one district." I said: "well that doesn't really make sense to me, but if we could have—

CTNW: What's the current—is it that everybody gets to vote for everybody?

Mike: Everybody's at large.

CTNW: So, you believe that would give better representation?

Mike: Right. To me, right now, who do you call up? Who's your representative on the council? It's a large position. So, I was thinking that it would be—if you had a council member from the area you live in, that's who you'd be calling up to say: "this isn't right." Another thing on that is it would enable the council member to know his voters better, because you've got that small group there that you could get around and talk to every one of them. One other thing is that when we changed back Ferndale’s water from PUD to a well, I've talked to certain individuals that are on the council and they said, "we didn't know we were on wells before?" I think that's one advantage I have is that I know what happened in the past. People are going to make mistakes, you know, we are. A mistake might be made, but it's unfathomable to me how you could make the same mistake twice.

CTNW: So essentially what you're saying is that you would like to have better representation by the council for the people, and that you believe you bring a lot of historical value to the community?

Mike: Right. You know, I've only lived in the city limits for 39 years, but my great-grandfather got into Ferndale in 1872, so my family's been around for a few years!

For more information on Mike Reilly’s campaign please go to this website: