|City Council Agenda Follow-Up November 4, 2019
|5:00 p.m. Budget Workshop
|APPROVAL OF AGENDA Councilmember Taylor moved, and Councilmember Jensen seconded, to approve the agenda as presented. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.
|CONSENT AGENDA Councilmember Hansen moved, and Councilmember Bersch seconded, to approve the consent agenda. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.
|PRIVATE DEVELOPMENTS UPDATE Assistant Planner Jesse Ashbaugh presented an update on the following private development projects:
|PRESENTATION: Mark Kaiman, Municipal Court Judge Municipal Court Judge Mark Kaiman presented information about the current state of the Court/Council Chambers, and the dire need for updated facilities. The judge views it as an ongoing and serious crisis, and he has been trying to call attention to the deplorable state of the facility ever since he took office in January. The facility doesn’t meet the security standards as defined in GR 36. (General Rules for Trial Court Security as defined by Washington Courts) Security deficiencies noted include: No video camerasNo duress alarms (panic buttons)No emergency notification processLimited weapons screening (conducted by volunteer SCOPE officers) The facility is also lacking in several other areas, including: Jury box, jury room for deliberationsAttorney meeting rooms so they can meet with their clientsJudge’s chambers in a secured areaSecure workspace for court clerkSeparate entrance for court staff & secured entrance for in-custody defendantsTechnology is lacking & unreliable Kaiman explained that if the City wants people to respect the justice system, court must be held in a room that engenders respect. He pleaded with Council to consider building a purpose-built municipal building that will serve the City now and into the future as well.
|PUBLIC HEARING: 2020 Property Tax Levy In 2016, the City reduced its share of property tax due to the annexation into Whatcom County Fire District #7. This amount has been reserved by the Whatcom County Assessor as the City’s banked capacity. The available amount the City is eligible to claim is $1,420,313. Council can decide to take all or part of the banked capacity. The use of the full banked capacity would allow the City to sustainably address community needs that have remained unmet, such as: Provide adequate personnel funding for the Ferndale Police Department to retain the current workforce while expanding in strategic areas to ensure that two officers are on shift at all times.Provide resources for new City facilities, with the goal of reducing interest payments for those facilities, resulting in 20-year cost savings of approximately $1.2 million.Provide resources for deferred maintenance of City infrastructure as well as partial funding for road and park-related projects.Maintain adequate reserve funding in advance of economic downturn. The public hearing was held, and citizens had an opportunity to speak about the proposed 2020 property tax increase. The City is required to notify the Whatcom County Assessor of their intent to use or decline the use of banked capacity prior to November 30 of each calendar year. Staff will bring an ordinance setting the proposed property tax rate for 2020 to the November 18, 2019 meeting.
|MAYOR REPORTS/COMMENTS Information only. COUNCIL REPORTS/COMMENTS Information only. DEPARTMENT REPORTS Information only.
|ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at 7:34 p.m.