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Felix Menjivar, deputy and town councilman, announces candidacy for San Juan County sheriff | Election 2010
Friday Harbor Town Councilman Felix Menjivar was on duty as a sheriff's deputy Thursday and missed the noon council meeting. Then, in the council's evening session, he was on his way from a regular session to a closed session to talk about possible property acquisition.
He had time only to give a one-word answer to a question: Yes.
And with that, Menjivar entered the race for San Juan County sheriff. He is the second candidate to enter the race to succeed Bill Cumming, who is retiring after six terms. Lead Detective Brent Johnson, who is also chairman of the county Veterans Advisory Committee and co-coordinator of the Firewise program, announced his candidacy Thursday morning.
Menjivar was elected to the Town Council in November and took office in January; it was not known Thursday whether he would, if elected sheriff, continue to serve on the council. He is also president of the San Juan County Sheriffs and Dispatchers Guild.
“Working as a deputy has given me a very deep understanding of the people here,” he said during his campaign for council. “I feel a responsibility to bring that experience to the Town Council and try to listen to people, bring balance to what’s going on. I want the opportunity to help shape the future of this town.”
As a councilman, he has endorsed extending the timeline of costly projects — like enlarging Trout Lake Dam to create more water storage — to control utility rate increases. During his campaign for council, Menjivar said he wanted to help local government work more efficiently, and, while he didn’t have any ideas early in the campaign, he said his experience and “analytical mind” can contribute to the development of those ideas.
“I’m learning the process and how things work on the council. I’ve been making the (council) meetings to educate myself on how things work,” he said. “I don’t have one thing (but) to try to bring my experience and bring an analytical mind to the issues that I’m going to be presented with.”
Menjivar lives in the Foxhall neighborhood with his wife, Angela; twin sons, Dylan and Levi; and daughter, Samantha. He moved to Friday Harbor in 2004. He graduated from Phillip & Sala Burton High School in San Francisco in 1987, and attended Yakima Valley Community College. He served as a Yakima County Sheriff's Department narcotics detective from 1998-2002, and joined the San Juan County Sheriff’s Department in 2002.
His community involvement includes serving as president of the Foxhall Firewise Community, chairman of the Foxhall Architectural Committee, and president of the Foxhall Homeowners Association. He served for six months on the town Planning Commission prior to becoming a councilman.
The current sheriff earns $97,514 a year. He manages a staff of 36 full-time employees and a budget of $2.3 million, which includes: $719,219, dispatch; $472,888, Enhanced E-911; $398,920, jail; and $209,615, Emergency Management.
Primary election is Aug. 17; general election is Nov. 2
The primary election is Aug. 17, the general election is Nov. 2. The top two vote-getters in the primary advance to the general election.
Islanders will vote on 14 legislative and local positions this year: County assessor, auditor, clerk, prosecutor, sheriff, treasurer; County Council District 2, District 5, and District 6; District Court judge, Superior Court judge; U.S. House of Representatives 2nd District, 40th District state House Position 1, and 40th District state House Position 2.