Ferrara remains as Ward 1 councilman for the third term

Leslie Arntz

When the polls closed at 7:30 p.m. yesterday, Lloyd Atkinson and his son were preparing to head into the cold rain to gather his campaign signs.

“I like to get everything cleaned up before sunlight,” Atkinson said.

By the time the last sign was in the bed of his Dodge Dakota, the tally was in.

Ferrara: 310.

Atkinson: 199.

Incumbent Ward 1 Councilman Garret Ferrara was elected to his third four-year term.

“It shows people are satisfied with the direction of city council,” Ferrara said. “They want to see more of it, and see it faster.”

Ferrara’s focus is on long-term economic development as a way to address Kent’s $2 million deficit. Among his goals are finishing projects and plans for downtown, which will be important to the city’s revitalization.

“The voters have spoken and we’ll continue in the direction they want to go,” said Atkinson, who ran on a platform focusing on a balanced budget and more funding for street maintenance.

Ferrara and Atkinson first faced off in the 1999 election. Ferrara ran uncontested in 2003. This election, four council seats are uncontested.

“I think it’s good to have someone to choose from,” Ward 1 resident Nelson Burns said. “At least we have people in competition. It makes the people re-running better or it can bring in new blood.”

Ellen Reyes, who voted in Precinct 1B, agreed.

“It’s good to have a contest,” she said. “Then (voters) have a choice and it keeps the people in (office) more accountable.”

Of the 14,934 registered voters in Kent, 1,473 turned out – 9.8 percent. Poll workers said the day was slow, even for an off-year election. But those who did trek to the polls felt strongly about their duty to the community.

“It’s my responsibility as a citizen of the United States to vote in every election,” Ward 1 resident Tami Talalas said. “It’s important to know I have a say in local government.”

Contact public affairs reporter Leslie Arntz at [email protected].