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Ferndale City Council meeting (May 15, 2017). Photo: Discover Ferndale

Ferndale City Council votes in favor of revised jail agreement

cooUMcilIt took over an hour of discussions and presentations from politicians, law enforcement leaders and citizens but at the end a 5 to 2 vote signified the City of Ferndale’s support of the newly revised jail agreement.

This all took place at tonight’s Ferndale City Council meeting and included presentations from Whatcom County Executive Jack Louws, Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo and Ferndale Police Chief Kevin Turner. 9 neighbors spoke to the council and voice both positions for and against building a new jail.

Funding for the jail would come from usage fees as well as a 0.2% sales tax increase.

Councilmembers Teresa Taylor and Cathy Watson were the standout “no” votes and for entirely different reasons. Taylor wanted to wait two weeks to be able to participate and hear other presentations during a scheduled Whatcom County Council public hearing. Watson said she felt a moral obligation not to support the current system. She pointed to this being too big a debt obligation and that a new system was needed to reduce the US incarceration rate and how it deals with prisoners with mental health and other challenges.

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